The Federal Government just sunk a ton of cash into research on geoengineering climate change. They say it’s to save the planet, but few environmentalists are convinced.
Many will remember 2013 as the year freedom ended in America. Wemfinally had to come to terms with the fact that our lives are being tracked and recorded by the NSA, Google, and pretty much everyone else. In light of new laws that allow anyone to be “detained” for undisclosed reasons, the fact that we’ve lost all rights to privacy is pretty terrifying. Given the level of interest in Miley Cyrus dance moves, however, no one seems to be too bothered that their constitutional rights have been flushed down the toilet. But now it’s going way beyond phone calls.
Over the summer, the feds quietly announced a project that hopes to discover new methods for mitigating climate change. The 21-month, $630,000 project will be run by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with funding coming from the CIA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. According to Mother Jones the NAS funded two previous workshops on geoengineering, but this is the first time the CIA has participated.
Don’t get too excited, however. It’s not an initiative to speed the shift from fossil fuels or build disaster-proof cities. It’s a scientific study that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering to alter Earth’s environment and stop climate change.
For those not familiar, geoengineering is “the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate.” If you think about it, the idea of geoengineering climate is nothing new: we’ve been altering the planet’s ecosystems to suit our desires for centuries. What’s new are the technologies and the goals.
“Geoengineering falls into two categories: solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal,” explains David Suzuki in a guest post for DeSmog Blog. “The former involves reflecting solar radiation back into space. The latter is aimed at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it.”
Ideas for geoengineering climate change solutions range from cloud-seeding to fertilizing the ocean with iron, but all are controversial because we have no idea what the unintended consequences might be.
According to the CIA project’s official description, a committee of experts will “conduct a technical evaluation of a limited number of proposed geoengineering techniques, including examples of both solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal techniques, and comment generally on the potential impacts of deploying these technologies, including possible environmental, economic, and national security concerns.”
There it is at the end–“national security concerns.” In a world where governments are positioning themselves to control as much of what we do and say as possible, the idea of the CIA using the weather like a weapon sends shivers down my spine. But maybe that’s just me.
A close second concern would be the fact that geoengineering climate change fails to address the root cause of the problem. It’s like taking an aspirin to alleviate the pain of a nail sticking through the bottom of your foot. You might get a few hours of relief, but ultimately, nothing will change until you yank that sucker out.
The negative effects of climate change are a direct result of our unchecked consumption of fossil fuels. Period. The consequences will continue until we stop belching filth into the atmosphere, and even then, it will take generations to reverse the damage.
Let’s leave the poor planet alone, haven’t we done enough already? Instead of pouring $630,000 into madcap ideas that will probably break more than they fix, why not invest in renewable energy technologies that will actually begin to fix the problem?
Maybe it’s because doing so would force us to admit that fossil fuels (and the politicians who love them) have to go. Maybe it’s because a safe affordable power plant on your roof makes you harder to control. Just sayin’.
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