Geoengineering technologies are the stuff of Hollywood catastrophe flicks. It seems scientists want to play God with our climate and nothing will stop them. Researchers have recommended sending out a giant glass sunshade into space to reflect light; the eruption of artificial volcanoes, or spraying of sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere; dissolving mountains and putting remains in the sea; and, least dramatically, perhaps, filing the ocean with iron filings to stimulate algae blooms. Here are 4 geoengineering projects doomed to fail while they pollute our Earth.
"People are right to be revolted and alarmed," says Matthew Watson, the head of the Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (Spice) team. "That's a good thing. It should not sound easy. If we do this, it will be the clearest indication we have failed as planetary stewards. It will be a desperate thing to do."
Critics of geoengineering claim the government started modifying the environment years ago, through chemtrails. Critics have been mocked as conspiracy theorists, however the concern is shared by rational scientists and experts as well as many environmental activists, for reasons that stretch back to the Vietnam War.
Between 1967 and 1972, the US air force carried out "Operation Popeye", the first use of weather as an instrument of war. Almost 3,000 flights were sent into the skies above the Ho Chi Minh Trail, where planes seeded clouds with silver iodide particles, causing storms and extending the monsoon season. "Popeye" turned the strategic pass into a bog -- and appalled the international community. In 1977, the Enmod (Environmental Modification Convention) treaty outlawed weather warfare.
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