WHAT IS SOLAR RADIATION MANAGEMENT & WHY IT'S IMPORTANT
May 18, 2011
Geoengineering is defined as “planetary-scale environmental engineering of our atmosphere, our weather, the oceans, and the Earth itself.” The methods, or schemes, that may be used now without public oversight or debate, prior public notification, U.S. Congress or State oversight, are staggering in number and scope.
SOLAR RADIATION MANAGEMENT involves intentionally introduced atmospheric schemes that would add particles, chemicals, or gases to our upper atmosphere to reduce the amount of direct sunlight reaching the Earth. These schemes also include cloud whitening experiments (using salt particles), and putting more water vapor (a greenhouse gas), into the atmosphere to create more artificial cloud cover.
One of the current experiments that has been ongoing since the late 1980s, is the use of large jets to introduce more water vapor into our atmosphere on an ever-increasing scale. One of the byproducts of jet engine combustion is water vapor. And this program is backfiring because studies show that aviation (both military and commercial), is exacerbating the melting of glaciers in both Alaska and the Arctic and causing other pollution problems.
NASA research studies show that increasingly persistent jet contrails may turn into “man-made clouds” (or white haze), and are “…trapping warmth in the atmosphere and exacerbating global warming…Any change in global cloud cover may contribute to long-term changes in the Earth’s climate…” No current U.S. legislation addresses water vapor and aviation impacts on the global atmosphere. In addition, climate scientists are working to add more pollutants to the atmosphere in order to reduce the amount of direct sunlight reaching the Earth.
Many private corporations, universities, government agencies, private individuals, states, counties, and cities, may participate in deploying a vast array of geoengineering experiments, including but not limited to, weather modification programs. Currently no government agency, or the U.S. Congress at this time, will have any idea what the cumulative or synergistic effects may be when these experiments are deployed. In addition, no one, not even the U.S. Congress or the public, will have any oversight of these programs or how they will be implemented. Action needs to be taken today to prevent these questionable experiments and to engage in public debates about the drawbacks which are substantial (Examples: Increased acid rain, tree declines, increasing asthma, air, soil, and water pollution).
Now many climate and geoengineering scientists, private corporations, and individuals, who held many public geoengineering promotional meetings in 2010, and in 2011, are preparing to implement and fund various geoengineering schemes, with either public or private funding, and without any oversight, public notification or consent [3,5+8]. Some of these schemes are already being tested. What are the consequences of deploying these geoengineering experiments? Some of the most obvious problems are discussed below.
THE SOLAR POWER CONNECTION: We are now moving toward using solar panels to produce electricity. Experimental SRM schemes will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth lowering solar panel energy output. And the particles and chemicals used will also coat the solar panels making them less efficient.
Many proposed chemicals or particles used in these geoengineering schemes (i.e., U.S. Navy / NASA C.A.R.E. experiment which deployed into the atmosphere an aluminum oxide dust cloud September 19, 2009), are likely to be toxic to humans, marine mammals, oceans, fish, wildlife, food pollinators, and birds. Many of these toxic chemicals, like sulfur, have the potential to contaminate drinking water, soil, cause acid rain or air pollution, and may impair human health.
Vitamin D: SRM schemes will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth. We are already experiencing human health problems, like rickets in children, from jets leaving persistent jet contrails that turn into man-made clouds exacerbating global dimming. Many illnesses can be traced back to Vitamin D deficiencies.
SRM may limit Honey Bee food pollination because the bee navigates and communicates though the use of ultraviolet light. And we have no idea what the cumulative impacts of toxic chemicals, particles, and reduced sunlight will have on all of our pollinators, endangering food production in the United States.
PHOTOSYNTHESIS is required for the majority of life on Earth to exist, along with healthy trees, and food crop production. When cloud cover and reduced sunlight is not present crop production drops. When direct sunlight and normal rainfall is present crop production increases. What happens when geoengineers deliberately reduce the amount of direct sunlight reaching the Earth? What are the consequences of multiple uncontrolled experiments on our air, water, soils, and on the Earth itself?
THE LIABILITY ISSUE: The geoengineers want to conduct their experiments behind closed doors without public participation or rules. Why? The answer is that they will be financially liable if their experiments impair human health, agriculture, poison our water, soils, air or create other damaging events. Thus, they require secrets tests and experiments with no public debate, notification, oversight or knowledge. Climate scientists that propose geoengineering really don’t want a public debate on this issue because they know that their schemes would be unacceptable and rejected by the public.
The U.S. House of Representatives has held Geoengineering Hearings beginning on November 5, 2009, where the public, the Environmental Protection Agency, at either Federal or State levels, state agencies, agriculture representation or ocean scientists were not present. Two U.S. House Science & Technology hearings were held in 2010, with the final U.S. House report released in October 2010.
The U.S. House Science & Technology Committee is working with the UK Parliament, who also held hearings on this topic over the last two years, to implement these experiments and also to work out Global Geoengineering Governance plans for the entire world. Public participation and scientists from other fields (like agriculture or oceans), were restricted from providing any testimony. Those scientists who did testify are the ones working on these projects and who may financially benefit from implementing these schemes and are actively promoting them.
On March 22-26, 2010, the Climate Respond Fund sponsored the Asilomar International Conference. This Conference also addressed “…develop guidelines for “…research and testing of proposed climate intervention and geoengineering technologies….” Funding for these programs (and the spending of funds granted by the Bill Gates Foundation, and others to implement hurricane and other geoengineering experiments), may also have been on the agenda. (Some of the Patents can be found at the U.S. Patent Office.) One idea is to fund geoengineering schemes through a carbon tax.
In a presentation (March 22-26, 2010), on how to enlist public support, for geoengineering and other SRM plans there was another key statement from the AAAS program write-up: “…Studies show, however, that people make judgments based primarily on their values, belief systems, world views, and emotions. Facts play a much more minor role. This gap cannot be bridged by loading the public with facts, or trying to make the public more science literate…”
Why not try the truth for a change when presenting these ideas to the public? And why imply that we don’t care about the truth or that it is okay to deceive us repeatedly for economic benefits or technological experiments without considering the human and environmental consequences? Right now global warming and climate change scare tactics are being used as the drivers to stampede the public into accepting these experiments without a full public consideration of the consequences.
In a Press Release Dated December of 2002 titled: “GEOENGINEERING TOO RISKY” A Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Press release warns, “…There are many reasons why geoengineering is not a preferred option for climate stabilization...” These prescriptions include risks of global “system failure” and the “unpredictable responses” of Earth's climate system to large-scale human intervention…”
The climate scientists and geoengineers all have one repeated mantra: “…Geoengineering is not a solution to climate change and global warming…” They are instead enlisting support to spend enormous sums to buy time for someone to do something later. Just what research, project funding, and development are they now engaging in to fix our current pollution problems now? Nothing! They are not promoting research into benefits that will be long-lasting or make a difference in the future. The “temporary fix” theory with “unknown consequences” seems to be their only contribution to the disaster they predict. Should the public be willing to accept this temporary fix? The answer is “no”!
Scientists and researchers who will invent ways to use waste energy from currently operating energy plants to produce clean, green power, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions is where funding should be directed…not to those programs and experiments that will not reduce our impact on Earth from various types of pollution sources.
Our local, county, state and federal representatives should take immediate action to stop these geoengineering scheme deployments until scientists from every field, agriculture interests, and the public have had time to thoroughly investigate these schemes and their effects on the Earth’s environment.
No one has the right to use the Earth, or Earth’s atmosphere, as a giant experimental physics laboratory due to the unknown consequences of such actions. It is up to all of us to educate our elected officials at every level about these programs (both current and proposed), prior to implementation or to entirely reject these experimental programs.
We encourage everyone to join our May Geoengineering Awareness Month events and educate others and our elected officials about the impacts of Geoengineering Schemes. It is now up to all of us to provide the education and facts that are needed for sound decisions to be made at every level of government by our elected officials. Without this knowledge special interests and their lobbyists will take control of our health, the Earth’s functions, and could destroy the Earth’s natural resources which provide food, water, and life for all of us.
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Local, State and U.S. Congressional Hearings should be immediately held in order to completely investigate the consequences of proposed and ongoing geoengineering experiments by any individual, state, county, private corporation, the U.S. military, university or U.S. government agencies on agriculture, crop production, air and water pollution, acid rain, human health, and our oceans. And aviation geoengineering programs should not escape their notice. There is a lot at stake and all of us should have our voices heard in this debate. End
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3- Note: Professor Gregory Benford of U.C. Irving stated in his article on Arctic Geoengineering on November 20, 2006, (3+10): “…This idea is only the first step in making climate science…into an active science… This is not a new transition in scientific style…We will live inside the experiment…Costs seem readily attainable – perhaps a few hundreds of millions of dollars for an Arctic experiment. High altitude trials over the open ocean are little constrained by law or treaty, so show-stopper politics may be avoided…”
4- January 28, 2010 Wired Science: Bill Gates has sunk at least $4.5 million of his personal wealth into geoengineering research.
“…While it’s a small chunk of Gates’ vast personal fortune, it’s a sign that the founder of Microsoft thinks we should at least be looking into the controversial practice of intentionally altering the Earth’s climate on a global scale. “[Gates] views geoengineering as a way to buy time, but it’s not a solution to the problem” of climate change, Gates’ spokesperson John Pinette told Science Insider. “Bill views this as an important avenue for research — among many others, including new forms of clean energy.”
The money will be directed by two high-level scientists at the forefront of geoengineering research: climate scientist Ken Caldeira, of Stanford’s Carnegie Department of Global Ecology, and physicist David Keith of the University of Calgary. They will decide which technologies should receive the cash in order to alter the stratosphere to reflect solar energy, filter carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and brighten ocean clouds...”
“…In a related development Keith, one of the scientists directing Gates’ money, co-authored a Nature editorial this week calling for an international fund for “solar-radiation management” in addition to traditional carbon emissions cuts. “Solar-radiation management may be the only human response that can fend off rapid and high-consequence climate change impacts,” Keith said in a press release Wednesday…The organization that manages the funds would also develop the governance structures to provide transparent risk analysis and manage feedback from the world’s countries…” He forgot to add: Without public participation, knowledge or consent.
5- AAAS 2010 Annual Meeting – February 18-22, 2010 The AAAS billed itself as the world’s largest scientific society. GLOBAL GEO-ENGINEERING SCIENTISTS TO MEET IN SAN DIEGO-San Diego Convention Center:
Scientists from around the world will be meeting at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting held in San Diego, California on February 18th, 2010. Here are the links and descriptions (AAAS) of those presentations scheduled for February 20, 2010: Human Dimensions of Geoengineering, and this link.
7- A Wobbly Three-Legged Stool: Science, Politics, and the Public - AAAS Conference Presentation 2010: “…The (Obama), Administration is committed to solving society’s grand challenges, with energy, health, and education policy topping the list. President Obama wants science to have a key role in a new, more pragmatic approach to governance. In our constitutional democracy an informed public must be able to judge the performance of those they elect. This requires a triangle comprising political institutions, the community of experts, and a responsible public, all of whom are well informed…” Just what does the phrase “a responsible public” mean and which political institutions?
“…Studies show, however, that people make judgments based primarily on their values, belief systems, world views, and emotions. Facts play a much more minor role. This gap cannot be bridged by loading the public with facts, or trying to make the public more science literate…” It appears that the “public” has now been deemed ignorant…not capable of making decisions…and that facts play a minor role in our decisions. These statements are not only insulting but lead one to believe that the majority of people are ignorant and incapable of dealing with the issues facing us today. The arrogance of these statements are astounding.
Gregory Benford on Geoengineering Reason.com Magazine November 11,
Gregory Benford is a professor of physics at the University of California Irvine.
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