Environmental Warfare: Climate Modification Schemes
Spencer Weart - December 5, 2009
If human activities could change climate, why not change it on purpose, to suit us better? From 1945 into the 1970s, much effort went into studies of weather modification. American entrepreneurs tried cloud-seeding to enhance local rainfall, Russian scientists offered fabulous schemes of planetary engineering, and military agencies secretly explored “climatological warfare.”
The hopes and fears promoted basic research on climate change by raising large sums of government money and a few provocative ideas. In the mid 1970s the visionary projects were abandoned. Research turned instead to controversial “geoengineering” schemes for interventions that might restrain global warming if it started to become unbearable.
“Intervention in atmospheric and climatic matters . . . will unfold on a scale difficult to imagine at present. . . . this will merge each nation’s affairs with those of every other, more thoroughly than the threat of a nuclear or any other war would have done.” — J. von Neumann