Wouldn’t it be better to change our behavior — to reduce our use of fossil fuels — before we begin fiddling with the planet’s basic life-support systems?
For almost 20 years, I’ve been spending time on a craggy stretch of British Columbia’s shoreline called the Sunshine Coast. This summer, I had an experience that reminded me why I love this place, and why I chose to have a child in this sparsely populated part of the world.
It was 5 a.m. and my husband and I were up with our 3-week-old son. Looking out at the ocean, we spotted two towering, black dorsal fins: orcas, or killer whales. Then two more. We had never seen an orca on the coast, and never heard of their coming so close to shore. In our sleep-deprived state, it felt like a miracle, as if the baby had wakened us to make sure we didn’t miss this rare visit.
The possibility that the sighting may have resulted from something less serendipitous did not occur to me until two weeks ago, when I read reports of a bizarre ocean experiment off the islands of Haida Gwaii, several hundred miles from where we spotted the orcas swimming.
There, an American entrepreneur named Russ George dumped 120 tons of iron dust off the hull of a rented fishing boat; the plan was to create an algae bloom that would sequester carbon and thereby combat climate change .
Mr. George is one of a growing number of would-be geoengineers who advocate high-risk, large-scale technical interventions that would fundamentally change the oceans and skies in order to reduce the effects of global warming. In addition to Mr. George’s scheme to fertilize the ocean with iron, other geoengineering strategies under consideration include pumping sulfate aerosols into the upper atmosphere to imitate the cooling effects of a major volcanic eruption and “brightening” clouds so they reflect more of the sun’s rays back to space.
The risks are huge. Ocean fertilization could trigger dead zones and toxic tides. And multiple simulations have predicted that mimicking the effects of a volcano would interfere with monsoons in Asia and Africa, potentially threatening water and food security for billions of people.
So far, these proposals have mostly served as fodder for computer models and scientific papers. But with Mr. George’s ocean adventure, geoengineering has decisively escaped the laboratory. If Mr. George’s account of the mission is to be believed, his actions created an algae bloom in an area half of the size of Massachusetts that attracted a huge array of aquatic life, including whales that could be “counted by the score.”
When I read about the whales, I began to wonder: could it be that the orcas I saw were on their way to the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet that had descended on Mr. George’s bloom? The possibility, unlikely though it is, provides a glimpse into one of the disturbing repercussions of geoengineering: once we start deliberately interfering with the earth’s climate systems — whether by dimming the sun or fertilizing the seas — all natural events can begin to take on an unnatural tinge. An absence that might have seemed a cyclical change in migration patterns or a presence that felt like a miraculous gift suddenly feels sinister, as if all of nature were being manipulated behind the scenes.
Most news reports characterize Mr. George as a “rogue” geoengineer. But what concerns me, after researching the subject for two years for a forthcoming book on climate change, is that far more serious scientists, backed by far deeper pockets, appear poised to actively tamper with the complex and unpredictable natural systems that sustain life on earth — with huge potential for unintended consequences.
In 2010, the chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology recommended more research into geoengineering; the British government has begun to spend public money in the field.
Bill Gates has funneled millions of dollars into geoengineering research. And he has invested in a company, Intellectual Ventures, that is developing at least two geoengineering tools: the “StratoShield,” a 19-mile-long hose suspended by helium balloons that would spew sun-blocking sulfur dioxide particles into the sky and a tool that can supposedly blunt the force of hurricanes.
THE appeal is easy to understand. Geoengineering offers the tantalizing promise of a climate change fix that would allow us to continue our resource-exhausting way of life, indefinitely. And then there is the fear. Every week seems to bring more terrifying climate news, from reports of ice sheets melting ahead of schedule to oceans acidifying far faster than expected. At the same time, climate change has fallen so far off the political agenda that it wasn’t mentioned once during any of the three debates between the presidential candidates. Is it any wonder that many are pinning their hopes on a break-the-glass-in-case-of-emergency option that scientists have been cooking up in their labs?
But with rogue geoengineers on the loose, it is a good time to pause and ask, collectively, whether we want to go down the geoengineering road. Because the truth is that geoengineering is itself a rogue proposition. By definition, technologies that tamper with ocean and atmospheric chemistry affect everyone. Yet it is impossible to get anything like unanimous consent for these interventions. Nor could any such consent possibly be informed since we don’t — and can’t — know the full risks involved until these planet-altering technologies are actually deployed.
While the United Nations’ climate negotiations proceed from the premise that countries must agree to a joint response to an inherently communal problem, geoengineering raises a very different prospect. For well under a billion dollars, a “coalition of the willing,” a single country or even a wealthy individual could decide to take the climate into its own hands. Jim Thomas of the ETC Group, an environmental watchdog group, puts the problem like this: “Geoengineering says, ‘we’ll just do it, and you’ll live with the effects.’ ”
The scariest thing about this proposition is that models suggest that many of the people who could well be most harmed by these technologies are already disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Imagine this: North America decides to send sulfur into the stratosphere to reduce the intensity of the sun, in the hopes of saving its corn crops — despite the real possibility of triggering droughts in Asia and Africa. In short, geoengineering would give us (or some of us) the power to exile huge swaths of humanity to sacrifice zones with a virtual flip of the switch.
The geopolitical ramifications are chilling. Climate change is already making it hard to know whether events previously understood as “acts of God” (a freak heat wave in March or a Frankenstorm on Halloween) still belong in that category. But if we start tinkering with the earth’s thermostat — deliberately turning our oceans murky green to soak up carbon and bleaching the skies hazy white to deflect the sun — we take our influence to a new level. A drought in India will come to be seen — accurately or not — as a result of a conscious decision by engineers on the other side of the planet. What was once bad luck could come to be seen as a malevolent plot or an imperialist attack.
There will be other visceral, life-changing consequences. A study published this spring in Geophysical Research Letters found that if we inject sulfur aerosols into the stratosphere in order to dial down the sun, the sky would not only become whiter and significantly brighter, but we would also be treated to more intense, “volcanic” sunsets. But what kind of relationships can we expect to have with those hyper-real skies? Would they fill us with awe — or with vague unease? Would we feel the same when beautiful wild creatures cross our paths unexpectedly, as happened to my family this summer? In a popular book on climate change, Bill McKibben warned that we face “The End of Nature.” In the age of geoengineering, we might find ourselves confronting the end of miracles, too.
Mr. George and his ocean-altering experiment provides an opportunity for public debate about an issue essentially absent during the election cycle: What are the real solutions to climate change? Wouldn’t it be better to change our behavior — to reduce our use of fossil fuels — before we begin fiddling with the planet’s basic life-support systems?
Unless we change course, we can expect to hear many more reports about sun-shielders and ocean fiddlers like Mr. George, whose iron dumping exploit did more than test a thesis about ocean fertilization: it also tested the waters for future geoengineering experiments. And judging by the muted response so far, the results of Mr. George’s test are clear: geoengineers proceed, caution be damned.
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and syndicated columnist and the author of the international and New York Times bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism , now out in paperback. Her earlier books include the international best-seller, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies (which has just been re-published in a special 10th Anniversary Edition ); and the collection Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate (2002). To read all her latest writing visit www.naomiklein.org. You can follow her on Twitter: @NaomiAKlein.
LATEST CROP CIRCLE OCTOBER 14 2012
Responses by readers.
Sylvia Flores says
Chem-trails are an overt attempt to disguise an incoming brown dwarf star/sun with it’s orbiting planets or moons & inhabitants.
Asian country’s (China, Taiwan & Pakistan -check out YOUTUBE 2 suns videos) have reported on national televised news shows and shown video of 2 suns in the sky.
The USA is afraid to let people know there is nothing they can do.
The government’s fear of mass panic, rioting, looting are the main factors.
The mass deception that the government along with organized religion have painted us with for so long is about to be revealed.
We are not the highest and most advanced people in the universe and the past is repeating itself. Google sky & Microsoft world wide telescopes are apparently being controlled or curtailed by this under the National security act and that’s why position: 5h 53m 41s,-6 00 58. is now a big erased box in Google sky, Microsoft World Wide Telescope & WIKI Telescope since the ancient Sumerian records & even the Bible say Nibiru will approach from the Southern Sky
– “THE LORD FROM THE SOUTH SHALL COME” (Habakkuk chapter 2)
& “ALONE HE STRETCHES OUT THE HEAVENS; HE ARRIVES AT THE GREAT BEAR, SIRIUS AND ORION AND THE CONSTELLATIONS TO THE SOUTH”
(The book of JOB chapter 9) The Sumerians told us about this event and damage it causes (ice age, great flood, asteroids, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) & it just happens that all the middle east country’s that we helped to over throw in the last few years were all places that were mentioned as space related sites of the Anunnaki who are the inhabitants of this incoming planet and we are doing exactly as they did thousands of years ago when it was thought that “The Gods” would return, we are fighting for control of these sites.
CONNECT THE DOTS = Chemtrails to hide the incoming Nibiru.
We invade ancient Babylon (Iraq) & head straight to the artifacts, alien technology and Ziggurat). We get rid of the Egyptian president & loot records, artifacts & alien technology.
All the sites that the Sumerians spoke about as being places the GODS lived. READ ZECHARIAH SITCHINS 12th planet and you will be amazed and the dots will connect themselves…
There are so many signs that it’s real: We’ve had more space shuttle missions in the last year then ever before, NASA shuts down the public’s access to the WISE telescope.
Google sky, MS WWT & Wiki telescope have blocked out the Southern heavens which according to Sumerian clay tablets have noted that from this direction is the incoming orbital direction of Nibiru.
We’ve now launched 2 laser/radio wave mapping rockets (Grail A & Grail B) to hit the moon on New Year’s Day because some feel
it’s an artificial satellite used as a way station for the Anunakki’s earth missions.
The Vatican spends MILLIONS on an Infra-red telescope named Lucifer.
The MILLIONS spent on the US governments South Pole InfraRed gov. telescope. Look at all the Middle East places we’ve invaded in anticipation of this planets return.
The number of earthquakes that are growing daily due to this super dense gravitational force heading our way… And Zechariah Sitchin who translated the Sumerian texts detailing Nibiru that were recorded 6000yrs ago about the Gods from this planet who created us from a mixture of DNA was actually awarded a lifetime award from a Vatican official for his work on the Sumerians & their beliefs..
Why would they agree? Unless they already knew the truth was coming back & they’ve spent millions on a telescope to see it!..
Sitchen sat down with a high ranking official at the Navel Observatory & this guy stated they are searching the area that Sitchin predicted Nibiru would approach from. http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1777847/pg1
Sylvia Flores says,
BREAKING URGENT NEWS NASA & MONKS WARNS..
1. You need to prepare for this change of cycles to complete all the works in 2012, not to tie new, pay off debts.
2. 20.12.2012 to take their children, all documents, cash and get out of town into the countryside. Prepare a supply of food for two months, as supply will be restored for a long time.
3. It is necessary to have in the house supply of water, firewood and candles for lighting. You need to have the stove in the house, as the electricity stops flowing from 21.12.2012 on the wire.
4. Communications and TV are turned off. During the “dark days” hang windows dark, not to look at them, do not believe your eyes and ears, not to go out. If you see the need to go, you can not go far – you can get lost, as you’ll even his own hands.
5. After the appearance of the world is not in a hurry to return to the city, it is better to live in the nature of spring.Disasters according to Tibetan lamas will last two weeks, though the echoes will be felt for some months until the beginning of February.
The total yield of the Earth from the “zero band”, expected in about February 7, 2013. There will be a partial restoration of electricity, transport. By late March, the world will recover completely.
End of the world will radically change the outlook of people, according to Oracle Shambhala.
It will become more spiritual.
In developed and developing countries will blossom variety of scientific and spiritual teachings, systems development and health of the individual.
“This will be the most important impetus to the progress of mankind for a long time,” – concludes the monk.Meanwhile, scientists continue to claim that the fears of the apocalypse are unfounded.
“New evidence suggests that the ancient Maya did apocalyptic prophecies”
– quoted by LiveScience.com words of the director of the Research Institute of Central America Marcello Canuto.Many researchers Maya agree that their civilization, if it existed today, most likely, would have invented a new calendar. Archaeologists have found evidence of even deep in the rain forest texts in which the ancient Maya mentioned dates later than December 21, 2012, marks Utro.ru referring to Discovery. http://info.peregud.com/archives/658 ….
WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN WE DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE NEW YORK…
N OTHER CITIES ON THE EAST COAST DEPENDING ON OUR CROOKED GOVERNMENT …
WE NEED TO GET TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY TAKE COPIES PASS OUT FLYERS …
PUT UP SIGNS….GOOGLE 3 DAYS OF DARKNESS PPL NEED TO KNOW…
IF THEY ARE NOT PREPARED THEY MIGHT JUST COME FOR YOU N WHAT U GOT WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO SURVIVE WITHOUT THE SYSTEM …
THIS MUST BE A GLOBAL EFFORT IN PREPARING.
WARN OTHERS BECAUSE MANY ARE WARNING US …
IN KNOWING TRUTH WE CAN ALL CHANGE N PREPARE…
BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW !! THEY DESERVE. A CHANCE TO CHOOSE TO CHANGE …
SHARE THIS WITH ALL PLZ … LOVE ALL. & FEAR NOT ♥
THE COUNTDOWN IS ON FOR THE 3 DAYS OF DARKNESS !!!2
MONTHS FROM NOW WE WILL FIND OUT THE TRUTH BEHIND DEC/22/2012 ..
POLE SHIFT ?
3 DAYS OF DARKNESS ?
SUN GOING NOVA ?
ASTEROID IMPACT ?
PLANET X FLY BY ??
IN THE END SOMETHING IS GOING TO OCCUR SO BE READY STAND IN TRUTH WITH LOVE FOR ALL ..
Princess Kaoru Nakamaru in Japan talks about the coming times.
Why would the Universe cause fear and panic?
Isn’t all creation build of LOVE.
All fear based thoughts, manifestions are all created by the ego.
Ego is also a part of creation.
You can choose what side you want to be on. FEAR (ego), or LOVE..
When it comes to the underground bases, according to many sources these bases have been taken out, and there was/is many more that she didnt talk about.
You be the judge here.
One thing is true tho.
We really need to unite, and start focusing on the positive, love, forgiveness,trust, compassion etc.
How you act and behave, think and say, you are projecting it onto others, so the way you are to others, that is a reflection of yourself, how you feel, is what you want others to feel.
When we all start to act,behave,say,feel,connect with our hearts etc, we all understand eachother, no fear, no disbelief, no mistrust, no lies, no me and you, no confusion.
Thats what this means, we are all one. Its a we thing.
Unity, the collective consciousness in balance and harmony.
BREAKING NEWS : New Crop Circle depicts 3 Days of Darkness
♥ New Crop Circle depicts 3 Days of
Darkness” Windmill Hill, nr Avebury Trusloe, Wiltshire. Reported 14th October.
…. SCRIPTURAL PROOF OF 3 DAYS OF. DARKNESS.
SHARING IS CARING
Peter Dellys says, So when does Nibiru arrive? This is an important question!
Chemtrails In Our Skies says, too soon