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Despite terrorist attacks against the United States recurring with the Fort Hood shooting and the December underwear bomber, President Obama has tasked the Central Intelligence Agency with investigating global warming.
Obama has resurrected a program formerly cancelled by President Bush that shares information from the CIA’s spy satellites and other classified sensors with environmental scientists. The program, called Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis, or MEDEA, has already been used by a group of government-chosen scientists to measure Arctic sea ice.
Norbert Untersteiner, a University of Washington professor among the chosen scientists, told the New York Times the images are “really useful,” since climate change specialists “have no way to send out 500 people” across the polar caps to take similar measurements.
The program is not without its detractors, however, including Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who called the creation of the CIA Center on Climate Change and National Security “irresponsible.”
“In times of peace and prosperity, this center would completely defy common sense,” Barrasso said in a statement last week. “But today, only two weeks after a terrorist attempted to blow up a plane over our country, this center is absolutely ridiculous. The CIA’s resources should be focused on monitoring terrorists in caves – not polar bears on icebergs.”
Barrasso concluded, “We must ensure that our intelligence officials are focused on their most important task – protecting our country from immediate terror threats.”
Federal officials reportedly told the Times the program has little or no impact on current intelligence gathering, since it relies on information already archived or collected when sensors are passing over empty wilderness.
Nonetheless, the images provided to scientists have been intentionally blurred or cloaked to prevent revealing the full capabilities of the CIA’s spy satellites.
‘Geo-engineering’ for climate control
In addition to opening up CIA resources, and despite Democrats in the Senate backing away from supporting Obama efforts to pass cap-and-trade legislation, the administration has maintained a commitment to expensive and even radical efforts to “save the planet” from global climate change.
As WND reported, White House science czar John Holdren favors “geo-engineering” in order to manipulate the climate.
In a videotaped interview with the Associated Press archived on YouTube.com, Holdren made clear that “we have to keep geo-engineering on the table because we might get desperate enough to use it.”
Propelled by the willingness of governments to spend billions on global warming hysteria, however, the geo-engineering solutions many scientists have proposed include a variety of fantastic-sounding schemes.
Rival groups of scientists in the U.S. and U.K., for example, are working on “cloud ships,” according to a report published last week by the London Telegraph. The plan calls for 1,900 wind-powered ships to sail the world’s oceans, suck up seawater and spray it out in miniscule droplets through tall funnels to create large, white clouds.
The scientists are predicting the clouds would reflect approximately one or two percent of the sunlight that otherwise would heat up the ocean, with the result of cancelling out the greenhouse effect intensified by increasing levels of carbon dioxide being observed in the atmosphere.
The unmanned ships would be directed by satellite to areas of the ocean that are deficient in cloud cover, mostly in the Pacific and far away enough from land so as not to alter rainfall patterns.
In a separate scheme, Red Alert previously reported the Obama administration is seriously considering polluting the air to create an earth shield in order to save the planet from the perceived threat of global warming.
Holdren told the Associated Press global warming is so dire that the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to engineer the climate by shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays.
Obama’s controversial science czar justified the consideration by telling AP that global warming is equivalent to being “in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog.”
Holdren also discussed doomsday scenarios that would trigger the Obama administration into action, such as the complete loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic.
Referring to geo-engineering the climate, Holdren told the Associated Press, “It’s got to be looked at. We don’t have the luxury of taking any approach off the table.”
The think tank at the Council on Foreign Relations appears to be a major supporter of the idea.
In the March/April 2009 issue of the council’s Foreign Affairs magazine, a group of five authors led by David Victor wrote a piece titled “The Geoengineering Option: A Last Resort Against Global Warming?”
Victor, a professor of law at Stanford and an adjunct senior fellow at the council, is also holding a CFR-sponsored workshop entitled “Geo-engineering: Workshop on Unilateral Planetary Scale Geo-engineering,” in Washington, D.C., on May 5, according to the CFR website.
Victor and his co-authors describe their geo-engineering strategies as “deploying systems on a planetary scale, such as launching reflective particles into the atmosphere or positioning sunshades to cool the earth.”
Goal: Block sun’s rays
The key premise of geo-engineering to combat global warming is that by increasing the reflectivity of the atmosphere, more of the sun’s rays would be reflected back to space.
“Increasing the reflectivity of the planet by one percentage point could have an effect on the climate system large enough to offset the gross increase in warming that is likely over the next century as a result of a doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” Victors and his co-authors write.
The scheme is reminiscent of efforts by the U.S. military dating back to the Johnson administration to explore detonating nuclear weapons to make the climate somehow more favorable.
The U.S. military was so serious about the effort that in 1976 the United Nations adopted a convention that prohibited the use of military weapons as a climate-change technology.
One idea Victors and his co-authors seem to favor involves injecting sulfur into the upper atmosphere using high-flying aircraft, naval guns or giant balloons to reflect sunlight, copying what is thought to be the methodology whereby plumes of erupting volcanoes fill the upper atmosphere with sulfur and other fine particles.
Ironically, the CFR article acknowledges that adverse climate changes, such as inducing droughts, could be caused in turn by geo-engineering efforts to fill the stratosphere with sulfur.
Yet Victors and his associates conclude that, “The highly uncertain but possible disastrous side effects of geo-engineering interventions are difficult to compare to the dangers of unchecked global climate change.”
Not all scientists, however, are equally enthusiastic about geo-engineering as a methodology to reverse global warming.
Research published last August in Great Britain suggests that shooting air pollution in the form of microscopic particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays back to outer space, a phenomenon known as “global dimming,” could end up being harmful to plants, with the result the earth absorbs less carbon dioxide.
Plants right now soak up about 25 percent of the carbon dioxide human beings emit into the atmosphere.
With reduced sunlight, plant growth may be slowed.
Even worse, when plants die, the carbon stored in the plants is released back into the atmosphere.