Bad weather: Another thing we can blame Russia for
It was really only a matter of time, wasn't it?
The CIA, ever the innovators, have decided it would be quite useful to know how to control the weather— but just in case they figure out how—they'd like to be able to blame Russia for it.
A prominent climate scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey has reported receiving a strange phone call from CIA consultants who wanted to know if hostile countries could be triggering floods or drought in the United States.
Professor Alan Robock said: "Consultants working for the CIA rang and said we’d like to know, if someone is controlling the world’s climate would we know about it?"
Robock said he told the mysterious callers that any attempts to control another country's weather on a large scale would be detectable, which probably led to some disappointed sighs over in Langley—because of course, the real query wasn't that difficult to decipher:
"Of course they were also asking—if we control someone else’s climate would they then know about it?" Robock said.
Now, while this all does sound a bit like a science fiction movie, the Daily Mail reports that Robock has in fact warned about the weaponization of weather in the past.
He told the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual conference in San Jose, that during the Vietnam War, American scientists made attempts to increase rainfall by spraying particles into the clouds which would hamper the progress of the enemy.
In Cuba, he said, the CIA seeded clouds to "make it rain and ruin the sugar harvest".
"I’d learned of lots of other things the CIA had done that haven’t followed the rules and that wasn’t how I wanted my tax money spent," he said.
Robock said any research into geoengineering should be "open and international" to remove any ability to use it for "hostile purposes".
Interestingly, the CIA is reported to have partly-funded a recent National Academy of Sciences report on the different approaches to tackling climate change. The report looked at ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and examined ways to reflect sunlight in order to manually cool the earth.
It concluded that the risks of such methods are "not well understood" and that extensive research would be needed to determine if they could become viable strategies in the future.
"The CIA is a major funder of the National Academies report so that makes me really worried who is going to be in control," Robock said.