Dr Strangelove & Reagan's Doctor Evil Backed Risky Geoengineering Scheme, For Real

edward teller photo
We've covered before how climate change deniers and the think tanks they're associated with often ironically support geoengineering schemes to stop the very thing they say isn't happening, but New Scientist has a good new piece that really lays it all bare.

Keep in mind that the type of geoengineering being discussed below--mimicking a volcanic eruption by injecting sulphur dioxide into the upper atmosphere--has just been found to be a temporary fix at best in a separate new research paper.

Here's Clive Hamilton's account of some of the more sinister players in the climate denial-geoengineering muddle:

Indeed, Russia has already begun testing. Yuri Izrael, a scientist who is both a global-warming sceptic and a senior adviser to Prime Minister Putin, has tested the effects of aerosol spraying from a helicopter. He now plans a large-scale trial.

Izrael is the latest in a long line of scientists who have advocated planetary engineering. Two of the earliest and most aggressive were Edward Teller and Lowell Wood. Teller, who died in 2003, is often described as the "father of the hydrogen bomb" and was the inspiration for Dr Strangelove, the eponymous mad scientist of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film. Wood was one of the Pentagon's foremost weaponeers, which led his critics to dub him "Dr Evil". He led Ronald Reagan's ill-fated Star Wars project.

Wood and Teller began promoting aerosol spraying in 1998. Reflecting the dominant opinion of the 1950s, they saw it as our duty to exert supremacy over nature. Both have long been associated with conservative think tanks that deny the existence of human-induced global warming.

Emission Reductions an Admittance of Fault
Hamilton goes into greater detail in the original (linked at top), but what this ultimately comes down he says, and I think he hits to nail squarely on the head, is differing views on humanity's relationship with nature.

While emission reductions are an admission that industrial society has harmed nature, engineering the climate would confirm our mastery over it, final proof that human ingenuity will always triumph.

Thankfully I wouldn't go so far to say that all advocates of geoengineering fall into that mindset. Not hardly.

Not All Geoengineering Attempts to Dominate Nature
Some are mere realists who see no other way out and believe the benefits to outweigh the risks; even when the unintended consequences could be devastating, so will be unchecked global warming, the argument goes. Others, far more prudently in my opinion, pursue slower acting methods with little to no possible negative consequences for the planet as a whole, such a reforestation and afforestation schemes or enriching our soils with biochar.

Those people aside though, the dominate and subdue nature attitude is certainly near the source of many of our environmental problems. It's a controlling rather than cooperating approach, and the quicker we abandon it the better.

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Photo: Edward Teller in 1958, when he was director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory via Wikipedia.

More on Geoengineering:
Geoengineering to the Rescue! Climate Change Deniers' Latest Foot-Dragging Tactic
Geoengineering to Stop Climate Change: The Effective, the Risky, and the Useless Outlined
Hands Off Mother Earth! Online Campaign Against Geoengineering Launches
Reforestation & Biochar: Two Geoengineering Methods That Won't Cause More Harm Than Good

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