The public-private partnership is treading down paths normally reserved for post-apocalyptic science fiction as the White House revealed its five-year plan to combat climate change, ripped straight from the plot of “The Matrix.”
Contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2022 signed by President Joe Biden was a directive for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to conduct a five-year plan on Climate Intervention. Coordinating with “relevant Federal agencies,” they are expected to develop a “scientific assessment of solar and other rapid climate interventions in the context of near-term climate risks and hazards.”
Speaking with CNBC, Chris Sacca, founder of climate tech investment fund Lowercarbon Capital, explained how the leading contender in these proposed studies involved spraying sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to create sulfuric acid clouds blocking solar radiation.
“Sunlight reflection has the potential to safeguard the livelihoods of billions of people, and it’s a sign of the White House’s leadership that they’re advancing the research so that any future decisions can be rooted in science not geopolitical brinkmanship,” he claimed.
Like the background for the ground-breaking 1999 film “The Matrix” which was later portrayed in the 2003 series of animated shorts “The Animatrix,” in “Operation Dark Storm,” as part of humanity’s endeavor to stop the uprising of Artificial Intelligence that relied on solar energy, the plan to release particulates into the atmosphere has been backed by billionaire Bill Gates since at least 2019 and dates as far back as 1965.
— OKÇK 💫 (@okcknet) July 19, 2020
“Restoring the Quality of Our Environment,” a 1965 report given to President Lyndon B. Johnson, proposed spreading particles over the ocean to reduce the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface. According to UCLA environmental law professor Edward A. Parson, a program like that would cost $10 billion per year to lower the temperature by one degree Celsius.
“The stratosphere is calm, and things stay up there for a long time. The atmospheric life of stuff that’s injected in the stratosphere is between six months and two years,” the professor told CNBC. “The top-line slogan about stratospheric aerosol injection, which I wrote in a paper more than 10 years ago–but it’s still apt–is fast, cheap and imperfect. Fast is crucial. Nothing else that we do for climate change is fast. Cheap, it’s so cheap.”
While Parson touted the low cost and Sacca claimed to have only philanthropy in mind through his investments, OSTP has previously come under scrutiny over ethics concerns after a report identified more than a dozen White House employees directly associated with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
“I and others on the legal team had been noticing a large number of staff with financial connections to Schmidt Futures and were increasingly concerned about the influence this organization was able to have through these individuals,” whistleblower Rachel Wallace said as it was explained that Schmidt ally Eric Lander, former science adviser to Biden before being ousted in February, had been provided with a $150 million endowment for his biotech organization that the former Google executive had sat on the board of.
Troubling conflicts of interest over Google exec’s financial ties to WH staffers, influential reach https://t.co/AurGt52pAE
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) March 29, 2022
With great sums of money up for grabs, SilverLining executive director Kelly Wanser also downplayed the risks involved with such a strategy as she said, “This isn’t something totally new and Frankenstein–we’re already doing it; we’re doing it in the most dirty, unplanned way you could possible do it, and we don’t understand what we’re doing.”
As Parson explained, “Sulfur pollution that’s coming out of smokestacks right now is masking about a third and a half of the heating signal from the greenhouse gases humans have already emitted into the atmosphere.”
“Yes, damaging the ozone is bad, acid deposition is bad, respiratory illness is bad, absolutely,” he said listing all the known ramifications of adding sulfur to the atmosphere. “And spraying sulfur in the stratosphere would contribute in the bad direction to all of those effects. But you also have to ask, how much and relative to what?”
What’s more, while the United States begins research into how best to go about decreasing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth, Parson was certain if America doesn’t do it, “it’s more than 90 percent likely that within the next 20 years, some major nation wants to do this.”
“The odds are 100 percent that some country pursues sunlight reflection, particularly in the wake of seeing millions of their citizens die from extreme weather,” Sacca added. “The world will not stand idly by and leaders will feel compelled to take action. Our only hope is that by doing the research now, and in public, the world can collaboratively understand the upsides and best methods for any future project.”
This is a joke right?
— James (@jameslu100) October 13, 2022
So much for solar energy…
— Michael (@Michael17347900) October 13, 2022
And the people deemed conspiratorial for claiming geoengineering during the last decade(s) were correct all along…
— Omega Plumbing (@OmegaPlumber) October 13, 2022
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