Thinking the unthinkable: Geo-engineering tools as WMD
Imagine this is the year 2020, a scene in Waziristan, Pakistan. Here while sitting on a porch, a throng of some top Al-Qaeda leaders feel jubilant over the recent exploits they’ve made in bullying the US. In past two years, there have been floods in Miami, earthquakes in New York, snowstorms in Northern America and Tsunami-like waves along the Pacific in coastal California. But this time, the situation is much graver than ever before. The whole world is trembling in fear for some imminent consequences of the fissure in the ozone layer. Now, it can’t be limited to the States alone. Are these just coincidences or are we en route for doom? It’s but obvious; the authority i.e. the US stands thwarted as their geo-engineering techniques have been used against them. Geo-engineering methods have become the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and they’re in wrong hands…Not even a decade has passed since countries like N. Korea, Libya and Iran declared themselves to be WMD-equipped nations. If they were resolute forces at that time, you can imagine what they can do now and are up to.
So, it’s a futuristic interpretation depicting the after-effects of human endeavors when they seek to challenge nature and associated phenomenon on an epic scale.
What is Geo-Engineering?
Before one starts doubting what I said in the beginner, let me tell you what geo-engineering is and what its hazards can be should they come within the reach of mischievous minds. Geo-engineering primarily aims at modifying and cooling Earth’s environment, defeating the environmental damage and ensuing climate changes to make the planet more inhabitable. Hoisting parasols, placing mirrors in space, whitening the stratosphere with sulfate aerosols, whitewashing building roofs to reflect sunlight or flinging iron filings into the ocean to promote carbon-gulping algae are some of the modes.
Now, the coin has the other side too. It could also be used to deny freshwater, induce droughts and earthquakes, increase concealment, extend rainy season, hail busting, enhance snowpack, suppress lightning and to snuff out hurricanes. Could you believe it might wreck ecosystems, or even wipe the human race off the globe? All this is very much possible through the sinister use of geo-engineering.
The so-called responsible superpowers like the US and Russia have shown their indulgence in the arms race. Subsequently, N. Korea, India, the UK, China and France all followed suit and have developed nuclear weapons. What if any of these countries, after developing offensive geo-tools, start robbing and asserting themselves upon others? You might see above laid assumptions fructifying actually. I believe none can deny such a possibility, can you?
Full-Spectrum dominance and Space casting
Secondly, there’s full-spectrum dominance plan that will allow the US a firm grip over land, air, maritime and space-based assets. This weather modification concept lets the Army control all the elements on the battleground. Also, the US hopes to own the weather by 2025, as Spacecast 2020 analyzes it. The idea was to create clouds of particles to ditch the enemy and further strengthen the technology to make it appear as dubious as it could be.
Next, think about open air testing! As these experiments are usually done on a gigantic scale and can’t be restricted to labs, the casualties, loss of lives and shattered artifacts are always beyond a measured extent. In 1947, the US Navy and General Electric conducted a joint operation, dubbed as Project Cirrus. It went on to claim two lives and rendered 1400 people homeless in Savanna, Georgia when a Navy plane forced a hurricane to change its direction. If the US can do it, why can’t Al-Qaeda, provided it gains access to the technology?
ENMOD: Flawed and Impotent
The Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) prohibits using the environment as a weapon in conflicts. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1976. However, I disagree if you think conventions and treaties are a solution to this menace. As the UN has repeatedly proved spineless in dealing with the major global issues, ENMOD doesn’t suggest a remedy. You don’t have any elucidation for that except assessing practicality of these accords. Yes, I’m talking about the Sunshine Project. So, the hostile use of geo-engineering tools can never be checked. Moreover, malefactors don’t care a fig about such truces and norms.
The crux of the matter lies in the fact that shadow always follows the sunlight. Will it be among the exceptions this time? Well, seriously speaking I doubt, particularly when there is no authority to manage it. Remember, the AK-47 was created for peace, but it is widely used by terrorists. Now the million dollar question is who would have the magic wand to dispense drought, severe winters, or the effects of storms to some so that the rest of the planet could prosper? Or should man tinker with the environment at all, changing Mother Nature to Man-controlled nature?