Who controls the weather?

by Ole A. Seifert

Climate WARWhen weather becomes a commodity, who will control it? Should the CIA be allowed to be active practitioners of geo—engineering? Can a country’s secret service justify using weather as a weapon? Or big business using weather modification for profit?  Weather as a weapon were prohibited in a convention in 1978, but it may seem like eg CIA now want to use this for the sake of Homeland security, which may seem like an undermining of this agreement. As large capital interests are engaged in weather modification, there is reason to monitor it all very carefully. Several economic giants are also known to sponsor climate skeptical scientists and so called “independent” grassroot movements, so how does this all fit together?

Geoengineering is in the media spotlight again, through the CIA sponsorship of a report published by the National Academy of Sciences early in February. Other sponsors include NASA, the US Department of Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. However it is the CIA role that raised concerns and media coverage. The Center on Climate Change and National Security was created by the CIA in 2009. The center was officially shut down in 2012, though the CIA stated that they would continue to monitor climate change and its impact on US economic and national security, but not under the ‘center’ tab. Alan Robock, a Climate researcher at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, has published over 350 research and 200 pier reviewed papers and contributed to research for the UN climate reports (IPCC) on cooling the planet by the effects of aerosols (spraying particles) in the stratosphere, much like the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate, using computer models.

Alan Robock in Antartica

Alan Robock in Antarctica

At the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in San Jose, California February 12th to 16th this year, Robock highlighted his concern on who will own the climate control and climate altering technology. He was clear in his speech that all government agencies must be transparent about their interests in weather modification. Alan Robock concerns was generated by phone calls of two CIA consultants three years ago who asked if experts like him would be able to spot a hostile force’s attempts to upset the US climate.

Robocks was concerned that the implication was more a question of – could the US control someone else’s climate and would they detect it, and he responded that if a country created a large enough cloud in the stratosphere (upper layer of the atmosphere) to create climate change it would be detectable by satellites and other ground-based instruments. The United States covering 9,857,306 km2 and China almost the same at 9,596,961 km2, Russia 17,098,242 km2 and Canada 9,984,670 km2 might have lead Robock’s assumption of the size of a climate changing cloud being detectable, if used as a weapon against a whole nation. The British RAF (Royal Air Force) engaged in the research of sky seeding from 1949 to 1955, which could be speculated as ‘weaponising’ the weather. The resulting flooding in Britain on August 15, 1952, killed 35 people, dropped 90m tons of rain on and around the hilly Exmoor, Devon and Lynmoth districts wich subsequently created rock slides that destroyed many bridges, hotels shops and homes.

The main street of Lynmouth after the flooding in  1952

The main street of Lynmouth after the flooding in 1952

The disaster was referred to as “The Hand of God”. Un-classified official documents, revealed a team of international scientists in cooperation with the RAF tried to make artificial rain in the same week in the southern part of the United Kingdom. Squadron Leader Len Otley who worked on Operation Cumulus (the name of a cloud type), told the BBC that they jokingly referred to the rain program as Operation Witch Doctor. The missions were to fly into the top of the clouds and drop dry ice that 30 minutes later turned into rain.  The flooding put Operation Cumulus on hold, indefinitely. US Operation Popeye in North Vietnam and Laos from 1967 is a well documented previously classified weather altering exercise. The subsequent rain prevented the Viet Cong advancing as it softened the ground causing many landslides. The operation exposed by a journalist in 1971 resulted in a Senate hearing in 1974 and later in July 1974, bilateral discussions between the US and at the old USSR to limit the risk of using environmental modification techniques for military purposes. Identical draft texts presented by both parties to the Conference on Disarmament, CCD after intensive negotiations resulted in a modified text and agreement on four of the articles in what became the ‘ENMOD’. Operation Popeye protocols were recently used to deal with a drought in California, and cloud seeding over ski resorts to increase snow fall, is now common in the USA.


How the SPICE program was supposed to work.

The 2011 climate experiment project SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) in UK was put on hold after pressure from 60 different international groups, which lead the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) to release a report to get capable cooperation between the US and other friendly, likeminded nations, to perform large-scale climate change experiments with public support. Funding for the project was sourced from big oil, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who claimed, “to represent a consensus among historically divergent views.” In reality it is representative of a mixture of US academic, military, scientific and big corporate interests, who lobby for free trade, corporate power and US military superiority. BPC has been referred to as a “collection of neo-conservative, hawks, and neo-liberal interventionists who want to make war on Iran”.

Questioning the motives of intelligence organizations, military and big corporate organization that contribute the most to CO2 emissions, is a must as the finger points to them as the sponsors of research into weather modification techniques, and large scale experimenting. Back in 1971, questions was raised if Operation Popeye had magnified devastating typhoons and floods that manifested later in that year. Geo-engineering of the weather to make more or less rain or to stop or prevent extreme weather for humanitarian purposes is a moral question that will require a more profound debate. If we should let the storm loose can we put it back in the bottle? Cutting greenhouse gas emissions is still a far safer way of tackling climate change. The alternative can be a full-scale war on and about the weather.



National Academy of Sciences’ two-volume report, published February 10th 2015:

  • Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration
  • Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth



Big thanx to Gavin Tonks for proof-reading and great help in editing. 
Thanx also to Brad Kallio & Paul Bunk. 


Weather modification – what’s that?