The Biden administration has published a plan to manipulate sunlight in a way to prevent it from reaching the planet as a means of ‘combatting climate change.’
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a congressionally mandated report on Friday on the White House website revealing that a team has been actively studying “geoengineering” techniques aimed at mitigating the acceleration of global warming caused by solar radiation.
The plan appears to call, in part, for implementing techniques to block sunlight from reaching Earth, Fox News reported.
As the University of Oxford notes in its introduction on the subject, “geoengineering” is “the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth’s natural systems to counteract climate change.”
Notes the report titled “Congressionally-Mandated Report on Solar Radiation Modification,” the techniques of geoengineering the Biden White House is considering are “stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI) and marine cloud brightening.” In addition, the research paper mentions studies into “cirrus cloud thinning.”
The introduction to the report mentions ongoing research into “space-based approaches” has not been taking place because “geoengineering” is easier to implement.
“The focus on atmospheric approaches also follows from their greater near-term feasibility relative to space-based approaches,” the paper says.
“This Research Plan focuses on improving understanding of the potential impacts of SRM, rather than on technologies needed for deployment. Much of this research would contribute to our ability to understand basic climate processes and effects of human greenhouse gas emissions, as well as outcomes of SRM,” the research introduction continues.
“A program of research into the scientific and societal implications of solar radiation modification (SRM) would enable better-informed decisions about the potential risks and benefits of SRM as a component of climate policy,” it adds.
Fox News noted that there is no official government policy attached to the document as it’s just an initial research paper.
But that said, the document did say it could open the door for future government and/or corporate projects related to the paper’s findings: “Such a research program would also help to prepare the United States for possible deployment of SRM by other public or private actors.”
The report also states, “SRM offers the possibility of cooling the planet significantly on a timescale of a few years.”
SRM aims to reflect a portion of the sun’s radiation away from the Earth, thereby reducing the amount of heat reaching the surface. Proposed methods include injecting aerosols into the stratosphere or deploying reflective materials in space. Although SRM may help cool the planet, it raises serious concerns about potential side effects and the ethical implications of intentionally modifying the Earth’s climate system.
Another geoengineering strategy focuses on Carbon Dioxide Removal. CDR techniques aim to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, helping to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations. Direct Air Capture, afforestation, and enhanced weathering are among the proposed CDR methods.
Geoengineering encompasses other weather modification techniques, such as cloud seeding or altering precipitation patterns. The strategies aim to influence regional weather conditions to mitigate the impacts of climate change, such as droughts or hurricanes.
However, the localized nature of weather modification raises concerns about unintended consequences and equitable distribution of benefits, other studies have noted.
Geoengineering raises ethical and governance challenges as well. Decisions regarding its deployment could have far-reaching consequences that may disproportionately affect certain regions or communities. The lack of international regulations and governance frameworks poses a significant challenge in ensuring responsible and equitable implementation of geoengineering methods.
And, it’s not at all clear that other nations around the world would support one country using technology to literally block sunlight from reaching Earth.
In a separate statement, meanwhile, the White House claimed that “there are no plans underway to establish a comprehensive research program focused on solar radiation modification,” despite the fact that the current administration has implemented the most radical ‘green’ policies to date.