By David Tulis
President Obama in his state of the union speech says “no challenge *** poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” The warmest year on record was 2014, and “ 4 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.”
A government study, meanwhile, proposes up 4 million jet flights a year “to deliver the nominal amount of [sulfate] aerosol *** needed to balance the warming associated with increasing greenhouse gas emissions.” What the National Center for Atmospheric Research proposes is well under way, judging by demonstrations over major U.S. cities.
In the hours before Mr. Obama’s speech, Chattanooga, Nashville and Knoxville are heavily treated by hundreds of stratospheric jet overflights. What begins as a sunny and bright day is convulsed over the afternoon into a dull, gray one as the nation’s military and regulatory agencies give their utmost to build a sun-reflecting solar dome — at least for a few hours.
Sky striping is routine. For Chattanooga it was the second such day of flagellation, blotting out the sun and darkening the face of the city. Knoxville and Nashville are also hidden under a crisscross of white plume, according to eyewitness and media reports.
Yes, ‘our activities are changing the climate’
“The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate,” Mr. Obama says, “and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.”
President Obama boasts “over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change.” But he tootles over minor achievements — public land and water set-asides and a carbon emissions agreement with China “to protect the one planet we’ve got.”
The president fails to mention the government’s already intense combat against the sun — dispenser of brilliance and heat, deemed the cause of a coming catastrophe triggered by the minor flatulence of humankind. Sky striping is denied credit as a great leap forward. Of chemtrailing Mr. Obama should be proud and declare it an agent of change.
Greens get less blue, don’t notice
Environmentalists I’ve quizzed about stratospheric aerosol geoengineering, or SAG, deny statements that a U.S. chemtrail program exists, and in a developed state. With the exception of Geoengineeringwatch.org, no green group has objected to aerosol pollution by jet, nor have any demanded such a program be started to counteract positive emissions by autos, utilities and human exhalation.
They take Mr. Obama’s demurrer on geoengineering in good faith, and in innocence. But the scheme of controlling the weather has been discussed since at least the 1830s when J.P. Espy talked about giant bonfires to change rain intensity and frequency. President John F. Kennedy proposed weather control in a United Nations speech. Injection technology easily is 50 years old.
How to blot the sun and keep the “engineered layer” aloft and serving the public interest? That’s the question of a 27-page report in 2008 by the National Center for Atmospheric Research with lead author Philip J. Rasch. It politely avoids any reference to aluminum, the material likely emitted by jets over Chattanooga and Hamilton County, judging by pollution monitors. It focuses wholly on sulphates like those tossed by the millions of tons into the sky by volcanoes.
Choice bits of this essay may give deeper meaning to Mr. Obama’s vow to take emergency action on weather management. In 1974 scientists “suggested that if global warming ever became a serious threat, we could counter it with airplane flights in the stratosphere, burning sulfur to make aerosols that would reflect sunlight away. The aerosols would increase the planetary albedo, and cool the planet, ameliorating some *** of the effects of increasing CO2 concentrations.” Mankind could await for volcanoes to do the dirty work. Or governments could boldly spew sulfur themselves so that particles are “continually replenished.”
Particles of sun-reflecting haze are subject to wind evaporation and dispersal, and in the troposphere last “a few days” while the lifetime of negative emissions in the stratosphere above it (eight miles up) is “a year or so.”
White jet plumes like those spread across Chattanooga and other cities Tuesday suffer from “sedimentation,” which means particles clump together, grow heavy and fall onto your lawn or garden or into your pool.
When the particles are small they primarily scatter in the solar part of the energy spectrum, and play no role in heating the infrared (longwave) part of the energy spectrum. Larger particles seen after an eruption scatter and absorb in the solar wavelengths, but also absorb in the infrared *** . Thus small particles tend to scatter solar energy back to space. Large particles scatter less efficiently, and also trap some of the outgoing energy in the infrared. The size of the aerosol thus has a strong influence on the climate.
Nations trying to meet global volcanic output with their own pollutants have their work cut out for them. Studies suggest that a source of sulfur aerosol 15 to 30 times that of current non-volcanic sources of that material “would be needed to balance warming associated with a doubling of CO2.” That’s quite a lot to create an engineered layer of sky with “optically efficient aerosols.”
Spiked jet fuels, or aerosol nozzles?
Scientists have considered ways to give the government the most bang for its black budget dollars. Two “injection scenarios” are said to deserve study, “1) insertion of a primary aerosol, such as fine sulfate particles, using an injector mounted aboard an aircraft platform cruising in the lower stratosphere; and 2) sulfur-spiked fuel additives employed to emit aerosol precursors in a jet engine exhaust stream.”
The effects of high-altitude aircraft on the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere have been extensively studied[.] *** These projects have characterized aircraft emissions and jet plume dynamics, and developed corresponding models to treat the various chemical, microphysical and dynamical processes. *** Spiking aircraft fuel with added sulfur compounds (H2S, Sn) could enhance the particle mass in a jet wake. It is well established that ultrafine sulfate particles are generated copiously in jet exhaust streams during flight.
The report says spiking fuel for geoengineering purposes would require making fuel 5 percent by weight sulfur (10 to 100 times the current amount used), and that a persistent contrail “dispersed over a 10-km thick layer from 15 to 25 km [is] an ideal geoengineered solar shield.” In two pages of discussion, the authors describe what happens as hundreds of white jet trails take on a new state.
[A]s the expanding injection plumes merge and intermix following the early phase of coagulation scavenging, the aerosol system undergoes continuing self-coagulation as the layer approaches, and then maintains, a steady state.
Human health an afterthought
The paper’s only reference to human health is in regards to SAG’s likely increase of ozone depletion. “Reductions in ozone will lead to increases in solar ultraviolet-B radiation reaching the Earth’s surface with a potential impact on human health *** and biological populations ***. The increase in UV associated with ozone depletion could be compensated for by increased extinction and attenuation by the aerosol cloud itself.”
Scientists in the study and more recent ones are urging the U.S. and other states to take up solar radiation management, which the authors indicate is a mere dream of academicians and weather engineers. “Our studies of geoengineering by sulfate aerosols suggest it will ameliorate some consequences of global warming. The study highlights some positive aspects of the strategy. However many uncertainties remain in understanding the influence of geoengineering on the climate system (particularly on aspects related to likely impacts on the biosphere).
“More work,” they say, “is required to understand the costs, benefits, and risks involved, and to reconcile the legal, political and ethical issues of geoengineering.”
Before any chemtrail program is put onto the calendar, more study is needed. Professor David Keith of Harvard, an SAG rock star, bends over backwards in deferring to the public interest in a safe program. Don’t ban field tests, he says. “Keith emphasizes that he and [atmospheric chemist James] Anderson will not move forward without public assent. ‘We will not do [our study] unless we have some formal governmental approval and public funding.’” according to Harvard Magazine. Perhaps a future study will propose a massive stratospheric aerosol geoengineering program on the scale of what Tennesseans saw on their way home from work Monday and Tuesday.
—David Tulis hosts Nooganomics.com 1 to 3 p.m. weekdays on Hot News Talk Radio 1240 910 an 1190 AM, a show that covers local economy and free markets in Chattanooga and beyond.
Sources; Philip J. Rasch et al, “An Overview of Geoengineering of Climate using Stratospheric Sulfate Aerosols,” March 2008, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000-80307, Boulder CO 80307, USA
Erin O’Donnell, “Buffering the Sun[;] David Keith and the question of climate engineering,” Harvard Magazine, July/August 2013