It was supposed to be the last ditch, ‘in-case-of-emergency-break-glass’ solution to climate change. Unfortunately, geoengineering – or climate hacking as it is also called – has now become the latest weapon in the arsenal of petty and desperate governments who want their way.
Weather patterns have been going haywire. In Kenya it’s been raining for three weeks straight; in Mumbai the average high temperature has increased from 33°C to 45°C; and in Texas the number of tornadoes for the first quarter of the year has doubled.
Icelandic hacktivists are blaming it on climate hacking. They have found evidence that Russian and South Korean scientists made use of ‘solar radiation management’ on four separate occasions; meaning that they mimicked volcanoes in order to eject ash into the atmosphere. The aerosols then bring about a cooling effect. Cloud seeding by China is also suspected.
These unauthorized and possibly reckless interventions might have helped to bring down global average temperature by 0.3°C, but who knows for how long? Nine months? And at what long term cost? Texan farmers have lost 3 million cattle, Mumbai has to import body bags because they don’t have enough and the biggest slum in Nairobi is a muddy and violent mess!
Were these nations only reaching for a Hail Mary to try and correct their own climate anomalies? Or are they waging a sky war, because they were excluded from the not-so-secret new free trade agreement currently being negotiated in Nigeria?
Whatever the motives, the stage has been set for a new kind of cold war; not on the economic or diplomatic front, but up among the clouds, with invisible weapons. The recriminations, and unintended consequences, could prove disastrous.