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      CommentAuthorCat Vincent
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008 edited
    Here's a cheery thought from Jamais Cascio - and it's (possibly) not unrelated to the Freak Angels background...

    "I am increasingly convinced that, whether we like it or not, geoengineering is going to become a leading arena of environmental research and development in the coming decade.

    This is not because geoengineering -- the intentional large-scale manipulation of geophysical systems in order to change the climate and/or environment -- is the best way to deal with global warming. It's most decidedly not. The more we examine the initial proposals, in fact, the more we find that the risks outweigh the benefits. While we can't rule out a breakthrough discovery making this strategy safer, for now, its only environmental value appears to be as a desperate, last-ditch effort to head off catastrophe. Nonetheless, for many nations, this last-ditch possibility would be enough to warrant further research.

    But as the observation at the top of the page suggests, geoengineering could be seen as having another kind of value: as a tool of international power."
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
    the term "Genesis Project" immediately comes to mind. I guess my geek is showing.
  1.  (548.3)
    You beat me to that by 3 minutes...

    So mine is showing too.
  2.  (548.4)
    Sure, it's a tool/technology. A way to change things. Change can be good, can be bad, depending on the before and after state. David Gerrold wrote about aliens using geoengineering to attack the Earth in his Chtorr novels. That first Chtorr novel came out in 1983, a year after the _Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan_ Genesis Project cited by roque.
    • CommentAuthor3!LL
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
    Have you read up on H.A.A.R.P technologies they've been toying with? It's not terraforming but it is messing with the environment, specifically at the level of the ionosphere. While the official intention is for the purpose of communications, there are rather a few people claiming that it's been used for weather manipulation, or at least tested for it's capabilities. The other end is the microwave and electromagnetic crowd control devices they've developed with the technologies. They make crowds of people vomit violently or feel as if they are on fire.

    Again, it's not terraforming, but it does begin to play with something that I don't even think they know the side effects of, which is the electromagnetic soup we live in. Modern society is swamped with radio, electronic, and wireless frequencies that we exist in the same space as. We're shooting electromagnetic frequencies into the ionosphere which sounds a wee bit of overkill for experiments intended for communications.

    Interesting article, thanks for posting it.

    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
    Not even sure if it's possible, but I'm still waiting for that one scientist to fuck up some heat-based weapon/device that sets the entire atmosphere on fire.
  3.  (548.7)
    Not even sure if it's possible, but I'm still waiting for that one scientist to fuck up some heat-based weapon/device that sets the entire atmosphere on fire.

    Sounds a bit 'Plane Nine From Outer Space' to me.
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
     (548.8) it IS possible!! God help us all!
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
    Going way back: In John Christopher's Tripod books, the aliens plan to eventually turn Earth's atmosphere into the vile poison green mist that they breath.

    And, heck: 1932, Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men: After the Moon's orbit goes wanky and it looks like Earth is doomed, a future race of humans terraform Venus (then thought to be a fizzy ocean planet), killing off the native race of fish people.
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008 edited
    @OctEgon: they used to think that could happen if the atomic bomb went off

    John Barnes touches on those topics in his books
    Kaleidoscope Century
    Mother of Storms

    KC describes how military AIs begin targeting the environment in order to disrupt the target nation.

    And MoS is about...
    well, it's one of those late nineties millenial end of the world things where more methane gets dumped in the atmosphere than in all of human history.

    Super Hurricanes that cross continents. very cool.

    KC talks also about the environment thrashing, like a computer will, cycling through massive amounts of heat energy endlessly as an aftereffect of geoengineered war.

    {there needs to be a cooler name for that}


    here is a rolling stones article that has one of the pentagon's top weaponeers discussing his solution to global warming.

    but geoengineering isn't just limited to what we are talking about, I'm sure there's got to be other avenues to wreck our planet.

    Crichton's State of Fear

    Where they try to cut off a piece of the Antartic Shelf to create a massive tidal wave.
    {among other things}
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008 edited
    But surely a nuclear explosion is not the best(?)/hottest we can do.
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
    Not even sure if it's possible, but I'm still waiting for that one scientist to fuck up some heat-based weapon/device that sets the entire atmosphere on fire.

    Sounds a bit 'Plane Nine From Outer Space' to me.

    Isn't this the whole idea behind Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea?
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008 edited
    Before the Atomic Bomb went off, there were a group of scientists on the Manhattan Project who thought that there was a small probability that splitting the atom would set off this huge chain reaction thing that would ignite the atmosphere.

    Teller also raised the speculative possibility that an atomic bomb might "ignite" the atmosphere, because of a hypothetical fusion reaction of nitrogen nuclei.
    {wikipedia, manhathan project}

    Also Feynman talked about it in one of his two biobooks,
    which were later condensed into one chronological book,
    which is what I read.

    Further reading on wiki suggests that Teller was one of the inspirations for Dr. Strangelove.
  4.  (548.14)
    @StefanJ: It's been so long since I read the Tripods books I had forgotten that. Thanks for the reminder.

    @zenbullet: _Mother of Storms_ is probably my favorite work by John Barnes.
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    Some members of the Manhattan project were convinced that the bomb would set the atmosphere on fire and destroy the earth.
    The military men took this into account but it was decided that they had spent to much money not to set it off.
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
    I was reading up on the wiki, and apparently it was just Teller who thought that. Four others wrote the refutation, but the document "somehow" ended up in the congressional oversight committee

    @steve: for sure, it was my favorite book, period, for a long time. But nowadays I kinda prefer the Thousand Cultures series, or Sky So Big and Black, the marsuits were so cool! Felt really Heinlein, but JB is obviously a big fan.
    • CommentAuthorMacgyver
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2008
    Dicky Cheney must be spinning in his grave (that he sleeps in, to be freshly dug up when the moon is back in the sky) with excitment over this
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2008
    Sounds a bit Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea to me.

    But more relevantly, I saw The Arrival the other day. It had a "plot" around aliens terraforming Earth via global warming. I fell asleep before the end, but I liked the idea. I mean, not in practice. Yeah.
    • CommentAuthorzenbullet
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2008

    The Arrival, yeah, that one works, but personally I'm trying to imagine what a limited exchange geoengineered war would look like.

    Say we fight with some Asian country and use a biovirus on their rice, so they respond with...

    I don't know, right away, I start coming up with genetic war, which I think dovetails quite nicely with geoengineering.

    Weather is a semi obvious place to go, it's nothing but a thermal exchange system anyways, so raising the heat somewhere would cause an effect. Just a matter of figuring out the most chaotic system we know of, no biggie.

    Another thing is the Earth itself. Something to make soil be less nutritious-
    {although most likely that would be some kind of fucked up worm- back to genetics}
    or floods of some sort...

    @macgyver: Mr. Vice President we cannot have a Moon Gap!
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2008
    Bio-war/enviro-war scares me more than geo-war.

    Back in the late 19th century a cattle disease called rinderpest was introduced into Africa (accidentally).

    At that point, most of Africa was still made up of independent kingdoms. Within 20 years virtually all those states had collapsed and been conquered by the European powers.

    Not only were cattle the main form of livestock they were the main store of wealth and a symbol of political authority. So when the cattle started dying it also wiped out the merchant class and undercut royal authority.

    We're STILL seeing the consequences of this - the Tusi used to be pastoral nomads. When their cattle herds died they were forced to take up farming - which brought them into direct competition with the Hutu.