Geoengineering would remake the atmosphere with tons of particulates
Man has always wanted to control the weather and master nature. In ancient lore, Odysseus kept four winds in a bag to speed his travels, witches summoned storms to destroy enemies, and high priests, sometimes with the aid of human sacrifice, brought rains to make fields fertile.
In the modern era, scientists took over the task from high priests. The Soviet Union’s scientists wanted to make Siberia bloom by damming the Bering Straits, melting the Arctic, and changing rainfall patterns. Big-thinking U.S. scientists led by Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb, proposed infusing the atmosphere with metallic “scatterers” to inexpensively control how much solar energy reached Earth — these would be “quite practical methods to reduce or eliminate all climate failures,” their 1997 study explained.
The Teller group feared the coming of an ice age, which they viewed as a certainty. But they also dealt with global warming, recognizing that the growing public alarm would act to spur politicians to fund the climate-control research they relished.