Geoengineering - Geophysical Systems Warfare
Readers may have come across references to the idea of trying to solve the climate crisis with some sort of positive action, rather than by merely trying to back out of what we've done already. See Reduce Global Warming By Blocking Sunlight and Space Ring Latest Implausible Warming Solution for examples. Reducing carbon emissions will not get rid of the CO2 already in the atmosphere.
Other efforts are being made to give human beings direct control over Earth's "thermostat." For example, Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen published a paper about injecting tiny particles into Earth's upper atmosphere Krakatoa-style to achieve solar radiation lowering similar to that seen after large volcanic erruptions.
But who would decide what methods to use? What about the unforeseen consequences of radical methods to alter Earth's climate? And how much power over climate should politicians and generals have?
You could also ask whether or not everyone on Earth has the same goals; Russian President Vladimir Putin has joked that gloabl warming might not be so bad (particularly if it reveals new oil and mineral deposits to be exploited).
Nation states seeking to affect climate deliberately might face opposing efforts. For example, if China decided that it liked the climate warmer, it could just burn more coal.
I think the most complete science-fictional reference to the idea of using geoengineering as a weapon is from the The War Against the Chtorr series by David Gerrold. The first novel, A Matter for Men, was published in 1984. At some point in the story, it starts to look like an alien species is trying to chtorraform the Earth, to make it more hospitable to alien life.
This idea is a variation on the notion of terraforming, a word coined by Jack Williamson in a 1941 short story. The idea itself was probably first suggested by Olaf Stapledon eleven years earlier in Last and First Men.
Update 06-Jan-2008: Thanks to readers who remembered the name of the movie; here's a screen shot of the earthquake machine from The Core.
(Destiny Earthquake Machine from The Core )
In the film, the creators of the Destiny system used the MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) reasoning as the basis for pursuing an earthquake-generating technology.
There was also a recent movie in which (as I recall) geophysical forces were marshalled to cause earthquakes in designated countries. Hopefully, readers will refresh my memory.
Via Terraforming War, a very nicely-done article with lots of good references. See also Scientists weigh risks of climate 'techno-fixes'.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/3/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )
Related News Stories -
Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.
DARPA's Warrior Web
'Earth's scientists solved the problem to some extent by devising rigid metallic clothing not unlike armor...'- Edmond Hamilton, 1932.
What Camouflage Pattern Is Best?
If you can't see it, you're making progress.
UrbanSim Counterinsurgency Training App
'Why simulation?' 'He's beginning to do things I didn't anticipate.'
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'
Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'
Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'
'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.
Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'
Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'
Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'
Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'
Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...
Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'
DxtER! Tricorder Prize Won By Final Frontier Medical Devices
We've been waiting a long time for this, Star Trek fans.
President Trump's Wall As Otra Nation Hyperloop
'...an hollow tube must be constructed the whole distance... as to admit a four wheeled carriage...'
Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
'They hate us, you know... The humans. They'll stop at nothing.'
Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...'
Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!
Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories