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. End update.

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Warfare ")

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.' - Neal Stephenson, 1995.

Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'...you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

Britney Spears And Lynn Minmay - Weapons Of Choice
An attack can take many forms.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

Somnox Sleep Robot - Your Sleepytime Cuddlebot
Science fiction authors are serious about sleep, too.

Real-Life Macau or Ghost In The Shell
Art imitates life imitates art.

Has Climate Change Already Been Solved By Aliens?
'I had explained," said Nessus, "that our civilisation was dying in its own waste heat.'

First 3D Printed Human Corneas From Stem Cells
Just what we need! Lots of spare parts.

VirtualHome: Teaching Robots To Do Chores Around The House
'Just what did I want Flexible Frank to do? - any work a human being does around a house.'

Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
SF writers have thought about this since the 19th century.

Nanorobots Roam Your Bloodstream, Cleaning It
Too bad they won't have lasers, though...

Galini 3D Printed Sleeping Pod Tiny Houses
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

MIT Boffins Create Psychopath AI On Purpose
There's a lesson in this for neural net AI engineers everywhere.

Skin Electronics 3D Printed
'June's body is a tracery of lambent lines, like some arcane capillary circuitry...'

Artificial Sensory Neurons For Prosthetics, Robots
Great for humans and robots!

China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers
Looks like the City Fathers are starting to take over China's education system.

Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

Self-Healing Circuits From Carnegie Mellon
'It even had an inter-skin layer of gum that could seal the punctures...'

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.