The Great Experiment

50 years ago this year the American government received word that Japan would surrender within days. Unsurprisingly the US decided surrender was not good enough - it needed to win. Its top military scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory had a new weapon they wanted to play with, and Japan was the ideal testing ground. An experiment was launched with truly apocalyptic results. On the 6th and 9th of August 1945 two nuclear bombs were dropped on the Japanese towns of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Five years after the blast 200,000 people had lost their lives from both cities. People who had seemingly survived the initial explosion were now cut down in their thousands by radiation. Future generations were also to suffer still births, deformities, cancer - the list is endless. President Truman expressed satisfaction that ‘the experiment’ had been ‘an overwhelming success’ [1].


Last year Greg Canavan, a senior scientist from the very same laboratory, announced that in order to mitigate man-made global warming he and his colleagues were preparing to participate in the greatest experiment of all; to become Gaia itself, to regulate, to manage the global climate. He announced at last year’s annual meeting of The American Association for the Advancement of Science that ‘engineering the earth’s climate is coming within reach’. Dr. Canavan is among a group of scientists who believe that it may be possible to cool the earth’s climate by injecting particles into the atmosphere (to deflect incoming sunlight) or by sprinkling iron filings into the oceans to stimulate the growth of plankton (that absorb excess carbon dioxide). One idea being treated seriously is to use 16in naval guns to shoot annually 20 million tons of dust into the upper atmosphere.

Our knowledge of the interactions which regulate the earth’s climate is minimal to say the least. Chaos theory tells us that we can never expect to be able to predict the weather for more than a few days ahead with any degree of accuracy. The dynamics of the atmosphere far exceed the level of complexity at which it would be even theoretically possible. Climate engineering - it simply can’t be done [2]. What the US, in its arrogance, is of course capable of, is fucking up the planet’s climate even more.

Let’s face it, would you trust the regulation of the earth’s climate to the US military? Let’s not wait for the next great experiment!

1) The Times, August 7, 1945
2) Mark Davies, ‘If It’s So Bad’, Earth First! Journal, Yule 1992

Part Two- coming soon!

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