By Pierre-Oscar LEVY


Documentary - Production 2015

The secret story of global weather modification from the Cold War to tomorrow’s high-risk experiments

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Environmental, Historical
    • Countries
    • FRANCE
    • Languages
    • Duration
    • 52 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Pierre-Oscar LEVY
    • Writer(s)
    • Benjamin LANDSBERGER, Pierre-Oscar LEVY
    • Producer(s)
    • Olivier MILLE (Artline Films)
    • Synopsis
    • According to a survey from August, 2012, 77% of the world’s population is worried about the future of the climate. For good reason: international conferences to slow the greenhouse effect have gone from failure to failure over the past 20 years. The most alarming projection of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has become perfectly credible. In that scenario, known as “A1F1”, cascading catastrophes could wreak havoc on life on Earth.
      Can technology still turn things around? Experiments in deliberate climate engineering, also known as geo-engineering, are multiplying the world over. The USA, Canada, the European Union, China and Russia are all funding evaluations of these techniques’ efficiency against global warming. In 2008, the British Royal Society predicted that “the time may well come when they are accepted as less risky than doing nothing”.
      In the past decade, climate engineering has attracted considerable support. Entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Richard Branson have invested in research promising both to save the world and to generate immense wealth. Powerful conservative think tanks, like the American Enterprise Institute, promote them actively. In 2009, Obama’s science advisor declared that, “It’s got to be looked at, we don’t have the luxury of taking any approach o tuff the table.”
      A growing fear about the climate emergency makes “last ditch” solutions more palatable. Despite the huge risks involved – because according to Stanford climatologist Ken Caldeira, “a faulty geo-engineering system could cause global warming to speed up considerably.” The same scientist admits however that we can’t rule out this option anymore: “Like it or not, a climate emergency is a possibility, and geo-engineering could be the only affordable and fast-acting option to avoid a global catastrophe.”
      For science historians, these “quick fix” climate-manipulation solutions create a sense of déjà vu. Seeding the ocean, gigantic artificial trees, cloud whitening, stratospheric aerosols, space parasols and more… Many current ideas are throw-backs to research first performed during the Cold War. Back then, U.S. president Lyndon Johnson wanted to turn climate engineering into “a new dimension in the art of warfare.” The most respected climatologist at prestigious M.I.T. declared that he “shuddered at the thought of the consequences if the Russians were to invent a feasible method of controlling the weather”... And the physicist Edward Teller – the model for Kubrick’s “Doctor Strangelove” – urged the Pentagon to develop methods for “climate warfare”.
    • Partners & financing
    • Arte (attached)
      MEDIA (attached)
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