For years a staple of tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists is that the CIA had cracked a way of controlling the weather and was using it to attack people.
It is probably not surprising that they are wrong, but it turns out that the spooks are interested in doing just that.
According to Mother Jones the CIA is funding a scientific study that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering to alter the Earth’s environment and stop climate change.
The National Academy of Sciences will run the 21-month project which will be the first geoengineering study financially supported by a spying agency.
Researchers will study how humans might influence weather patterns and assess the potential dangers of messing with the climate.
They will also have to look at possible national security implications of geoengineering attempts.
The CIA is spending $630,000 on the concept. It closed its research centre on climate change and national security last year, after GOP members of Congress argued it was a subject the CIA shouldn’t be looking at.
The researchers are looking for a “technical evaluation of a limited number of proposed geoengineering techniques”.
This will include trying to work out which geoengineering techniques are feasible and try to evaluate the impacts and risks of each.
One method is a study which will look at pumping particles into the stratosphere to reflect incoming sunlight away from the planet.
There is a theory that solar radiation management could lead to a global cooling trend that might reverse, or at least slow down, global warming. There are other plans to look at removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
What is scaring the pants off the spooks is that private individuals or companies might get around to coming up with a solution.
Russ George, the former head of Planktos, a company that works to develop technology to deal with global warming, seeded the Pacific Ocean off western Canada with iron to generate a plankton bloom that, in turn, was supposed to suck up carbon dioxide from the air.