Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Weaponization of the Magnetosphere

I recently came across some lumbering bit of bureaucratese called "Radiation Belt Remediation."

Previously, I had only heard the word "remediation" used in the sense "to repair," as in "environmental remediation," and so my first thought was some concern that, like our air, fields, and waters, we screwed everything up real good in our magnetosphere too.

There seems to be an aspect of doublespeak in this term, however. An article called The Atmospheric Implications of Radiation Belt Remediation implies that “Radiation Belt Remediation (RBR)” describes "studies...being undertaken to bring about practical human control of the radiation belts."

The charged particles in our upper atmosphere have been the object of scientific and military research for many years. Projects from Starfish Prime to HAARP have sought to understand and manipulate various properties of the Earth's electromagnetic fields.

But it would appear that RBR is not so much a "program" as a "doctrine" or a "goal." Institutional goals and doctrines have a strange life of their own: a new President every 4-8 years has little effect on most of the day-to-day functioning of the government; a lot of bureaucrats spend their whole lives behind the same desk.

Because it is not a program, but rather a more general sort of institutional goal, it is an organizing principle for many programs. There are all sorts of studies underway at various facilities around the world probing various aspects of the earth's electromagnetic fields.

I suspect that facilities like HAARP and the Clam Lake ELF transmitter work in concert, using constructive and destructive interference to generate local effects from global signals. That is, I suspect these facilities function together as a system - like a radio telescope array - about which different researchers make different types of observations.

I imagine some scientists use this system to influence the magnetosphere, to observe and model how the magnetosphere responds. They probably use all sorts of advanced computing technologies in the process. There are probably lots and lots of military dollars involved in many different places, with dual-use projects left and right.

The military is clearly interested in the ability to manipulate the earth's electromagnetic fields. What, specifically, might the military's interest be?

It turns out there are all sorts of military applications for the earth's electromagnetic fields.

The most straightforward application is communications: a part of the atmosphere can be used as a temporary antenna in much the same way as the ionization trail of a meteorite can be used as a temporary antenna. The advantage of such a technology has to do with security: if an adversary doesn't know where a signal is going to come from, it is more difficult to detect and decode that signal.

Some applications have to do with defense ("defense" in a literal sense, not in the American sense in which "defense" is a euphemism for "war"). If you can focus a large amount of energy at one place in the atmosphere, you can use this energy to heat a column of air. Such a mechanism may be sufficient to disrupt the course of a ballistic missile.

Some applications have to do with offense. A powerful, focused, electromagnetic pulse can disrupt communications or disable a power grid. Some applications may be oriented towards the weaponization of space.

Beyond the twisted irony in the doublespeak of the word "remediation" in this case, I find it extremely troubling the extent to which persons in my government are willing to turn EVERYTHING AROUND ME into a weapon.

Does anybody know who these people are and why they should be trusted? Do they really know what their experiments are doing to our planet?

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