by Michel Chossudovsky
Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa
Third World Resurgence, January 2001
Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), 4
The important debate on global warming under UN auspices provides
but a partial picture of climate change; in addition to the
devastating impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on the ozone layer,
the World's climate can now be modified as part of a new generation
of sophisticated "non-lethal weapons." Both the Americans and the
Russians have developed capabilities to manipulate the World's
In the US, the technology is being perfected under the
High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) as part of
the ("Star Wars") Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Recent
scientific evidence suggests that HAARP is fully operational and has
the ability of potentially triggering floods, droughts, hurricanes
and earthquakes. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of
mass destruction. Potentially, it constitutes an instrument of
conquest capable of selectively destabilizing agricultural and
ecological systems of entire regions.
While there is no evidence that this deadly technology has been
used, surely the United Nations should be addressing the issue of
"environmental warfare" alongside the debate on the climatic impacts
of greenhouse gases...
Despite a vast body of scientific knowledge, the issue of deliberate
climatic manipulations for military use has never been explicitly
part of the UN agenda on climate change. Neither the official
delegations nor the environmental action groups participating in the
Hague Conference on Climate Change (CO6) (November 2000) have raised
the broad issue of "weather warfare" or "environmental modification
techniques" (ENMOD) as relevant to an understanding of climate
The clash between official negotiators, environmentalists and
American business lobbies has centered on Washington's outright
refusal to abide by commitments on carbon dioxide reduction targets
under the 1997 Kyoto protocol.(1) The impacts of military
technologies on the World's climate are not an object of discussion
Narrowly confined to greenhouse gases, the ongoing
debate on climate change serves Washington's strategic and defense
World renowned scientist Dr. Rosalie Bertell confirms that,
military scientists ... are working on weather systems as a
potential weapon. The methods include the enhancing of storms and
the diverting of vapor rivers in the Earth's atmosphere to produce
targeted droughts or floods." (2)
Already in the 1970s, former
National Security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski had foreseen in his
book "Between Two Ages" that:
"Technology will make available, to the leaders of major nations,
techniques for conducting secret warfare, of which only a bare
minimum of the security forces need be appraised... [T]echniques of
weather modification could be employed to produce prolonged periods
of drought or storm."
Marc Filterman, a former French military officer, outlines several
types of "unconventional weapons" using radio frequencies. He refers
to "weather war," indicating that the U.S. and the Soviet Union had
already "mastered the know-how needed to unleash sudden climate
changes (hurricanes, drought) in the early 1980s."(3) These
technologies make it "possible to trigger atmospheric disturbances
by using Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) radar [waves]." (4)
A simulation study of future defense "scenarios" commissioned for
the US Air Force calls for:
"US aerospace forces to 'own the weather' by capitalizing on
emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies
to war-fighting applications... From enhancing friendly operations
or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring of
natural weather patterns to complete dominance of global
communications and counter-space control, weather-modification offers
the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce
In the United States, weather-modification will
likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic
and international applications. Our government will pursue such a
policy, depending on its interests, at various levels.(5)
HIGH-FREQUENCY ACTIVE AURORAL RESEARCH PROGRAM (HAARP)
The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) based in
Gokoma Alaska --jointly managed by the US Air Force and the US
Navy-- is part of a new generation of sophisticated weaponry under
the US Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Operated by the Air Force
Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate, HAARP constitutes
a system of powerful antennas capable of creating "controlled local
modifications of the ionosphere".
Scientist Dr. Nicholas Begich
--actively involved in the public campaign against HAARP-- describes
"A super-powerful radiowave-beaming technology that lifts areas of
the ionosphere [upper layer of the atmosphere] by focusing a beam
and heating those areas. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto
earth and penetrate everything -- living and dead." (6)
Dr. Rosalie Bertell depicts HAARP as,
"a gigantic heater that can
cause major disruption in the ionosphere, creating not just holes,
but long incisions in the protective layer that keeps deadly
radiation from bombarding the planet." 7
MISLEADING PUBLIC OPINION
HAARP has been presented to public opinion as a program of
scientific and academic research. US military documents seem to
suggest, however, that HAARP's main objective is to "exploit the
ionosphere for Department of Defense purposes." (8) Without
explicitly referring to the HAARP program, a US Air Force study
points to the use of "induced ionospheric modifications" as a means
of altering weather patterns as well as disrupting enemy
communications and radar.9
According to Dr. Rosalie Bertell, HAARP is part of a integrated
weapons' system, which has potentially devastating environmental
"It is related to fifty years of intensive and increasingly
destructive programs to understand and control the upper atmosphere.
It would be rash not to associate HAARP with the space laboratory
construction which is separately being planned by the United States.
HAARP is an integral part of a long history of space research and
development of a deliberate military nature.
implications of combining these projects is alarming. ... The
ability of the HAARP / Spacelab/rocket combination to deliver very
large amount of energy, comparable to a nuclear bomb, anywhere on
earth via laser and particle beams, are frightening. The project is
likely to be "sold" to the public as a space shield against incoming
weapons, or, for the more gullible, a device for repairing the ozone
In addition to weather manipulation, HAARP has a number of related
"HAARP could contribute to climate change by intensively bombarding
the atmosphere with high-frequency rays... Returning low-frequency
waves at high intensity could also affect people's brains, and
effects on tectonic movements cannot be ruled out. (11)
More generally, HAARP has the ability of modifying the World's
electro-magnetic field. It is part of an arsenal of "electronic
weapons" which US military researchers consider a "gentler and
kinder warfare". (12)
WEAPONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER
HAARP is part of the weapons arsenal of
the New World Order
the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). From military command points
in the US, entire national economies could potentially be
destabilized through climatic manipulations. More importantly, the
latter can be implemented without the knowledge of the enemy, at
minimal cost and without engaging military personnel and equipment
as in a conventional war.
The use of HAARP -- if it were to be applied -- could have
potentially devastating impacts on the World's climate. Responding
to US economic and strategic interests, it could be used to
selectively modify climate in different parts of the World resulting
in the destabilization of agricultural and ecological systems.
It is also worth noting that the US Department of Defense has
allocated substantial resources to the development of intelligence
and monitoring systems on weather changes. NASA and the Department
of Defense's National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) are working
on "imagery for studies of flooding, erosion, land-slide hazards,
earthquakes, ecological zones, weather forecasts, and climate
change" with data relayed from satellites. (13)
POLICY INERTIA OF THE UNITED NATIONS
According to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro:
"States have... in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations
and the principles of international law, the (...) responsibility to
ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not
cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond
the limits of national jurisdiction." (14)
It is also worth recalling that an international Convention ratified
by the UN General Assembly in 1997 bans "military or other hostile
use of environmental modification techniques having widespread,
long-lasting or severe effects." (15) Both the US and the Soviet
Union were signatories to the Convention.
The Convention defines,
"'environmental modification techniques' as referring to any
technique for changing --through the deliberate manipulation of
natural processes-- the dynamics, composition or structure of the
earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere
or of outer space." (16)
Why then did the UN --disregarding the 1977 ENMOD Convention as well
as its own charter-- decide to exclude from its agenda climatic
changes resulting from military programs?
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ACKNOWLEDGES IMPACTS OF HAARP
In February 1998, responding to a report of Mrs. Maj Britt Theorin
--Swedish MEP and longtime peace advocate--, the European
Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defense
Policy held public hearings in Brussels on the HAARP program.(17)
The Committee's "Motion for Resolution" submitted to the European
"Considers HAARP... by virtue of its far-reaching impact on the
environment to be a global concern and calls for its legal,
ecological and ethical implications to be examined by an
international independent body...; [the Committee] regrets the
repeated refusal of the United States Administration... to give
evidence to the public hearing ...into the environmental and public
risks [of] the HAARP program." (18).
The Committee's request to draw up a "Green Paper" on "the
environmental impacts of military activities", however, was casually
dismissed on the grounds that the European Commission lacks the
required jurisdiction to delve into "the links between environment
and defense". (19)
Brussels was anxious to avoid a showdown with
While there is no concrete evidence of HAARP having been used,
scientific findings suggest that it is at present fully operational.
What this means is that HAARP could potentially be applied by the US
military to selectively modify the climate of an "unfriendly nation"
or "rogue state" with a view to destabilizing its national economy.
Agricultural systems in both developed and developing countries are
already in crisis as a result of New World Order policies including
market deregulation, commodity dumping, etc. Amply documented,
"economic medicine" imposed on the Third World and
the countries of the former Soviet block has largely contributed to
the destabilization of domestic agriculture. In turn, the provisions
of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have supported the interests
of a handful of Western agri-biotech conglomerates in their quest to
impose genetically modified (GMO) seeds on farmers throughout the
It is important to understand the linkage between the economic,
strategic and military processes of the New World Order. In the
above context, climatic manipulations under the HAARP program
(whether accidental or deliberate) would inevitably exacerbate these
changes by weakening national economies, destroying infrastructure
and potentially triggering the bankruptcy of farmers over vast
Surely national governments and the United Nations should
address the possible consequences of HAARP and other "non-lethal
weapons" on climate change.
1. The latter calls for nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
by an average of 5.2 percent to become effective between 2008 and
2012. See Background of Kyoto Protocol at
2. The Times, London, 23 November 2000.
3. Intelligence Newsletter, December 16, 1999.
5. Air University of the US Air Force, AF 2025 Final Report,
6. Nicholas Begich and Jeane Manning, The Military's Pandora's Box,
http //www.xyz.net/~nohaarp/earthlight.html. See
also the HAARP home page at
7. See Briarpatch, January, 2000. (emphasis added).
8 Quoted in Begich and Manning, op cit.
9. Air University, op cit.
10. Rosalie Bertell, Background of the HAARP Program, 5 November,
11. Begich and Manning, op cit.
12. Don Herskovitz, Killing Them Softly, Journal of Electronic
Defense, August 1993. (emphasis added). According to Herskovitz,
"electronic warfare" is defined by the US Department of Defense as
"military action involving the use of electromagnetic energy..." The
Journal of Electronic Defense at
published a range of articles on the application of electronic and
electromagnetic military technologies.
13. Military Space, 6 December, 1999.
14. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, New York, 1992. See
complete text at
15. See Associated Press, 18 May 1977.
16. Environmental Modification Ban Faithfully Observed, States
Parties Declare, UN Chronicle, July, 1984, Vol. 21, p. 27.
17. European Report, 7 February 1998.
18. European Parliament, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and
Defense Policy, Brussels, doc. no. A4-0005/99, 14 January 1999.
19. EU Lacks Jurisdiction to Trace Links Between Environment and
Defense, European Report, 3 February 1999.