Geoengineering: Psychology and Framing

A Chapter from the OpChemtrails Information Booklet

The Royal Society in the 2010 document titled “Experiment Earth? Report on a Public Dialogue on Geoengineering “asserts that “public attitudes towards geoengineering should be a critical factor in considering the future of geoengineering.” It is well known that agencies have been perfecting ways to manipulate the public for some decades; incidents such as the Gulf of Tonkin preceding the Vietnamese War, the Nayirah testimony and programs such as Operation Mockingbird only further demonstrate a willingness to induce the general public.

Documentation detailing ways to better understand (and therefore control) public perception of geoengineering proposals are well recognised; including discussions, forums, information gathering, and networking between key stakeholders, all to determine the soundest ways to frame geoengineering programs when it finally comes time to inform the general public and begin the open implementation of said programs.

The document Public understandingof solar radiation management [3.4. Conspiracy theories], details findings that include “2.6% of the subjects believe that it is completely true that the government has a secret program that uses airplanes to put harmful chemicals into the air, and 14% of the sample believes that this is partly true.” “Conspiracy Theory” is a disparaging term used to vilify and ridicule the very people it is used to describe. By examining responses to different terminology and by using focused terminology in documentation they are “no longer lucidly [expressing] the nature of things, but rather [obscuring] and [distorting] them” (Chilton, 2); below is another example of this, taken from the same document [4. Discussion].

The word supporter has a positive connotation, whilst the word detractor has a negative connotation; when you search both words often (as below) supporters and shown in green and detractors in red.

Ultimately this conveys the message that supporters of geoengineering are more agreeable and those against or critical of geoengineering are defiant. This is further demonstrated when looking at the Cambridge Dictionary: synonyms, related words and phrases.

Nobody wants to be seen as opposition and many studies have determined that human beings do not like to be singled out, ostracized or socially rejected, this is a key component used to sway public opinion on the topic. Being labelled a conspiracy theorist or a ‘detractor’ will almost certainly influence whether or not people object to or consent to geoengineering.

What They Want to Know 
  • How widespread is public knowledge of geoengineering and SRM? 
  • How does the public perceive geoengineering and SRM? 
  • How the seriousness of climate change affects individuals views on geoengineering? 
  • What are key areas of concern, perceived trade-offs and risks (table 5 below)? I.e. what is the public more willing to accept. 
  • The role/opinions of specific groups/communities i.e. environmentalists, economists, media.

Beware the Geoengineering Salesman

Things we are hearing and seeing that show they are testing the waters with regards to public response include:

Sales pitch: Geoengineering may be one possible response to climate change.

What They Really Mean: They’re going to emit/spray us with chemical & metal particulates to save us [example: To Fix Climate Change, Scientists Turn To Hacking The Earth]

Sales pitch: Using media and imagery to depict apocalyptic version of climate change.

What They Really Mean: We need to geoengineer the planet or we are all going to die [example: COP21: Can we avoid climate apocalypse?]

Sales pitch: Saying that it is accidental rather than intentional.

What They Really Mean: Oops we didn’t realise it was happening [plausible deniability] [example: Airplane Contrails May Be Creating Accidental Geoengineering]

Sales pitch: Because YOU won’t change YOUR ways and YOU pollute the planet with Co2 we have to geoengineer the planet to save it.

What They Really Mean: We are just going to ignore the fact that aviation is having a detrimental and largely ignored impact on climate and weather systems and it is not adequately represented in any of our climate models [example: As the effects of global warming begin to frighten us, geoengineering will come to dominate global politics]


Public Engagement on Geoengineering Research: Preliminary Report on the SPICE Deliberative Workshops

Experiment Earth? Report on a Public Dialogue on Geoengineering (2010)

Opening up the societal debate on climate engineering: how newspaper frames are changing

A Review of Deliberative Public Engagements with Climate Geoengineering

Cognitive Epistemic Lock-in and Geoengineering

Deliberative Mapping of options for tackling climate change: Citizens and specialists ‘open up’ appraisal of geoengineering

Examining framings of geoengineering using Q methodology

Socio-psychological determinants of public acceptance of technologies: A review

Appraising Geoengineering

Geoengineering and its governance

Public understanding of solar radiation management

The International Legal Framework for Climate Engineering

More reading available via the OpChemetrails Google+ Library<

[This post was originally posted on the archived OpChemtrails website on 26 Jan 2017]

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