It was a day like no other in 2013 when George Barnes was outside his River Edge home. The award-winning director of photography was testing his time-lapse camera when he made a chance observation that changed his life.
While fortuitously playing the footage of the Volkswagen Beetle launch campaign backwards in high-speed, Barnes noticed that the lengthy white lines in the sky painted and erased were left behind by flying jets – research that led him to the conclusion that evidence exists of the practice of climate engineering. The practice, also called “geoengineering,” is something Barnes defines as “the large-scale manipulation of the atmosphere,” which is used by climate scientists to fight global warming.
“My heart stopped,” he said of the images. “When I saw it, I knew something was terribly wrong with what I was looking at.”
Climate engineering can be conducted through carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management, which works to force the earth to absorb lesser amounts of solar radiation with the goal to mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases. Barnes, however, says there are concerns over the potential hazards the act could pose on humans. In an article published in “The Guardian” last year, environmental philosopher Stephen Gardiner points to questions of ethics concerning its practice.
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