Claim: Climate Geo-engineering Might Exacerbate Malaria

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Geo-engineering is worse than we thought. Not only would geo-engineering depress crop yields by starving plants of sunlight, it now looks likely any serious attempt to geo-engineer the climate might exacerbate the spread of Malaria.

Now is the time to answer questions about climate engineering disease impacts

Date: September 28, 2018
Source: University of Maryland

Radical solutions to climate change might save lives, but a new commentary calls for caution because geoengineering still lacks a ‘clean bill of health.’

Even if some combination of these worked, scientists warn that the climate wouldn’t be the same as it was before climate change. And those differences might make a big difference for global health, ecologists Colin Carlson and Christopher Trisos argue in the Nature Climate Change article. The article was written while both were postdoctoral fellows at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), a unique University of Maryland center funded by the National Science Foundation that brings together science of the natural world with science of human behavior and decision-making.

So far, Carlson and Trisos say, almost nothing is known about the potential health consequences of such geoengineered “solutions.”

“We’re a step before saying these technologies will probably save lives or saying they’re too dangerous to use,” says Carlson. “Right now, what we know is climate and disease are already closely linked, and that raises basic questions about climate engineering. Now, we need answers.”

Carlson gives the example of malaria, a disease mostly confined to the tropics today, but was once widespread in Europe and North America. Recently, scientists found that malaria transmits best at cooler temperatures. In some projections, SRM would disproportionately cool off the tropics — and that might make malaria worse.

“But it’s all guesswork — we can qualitatively talk through possible risks, and that’s what we do here. But we can’t make any judgements without solid, quantitative evidence. And no one’s run those models yet. There’s no data to go off.”

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I’m personally concerned about efforts to promote geo-engineering solutions to the imaginary climate problem.

Bad climate ideas sometimes take on a life of their own, when big government and lots of money gets involved. Biofuels were originally promoted by greens as the clean, renewable alternative to fossil fuels. But most greens have long since realised biofuels are an awful idea. Yet biofuels carry on regardless – well funded biofuel lobby groups have outgrown the need for support from actual greens.

What if the same thing happens to geo-engineering? Think of all the factory jobs a major geo-engineering project would create. It seems unlikely any geo-engineering project will ever receive enough funding to cause significant damage – but why take the risk? Pointless high risk projects should be killed off during the planning stage.

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M__ S__
September 29, 2018 9:40 pm

Usually when a government undertakes a social engineering (and probably planet engineering) effort, they do exactly the wrong thing.

Reply to  M__ S__
September 30, 2018 1:16 am

If they had been allowed to ‘carbon soot’ the Arctic in the 70s to save us from cooling, where would we be now?

Any attempt at geoengineering is nuts, there are always unintended consequences, too many unknowable unknowables.

Reply to  MrGrimNasty
September 30, 2018 8:40 am

At least the soot would be covered up by the next years snow.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  M__ S__
September 30, 2018 7:32 am

It seems likely we are only steps away from a very expensive ministry of rain dace.

Reply to  M__ S__
September 30, 2018 9:02 am

“A person is smart. People are dumb panicky dangerous animals.” – Men In Black
“Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups” – Anon

‘Real engineering’ we understand, but ‘social engineering’…no such thing. Not understood well enough to determine an outcome from a specific input. Far too chaotic.
1+1 does not always equal 2.
Sometimes you get 3, often you get -1.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
October 2, 2018 10:54 am

Come now, Rocketscientist, you know that we only sortof understand “real engineering”.

September 29, 2018 10:15 pm

When government undertakes anything, the final outcome is normally the exact opposite of what was originally intended. When individuals undertake something there is a fair chance that the outcome will be at least something like what was intended. Geo-engineering is strictly for the birds.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
September 30, 2018 2:38 am

When government undertakes anything, the final outcome is normally the exact opposite of what was originally intended.

The government does mundane things just fine. I can drink municipal water without worry. I can drive very fast down the highway without worrying that my suspension and tires will be wrecked by a pot hole.

On the other hand … you have bike lanes. Lawrence Solomon points out that bike lanes cause more pollution and congestion and deaths than they prevent. link

Individuals make lots of mistakes. Governments make lots of mistakes. The trick is to achieve a positive balance. The totalitarian communist East Block countries didn’t manage that. So far, the West has managed much better. Democracy and Capitalism seem to prevent stupidity from becoming too entrenched.

Reply to  commieBob
September 30, 2018 4:53 am

“The government does mundane things just fine. I can drink municipal water without worry.”

Really? Check that out with the residents of: Flint (water); Atlanta & surrounding burbs (water & sewers); LA & San Francisco (potholes) to name just a few with persistent problems. Some areas are so bad with potholes that Dominos Pizza is filling them.

True, both individuals and governments makes mistakes. However, when individuals make mistakes, the mistakes usually affect only the individual and a few other people,and are of small scope, and the individual usually suffers the consequences. When government makes mistakes, the magnitude and scope of the mistakes can be huge and of long duration, the employees of the government who caused the mistakes only rarely suffer any personal consequences, and the community that the government serves suffers the consequences.

Reply to  Nik
September 30, 2018 8:35 am

There are a few privately owned tollways. The maintenance on them easily matches the maintenance on government owned roads.

Reply to  Nik
September 30, 2018 8:37 am

Another point is that government workers rarely suffer from their mistakes.

Reply to  Nik
September 30, 2018 9:09 am

When the government focuses on actually doing the mundane things, which is its mandate, they perform adequately. When they become bored with actually performing their intended functions and propose grandiose inane projects, that’s when everything falls apart.
As soon as the incumbent politicians propose some new diversion, its time to send them on vacation.

D. Anderson
Reply to  commieBob
September 30, 2018 6:38 am

Providing clean water, and removing the dirty water for millions is hardly mundane. It is a profound good. It’s the difference between a healthy country and a chronically ill one.

Reply to  D. Anderson
September 30, 2018 7:52 am

You’re right of course. Modern water and sewer systems are probably responsible for a big increase in human lifespan.

I want my water and sewer systems to be mundane.

Lacking interest or excitement; dull. link

Being able to ignore water and sewer frees me up to think about things that interest me. I am truly grateful that I don’t have to worry about my day to day survival.

Reply to  D. Anderson
September 30, 2018 9:17 am

While the invention and adoption of water treatment was a critical technology for civilization’s advancement and the creation of cities, it has been around for millennia and is well understood enough to be considered mundane. However, being mundane does not reduce the absolute critical need for a well maintained and functioning sanitation system.

Reply to  commieBob
September 30, 2018 8:21 am
Reply to  commieBob
September 30, 2018 8:34 am

“I can drink municipal water without worry.”

Unless you live in Detroit.

Reply to  commieBob
September 30, 2018 9:40 am

Free markets allow stupidity to fail. Socialism encourages stupidity to thrive.
Democracy can lead to either.

J Mac
Reply to  rocketscientist
September 30, 2018 4:52 pm

+ 10

Reply to  commieBob
September 30, 2018 10:30 am

Taxes on fuel for road in France:

comment image

The tax is in orange, there is more taxed paid that base base price.

(The same base product used for heating is less taxed but has a colorant in it, so that people know it cannot be used for driving.)

And the tax on gas has VAT on it, as if there was added value by a tax.

Plus taxes on immatriculation with you register your car, plus every year, depending on the “fiscal power” which is derived from the real motor power output with a funny formula. (OTOH if you buy a “clean” car you get a subsidy.)

Also, the management of highways have been sold to private companies which keep the highways in good shape (according to everybody even the opponent of that “privatization”), collect toll and give back a large amount to the State.

(And I’m not counting taxes on insurance.)

And with all of that, the French government cannot find enough money for the infrastructure. They want a tax on very heavy trucks (very heavy trucks for now, all trucks tomorrow?).

Reply to  commieBob
September 30, 2018 10:33 am

Lawrence Solomon does make a number of interesting points, but he references only other articles that he’s written for the Financial Post. There are zero links that would give a reader the information needed to form their own opinion on what he is writing about.

Reply to  commieBob
September 30, 2018 11:13 am

Bike lanes are a good example. Drove through Copenhagen about 20 years ago and had to navigate thru a sea of extremely aggressive bicyclists. Those idiots thought nothing of challenging several thousand pounds of moving metal with their bodies on top of a few flimsy pieces of rubber and metal.
It was a white knuckle ride trying to avoid manslaughter. Wouldn’t be surprised if the city was an auto free zone now.

September 29, 2018 10:37 pm

Alternate solutions to a problem invented as the rationale for a movement against fossil fuels are not acceptable by definition.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Chaamjamal
September 30, 2018 8:12 am

The mention of malaria is telling of their bad science. They imply that warming would decrease malaria transmission and cooling would increase it. Malaria is transmitted just fine in areas above the Arctic Circle in the summer. Mosquitoes like summer not winter. Warming would increase the land area suitable to mosquito vectors. Cooling would indeed decrease the suitable land area. It’s a no-brainer.

September 29, 2018 11:11 pm

RE: Now is the time to answer questions about climate engineering disease impacts . . .

Read the ScienceDaily/Science News summary of the original article published in the October 2018 pay-walled issue of the journal Nature Climate Change.)

Can you say an early mia maxima culpa. Or, “ . . . guess what might happen folks!”

They’ve been tinkering with the weather since the 1940’s.

Tankers spraying the globe’s stratosphere began in the 1990’s.

The only questions are: Who decided this was okay based on a thoroughly debunked global warming meme? How will this global “geoengineering” spaying affect humanity? Why the prior strident efforts to keep it secret over the last two decades?


[3] William Thomas “Contrails Mystify, Sicken Americans,”
ENS, Jan 08, 1999.


Mystery Contrails May Be Modifying Weather

By William Thomas

Source: Lycos Environment News Service



Researched and written by Ian Baldwin

Edited and published by Rob Williams, Ph.D. / Vermont Independent

Published by 2ndvtrepublic

Reply to  Wrusssr
September 30, 2018 6:10 am

Correlation does not prove causation, but it’s sometimes worth a look or even a comment. No mention of this in previous article – ‘Revisiting the Mystery of Stratospheric Cooling’?

Reply to  Wrusssr
September 30, 2018 8:38 am

Tankers spraying the globe’s stratosphere began in the 1990’s.
I thought that this topic was one of the banned topics on here?

September 30, 2018 12:05 am

Letter 3, the Greens only seem to be against fossell fuel , but wait, they are also against Nuclear , which is today a long way from the poster of a Mother holding a child with a mushroom cloud in the background. What about Hydro, its the Greenest form of energy generation, and the water is enjoyed by most of the creatures.

The truth is that the Greens are against any form of energy, they want the collapse of our economy, then they will offer us a alternative, its called Communism .

Before the 1917 take over of a democratic government in Russsia the economy had just about collapsed within the cities, Germany in the 1920 was also on the verge of collapse, the Weimer Government had failed, a Communism takeover was only averted by the rise of the Nazi party with the help of the army.

True while it seemed a good idea at the time, , like Geo engeneering it did not work out well in the long run.


Richard of NZ
Reply to  Michael
September 30, 2018 9:27 am

Communism is Soviet government plus the electrification of the whole country.
— Vladimir Lenin

The greens (communists in disguise) seem to have forgotten this quotation.

David Chappell
September 30, 2018 12:22 am

” But we can’t make any judgements without solid, quantitative evidence. And no one’s run those models yet. There’s no data to go off.””

And even if models are run, there will still be no data.

Zig Zag Wanderer
September 30, 2018 12:40 am

As I’ve always said, geoengineer as much as you like, just not on my planet, and not with my money.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 30, 2018 8:08 am

I’m with Zig Zag! 🙂

September 30, 2018 1:13 am

If there was ever a need for geo-engineering, then seeding the ocean with iron incrementally would be the cheapest and fastest with the ability to turn it down or off with less input. The planet does it naturally with wind swept deposition of desert sands out to the sea in various locations. Not that there is any need as it has not been demonstrated that 407 ppmv CO2 is a problem to atmospheric physics and in fact, it is finally at a level to sustain life at a much healthier level than the last few million years. CO2 levels during the long ice ages the last few million years and has been close to life extinction levels at 180 ppmv for vast periods of time when life was severely stressed on the planet during the long cold ice ages the last 2.6 million years.

We will always be a carbon based economy since we are a carbon based life form in addition to the most of all other life on planet Earth. That is why it will be fairly easy to replicate carbon based petroleum fuels with biomass of one kind or another when the price point of coal, oil and gas exceed the ability to profitably utilize fossil fuels. Obviously, that day will come, whether it be 50 years or 150 years. Fossil fuels aren’t an infinite resource although for all practical purposes, biofuels are. There is no practical difference between carbon based fossil fuels and biofuel based fuels. Both are carbon based, and will provide the planet with as much energy and thousands of carbon based products as we will need for thousands of years to come. It is a good thing we support biofuels here at WUWT.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 30, 2018 9:25 am

Aren’t oil and coal merely geoprocessed bio-fuels?

Reply to  Rocketscientist
September 30, 2018 11:58 am

Absolutely. And let’s use oil and coal until the cost is too high to do so profitably. Bio-fuels are just real quickly grown carbon compounds similar to oil and coal. Just add seed, water, photosynthesis and stir. Carbon is the backbone of all life and economics. It doesn’t matter where the carbon comes from, but we will depend on it forever.

But ultimately, and well into the long term future, we will need to make tens of thousands of products that are long chain carbon based, everything that modern day society relies on now that are made from fossil fuels. It’s a good thing we know how to do so because carbon products, including carbon based dense energy fuels, are going to be with us forever.

September 30, 2018 1:27 am

If geoengineering would preferentially cool the tropics I think malaria would be a very minor problem, since the effect would be to turn most of the planet into a desert. A very large part of all rain is evaporated from the tropical oceans.

Reply to  tty
September 30, 2018 9:18 am

Except that the poles always warm and cool by a larger amount (in degrees) per W/m^2 of forcing and geoengineering can not change the SB Law which dictates this reality.

Alan the Brit
September 30, 2018 1:29 am

“Pointless high risk projects should be killed off during the planning stage. ”

Classic public sector operations here in the UK, at least it used to be, & probably still is! The technique is to make a potential project so ridiculously expensive one effectively “kills” the project! This often makes way for the more favoured pet project in the wings!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
September 30, 2018 4:13 am

Don’t forget Muggeridge’s Law. When our betters spend other peoples’ money, no project/program is too absurd.

Reply to  Nik
September 30, 2018 9:27 am

“Nothing is impossible for the man who does not have to perform the task.” – anon

September 30, 2018 1:35 am

The reality is that we will be forced to introduce geo-engineering soon, whatever the consequences will be and whatever the research will be. Likewise, the use of nuclear energy and the LENR can be equally important, as well as providing the anticonceptions in the whole world.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  malkom700
September 30, 2018 7:19 am

The reality is that we will be forced to introduce geo-engineering soon

Why so, will we b e forced,….. given the fact there is no logical, sensible or scientific reason(s) for doing so?

September 30, 2018 1:52 am

”Even if some combination of these worked, scientists warn that the climate wouldn’t be the same as it was before climate change.”

When was that time ”before climate change”?

September 30, 2018 2:40 am

What we have here is a few people doing things and reporting that don’t matter much. They are on government or academic payroll. Its called “busywork” and it fits in with a whole host of other nonsense and nonproductive jobs. Publish or perish. It’s called CYA by many.

Peta of Newark
September 30, 2018 3:18 am

Without them defining what the fine sounding words global health actually mean, thus effectively passing the buck onto the reader, they are just So Much Noise.
Not least, need I introduce you to Scottish Midges – horrible little flying biting disease spreading critters that prefer cool and damp conditions. I’d venture that they outnumber mozzies by 10 to 1 already.
Before you get into the ticks carrying Lyme Disease.

sorry lads, I *know* you mean well, but (here’s me making an assumption and, face it, you *did* ask me to), I assume you’re talking about *your* health.

Good luck with that, you’ll go a long way by staying away from sugar & booze, and, I do hope you’re never forced to eat rice.
Golden or otherwise.


Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 30, 2018 3:23 am

nearly forgot..
you could try eating Memory Foam.
Its got more texture, taste and nutrition than rice ever will have AND, it was invented by *the* supreme authority on All Things Climate = NASA *and* couldn’t be any more mind-bending & carcinogenic than soya


Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 30, 2018 6:20 pm

Every spring the Emperor of Japan as Shinto priest symbolically, in the spirit of the god of the ripened rice plant, plants the 1st rice of the spring from previous autumn crop at the
Imperial Palace. I’m not sure what the round-eyes were doing over in Newark in the 2nd half of the1600’s, but Matsuo Basho’s haikus about rice were cherished by fellow Japanese.

“Sweet-smelling rice fields
to our right as we push through,
the Ariso sea”
“A whole field of
rice seedling planted – I part
from the willow”
‘The beginning of all art-
in the deep north
a rice-planting song”

Bruce Cobb
September 30, 2018 4:57 am

Classic misdirection by the global warmunistic caterwaulers. Geo-engineering “solutions” to their fairy tale “problem” were always useful only as a sop. Basically, their stance has always been, “don’t make us have to resort to this – we don’t want to, but there may be no choice if we don’t act now, and in a huge way”. Then, they can look like heroes and as being “rational” when they throw it under the bus.

September 30, 2018 5:05 am

Well… Th’ last time a Government tried to geo-engineer anything, the Aral Sea disappeared.

Walt D.
September 30, 2018 7:19 am

Remember the old adage for doctors. “First do No Harm”.
How can you guarantee you will do no harm if you have no idea what the effects of these devices will be?

Reply to  Walt D.
September 30, 2018 9:01 am

Climate science is not ethically compliant via the Hippocratic Oath, but is ethically bankrupt via the hypocritical oath where the idea is to promote penalizing the developed world for being successful while benefiting themselves.

September 30, 2018 8:16 am

“Radical solutions to climate change might save lives”

Radical solutions for problems that don’t exists can only take lives.

September 30, 2018 8:47 am

No one even comes close to understanding the Earth’s climate. Most thinking people know it is extremely complex and has changed with not help from humans throughout history. To imagine we can today implement plans to affect “positive” change in the climate or to “fix” so called anthropogenic climate change is ludicrous. In this case the law of unintended consequence will rule.

Having worked for government, government does very little well. Even what government does things well it can screw up in a proverbial heart beat with the cost to fix a broken system greatly exceeding the cost to do it right.

Knowing just a bit about the history of malaria during the last half of the 20th Century we managed to contain malaria for the most part to the tropics, the warmer areas of the world. We haven’t driven Anopheles vectors to extinction. Hundreds of efficient anopheles vector species still exist throughout the sub-tropical and warm temperate areas of the world and as far north as Canada. We have controlled most mosquito vectored diseases by simple things like window screening, source control and the proper use of pesticides.

Bruce Cobb
September 30, 2018 8:48 am

Similarly, studies show that launching nuclear missiles against space alien warships might not be such a good idea. What is needed instead is a space alien warship tax. That’ll teach ’em.

September 30, 2018 11:29 am

When can I order my large box of engineered mosquitoes from Amazon to counter the unforeseen consequences of eco-engineers?

September 30, 2018 3:31 pm

F*ckin’ amazing issues here. I’m very happy to look your article.

Thank you so much and i’m having a look ahead to contact you.
Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

October 1, 2018 12:51 am

The readers letter by Edwin that malaria is today confined to the Tropics. When I was a child in India 1935 the area around the military basis was cleared of all vegetation. Areas such as natural occurring wetlands were drained. Containers which could contain water were removed. Areas which were difficult to drain were given a film of oil to stop the breeding of larvea

Solution is in most cases is simple, kill the mosquito where it breeds. No wetlands will largely solve the problem. The Greenies obsession with wetlands to “Save”some small creature or other””, also provides the ideal breeding ground for mosquito/s. But perhaps its their way to reduce the Worlds population re. Malthus .


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