As it becomes increasingly evident that the effort to meaningfully curb carbon emissions is doomed, some of those in the security services are looking for alternative avenues to control the threat of climate change. The CIA, for instance, is funding a scientific study to see if humans could develop technology to stop or diminish climate change.

The Central Intelligence Agency is funding a scientific study that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering to alter Earth’s environment and stop climate change. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will run the 21-month project, which is the first NAS geoengineering study financially supported by an intelligence agency.

With the spooks’ money, scientists will study how humans might influence weather patterns, assess the potential dangers of messing with the climate, and investigate possible national security implications of geoengineering attempts…The total cost of the project is $630,000, which NAS is splitting with the CIA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA.

The study will investigate the application of geoengineering to climate change, focusing mostly on solar radiation management (SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) techniques.

The goal of the CIA-backed NAS study is to conduct a “technical evaluation of a limited number of proposed geoengineering techniques,” according to the NAS website. Scientists will attempt to determine which geoengineering techniques are feasible and try to evaluate the impacts and risks of each (including “national security concerns”). One proposed geoengineering method the study will look at is solar radiation management—a fancy term for pumping particles into the stratosphere to reflect incoming sunlight away from the planet. In theory, solar radiation management could lead to a global cooling trend that might reverse, or at least slow down, global warming. The study will also investigate proposals for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

I know it’s hard to believe that bureaucrats are betting on technocratic solutions to political problems. The alternative is unthinkable.

The reason that the CIA is funding the study may be less about dark political motives and more of an act of desperation. The GOP in Congress forced the CIA to shutdown the agency’s Climate Center, possibly out of fear they might find out climate change isn’t a hoax. Now the CIA has to find partners to get basic intelligence on one of the biggest threats to political stability of our time.

The NSA meanwhile will be tapping Al Gore’s phone (and everyone else’s).