The following “weather modification” speech was delivered October 22, 1963 by John F. Kennedy. He was killed one month later on November 22, 1963. Under Johnson the weather warfare budget exploded culminating in Operation Popeye. UN made climate warfare illegal but said it was ok for peaceful purposes. The climate warfare people like Jay Forester among other subverted the environmental movement.
First, I would suggest the question of the conservation and development of our natural resources. In a recent speech to the General Assembly of the United Nations, I proposed a worldwide program to protect land and water, forests and wildlife, to combat exhaustion and erosion, to stop the contamination of water and air by industrial as well as nuclear pollution, and to provide for the steady renewal and expansion of the natural bases of life.
Malthus argued a century and a half ago that man, by using up all his available resources, would forever press on the limits of subsistence, thus condemning humanity to an indefinite future of misery and poverty. We can now begin to hope and, I believe, know that Malthus was expressing not a law of nature, but merely the limitation then of scientific and social wisdom. The truth or falsity of his prediction will depend now, with the tools we have, on our own actions, now and in the years to come.
The earth can be an abundant mother to all of the people that will be born in the coming years if we learn to use her with skill and wisdom, to heal her wounds, replenish her vitality, and utilize her potentialities. And the necessity is now urgent and worldwide, for few nations embarked on the adventure of development have the resources to sustain an ever-growing population and a rising standard of living. The United Nations has designated this the Decade of Development. We all stand committed to make this agreeable hope a reality. This seems to me the greatest challenge to science in our times, to use the world’s resources, to expand life and hope for the world’s inhabitants.
While these are essentially applied problems, they require guidance and support from basic science. I solicit your help, and I particularly solicit your help in meeting a problem of universal concern–the supply of food to the multiplying mouths of a multiplying world. Abundance depends now on the application of sound biological analysis to the problems of agriculture. If all the knowledge that we now have were systematically applied to all the countries of the world, the world could greatly improve its performance in the low-yield areas, but this would not be enough, and the long-term answer to inadequate food production, which brings misery with it, must lie in new research and new experimentation, and the successful use of new knowledge will require close cooperation with other nations.
Already a beginning has been made. I think of the work in other countries, of the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, and the creation by the OAS of the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Costa Rica. I look forward eventually to the establishment of a series of international agricultural research institutes on a regional basis throughout the developing world. I can imagine nothing more unwise than to hoard our knowledge and not disseminate it and develop the means of disseminating it throughout the globe.
Second, I would call your attention to a related problem; that is, the understanding and use of the resources of the sea. I recently sent to Congress a plan for a national attack on the oceans of the world, calling for the expenditure of more than $2 billion over the next 10 years. This plan is the culmination of 3 years’ effort by the Inter-Agency Committee on Oceanography, and it results from recommendations made by the National Academy.
Our goal is to investigate the world ocean, its boundaries, its properties, its processes. To a surprising extent, the sea has remained a mystery–10,000 fleets still sweep over it in vain. We know less of the oceans at our feet, where we came from, than we do of the sky above our heads. It is time to change this, to use to the full our powerful new instruments of oceanic exploration, to drive back the frontiers of the unknown in the waters which encircle our globe.
I can imagine no field among all those which are so exciting today than this great effort which our country and others will carry on in the years to come. We need this knowledge for its own sake. We want to know what is under the sea, and we need it to consider its bearings on our security, and on the world’s social and economic needs. It has been estimated, for example, that the yield of food from the seas could be increased five or ten times through better knowledge of marine biology, and some day we will seed and weed and harvest the ocean. Here, again, the job can best be done by the nations of the world working together in international institutions.
As all men breathe the same air, so a storm along Cape Cod may well begin off the shores of Japan. The world ocean is also indivisible, and events in one part of the great sea have astonishing effects in remote places. International scientific cooperation is indispensable if human knowledge of the ocean is to keep pace with human needs.
Third, there is the atmosphere itself, the atmosphere in which we live and breathe and which makes life on this planet possible. Scientists have studied the atmosphere for many decades, but its problems continue to defy us.
The reasons for our limited progress are obvious. Weather cannot be easily reproduced and observed in the laboratory. It must, therefore, be studied in all of its violence wherever it has its way. Here, as in oceanography, new scientific tools have become available. With modern computers, rockets, and satellites, the time is ripe to harness a variety of disciplines for a concerted attack. And even more than oceanography, the atmospheric sciences require worldwide observation and, hence, international cooperation.
Some of our most successful international efforts have involved the study of the atmosphere. We all know that the World Meteorological Organization has been effective in this field. It is now developing a worldwide weather system to which nations the world over can make their contributions. Such cooperative undertakings can challenge the world’s best efforts for decades to come.
Fourth, I would mention a problem which I know has greatly concerned many of you. That is our responsibility to control the effects of our own scientific experiments. For as science investigates the natural environment, it also modifies it, and that modification may have incalculable consequences for evil as well as for good.
In the past, the problem of conservation has been mainly the problem of human waste of natural resources, of their destruction. But science has the power for the first time in history now to undertake experiments with premeditation which can irreversibly alter our biological and physical environment on a global scale. The problem is difficult, because it is hard to know in advance whether the cumulative effects of a particular experiment will help or harm mankind. In the case of nuclear testing, the world is satisfied that radioactive contamination involves unnecessary risks, and we are all heartened that more than 100 nations have joined to outlaw testing in environments where the effects most directly threaten mankind.
In other fields we may be less sure. We must, for example, balance the gains of weather modification against the hazards of protracted drought or storm.
The Government has the clear responsibility to weigh the importance of large-scale experiments to the advance of knowledge or to national security against the possibility of adverse and destructive effects. The scientific community must assist the Government in arriving at rational judgments and interpreting these issues to the public. To deal with this problem, we have worked out formal procedures within the Government to assure expert review before potentially risky experiments are undertaken. And we will make every effort to publish the data needed to permit open examination and discussion of proposed experiments by the scientific community before they are authorized.
John F. Kennedy
Under Johnson the weather modification budget went up. Also secret weather warfare programs were carried out including Operation Popeye.
Notice the hands on the face.
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