India’s environmental minister said Monday that an American weapons system, which is the subject of numerous conspiracy theories, is behind global warming.
“The US has developed a type of weapon called High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme (HAARP). It strikes the upper atmosphere with a focussed and steerable electromagnetic beam,” Anil Madhav Dave, India’s Environmental Minister, told Business Standard Monday. “HAARP is an advanced model of a super powerful ionospheric heater which may cause the globe to warm and have global warming effect.”
HAARP is a regular target of conspiracy theorists, who claim that it was capable of modifying weather, disable satellites and control people’s brains. Conspiracy theorists have blamed HAARP for causing earthquakes, droughts, floods, the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 the 2003 destruction of the space shuttle Columbia and Hurricane Sandy.
In reality, HAARP is a research station currently owned by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The system was used to study the upper atmosphere and investigate its potential for monitoring radio communications. Scientific research done with HAARP has been routinely published in major peer-reviewed journals.
India is the world’s fastest growing, and third largest, emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2). In 2014, India got 59 percent of its electricity from coal, and Indian leaders are ramping up the country’s coal production by opening a new mine every month. The country appears set to literally double down on coal by doubling production and building 87,122 megawatts of new coal power capacity. Even with that level of coal use, it is estimated that 400 million Indians, 31 percent of the population, lack access to electricity.