Scientists must take control of the weather to fight climate change, billionaire philanthropist George Soros has said as he warned that inaction threatens to destroy humanity.
Mr Soros urged governments to use so-called cloud-seeding technology to cover the Arctic and prevent the vast Greenland ice sheet from melting.
He warned that a failure to act risks rendering “large parts of the world… practically unlivable”.
The financier, dubbed the man who broke the Bank of England because of his bets against the pound in the early 1990s, said mitigation and adaptation strategies to fight climate change were not enough to reverse it.
Instead, he recommended “creating white clouds high above the earth” to recreate a natural phenomenon that could keep the Arctic cool and prevent irreparable damage to the ice caps.
Mr Soros said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference that this would prevent ice in Greenland from melting, which he warned would increase sea levels by seven metres. He added: “That poses a threat to the survival of our civilisation.”
Recreating what scientists call the “Albedo effect”, where snow, ice and other light-coloured surfaces reflect the rays of the sun back into the atmosphere and help keep it cool, would “help restabilise the Arctic which governs the entire global climate system,” Mr Soros said.
Mr Soros endorsed the work of Sir David King, a former UK chief scientific adviser, who has done work on this technology. He said: “The message is clear: human interference has destroyed a previously stable system and human ingenuity, both local and international, will be needed to restore it,” said Mr Soros.
Allowing global warming to continue would “take us past several tipping points such as the melting of the Arctic permafrost” and trigger large-scale migration from countries too hot to live in, Mr Soros claimed.
He said: “Once that happens, the amount of money needed to re-stabilise or repair the climate system grows exponentially.
“Our civilisation is in danger of collapsing because of the inexorable advance of climate change.”
In a wide-ranging speech that addressed the importance of open society, Mr Soros also said that Ukraine would have “a narrow window of opportunity later this spring” when it receives weapons from the US and other allies “to mount a counterattack which would determine the fate of the Russian invasion”.
He said a Ukrainian victory “would result in the dissolution of the Russian empire. Russia would no longer pose a threat to Europe and the world”.
Mr Soros censured other presidents including China’s Xi Jinping and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for associating themselves with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin. He warned that rebellion was already underway in China following its disastrous zero-Covid policies that Mr Soros said had unleashed “armageddon” when restrictions were lifted without a proper vaccination drive.
He said: “China may be already undergoing a revolution.
“Most of Xi Jinping’s problems are self-inflicted. He started mismanaging the economy right from the beginning of his rule when he went out of his way to undo Deng Xiaoping’s reformist achievements.
“Xi’s Zero Covid policy was his biggest blunder. It imposed enormous hardship on the population and brought them to the verge of open rebellion.
“Then, in response to popular pressure, Xi suddenly abandoned the policy without putting anything else in its place. The result was Armageddon.”
Mr Soros said he was convinced that Xi would leave office before he dies instead of becoming a lifelong ruler, adding: “While he is in office, China will not become the dominant military and political force that Xi is aiming for.”
Mr Soros also said he hoped Florida governor Ron DeSantis secured the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the 2024 election.
He predicted that this would “induce [former US president Donald] Trump, whose narcissism has turned into a disease, to run as a third-party candidate. This would lead to a Democratic landslide and force the Republican party to reform itself”.
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