Canadian government has not admitted blocking the sun

4 April 2024
What was claimed

Canada has admitted to blocking the sun.

Our verdict

This isn’t true. A five-year science strategy published by the Canadian government mentions research into solar radiation modification—where the sun’s rays are reflected back into space—but there is no evidence this is currently happening in Canada.

A post which is circulating widely on Facebook has falsely claimed that Canada has admitted to “blocking the sun”.

It claims: “Sun makes plants grow. Canada just admitted they are blocking the sun. Less sun = less food Waking up yet? [sic]”.

However, the Canadian government has not admitted it is doing any such thing. We have contacted the Canadian government about this claim and will update this article if we receive a response.

And while climate geoengineering has been suggested as a theoretical possibility, it is not yet taking place, beyond some limited and proposed small-scale experiments.

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Why would the sun be blocked?

It appears the post, when it talks about “blocking the sun”, is referring to the concept of solar radiation modification. This is a form of geoengineering aimed at combating climate change by reflecting sunlight back into space, thereby cooling the planet.

It is theorised that this could be achieved by methods including stratospheric aerosol injection, such as adding sulphur dioxide particles to the atmosphere to reflect sunlight before it can be absorbed as heat, mimicking the effect of a volcanic eruption.

Where did the claim come from?

In a comment beneath the original post, the user who published it linked to a document produced by the Canadian government outlining the country’s environment and climate change strategy, which mentions the need to “improve the understanding of climate-altering technologies”.

The document says that in the next five years the government will aim to: “Understand the potential for climate engineering and determine the implications of technologies that aim to deliberately alter the climate system, typically to counteract climate warming (e.g., solar radiation modification, marine geoengineering, carbon dioxide removal techniques).”

It also says it will: “Conduct scientific assessments of climate-altering technologies and impacts on Canada.”

However, there is no evidence that Canada is currently using solar radiation modification technology, or has admitted doing so, beyond committing to explore the potential impact of the technology.

While the principle of solar radiation modification is legal in most nations, there has been an existing, although not legally binding, moratorium on solar geoengineering since 2010, with exceptions for small-scale scientific research studies. And experts have since called for firmer agreements against states engaging in climate geoengineering.

Some countries have used other weather modification technologies such as ‘cloud-seeding’ to generate rainfall or snow.

We have previously written about geoengineering, and debunked claims that photos or videos of contrails—the white lines often seen trailing behind aircraft—are ‘chemtrails’ injected into the sky to affect the weather or poison people.

Image courtesy of Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

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