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Katelyn Ferral
By Katelyn Ferral February 2, 2024

Claim that the government is spraying the sky, blocking sun to mitigate climate change is wrong

If Your Time is short

  • No, the skies are not being sprayed with aerosols to block the sun during the winter to mitigate climate change. Similar claims with different contexts have surfaced over the years and have been debunked.

  • There is small-scale research into solar geoengineering, which sprays aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect some sunlight back into space. That is being done by researchers at Harvard University, but it is not widespread and very preliminary. 

  • Learn more about PolitiFact's fact-checking process and rating system.

Could a nine-day winter stretch of overcast skies be evidence of a widespread government plot to block out the sun and poison people while mitigating climate change? 

That’s the claim in a Jan. 29 Instagram post reviving a decades-old conspiracy theory that the government is spraying the skies and poisoning the population under the "disguise of helping to reduce climate change." 

This Instagram post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The Instagram post has a video panning an overcast sky with the text: "POV: we are on day 9 of no sun." (POV stands for "point of view.")

The post’s caption, which  intentionally misspells words to skirt the platform’s rules about spreading climate change falsehoods, says: 

"A method is provided for mitigating g|0ba| warming. In such method, fine particles can be injected or dispersed into the stratosphere.

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"It’s happening right before our eyes and people still refuse to question the abnormalities. We are being p0!soned under the disguise of ‘helping reduce c|!mat€ change.’

Next time someone calls you crazy or thinks it’s impossible for them to be tampering with our environment/weather, send them this."

This is conspiracy theory stems from a method of solar geoengineering, called Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment, or SCoPEx, that Harvard researchers are studying on a small scale. 

The experiment would spray aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect some sunlight back into space to minimize global warming. The Instagram post includes a link to a U.S. patent  related to this research on Google Patents.  

Similar claims that the skies are being sprayed by the government have surfaced over the years, including a claim in 2022 that Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates hatched a plan to block out the sun. Another claim in 2023 said former CIA Director John Brennan acknowledged the government was involved in a large-scale effort to block the sun.

In 2022, Congress directed the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to study change mitigation technologies’ risks and hazards. A spokesperson for the office confirmed to PolitiFact in 2023 that the plan would not involve releasing materials into the atmosphere. 

We rate the claim that the skies are being sprayed to block the sun False.

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Claim that the government is spraying the sky, blocking sun to mitigate climate change is wrong

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