The Strange History of Steve Bannon and the Biosphere 2 Experiment


If you know anything about Steve Bannon, you might recall that he was the executive chairman of conservative media outlet Breitbart.com. Or that he was appointed chief advisor for the Trump campaign in early August.

By Samantha Cole | MOTHERBOARD

If his appointment to White House chief strategist last weekend is the first time you’re hearing his name at all, however, you’re in for a treat.

Before he became a poster boy for white nationalism and the far-right, and long before he rose to this level of political power, he ran an investment banking firm, Bannon & Co., and was hired to help a company called Space Biosphere Ventures out of its financial troubles.

Since Kellyanne Conway, a key Trump adviser, suggested that “people should look at the full résumé” before criticising Bannon, here’s how that résumé line reads.

Biosphere 2 began in fear of the apocalypse

Biosphere 2 was meant to lay groundwork for future space colonization missions, as well as act as an environmental and social experiment: Eight scientists were to be locked into a three-acre dome containing five different earthly biomes for two years, from September 1991 to September 1993. The goal was to see if humans could survive and become self-sufficient in a „closed system“—that is, one that was not supposed to have any supplies coming in or out. Texas philanthropist Ed Bass, who’d inherited his family’s oil fortune but took on ecological causes, poured the $200 million project, but hired Bannon in 1993 to stop the huge runaway costs of the experiment gone awry. Read more about the Biosphere 2 experiment, here.

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