Yes that’s right; a billionaire is endeavouring to dim the glare of the sun, but unlike Mr Burns, this is for the good of civilisation, not so we have to pay him for the energy used in street lights.
No, not the newspaper! That can’t get any dimmer!!
Basically there’s a new initiative that, in layman’s terms, will release a cloud of dust within the stratosphere which will reflect some of the sun’s rays back out into the vast expanse of space.
Naturally this would inhibit some of the effect of the sun, such as making it cooler and more hospitable to, say, ice.
The project is being pioneered by scientists at Harvard University and is heavily endorsed by the 63-year-old billionaire.
The first test would cost $3 million and was supposed to happen months ago, but was postponed due to potential side-effects of releasing the dust.
Called the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx (an acronym that’s worse to say)) the project would involved a high-altitude balloon lifting 2kg of calcium carbonate dust into the atmosphere above the New Mexico desert.
The potential side-effects that have put the test off for the time being include serious droughts and hurricanes, which various experts have warned of, including one of Harvard’s team directors, Lizzie Burns, who said:
“Our idea is terrifying… But so is climate change.“
The project was started by chemist James Anderson and physicist David Keith – both of Harvard – and is being funded by Gates himself, who is no stranger to speaking out about climate change.
In his blog he wrote:
“We must solve two challenges. The first challenge will come as no surprise. We need to do more to harness the power of the sun and wind. And thanks to falling prices for solar panels, wind turbines, and other technologies, deploying renewable energy systems is more affordable than ever before.”
It it a pretty scary concept, as started Ms Burns, but even the potential of it inhibiting climate change is enough to make it worth a try.
Obviously I’m no scientist so I couldn’t possibly comment on the validity of the project, but seeing as it was coined by Harvard scientists and is being backed by Bill Gates, you’d have thought that there would be fairly strong grounds for it to work.
If not this, then maybe some kind of thing that turns single-use plastics in, I don’t know, hydrogen? That would be very handy.
I just hope dimming the sun doesn’t make that weather even more grim in England.
Images via Getty
Alfie Powell joined as an apprentice and was probably hired because he was likely the only person who applied. He's been blagging his way through writing articles for four years now and he's definitely showing signs of slowing down. When not writing for The Hook, Alfie finds time to indulge in his favourite hobbies, such as drinking and sitting down. You can contact Alfie at [email protected]Follow