Initially known as the guy who started Microsoft, Bill Gates is now more popular as a philanthropist. Previously wanting to save us from ourselves, now, he wants to save us from the sun.
Gates played a huge part in the pursuit of vaccination and prevention of the pandemic. However, he’s much of a pro-lockdown, which is fine if everyone is a billionaire like him. Like what we already know, most have been battered and denied livelihood throughout the pandemic. Unknown to many, Gate’s most controversial causes have just got a go-signal.
Such a project would help block out the sun.
Reuters reported that a Harvard University project plans to test a theory to stop global warming by spraying particles into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays.
“Open-air research into spraying tiny, sun-reflecting particles into the stratosphere, into offsetting global warming, has been stalled for years by controversies – including that it could discourage needed cuts in greenhouse gas emissions,” reported the outlet.
The Swedish Space Corporation has agreed to help the Harvard researchers launch a balloon close to the Arctic town of Kiruna in June. The balloon would carry a gondola with scientific equipment weighing 600 kg 20 km (12 miles) high.
According to the UK Daily Mail, Gates largely funded the Harvard team with their project, SCoPEx. The outlet raised questions on whether dimming the sun could save the Earth, yet, critics fear it could trigger calamity.
Nature journal also reported on the matter.
“The idea is simple: spray a bunch of particles into the stratosphere, and they will cool the planet by reflecting some of the Sun’s rays into space. Scientists have already witnessed the principle in action,” reported the journal in 2018.
It recalled a circumstance when Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991. Roughly 20 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide was apparently injected into the stratosphere. The eruption then created a haze of sulfate particles that effectively cooled the planet around 0.5 °C. Records show the Earth’s average temperature returned to a pre-steam engine era for about 18 months.
However, several issues are seen with this plan. To environmentalists, the project doesn’t solve global warming in their preferred way.
WhatNext Director Niclas Hällström said, “There is no merit in this test except to enable the next step. You can’t test the trigger of a bomb and say ‘This can’t possibly do any harm.’”
Hällström’s concerns echo other people’s worries that the effect might change rain patterns or crop yields. He prefers more about transitioning to a zero-carbon society.
The environmentalist also said, “Swedish society is increasingly calling for real, immediate solutions to climate change.”
Canadian-based environmentalist organization ETC Group co-executive director Jim Thomas also opposes the project.
“This is as much an experiment in changing social norms and crossing a line as it is a science experiment,” noted Thomas.
Even with resounding opposition, Gates’s advice on the pandemic and global warming is as powerful as his time developing Windows.
Gates said he expects business establishments to remain closed for more days.
“Bars and restaurants — in most of the country — will be closed as we go into this wave, and I think, sadly, that’s appropriate,” the philanthropist told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an early December interview.
Gates also called out Elon Musk for questioning the science behind wearing a face mask.
In a July CNBC interview, Gates said, “Elon’s positioning is to maintain a high level of outrageous comments.” He added that Musk isn’t much involved in vaccines but makes a great electric car and rockets.
“I hope that he doesn’t confuse areas he’s not involved in too much,” said Gates.