Rogue start-up launching reflective clouds into Earth's stratosphere to cool planet?
A rogue solar geoengineering start-up firm claims to have begun using balloons to launch reflective clouds into the stratosphere for the purpose of changing the weather.
Luke Iseman, cofounder and CEO of Make Sunsets, recently told the MIT Technology Review that he hopes this cloud-seeding effort might help launch a lucrative "cooling" industry. Because, as Make Sunsets' website states, "we need to start cooling the world immediately." And he'd like to make money doing it.
As of now, Make Sunsets' efforts have been minor and stunt-like…thank God.
According to theblaze.com, Iseman has even "condoned property destruction" as a way to bring about global cooling, though the method he has personally resolved to use is "geoengineering, specifically by way of 'albedo enhancement' or albedo modification (i.e., the reflection of sunlight)." This involves spraying reflective substances such as sulfate aerosols, calcium carbonate particles, aluminum dioxide, and diamonds into the atmosphere 12 to 16 miles above the Earth. Supposedly, this can accomplish what volcanic eruptions have previously achieved in terms of partially blocking sunlight and temporarily cooling global mean temperatures.
It is anything but clear that "we need to start cooling the world immediately." Making the sun set is a fool's errand. Do we really want rogue entities throwing stuff up into the Earth's atmosphere to see how it affects temperature and weather patterns? What could go wrong?
What happens if we "succeed" in cooling the Earth...and then suffer a series of massive volcanic eruptions? Massive crop loss for starters? No one can be certain that man-caused climate change is occurring...or is a true threat to our way of life or the planet as a whole. Temperatures and weather patterns have changed far quicker in the distant past, well prior to Homo sapiens's existence let alone rising greenhouse gas emissions from humans' agricultural exploits and industry. But if we greatly expand on Make Sunsets' efforts, we can be sure that the result will be man-caused climate change, though not of what the results will be.
And which countries might benefit by (potential) global cooling? Which might be extremely adversely affected? How does one rogue start-up/company/operator/entity — or even one nation — get to throw stuff up into our collective atmosphere? I mean, every little stupid thing is regulated government nowadays, from how big of a soda container we can purchase to how old we have to be to buy a pack of smokes or a slingshot, etc. We are subject to ridiculous regulations, mandates, permits, and fines.
If there is anything on Earth that should be subject to strict regulation and oversight, it would be the use of experimental methods of launching various reflective substances and materials into Earth's atmosphere! Shouldn't the majority of us have a say in that?
Or can I start a competing firm, Make Sunrises, and leverage its resources to shoot down the balloons Make Sunsets is using to launch reflective clouds into our stratosphere?
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay license.