People are brilliant. Give us a complex problem that someone wants to solve. This also applies to the climate problem. So what if we could combat global warming by manipulating the weather? A question that until recently no one dared to address.
However, Hermann Rauschenberg, an ecologist at TU Delft, does. He wants to sprinkle clouds in the sky to cool the earth. “To deal with climate change, we must use all the tools at our disposal. This can be a good tool to keep the Earth livable.
Meanwhile, hundreds of scientists are calling for no research into “sunbeam patching”: manipulating the amount of sunlight reaching Earth in order to prevent further global warming. Because who wants to reduce fossil emissions if we can also cool the Earth with technology?
Why are scientists like Rauschenberg now investigating whether the Earth could be cooled by sulfur balloons in the stratosphere, scattered clouds, or even mirrors in space? This has to do with philanthropists, environmental funders, and the wealthy who have decided that fighting climate change is their new passion project. They are donating billions of euros around the world so that these new technologies can be researched and developed.
This also seems to wake up governments. From Europe to China and the United States, they have realized that it may not be wise to leave this to lenders and big companies.
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Climate crisis, energy crisis, nitrogen crisis: they can make you depressed, but we don’t. Each week we address one question, as part of the big picture: a planet that will survive for another few thousand years, and humans will live on it: How do we get there? in Climate issue Nienke Zoetbrood and Hannah van der Wurff will accompany you.
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