I know. Let’s set off miniature volcanoes to fight climate change.
No wonder Hollywood can’t produce any good movies — interesting, controversial, and bizarre storylines are all being lapped up by happenings in the real world.
Like this one.
Luke Iseman is co-founder of Make Sunsets, a startup that launches weather balloons to inject sulphur into the atmosphere to develop particles that act like volcanoes screening the sun’s rays and cooling the planet.
What could go wrong?
Plenty, according to experts quoted in a recent story on Iseman in the U.K.’s Telegraph
But Iseman doesn’t care. After all, something has got to be done given the seriousness of climate change
“I think that pretty quickly leads a rational person to an uncomfortable conclusion that we have a moral obligation to already be doing this at scale,” Iseman said to The Telegraph. “Every day we don’t do this is causing needless harm to people and ecosystems.”
But British biologist, natural historian and documentarian David Attenborough
has called high-tech tampering with the Earth’s weather systems “fascist,” since it increases the power of developed nations.
And if ideas like those of Iseman aren’t regulated; who knows where such weather tampering could lead?
Consider that at the world’s first nuclear bomb test in New Mexico in 1945, project director J. Robert Oppenheimer, during the countdown to the unprecedented atomic explosion, was reportedly only half joking when he said the blast could conceivably ignite the Earth’s atmosphere.
That wasn’t going to happen, of course. But start messing with nature on a large scale and bad things can occur.
So far, hundreds of scientists have placed their signatures on a call to stop large solar geoengineering developments.
There are concerns that the atmosphere’s ozone layer could be depleted or that there could be a change in precipitation patterns.
“It would basically change precipitation patterns, meaning it could mess up the monsoon, which would affect millions of people,” according to Lili Fuhr of the Center for International Environmental Law.
“Basically, you’re impacting everyone on this planet, so everyone should have a say,” Fuhr said. “There’s not one country or actor that can take control of the global thermostat and do it benignly for everyone else.”
But those are just pesky details to Iseman, who said we can’t wait for world governments to develop a consensus.
And even though two groups of scientists — one in the U.S., one in the U.K. — are exploring geoengineering, they haven’t yet conducted real-world experiments. That is unacceptable to Iseman.
“The responsible, brilliant, well-funded, adult academics have made no progress on deployment,” he said. “This is the only cost-effective thing that we could do during our lifetime that could maintain a liveable world.”
So Make Sunsets is getting ready this week to launch a balloon to dump roughly 4.4 pounds of sulphur into the air.
Iseman’s company launched a balloon from Mexico in December but the Mexican government was not amused, so now he’s launching from California.
Two venture capital funds are behind the project.
Funding is coming from assuaging environmental consciences
by selling $15 “cooling credits.” The $15 pays for one gram of sulphur which offsets a ton of one’s carbon emissions for a year, the company said.
Meanwhile, a U.K. scientist involved in geoengineering, Matt Watson, is afraid small-time experimenters like Iseman and Make Sunsets will bring bad publicity to projects Watson is involved in.
“It makes people who are trying to do cautious, ethically grounded, transparent, non-commercial work, it makes their lives more difficult,” Watson said.
For his part, Iseman, given current events, is aware that this week may not be the best time to be launching any kind of balloon,
but is hoping he can “get balloons up without triggering an international incident.”
All he has to do is paint a sign on the balloon: “I am not spying. I am saving your planet. Someday you will thank me.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal
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