A bizarre-sounding plan to save Earth funded by tech guru Bill Gates is "quietly" moving forward.
The plan — to dim the sun's rays and their impact on the earth — is reportedly all in the name of helping to revitalize the environment and thus save the human race.
What are the details?
The billionaire philanthropist is set on saving the Earth no matter the cost.
"While you may have been paying attention to [Gates'] efforts on vaccination and lockdowns, you may not have noticed that one of Gates' most controversial causes just got a go-ahead: A project that would help block out the sun," the Western Journal's Douglas Golden wrote.
Reuters reported that the geo-engineering plan — a Harvard University project funded largely by Gates— "plans to test out a controversial theory that global warming can be stopped by spraying particles into the atmosphere that would reflect the sun's rays."
The news organization reported that the Swedish Space Corporation has already taken strides in testing out the theory.
"Open-air research into spraying tiny, sun-reflecting particles into the stratosphere, to offset global warming, has been stalled for years by controversies — including that it could discharge needed cuts in greenhouse gas emissions," Reuters reported. "In a small step, the Swedish Space Corporation agreed this week to help Harvard researchers launch a balloon near the Arctic town of Kiruna next June. It would carry a gondola with 600 kg of scientific equipment 20 km (12 miles) high."
Golden also cited journal Nature, which broke the plan down into more easily comprehensible terms.
“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 back into space," Nature's Jeff Tollefson wrote in 2018. "Scientists have already witnessed the principle in action."
“When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it injected an estimated 20 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere — the atmospheric layer that stretches from about 10 to 50 kilometres above Earth's surface," Tollefson added. "The eruption created a haze of sulfate particles that cooled the planet by around 0.5 °C. For about 18 months, Earth's average temperature returned to what it was before the arrival of the steam engine."
Reuters reported that the plan could move forward in the "autumn of 2021 or spring of 2022," and would "release a tiny amount ... of non-toxic calcium carbonate dust into the atmosphere" to test the theory.
The notion of geo-engineering is a controversial one, as environmentalists have warned that such a plan could render alarming consequences.
"There are several problems with this plan, not the least of which is that we don't know what the unintended consequences might be. But to environmentalists, the problem is that it doesn't solve global warming the way they want to do it," Douglas writes.
Reuters also reported that many of the plan's opponents fear a "slippery slope toward engineering the climate."
Niclas Hällström, director of the Sweden-based environmentalist think-tank WhatNext? told Reuters, "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 added that he has reservations over the concept for its "potential to change rain patterns or crop yields."
Lili Fuhr, who is head of the international environmental policy division at the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Germany, said that the project is, indeed, "crossing an important political red line."
"They don't want to stop at this small experiment. The reason is to get bigger experiments," she explained.
Reuters reported that both Fuhr and Hällström said the plan "would violate a global 2010 moratorium on geoengineering under the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity."
Jim Thomas, co-CEO of environmentalist organization ETC Group, said that he and his peers also oppose the idea.
"This is as much an experiment in changing social norms and crossing a line as it is a science experiment," Thomas warned.