Bill Gates, Geoengineer

By | April 9, 2021 | 0 Comments

Bill Gates, the billionaire who gave us Windows 10, Outlook, and Edge, now takes on the challenge of global warming. He is helping to finance an experiment in geoengineering – that is, engineering the Earth itself. Whatever you say about Gates, you can’t accuse him of lacking self-confidence.

The plan is to lower Earth’s temperature by blocking a small percent of the sun’s energy. This will be done by releasing crystals of calcium carbonate, chalk, into the stratosphere. This will reflect some of the sunlight back into space. The problem is that no one knows how this will react with the other components of the stratosphere, or how long the effect will last, or whether it can be counteracted if it goes to far and ushers in an ice age.

You see, if Windows XP wasn’t good enough, we could go to Windows Vista, and then Windows 7.  Gates could give us Windows 8 and then 8.1, and now Windows 10. The problems could be remedied by upgrading the operating system. And no one claims that Windows 10 couldn’t be improved. But if crystals are released into the high atmosphere, they can’t be retrieved. They’re there to stay as long as conditions allow. There is no geoengineering 1.1.

There is an alternative. A satellite could be placed at the stable L1 point, between the Sun and the Earth. The sun’s rays could be partially blocked, either with a large umbrella-like structure, or with a series of smaller satellite revolving around the larger one. This would be difficult and expensive, but it would not irreversibly alter our atmosphere. Perhaps Gates has enough hubris to undertake such a project. It would go beyond geoengineering – it would be planetary engineering. That would be cooler than cool!

Meanwhile, we ordinary slobs plod along with the problems of actual human life. But once in a while we take a break, look up at the heavens, and wonder what Bill Gates is up to now.


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