Canadian Climate Research Calls For
Radical Geoengineering Strategy To Block Sun
Editors note: Notice how there is not one mention in this article
about the detrimental health effects of decreasing vitamin D from
the sun or relationship between geoengineering strategies and human
A radical research paper authored by David Keith from the University
of Calgary says blocking out some of the sun's rays is a faster
and cheaper method of controlling the Earth's temperature than cutting
greenhouse gas emissions.
And the unconventional work being done by the prominent Calgary
physicist appears to have attracted the attention of the world's
The same day Keith's research paper was released by the science
journal Nature -- a blog titled ScienceInsider reported that Keith
and American climate change researchers are being bankrolled by
billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
The blog said a U.S. researcher and Keith are in charge of deciding
how millions of dollars are dispersed to geoengineering -- or
climate manipulating -- research projects.
In an interview, Keith declined to provide further details about
the funding but confirmed the report was correct.
"Yes, it's true. Bill is funding our stuff," Keith
An subsequent inquiry to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Keith preferred to speak about how solar radiation could be reflected
back into space by releasing megatonnes of light-scattering aerosol
particles, or how low-altitude clouds could be created with sea
The Nature article, which calls for a co-operative international
research effort worth $1 billion by 2020, suggests a number of
sun-reflecting techniques be investigated.
"Many scientists have argued against research on solar-radiation
management, saying that developing the capability to perform such
tasks will reduce the political will to lower greenhouse-gas emissions,"
said the article, which was authored by Keith and two other researchers.
"We believe that the risks of not doing research outweigh
the risks of doing it."
Bouncing solar rays back into space carries numerous environmental
and geopolitical dangers, and has until very recently
been frowned upon by the scientific community.
However, the report said geoengineering could offset temperature
increases much more cheaply than actually cutting the world's
greenhouse gas emissions.
Keith cautions that geoengineering should only compliment greenhouse
gas reductions not replace cuts. The article also cautions
that the world's countries must work collaboratively so that no
"rogue state" takes unilateral action.
"There's the beginning of serious research projects, but
really just starting up literally right now,"
Keith said in an interview.
It may sound like science fiction but last year the Royal Society
the national academy of science of the U.K. and the Commonwealth
also released a report calling for large-scale intervention
in the Earth's climate system.
That report said giant space mirrors may be required backups
to blunt the effects of climate change if emission reductions
prove to be too little too late to stop the predicted impacts
of human-caused climate change.
The article in Nature noted that Keith has a commercial interest
in carbon dioxide extraction technology.
February 2, 2010