He wants to dim the sun.
That's right, the founder of Microsoft apparently thinks that the sun is the Blue Screen of Death in the sky and is funding research at Harvard University into dimming the sun to cool the earth. The solar geoengineering project, called Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), will be flying a test balloon above Sweden next year as part of this research. The plan is to eventually release 2 kg of calcium carbonate dust into the atmosphere in a year or two to study how what impact it may have.
You read that correctly. They want to put chalk dust in the atmosphere. Are you old enough to have ever cleaned blackboard erasers for your teacher? That nasty cloud of chalk dust you inhaled during that process is what they want to put into the atmosphere.
What could possibly go wrong?
Who would have thought that the answer to "man-made climate change" would be more man-made climate change?
That said, environmentalists aren't entirely on board. "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'," said Nicklas Hällström, director of the Swedish green think-tank WhatNext?
Of course, Hällström's biggest issue with this concept is that he thinks that it will create the impression that we can still use fossil fuels.