Have We Found a Revolutionary Method to Tackle Climate Change?

It’s clear the current efforts in the field of climate change prevention haven’t exactly been too effective. Many are suggesting that we simply move on to different strategies.

One of the suggested solutions was actually reflecting sunlight back into space, which, as crazy as it sounds, may actually be effective enough to be considered a valid solution to the crisis.

If the sun’s rays bounce back into space, it’d count as cooling the planet, right?

The UN Environment Program recently stated the climate change issue has only grown in the past couple of years and we’ve already seen some of its irreversible effects manifest.

However, if we can cool down the planet to a certain degree, we may just be able to offset some of the damage that climate change threatens to cause.

Instead of focusing directly on greenhouse gas emissions, which have become a major issue in the past couple of years, the UNEP looked at Solar Radiation Modification technologies instead.

While these reflective mirrors would only return a small portion of sunlight back into space, it would be enough for their effects to become noticeable over time. With that, the technology may become more widely accepted.

However, the UNEP concluded the usage of these mirrors is still not recommended, mainly due to the insufficient amount of testing the technology has undergone.

Although they did add that should climate action continue being just a little short of producing results, they’d be willing to resort to SRM technologies as well.

Blocking out the sun

The report from the UNEP states that SRM technologies are probably among the few strategies that could cool the planet down within a reasonable timeframe, with the real issue being maintaining it for several decades for it to pay off.

On top of this, it’s estimated that cooling the planet down by a single degree Celsius would cost tens of billions of dollars, if not more, depending on how difficult the technology would be to maintain.

Despite it being a solid choice, the UNEP refused to follow through with the implementation of SRM, claiming its risks and benefits need to be researched much more thoroughly before it’s even considered for deployment.

One of the issues lies in the fact that lower-income countries tend to suffer much greater consequences from climate change. It’s hard to gauge what social and environmental impact the SRM technology may have on them.

We’ve long since sailed into uncharted seas, the moment we began our battle against climate change. Blocking out the sun may be a bit of a stretch, even this far into the game when we’re running out of options.

We must first properly understand what the effects of SRM technologies would be and if there would be any major downsides to it, as there’s little good that can come from blocking the only source of natural light we’ve got.