Not happy enough with destroying the entire planet, humankind might eventually decide that it’s a good idea to fight climate change by mining the moon.
The idea comes from Ben Bromley and Dr Scott Kenyon, researchers at the Centre for Astrophysics – Harvard and Smithsonian and the University of Utah.
Mining the moon to save environment, I guess
So Dr Scott and his team prepared several calculations and ran as twice as simulations to get to this conclusion: the moon exploration to save Earth’s environment.
If you’re curious enough, here is the article published in PLOS Climate, a specialized journal about climate.
In interview, Dr. Kenyon said:
It is amazing to contemplate how moon dust, which took over four billion years to generate, might help slow the rise in the Earth’s temperature, a problem that took us less than 300 years to produce
Exactly. It took 4 billion years to generate moon’s dust and structure and because of human actions, now moon have to be sacrificed to help our survival.
What’s the moon has to do with it?
According to the study, the moon dust thrown in space can reduce 1-2% of the Sun radiation that comes to Earth’s atmosphere, what would make it more possible to hold global warming in the 1.5°C level predicted in IPCC best scenario for climate change.
What is this study idea?
The scientists considered moon dust properties, such as coal and sea salt and their power of redirecting the heat, as likely any mass in space could do.
They would start with a ballistic machine to launch moon dust into space. After some tmie, this would create a dust shield that could prevent sun radiation to reach the planet’s atmosphere with the current intensity.
“Particularly as it’s beginning to look increasingly unlikely we’ll limit temperature increases to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels“, said Mr Ward, who is not part of this study team, but found the idea very interesting.
The initial idea is to use the dust already available on moon’s surface, but, of course, there’s no moon enough to save us from ourselves.
So, the second step of this brilliant plan is to extract millions of tons of moon’s dust with the same ballistic equipment, reforcing this dust shield, that would need to be renewed every year (according to the study maths).
We could use minerals from the Earth for this, which in my opinion is as ‘brilliant’ as the original idea, but it would be too expensive to take our dust out to space, as you might have realized in the Elon Musk’s recent space trips.
Of course, the idea is to find a global warming solution that can save the world, but only if we keep in mind that the riches pockets come first. Business as usual.
In Bromley’s defense, the article published at The Guardian quotes himself saying “Nothing should distract us from reducing greenhouse gas emissions here on Earth. Our strategy may just be a moonshot, but we should explore all possibilities, in case we need more time to do the work here at home”.
And this is very relieving because this is exactly what every single billionaire on Earth will think. I can almost hear them saying: “You know what? Now, I do have a solution in which I don’t need to change anything and keep my profits safe without looking like a villain, but, hey, let’s change our production methods anyway to avoid climate change. Moon is not a renewable resource”.
There’s people who thinks mining the moon is not our best idea
If at any point of this article you had second thoughts about the brilliant and imediatist new study that can save humanity, you’re not alone.
Frank Biermann, which seems to be the only scientist mentioned at The Guardian’s article that lives in the same world as me, said: “The idea to mine the moon or near-Earth asteroids in order to artifically block parts of the sun light is no solution to the ongoing and intensifying climate crisis”.
Biearmin is the professor of global sustainability governance at Utrecht University, and also my new science idol.
Side effects of destroying the moon
Well, on top of destroying the moon, which is not our property, there’s some side effects. Can you imagine that?
We don’t know exactly all the consequences that we can face by destroying a satellite that has been out there in space for a billion years because, apparently, nobody had this idea before.
However, if all the rest of the plan works well, we can say that moon dust shield might be an aggravating factor for the food shortage crisis that tends to grow in the next decades.
Without enough sun radiation, maybe the plants and soil won’t be strong enough to grow food for our recent 8 billion world’s population. But, who cares? Bruno Mars, maybe.
Well, I want to apologize for my temper during writing this text. I do respect science and studies a lot and the Hourglass website exists to support and spread innovation about climate change fight.
However, it’s very annoying seeing that this kind of proposal will have much more spotlights in the media and academy because it’s sexier, not mentioning that is dangerously close to maintaining the status quo. A full plate for climate deniers and people who make profit of Earth’s resources exploring.
We hope that this study can be some sort of inspiration to other studies that can use the same logic, without offering an easy way out to the humanity’s biggest challenge ever.