- Oct. 29, 2020
-- The New York Times has just reported that, as the effects of climate change become more devastating, and the success of massive global efforts to sufficiently reduce greenhouse gas emission more remote, some scientists are proposing - as a completely outside-the-
box tactic at least worth studying - a strategy of solar geoengineering in which massive changes in the atmosphere would reflect more of the sun's rays back into space. But many are calling the concept a dangerous and illusory fix.
As another outside-the-
box idea which might also be worth at least some consideration, a well known scientist has suggested a cosmic alternative to fight global warming - one which does not require any reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide, nor even difficult-to-
enforce widespread international cooperation - and which might even cost less then some of the drastic emission restrictions now being considered, suggests professor John Banzhaf of George Washington University, who has a degree from MIT and two U.S. patents.
However, Banzhaf notes that providing a remedy for the more immediate problems of gradual global warming, on a time scale now being considered by many governments and scientific bodies, would require a much less drastic change in the earth's orbit which might in the near future become feasible, especially considering the huge costs and major modifications in life style that the alternative of reducing carbon emissions would entail.
In theory, and perhaps maybe even in practice, large asteroids could be nudged out of their current orbits, and into new ones in a position to help sling shot Earth, by techniques such as a nuclear blast on the asteroid's surface, having an unmanned spacecraft collide with an asteroid at high velocity, or a combination of both.
While Professor Banzhaf is certainly not proposing that we abandon plans to limit greenhouse gases in favor of a cosmic nudge strategy, and recognizing that all these orbit-changing possibilities would be enormously expensive, he does suggest that this novel idea be at least considered and evaluated, and compared to the huge economic costs of either slashing the emission of greenhouse gases, or using massive solar geoengineering.