Our house is on fire. 5.5 million km2, the equivalent of half of Europe, 420 tribes, 50 to 70% of the world’s biodiversity, 20% of the world’s fresh water, and 140 billion tonnes of CO2 contained… The Amazon deserves its nickname of “Lung of the Planet”. Without it, we are nothing. Many people have understood this and have decided to fight against the flames that have done twice as much damage between January and August this year as in 2018. This includes public figures. Some calling for a reaction on the networks and others making donations to help the associations on the spot. Bill Gates has addressed the problem.
After Leonardo Di Caprio and his donation of 5 million dollars through his NGO, Earth Alliance, it is Bill Gates who has decided to commit himself against global warming, which only makes such catastrophes worse. And the multi-billionaire is not being picky….
Bill Gates, originator of a revolutionary idea
Solar geo-engineering. The name sounds scary. However, it simply refers to all the techniques that aim to manipulate and modify the Earth’s climate and environment. And the man who is worth more than 95 billion dollars sees it as an effective solution to preserving the Amazon and, more broadly, to global warming. Here is the plan of attack:
- Step one: thousands of planes fly into the stratosphere to reach an optimal height, higher than that used by conventional airliners
- Second step: the planes drop millions of tonnes of chemical particles around the globe to create a kind of cloud
- Third step: the cloud blocks some of the sun’s rays from reaching the Earth’s surface, thus preventing it from heating up. This is similar to the phenomenon that can be observed during a volcanic eruption when a cloud of smoke forms and lowers the temperature of the surrounding area.
In 1991, Pinatubo erupted and darkened the skies over the Philippines with a gaseous cloud. This cloud blocked and reflected almost 2% of the sun’s rays. The result: the Earth was colder in 1992 than in 1991. Lowering the Earth’s temperature would stop the intensification of heat waves and tropical storms. It would also prevent the melting of ice, rising water levels and unstoppable fires.
A miracle solution? Not so sure…
Big risks and lots of doubts
Changing the climate to such an extent unfortunately has possible side effects that hinder the ambitions of the project. Such a change in the ecosystem could lead to droughts as well as mass famines and floods. Not to mention our blue skies, which would have to go. Scientists insist that without a significant reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions, dropping particle bombs would be of no use.
A cheap but divisive solution
L’opération est estimée à 2,25 milliards de dollars par an par le Fourth National Climate Assessment. Un coût largement inférieur aux 500 milliards de dollars que les Etats-Unis auront à dépenser pour sauver leur territoire du changement climatique si aucune action n’est entreprise d’ici 2100. Ou que le plan d’1,6 à 3,8 billions de dollars prévus pour l’investissement dans les énergies bas-carbone d’ici 2050. Seulement, face à un tel défi, le coût ne doit pas être la dimension prioritaire à considérer. De plus, il faut supposer un accord total et universel de tous les gouvernements. Pourquoi? Car l’opération aura des conséquences universelles et irréversibles. Risque à prendre ou projet utopique à oublier ? Nous le saurons très bientôt…