[Ed. – Gates will need to find another way to rule the universe.]
The experiment sounded innocuous. Early this summer, a group of researchers from Harvard University would fly to Kiruna, a small town of 22,000 in the northern reaches of Sweden. There, with the help of a Swedish space company, they would launch a balloon carrying an instrument-laden gondola into the stratosphere, some 12.5 miles above the Earth’s surface. They would run a few tests, pack up the instruments, and then return home.
That … was the plan. But some saw the project … as something less innocent. It was poised to be one of the first outdoor experiments into what is known as “solar geoengineering”: the process of spraying particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect sunlight and, ideally, counter the skyrocketing temperatures caused by climate change. It’s a technology so controversial that even the prospect of researching it can provoke anxiety — and backlash.