A group of US scientists this week proposed an unorthodox scheme to combat global warming: creating large clouds of Moon dust in space to reflect sunlight and cool the Earth. In their plan, we would mine dust on the Moon and shoot it out towards the Sun. The dust would stay between the Sun and Earth for around a week, making sunlight around 2% dimmer at Earth’s surface. This proposal involves launching some 10 million tonnes of Moon dust into space each year, and would require Moon bases, lunar mining infrastructure, large-scale storage, and a way to launch the dust into space. However, this method would take too long to implement and the world currently has little in the way of coherent policy or governance for space and the Moon. In addition, there are potential side effects and political firewalls that could jeopardise the success of this plan.
Today: November 30, 2023