Sorry, Bill Gates, it looks like your attempts at going full Monty Burns all over Earth will have to wait just a little bit. The tech mogul had been working on plans to put forward an experiment that would have the Sun blocked out for a period of time to see the effects on the Earth’s surface. But according to Popular Mechanics, that plan is going to be put on hold for another year or maybe more. Enjoy the Sun while you can folks, because Bill Gates won’t be able to get his hands on it just quite yet.
Now, before we think Bill Gates is Mr. Burns or Doctor Evil with his sun-blocking venture, know that it’s a little less supervillain and a little more scientific than that. He is part of a collection of folks that are backing a group from Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program to study the effects of how the Sun directly impacts the Earth and global warming. Their plan is interesting and not as devious as one might think when hearing “blocking the Sun.”
Bill Gates and company were planning on staging an experiment that was going to study the effects of diverting sunlight to the Earth’s surface to see if this would be a way to combat some localized effects of global warming. The research is surprisingly simple in theory though not as much in practice. The plan was to launch a balloon over Sweden that was carrying equipment that could put solar radiation-reflecting particles into the atmosphere. From that point, the scientists were going to be able to see if this was able to divert some of the Sun’s effects around heating the Earth. They were going to start with a small, very remote area to start.
But it wasn’t actually the physical practice of releasing the balloons and essentially blocking out the Sun’s rays that ended up being the primary sticking point for the delay. Instead, there were some ethical concerns that Bill Gates and his cohorts were facing regarding the area in Sweden this balloon was being released. Apparently, there is a group of indigenous people that are living in the area who could be adversely affected by the experiment. For this reason, they want to do some more studies on how the humans underneath the blocked Sun’s rays would be affected.
Blocking out the Sun isn’t the only plan Bill Gates has in the works right now that might have him seem like he was in the mood for world domination. There is also the recent finding that he’s been buying up United States farmland at a huge clip, making him and his foundation one of the biggest independent owners of land in the country right now. He says this is for biofuel and seed development as well as providing independent farmers with more resources. But if he buys up all the land and then blocks out the Sun, well we might just also have Dr. Evil on our hands. Next, it will be sharks with frickin’ lasers on them.