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Adjust Earth Temp With A Bazillion Solar Sunshades

Worried about Earth's temperature? Worried enough to deploy a bazillion micron-thick sunshades in orbit?

Arthur C. Clarke used a similar idea in his 1953 novel Childhood's End when it became necessary for the Overlords to discipline an entire country:

There had also been some passive resistance to the policy of the Overlords. Usually, Karellen had been able to deal with it by letting those concerned have their own way, until they had discovered that they were only hurting themselves by their refusal to co-operate. Only once had he taken any direct action against a recalcitrant government.

For more than a hundred years, the Republic of South Africa had been the centre of social strife... When it became clear that no attempt would be made to end discrimination, Karellen gave his warning. It merely named a date and time-no more. There was apprehension, but little fear or panic, for no-one believed that the Overlords would take any violent or destructive action which would involve innocent and guilty alike.

Nor did they. All that happened was that as the sun passed the meridian at Cape Town-it went out. There remained visible merely a pale, purple ghost, giving no heat or light. Somehow, out in space, the light of the sun had been polarized by two crossed fields so that no radiation could pass. The area affected was five hundred kilometres across, and perfectly circular.

The demonstration lasted thirty minutes. It was sufficient: the next day the Government of South Africa announced that full civil rights would be restored to the white minority.

Science fiction writer and physicist Gregory Benford suggested in 2005 that we build a concave Fresnel lens 1,000 kilometers across but only a few millimeters thick, and place it at the L1 orbital point between ourselves and the Sun.

It turns out that the tiny sunshade idea had been put forward before in 2006; see Space Sunshade Idea Now Worrisomely Popular.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/11/2021)

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