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"I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
||A huge cannon that shot shells filled with sulfur high into the atmosphere for the purpose of geoengineering a change in climate.
|The elongated bowl, four thousand feet above sea level, in which this complex had been constructed, was referred to by T.R. as Pina2bo (“Pin a “two bo”). Anyone familiar with the literature on climate change and geoengineering would get the joke. Pinatubo was the name of a volcano in the Philippines that had exploded in 1991. It had blasted fifteen million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The result had been a couple of years’ beautiful sunsets and reduced global temperatures. The two phenomena were directly related. The sulfur from the volcano had eventually spread out into a veil of tiny droplets of H2SO4. Light from the sun hit those little spheres and bounced. Some of it bounced directly back into space—which accounted for the planet-wide cooling, as energy that never entered the troposphere in the first place couldn’t contribute to the greenhouse effect...
Pina2bo would have to operate full blast for many years to put as much SO2 into the stratosphere as its namesake had done in a few minutes. Since the stuff began to fall out of the atmosphere after a few years, the best that Pina2bo could ever achieve was just a fraction of the real Mount Pinatubo eruption. But enough to begin making a difference. And if the first one worked, more of them could be built...
The positions of the eighteen shells were plotted and updated on a real-time map displayed on a big monitor. They were spread out like beads on a string along a trajectory that rose straight up from the Flying S Ranch and then spiraled down through Mexican airspace. They all seemed to be following the same basic flight plan, like cars in an aerial train. Each had two video cameras, one aimed forward and the other aimed back. The twin feeds from one shell were up on the video screens. They couldn’t have been more different. The view forward was of a black sky above a curved horizon limned in blue. The view back was an endless series of flashes, which became so visually annoying that the pane had to be minimized. But it confirmed that the sulfur-burning pulse jet had ignited and was farting away.
|Technovelgy from Termination Shock,
by Neal Stephenson.
Published by William Morrow in 2021
Additional resources -
Compare to atmosphere control from The Mote in God's Eye (1974) by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
See also Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering Project on this idea.
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