From MIT Technology Review and the EPA’s “We only regulate peasants and industry” department comes this hot mess of climate ego coupled with P.T Barnum style bad science.
A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate
Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.
A startup claims it has launched weather balloons that may have released reflective sulfur particles in the stratosphere, potentially crossing a controversial barrier in the field of solar geoengineering.
Geoengineering refers to deliberate efforts to manipulate the climate by reflecting more sunlight back into space, mimicking a natural process that occurs in the aftermath of large volcanic eruptions. In theory, spraying sulfur and similar particles in sufficient quantities could potentially ease global warming.
It’s not technically difficult to release such compounds into the stratosphere. But scientists have mostly (though not entirely) refrained from carrying out even small-scale outdoor experiments. And it’s not clear that any have yet injected materials into that specific layer of the atmosphere in the context of geoengineering-related research.
That’s in part because it’s highly controversial. Little is known about the real-world effect of such deliberate interventions at large scales, but they could have dangerous side effects. The impacts could also be worse in some regions than others, which could provoke geopolitical conflicts.
Read the whole story here.
Here is the basic concept in an image:
The About Page of Make Sunsets has this wild claim:
We make reflective, high-altitude, biodegradable clouds that cool the planet. Mimicking natural processes, our “shiny clouds” are going to prevent catastrophic global warming.
Specifically: we release a natural compound via reusable balloons to create reflective clouds in the stratosphere. They’re *really* effective: 1 gram of our clouds offsets the warming that 1 ton of CO₂ emissions creates for a year. After three years, our clouds compost and settle back to Earth.
Because we deliver our clouds via reusable balloons, we’re able to offset CO₂ at <1% of the cost of other solutions. Uniquely, we can also scale to offset *all* of global warming.
We can offset warming from all global annual CO₂ emissions with ~$30 million of our clouds, and every $1 billion of our clouds will cool the world by ~0.1°F!
Sounds like sci-fi? It’s not: we’ve already launched our first clouds, and we’ll offset a substantial amount of warming in 2023!
Founded in October 2022, Make Sunsets is backed by Boost VC, Pioneer Fund, and other friends.
The money quote:
…we’ll offset a substantial amount of warming in 2023!
At the end of 2023, we’ll see if their paltry operation has made any difference at all. My bet is on nothing. Or if there’s some natural variation and the Earth is 0.1C cooler than 2022, we’ll get a “See! Told Ya!”
If the planet is warmer, we’ll have a lot of fun taunting, as it should be.
But wait, there’s more!
You can be a planetary hero and buy “cooling credits” here, only $50 for a certificate!
We will release at least 1 gram of our clouds into the stratosphere for you, offsetting the warming effect of 1 ton of carbon for 1 year. We will document our releases on our blog.
For reference, let’s look at some actual data on sulfur dioxide emissions into the atmosphere that actually had an effect. In 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted and according to NASA:
Mount Pinatubo’s violent eruption injected about 15 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. The resulting sulfuric acid aerosols remained in the stratosphere for about two years, and cooled the Earth’s surface by a range of 1 to 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
15 million tons of sulfur dioxide “cooled the Earth’s surface by a range of 1 to 2 degrees.” Yet the founder believes he can accomplish the same thing with weather balloons carrying a few grams of sulfur dioxide or maybe he’s usng pure sulfur, who knows?
Yep, P.T. Barnum science. “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
It is difficult to tell if this outfit is anything of substance, even though it does appear to have secured venture funding. By the “Make Sunsets” blog post below, it seems to be little more than one guy in Oakland, CA, Luke Iseman, who’s upset about “climate change” toiling in his backyard launching weather balloons purchased from Edmund Scientific while trying to beg money from science-challenged people in the hope of some wishful climate effectiveness. There is no address or phone number. On 12/10/22 Iseman made a Facebook post looking for a volunteer to drive a 14 year old bucket truck dragging an Airstream to La Ventana, Mexico where he likely now lives.
It’s likely that is is another Solar Roads Deja Vu all over again!
From the picture above, it looks like he might be dressed for “Burning Man” or, in his case is it “Cooling Man”?
NOVEMBER 23, 2022
Really? You’ve got to be kidding me. Things aren’t *this* desperate that we need to mess with the stratosphere?!
This is a fair and sane reaction; much more reasonable than LFG!! Crazy Balloons FTW!! And, on a basic level, it’s right: climate change probably won’t lead to all people dying (probably is a necessary caveat here, as ecosystem collapse will obviously increase likelihood of nuclear war). And, we’re making progress! Of a sort. We’ll probably even wean ourselves off fossil fuels someday, maybe. But, we’re not going to do this and preserve a world worth living in unless we reflect sunlight now.
Here are the 5 specific things that personally pushed me over the top to feel that I have a moral obligation to create as much global cooling as quickly as I safely can, in order of which they occurred:
….1. We can only mine ~10% of proven reserves to (maybe) stay below 1.5C. These reserves are already on company’s books and being increased. We will mine close to 100% of proven reserves, as articulated by normally-milquetoast Trudeau: “I’ve said many times that there isn’t a country in the world that would find billions of barrels of oil and leave it in the ground while there is a market for it.“
….2. You know how you’ll occasionally read things like “some permafrost is melting, and there’s methane in there. This is bad”? Apparently you’re better read than the UN climate change folks. These terrifying charts assume 0 greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost melting. This is what really pushed me over the top.
….3. We emit *a lot* of carbon. It’s wishful thinking to imagine decarbonization of agriculture, construction, or shipping by 2050, let alone civilization as a whole.
….4. Carbon capture and storage is great… in the lab. We’re <.006% of our way to 2050’s UN goal, and you need to make very rosy assumptions to *even vaguely* imagine a scenario where this works.
….5. There’s a big difference between 1.5C and 2C. Big as in most coral reefs and global famines big.
Unconvinced? Brace yourself.
So yeah: we’re pretty properly fucked. But! There’s some hope. More on that next post;)https://makesunsets.com/blogs/news/test1
Looks like another sad case of climate derangement syndrome – Anthony
Arrogance, if this puppy is for real. As if climate is understood well enough to do engineering, or even if it an intervention in the right direction.
We would have no way to measure the effect of his experiment, so attribution is a non starter. He will claim whatever he wants and it will never be provable. It’s a classic non falsifiable claim.
His whole premise is that climate is very sensitive to small changes in cloud cover. That is one of the climate parameters for which we do not have any records of sufficient accuracy to even measure.
Dr Roy Spencer pointed out over a decade ago that only 2% change in cloud would have the same effect as is supposedly attributed to AGW….. and we do not have cloud cover data accurate to within 2%.
He should have tidied his room before the photo. (and himself)
Maybe he did.
Playing card on the floor, for starters.
…must be the joker…
From the looks of his very dirty dusty bare wood floor, he did tidy up.
He likely wears the sandals inside to protect his feet from splinters. Splinters, that most socks help direct right into the foot.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: these people need to take up a hobby—knitting, crochet, zen gardens (he’s already dressed for the last one).
Please, just stop trying to make it better for all of us.
Another nutjob. Cooling the planet is not a good idea. Think ice ages and the loss of plant life during extremely cold periods in the past. The investors are more than likely nuts as well.
If he’s living in La Ventana, Mexico, he’s probably dreaming of icebergs streaming south.
“we’ll offset a substantial amount of warming in 2023!”
Survey of people between Buffalo and Edmonton, over 80% would rather have the Warming.
Countdown 3-2-1: Here comes WUWT troll BurlHenry to tell us again and again and again that SO2 controls everything climate.
Doesn’t matter. At the end of 2023, every farmer/gardener that experienced late frost or early frost killing their plantings should sue the company for damages.
Just a couple of significant lawsuits will deter investors from ever considering such irresponsible hubris and wanton endangerment.
Not worth a thread.
“Not worth a thread.”
Nor then a comment. But alas, here you are…
And who needs sun light anyhow, I mean apart from those deplorable plants? Past eruptions had a small effect on temperatures, but a huge effect on sun light..
The sustainable effect of such geoengineering would likely be in causing famine and reducing the world’s population. Not that certain people would consider this a down side..
Not that certain…
The measured transmission at MLO is from direct sunlight, but even if part of the sunlight is reflected back to space, another part is scattered in all directions, enhancing photosynthesis by leaves which are part of the day in the shadow of other leaves.
That could be seen in the opposite 13C and CO2 changes after the 1991 Pinatubo eruption (similar for the 1998 El Niño, which dries out the Amazon, but in opposite direction).
If the oceans were the main reactant to temperature changes, the 13C and CO2 changes would parallel each other…
“A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate”
Doesn’t the EPA have something to say about this? Or are they only worried about lawnmowers and backyard barbecues?
… and mud puddles … (‘wetlands’)
Or the FAA?
The other possibility is that they know this effort will have no impact on climate. However if the temperatures do continue to cool, they will be perfectly placed to take credit.
Pinatubo emissions were estimated at 40 Tg, it’s absolutely possible to reproduce the effect with some 1000 planes (two millions sorties) and $20 billions annually.
Aerosol climate forcing is unmeasured. Inadmissible estimates are inferred from GCMs.
If I remember right a few decades ago coal fired plants emitted tons of sulfur into the atmosphere. Then the gubbermint made them cut it out by using scrubbers to remove the sulfur at extra cost or using low sulfur coal also at extra cost. Now someone wants to add sulfur back in again also at extra cost. Makes perfect sense … to the gubbermint I guess.
Coal plant sulfur dioxide emissions mostly did not make it to the stratosphere. A lot got converted to sulfuric acid leading to real, measurable, environmental problems. IMO reducing sulfur dioxide emissions, which clearly could be and was done at reasonable cost, is an example of legitimate environmental regulation. There is obviously a need to balance costs and benefits in determining how low is low enough.
Now if we could find a venture capital firm willing to promise development of 60 kft tall smoke stacks that would be interesting.
There may have been problems from the coal plant sulfur emissions, but actual evidence of that damage was always weak and lacking. For example it was later demonstrated that the so called acidification of lakes in the NorthEast was caused by the reforestation of the region. Water running through rotting leaves was the source of the acidification. In other words, the lakes were returning to the state they enjoyed prior to the arrival of Europeans.
Those lakes had always been acidic–they are in areas with acidic soils, and are oligotrophic, with no buffering capacity. Then the rainwater runs through the acidic forest floor detritus and gets more acidic. There is little to no change in the water quality of the lakes even as sulfur dioxide emissions were reduced by 95 percent upwind. Also no significant change in the acidity of rainfall in the region.
ATheoK – fascinating comment about farmers and others sung for frost damages. The dude’s pockets, if his rags have any, are not likely deep enough to be worth suing. Edmund Scientific, on the other hand, might be concerned about how their weather balloons are being used.
If this is not a joke they should be arrested and jailed immediately.
Can these clowns even spell hubris?
They should be arrested and jailed even if this isn’t serious.
Claim is real: this is a “clear and present danger” to life on earth.
Claim is false (most likely by far): this is a scam and they are intentionally ripping off gullible “investors”
In that case, it looks like oil companies should be paid for flaring their sour gas as a global warming mitigation measure.
The very definition of “Craves Attention.”
Old mate Lukey had a few too many….
Putting sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, deliberately? Sulfur compounds are one reason why cars have catalytic converters. They’re why ultra low sulfur diesel fuel exists.
The reason to reduce the amount of sulfur compounds in the air is to get rid of smog and ‘acid rain’. Sulfur compounds and NOx (nitric oxide) plus moisture in the air, along with solar energy to ‘power’ the reactions, create a bit of sulfuric and nitric acids.
And here’s this yahoo wanting to put a huge amount of sulfur into the upper atmosphere. It can’t stay there forever. When it drops down it’ll contribute to smog and ‘acid rain’.
and acid rain turned out to be less a problem than stated…hmm I remember reading the eu trees they said it was killing still died after the cleanup cos it wasnt the sulphur that was their problem…oopsie
Perhaps less of a problem, but still a problem. Acid deposition did have a long and lasting effect in many watersheds, lowering the pH of some northern fresh water lakes to the point of altering foundational food sources (secchi disc visible at 75+ feet!) and accelerating calcium loss from already acidic soils of granitic origin across the precambrian shield. Some of the more extreme examples also included local acid fallout, for example near the nickel smelters of Sudbury Ontario, but still a significant effect of broad acidic rain from well mixed distant sources as well. Outside of these extreme cases I would agree terrestrial impacts seem to have been less severe or for some variables even absent relative to predictions. Most impacts on aquatic systems seemed to unfold in-line with predictions but my understanding is that recovery was faster than expected once acid deposition decreased. Had emissions continued at previous levels it is likely the impacts would have continued to be additive, with more lakes showing reduced or even zero carrying capacity for certain fish species.
The lowering of ph in northern lakes turned out to have been caused by reforestation, not acid rain.
Very few, if any, of the claimed problems caused by acid rained, turned out to have been caused by acid rain.
Ok, I think we should all look up an ambulance chaser lawyer for a class action lawsuit. I personally am at risk from acid rain resulting from deliberate seeding of SO2 into the atmosphere.
Fortunately he only needs a homeopathic quantity to sell his carbon indulgences.
It looks as though they’re just as irresponsible as what big pharma did with the mRNA vaccines: a modern Pandora’s box. Once the mustard is out, there’s no way of getting it
back into the tube … then, the damage is done.
Definitely ‘worth a thread’ to highlight what an appalling mess Western Society now is.
This guy is taking the piss. Out of everybody.
He has a ‘sense of humour’, an agile mind, possesses genuine self-confidence not bouyed up by any variation on ‘drug’, thinks on his feet and acts appropriately
He is a supernova in a very dark sky of self-important zombies labouring under a delusion of ‘science’
We need people like this, even before ‘most every girl of child-bearing age/potential will be eating out of his hand.
Instinctively you know that, hence this poor attempt at misunderstanding and belittling him, even to the extent of mocking his clothes. Childish, slow, dim, poor. You know he could walk off with your wife girlfriend just as the Pied Piper did the children.
he knows his audience, that they are so crushingly dim and boring – hence the clothes and that without them they’d be a million miles off getting the joke.
That so many still don’t ‘get it’ is beyond heart-braeking.
You Have Been Had
That you lie about that, that you pretend to hide behind science, in a nutshell illuminates the Total Trainwreck that is now ongoing – and this guy shines a light upon.
yeah he sure knows his audience and anyone following him will need to well heeled to support his lunacy, and prepared to have him vanish like their money will
Maybe he is in league with Sam Bankman-Fried.
Peta, you forgot the /sarc
Are you sure it’s sarcasm?
If he goes ahead lock him up for crimes against the environment.
yup isnt release of PM2.5 a EPA offence?
locking the basement doors and taking his net away would be a good start!
the summer and winter in Aus after pinatubo did have speccy sunsets
it also had a LOT of rain and a bad yr for gardens n crops as I remember
lunatics like this one need a fast trip to the asylum(as do all greentards really)
We could always try simply bypassing hydrodesulphurisation at refineries. That would be sure to inject a lot of sulphur into the atmosphere. Of course, preventing that has been the subject of much legislation, extended since IMO 2020 to cover marine fuels.
It was of course long known that an element of acid rain and sulphur deposition is agriculturally beneficial, so long as it is not excessive.
But this looks like a case of crank the handle.
From the article: “Specifically: we release a natural compound via reusable balloons to create reflective clouds in the stratosphere. They’re *really* effective: 1 gram of our clouds offsets the warming that 1 ton of CO₂ emissions creates for a year. After three years, our clouds compost and settle back to Earth.”
I wonder what that “natural compound” is?
How does a cloud compost?
Sounds like a get rich quick scam that I’m sure many will fall for.
Next question—this is supposedly a start-up company, who are the initial investors? How do they expect to get a return on their investments, i.e. who will be the customers paying money for fake volcanos?
Sounds like a scam to soak up government $$$.
From the article, “Make Sunsets is backed by Boost VC, Pioneer Fund, and other friends.”
Even beyond the acid rain idiocy, I question just how much net warming is offset by this practice.
What is the energy cost hence CO2 emissions required to mine sulphur, transport to refineries, convert to SO2, transport up into the atmosphere, plus waste from creating weather balloons and clearly just discarding them after use?
This looks like an SBF scam.
Another future homeless person talking to himself on the corner. Or alternatively he is fully qualified to launch another cryptocurrency “investment” pyramid following which he can take up residence in a penal institution for some decades.
Frack a couple of super volcano’s that should me anyone famous.
correction, Not me, make.
I’d suggest a slight tweaking of the name to “Make Stuff Up”.
With all the noise in the surface climate record, there is ZERO way to assess how much of any long term drift is man made or natural variation. Anyone who tells you others wise is a liar or a con merchant, or more likely both.
Here is what volcanoes do to the stratosphere:
Note that TLS is affected the opposite way to the surface: warmer TLS is surface cooling and vice versa.
Note also that after the two massive events at the end of the 20th c. TLS ended up settling 0.5K cooler than before the eruption. This implies at least part of the late 20th c. warming was CAUSED BY VOLCANOES not human AGW.
Volcanoes emit SO2 which turns into sulphuric acid aerosols which destroy ozone. Did this jerk get a permit from EPA to destroy ozone ?!
Certainly looks like the kind of sober , down to earth scientist/engineer type we can trust the future stability of the Earth’s climate too. Yeeeeeah !!
Obviously math challenged. Is that an AR-15 wrapped in camo slung across his shoulder?
A couple of thoughts.
Can anyone launch a ‘weather balloon’ in the US without getting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) permission? (There are even FAA regulations on flying model aircraft, specifying altitude and distance from an airport.)
I seem to recall a multi-national agreement some years ago to the effect that ‘weather-altering’ weapons would not be developed/fielded.
A farmer has a bad crop year. He sues, “Those releases caused my lousy harvest.”
The original Precautionary Principle advised that if you are contemplating something major and irreversible and don’t fully understand the consequences, DON’T DO IT!
The Rio Conference turned that suggestion on its head.
(To paraphrase, “The problem is so severe, so do it anyway”.)
We are living in an age where the climatemania bogeyman is being jackhammered into
our skulls at an incessant, mind-numbing rate. The Earth’s climate is headed towards
a planet-wide, climate-heating meltdown! Our planet’s surface (and lower atmosphere)
will warm to utterly intolerable levels due to the flux of infrared radiation emitted
by the surface of the Earth being absorbed (or “trapped” — whatever that means — or
even back-reflected towards Earth’s surface) by the CO2 component of our lower
atmosphere (even though it is present therein at the piddling concentration of 0.04%
by volume), which, in turn, is continually increasing entirely due to the cumulative
fossil fuel combustion of short-sighted men. The outward flow of our planet’s heat
energy (most assuredly, but strangely, not explicitly mentioned, coming from the Sun’s
energy incident on the Earth) escaping back into outer space is allegedly ever-slowing
as a result of this CO2 build-up. This heat cannot leave Earth for outer space! We
are overheating! We are being suffocated! We MUST stop this horror from occurring at
all costs! And therefore we must deny ourselves the silly, selfish pleasure of
burning fossil fuels. Nothing else matters, even if we die trying!
But notice this is not an example of significant positive feedback (the rising
heat and the rising atmospheric CO2 don’t cause man to burn, on net, more fossil
fuels, except maybe for air conditioning). Nor will any external negative feedback
mechanisms (like a hotter Earth emitting much more heat into outer space pursuant to
the StefanBoltzmann law, capping off our maximum temperature for a long time to come)
ever come to our rescue. It’s amazing that this identical CO2, present in our
atmosphere for billions of years throughout Earth’s distant past, and now being
released back to whence it came, did not toast the Earth throughout all those billions
of years of its prior existence. But forget about such picky, picky details! OUR
LIVES ARE AT STAKE! WE MUST ACT!
What the lunatics presenting this garbage insist, over and over again, is that we
have no alternative remedy but to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. It is
implicitly assumed by them that there is no escape from this warming catastrophe by
artificially cooling the Earth through means other than limiting the atmosphere’s CO2
levels, such as by reducing the Sun’s heat input to Earth through the extremely
innocuous, extremely reversible, extremely controllable, extremely efficient,
introduction of a haze into the upper atmosphere, blocking (and maybe, yes, in this
case, reflecting) sunlight and causing the Earth to cool. This is a method that
nature has used probably many thousands of times in Earth’s history, but entirely
without intelligent control. But for some reason, now, it cannot possibly work and is
fraught with “dangerous side effects”. Ooooo, I’m so scared.
Therefore, you would think that any opponent of this climatemania would be
championing the kind of work Make Sunsets is doing (whether its founder was a kook or
not), which is offering an alternative to the anti-warming hysteria demonizing CO2 in
our atmosphere. The bottom line is that Mr. Watts in his article is back-handedly
criticizing all attempts at sunlight reduction, and thereby the cooling of the Earth,
through the deliberate introduction of an upper atmospheric haze. Is he in any way
implying that the pseudo-lowering of CO2 levels in our atmosphere we are being
afflicted with now is more desirable to achieve this purpose? And that all the
sunbeam-zephyr-chicken-manure methodologies being carried out, in practice, by our
vaunted intelligentsia today, to the tune of many trillions of dollars spent, are
indeed justified? Whether he knows it or not, that’s exactly what he is implying.
What is really magnificent about the work of Make Sunsets is that they are not just
talking the talk — they are actually putting these completely reasonable ideas into
practice, at least in a very minimal way. If it is illegal, sometimes civil
disobedience is the best way to handle that — it’s been done before. Next should be
feasibility studies with extensive monitoring. And done near the equator. In any
event, it’s about time someone rejected the brainwashing of the climatemaniacs and
tried to apply real science to the “problem”, assuming global warming is one in the
first place, or will become one in the future.
The haze can be introduced into the middle troposphere or above. All that talk
about the stratosphere is overkill. All that would be required for its introduction
would be solar-powered, artificially intelligent, unmanned aircraft. Experiments
could be done to insure that the exact makeup and long-term effects of the haze
material were benign, both biologically and in many physical respects. Preferably,
the material would be designed so that its half-life floating in the atmosphere would
be no more than a year. To continue its presence in the atmosphere would then require
a continual human refresh process or it would yearly disappear all by itself.