Undoubtedly, the issue of climate change appears to be one of the top-tier campaign issues for Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election, with many of the candidates having already pledged to provide a solution to the problem.
And while most of the climate changes plans put forth by the candidates are big-ticket endeavors, entrepreneur Andrew Yang grabbed headlines this week with an idea that separates his plan from the rest, and it involves deploying giant mirrors into space, according to Fox News.
“Space mirrors would involve launching giant foldable mirrors into space that would deploy and reflect much of the sun’s light [away from the planet]. This method would be extremely expensive, which is why it should be investigated as a last resort,” Yang wrote.
“However, since we would be able to ‘undo’ the mirror after deployment if needed, it’s less permanent.”
The plan falls under the idea of geoengineering, which in layman’s terms means that he would seek to manipulate the natural environment to achieve the goal of reducing carbon emissions.
Yang’s other ideas to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce fossil fuel emissions are not unlike those of his Democratic opponents, but he backs his space mirror idea on the American spirit of innovation and entrepreneurialism and obviously a think-outside-the-box approach to solving problems.
“We’re the most entrepreneurial country in the history of the world. It’s time to activate the American imagination and work ethic to provide the innovation and technology that will power the rest of the world,” Yang wrote.
The plan, which is on a 20-year timeline, has its immediate drawbacks, not including the lack of research to know if it would actually have a chance at working. The price tag is staggering. Yang estimated it would cost roughly $4.87 trillion to implement.
The plan would set aside $800 million to be earmarked for geoengineering research by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Defense. The study would involve researching the viability of the “giant foldable space mirrors” as a last resort scenario for saving the planet.
Andrew Yang’s plan to fight climate change features:— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 26, 2019
* A carbon tax
* Stopping oil/gas leasing on federal land
* Nuclear fusion power
* Space mirrors, if need be https://t.co/ecpbbF5ikj
Not surprisingly, the plan drew both praise and criticism from all sides of the political aisle and especially on social media.
According to The Verge, Steven Cohen, director of the research program on sustainability policy and management at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, also urged caution before one should get their hopes up over such a radical idea, saying Yang is on the right track, but that his faith in technology and science at this point might be “displaced.”
Similar to some of his Democratic opponents, Yang hopes to eventually achieve net-zero carbon emissions and while others have set a deadline of 2050 to accomplish that goal, Yang one-upped them and set his deadline for 2049.