Inventor David Chaum gave a presentation on an emergency ‘Plan X’ initiative, exploring alternative methods for damage control against global warming. The whitepaper outlined research showing how, using the existing technologies of centrifugal launchers and droid satellites, lunar dust can be mined and launched into a sunward orbit to be distributed at the L1 Lagrange point between the Sun and the Earth. The resulting reduction in insolation would return Earth to pre-industrial temperatures.
“There’s a tremendous amount of dust on the moon’s surface that’s perfect for blocking light because it’s around 0.2 µ in diameter. Calculations have been carried out by members of the founding team that include people who have designed space missions. The whitepaper depicts an example of how the dust can be launched from the Moon,” Chaum explained.
Further developing the rationale behind the project, he said: “Even in just testing this out for potential emergency use, there’s a lot of new technologies and synergies with other research and infrastructure proposals, and we may even find valuable elements in the lunar dust, the regolith, that could prove to be a huge industrial and economic windfall.”
Highlighting the advantages of the AstroCool approach over similar proposals, Chaum said: “Any dust we place at the L1 will disperse within a maximum of six months and drift towards the Sun, where it will ultimately be vaporized, making the approach fail-safe.”
Alternative ways to best shade the Earth from the Sun include spraying aerosols or injecting chemicals into the atmosphere. “There’s really only three places to effectively shield the Earth with dust or other material,” noted Chaum.
Placing it in the troposphere or top of the cloud layer or on the ocean surface will generate a lot of pollution that may be difficult to get rid of. An alternative is near geosynchronous orbit, forming a ring like that surrounding Saturn, but this would be essentially impossible to reverse.
In contrast, placing lunar dust between the Sun and the Earth at L1, is the location favored by AstroCool, because it can be deployed incrementally, with latitudinal variability, is impermanent, and continuously blocks light evenly as the Earth rotates around the Sun, “with far less material required.”
Caption: David Chaum (Center) at the ‘Festival of the Future’ in Munich alongside Manu Constantin of MoonDAO (Left) and Oscar Wendel, member of the AstroCool Founding Team and organizer of Future Blockchain Summit (Right).
About David Chaum
David Chaum has pioneered privacy in modern communication as the inventor of mix nets, blind signatures, and multiparty computation that laid the foundation for enabling secure voting systems, anonymous internet surfing (Dark Web/TOR Network) and DigiCash, the first cryptocurrency and precursor to Bitcoin to allow for anonymous transactions. Chaum is currently leading xx network, a completely private, quantum-secure decentralized messaging and payment platform. He is working with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) on new technologies for digital currencies. With a PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, he has taught at NYU Graduate School of Business and the University of California. David is also the founder of the International Association for Cryptologic Research, the Cryptography Group at the Center for Mathematics and Computer Science in Amsterdam, and DigiCash.
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