Buyer beware: there’s a Dubious brand of climate Credit for sale.

Traditional carbon offset credits, say, for Protecting forests and planting trees are two examples of what you can do. a record a failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now, a Start-ups sell credits for its attempts to manipulate the planet’s ability to reflect sunlight, a Unorthodox response climate The change is called solar geoengineering.

A number of well-respected scientists have published a letter Yesterday that warned that this type of climate intervention is nowhere near ready to be commercially deployed and probably never should be. James Hansen is a big name in the letter. a former NASA scientist who’s now at Columbia University and is famous for Sound the alarm climate Change in a 1988 testimony To Congress

This is a type of climate intervention is nowhere near ready to be commercially deployed and probably never should be

This letter supports for More research is needed on the potential impact of solar geoengineeringThese could reduce the risk of some of these dangers. climate Changes in the environment could lead to new problems. The uncertainty means that scientists are hesitant to endorse a particular idea. solar geoengineering As a Strategie for fighting climate change. They don’t think it should be implemented without a “comprehensive, international assessment” Its potential effects “international decision-making” How to Use These Technologies.

This statement was made after being embattled solar geoengineering Startup Make Sunsets tried to emit reflective particles in the atmosphere, starting from Reno (Nevada) this month, and ending at Baja California, Mexico last year. This is the The idea It is possible to mirror the reflections of volcanic eruption debris solar The planet has been temporarily chilled by radiation in the past. This is what it actually means looks like It is a Co-founders light up the fungicide torch a Grill, then use the gas from the grill to fill weather balloons with reflective sulfur dioxide and release the balloons.

Sunsets: Make it sell “cooling credits” It releases sulfur dioxide at a rate of $10 per Gram It is expected to counteract each gram. “the warming effect of 1 ton of carbon dioxide for 1 year.” But the company isn’t having any measurable impact on the climate. To start, it’s released too little sulfur dioxide to make a This makes a huge difference in comparison to the pollution of billions of tons each year caused by fossil fuel burning. And Make Sunsets hasn’t been able to collect concrete altitude data on the five balloons it’s launched so far, so it doesn’t know whether the reflective particles it released even made it to the stratosphere where they’re supposed to do their job.

Make Sunsets’ balloon launches have mostly succeeded in pissing people off who actually want to see more legitimate research into geoengineering. “There can be no room for selling snake oil,” ” a February 13th press release SilverLining is a non-profit organization that provides support geoengineering research. “SilverLining strongly condemns Make Sunsets’ rogue releases of material into the atmosphere and its efforts to market fraudulent ‘cooling credits’.”

“There can be no room for selling snake oil.”

Mexico said it would bar solar geoengineering experiments following Make Sunsets’ balloon launches there. The move was meant to protect nearby communities and the environment, according to Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources. The release a lot of sulfur dioxide has the potential to trigger acid rain, irritate people’s lungs, and even worsen the Antarctic ozone hole. It is possible to trigger acid rain, irritate people’s lungs and worsen the Antarctic ozone hole. are Potential side effects are unknown.

Scientists can still learn from each other. a Improved understanding of impact solar geoengineering might have and decide that the benefits outweigh the risks, it’s still too risky to monetize. “It likely will never be an appropriate candidate for an open market system of credits and independent actors,” The letter, published yesterday, states that the company has been closed for business. “does not address the cause of climate change.”

What’s causing climate Change is, naturally, greenhouse gas pollution caused by all our fossil-fuelled power plants, factories and gas-guzzling cars. Humanity’s failure to slash that pollution is what got us into the conundrum that has some scientists considering a Move as far as you can geoengineering now. Carbon credits, whether they’re from solar geoengineering or more traditional tree planting schemes, don’t do anything to prevent that pollution.

Trees can store and absorb carbon dioxide that is planet-heating. However, they can also be used to heat the atmosphere. are They cut it down and release it again. It’s not a permanent fix. Both are not suitable for the specific of solar geoengineering Make Sunsets is trying. Sulfur dioxide doesn’t linger very long in the atmosphere, which is why the startup’s $10 credit is only supposed to represent a year’s worth of cooling.

If you really want to impact the world in this manner, then you must develop. a habit. If it’s ever effective at scale, this kind of climate Intervention becomes addictive. Once you stop injecting reflective particles into the atmosphere, the world starts to heat up again — fast. The effects of sulfur dioxide on global temperature have been felt by volcanic eruptions. a short-lived impact. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo cooled Earth’s surface for about two years.

Already, the world struggles to get rid of its addiction to fossil fuels. The addictive nature of credit can also make it difficult to stop using it. And if we’re not careful, we could squander what little time we have left to take real action on the climate Before it becomes much worse, crisis.

“I wholeheartedly agree with most of this letter: more research is desperately needed,” Luke Iseman, founder of Make Sunsets, says so in an email The Verge. “The question to me is what we do in the face of uncertainty. Do we take action we know will create cooling and hence save lives, or do we wait for some international consensus that may never come?”

There’s no evidence to back Iseman’s claims about geoengineering Saving lives. But there’s plenty of evidence This switching to clean energy can.