Bizarre Conspiracy Bill Gates is Trying to Block out the Sun
Bill Gates’ involvement with a geo-engineering experiment aimed at slowing climate breakdown has prompted viral conspiracy-laden claims centred around the idea that he “wants to block out the sun”.
Harvard scientists are currently working on a project called the “Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment” – or SCoPEx – to which the Microsoft founder has contributed funding via research grants.
The project is aimed at testing the controversial concept of solar radiation management – a form of geo-engineering which would see aerosols sprayed high into the atmosphere to reflect some of the sun’s rays in a bid to slow global warming.
According to a Reuters report, the researchers – with the help of Sweden’s space agency – are planning a dry run in June of the SCoPEx project, which could eventually see them send a balloon filled with up to 2 kg of chalky particles 20km into the stratosphere in order to study the real-world effects of releasing them into the atmosphere.
No particles will be released in the June test, which still awaits approval from a Harvard advisory committee. But a Harvard scientist involved in the project told Reuters that an experiment releasing the particles could follow in autumn 2021 or spring 2022.
Read more: Conspiracy theorists are actually trying to claim that the snow in Texas is fake
While there is significant legitimate controversy around the research, the SCoPEx test was soon sensationalised in various publications, such as the MailOnline, which claimed the test has been put on hold “amid fears that it could trigger a disastrous series of chain reactions, creating climate havoc in the form of serious droughts and hurricanes, and bring death to millions of people around the world”.
As Snopes reports in its fact-check on the subject, these are indeed valid fears about the possible side-effects of geo-engineering, but no scientist would argue such an outcome could be triggered by releasing an amount of chalk equivalent to a bag of flour 12 miles above the Arctic.
But the project has also provided fuel for the conspiracy theorists already seizing upon Gates’ every move.
The billionaire philanthropist’s interest in vaccines has seen him become a target of virulent conspiracies that have arisen during the coronavirus pandemic, with baseless theories claiming Covid-19 and the resulting vaccine drive is part of a genocidal plot by global elites.
Now the idea – driven in part by media headlines – that Gates “wants to block out the sun” appears to be being woven into these fantastical and pernicious narratives painting the Microsoft founder as a eugenicist.
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