💚 Umbrellas Against Climate Change? ☀️

💚 Umbrellas Against Climate Change? ☀️

Dennis Kamprad

Read Time:5 Minutes


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Stay impactful,

Happy Thursday 👋

Here are the impactful insights that I have for you today:

  • Scientists investigate sun umbrellas to halt climate change ☀️
  • New markets for ‘junk’ plastic waste ♻
  • World Humanitarian Day 🤝‍
  • And more… 💚

With global warming on the rise, the weather is becoming more unpredictable….

I like all the shade I can get and have also used umbrellas for that before. Just to shield myself (and my skin) from the soaring sun.

But, what if the humble umbrella could be used to tackle climate change on a global scale?

This might sound a bit far-fetched but scientists are already working on an innovative design that could protect the Earth from harmful sun rays and potentially stop the acceleration of global warming.

The experiment isn’t without controversy, but surely any effort to protect our planet is worth investigating, right?

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☀️ Breakthrough: How a Giant Umbrella Could Help Cool the Earth

1️⃣ The big picture: The annual global temperature has been rising by 0.32oF (0.18oC) since 1981. This may not sound like a lot, but we can already see the detrimental effects it’s having on our planet, from melting polar ice caps to the changing migratory patterns of birds. Fortunately, a US astronomer from the University of Hawaii may have an answer to our problem. He proposed using a sun shield tethered by a counterweight that will slowly open up in space, allowing it to gradually fill with steroid dust, creating a ballast. It’s thought that sunblocking technologies like this, also called ‘solar radiation modification’ (SRM), could cool the Earth in a matter of a few short decades by blocking some of the sun’s rays.   

2️⃣ Why is this good news: This is not the first time that the idea of giant sun shades has been explored to combat climate change. However, the issue of ‘weight’ has always been a barrier. The new sun shield design would be counterweighted by a strong graphene tether and would “only” weigh around 318 million metric tons. For reference, this is over 100 times less than a non-tethered sun shield. However, the shade itself, which is the part that would need to be launched into space, would only weigh 32,000 metric tons. That’s just 1% of the overall weight, because captured lunar dust and asteroid material will create the ballast once in space. And today’s rockets are already capable of carrying up to 45,000 metric tons into low earth orbit.

3️⃣ What’s next: The next step for scientists is to further refine the idea of a tethered sun shield by exploring lightweight yet robust materials. For this, it’s essential that the potential long-term impacts of solar radiation modification technologies are explored—including localized climate change and their effect on solar panel use. 

👉 Related: You can already help to solve the climate crisis by contributing to the Best Charities for Climate Change!

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📢 More Good News…

🐵 Endangered monkey population grows: Golden lion tamarins, also known as golden marmosets, are small, squirrel-sized monkeys that were almost lost to extinction due to illegal poaching in the 1960s and a yellow fever outbreak in 2014. But all these years of hard work in saving them are finally paying off. Brazil’s Golden Lion Tamarin Association reports (in Portuguese) that the population has almost doubled to 4,800 since 2019.

🦅 Biden establishes a national monument preserving ancestral tribal land near Grand Canyon: US President Joe Biden has established a new national monument to protect nearly 1 million acres of land around the Grand Canyon, safeguarding multiple tribal territories. Since this area is now a national monument, this will lead to permanent bans on new uranium mining claims, further protecting Native American homelands.

♻  New recycling process could find markets for ‘junk’ plastic waste: With a new technique, chemical engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are turning low-value waste plastic into high-value products. This new method could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the conventional production of these industrial chemicals by roughly 60 percent. Additionally, since this process uses existing technology, it’s incredibly easy to scale up and could revolutionize the plastic recycling industry.

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👩🏾‍🤝‍🧑🏼Event of the Day: World Humanitarian Day

👉 Did you know World Humanitarian Day is coming up this Saturday, August 19? This event honors humanitarian efforts and the individuals who assist people affected by crises, and advocates for the safety and security of aid workers.

1️⃣ The big picture: On August 19, 2003, 22 aid workers were lost in an attack on the United Nations in Baghdad, Iraq. 5 years later, the United Nations General Assembly designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day to bring together the global humanitarian community and mark the anniversary of the attack. Since then, this day has been utilized to pay tribute to humanitarian workers killed and injured in the course of their work and to honor all aid and health workers who continue to provide life-saving support and protection to people most in need.

2️⃣ Why is this important: For example, in 2021 alone, 460 aid workers were attacked: 140 were killed, 203 wounded, and 117 kidnapped. From rising geopolitical tensions and the blatant disregard of international humanitarian law, to deliberate attacks and disinformation campaigns, the work of a humanitarian is more difficult and dangerous than ever. Especially now due to the war in Ukraine, where rocket attacks and shelling threaten civilians and aid providers equally.

3️⃣ How can you get involved: On this year’s World Humanitarian Day, we can show that “we stand shoulder to shoulder with the communities we serve, no matter who, no matter where, and #NoMatterWhat”. One of the best ways you can join the campaign is to share (and create your own) #NoMatterWhat content. Here is a compilation of campaign materials you can use to spread awareness.

Check out the organizations below that fight to:

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📜 This Week in History

👩‍💼 August 18, 1900: Indian political leader Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit is born in Allahabad. She became one of the world’s leading women in public life in the 20th century.

👨‍🎤August 18, 1936: Robert Redford is born in California. He later became an American actor and director, known for his diversity of screen characterizations as well as his commitment to environmental and political causes.

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💭 Quote of the Week

“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise, what is there to defend?”

― Robert Redford; Academy Award-winning American actor, environmentalist, and philanthropist

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Share the news with your friends to make a bigger positive impact on the world and society!

Stay impactful 💚

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