It sounds like the plot to a movie: An eccentric billionaire has a plan to block out the sun.
What could possibly go wrong?
Yet that scenario is playing out in real life. And while there are questions about the efficacy of such a plan, there are a subset of people more concerned with conspiracies and the name Bill Gates.
Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is no stranger to being at the center of outlandish conspiracy theories. All through 2020, his charity work with vaccine non-profits somehow tied him to the pandemic in the eyes of conspiracy theorists.
More recently, though, it's the testing of an experiment he helped fund to reverse climate change that caught their eye.
JUST IN: Bill Gates next venture will try to spray dust into the atmosphere to block the sun‼️🤯 This technology wo… https://t.co/wjVSAroQU6— RapTV (@RapTV)1613842400.0
The experiment has been discussed and planned by Harvard scientists for years. Without any luck regulating the biggest producers of greenhouse gases and pollution, how do you cut down on the global rise in temperature?
One idea was turned into the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx).
The plan involves spraying a dust into the atmosphere that can reflect back UV rays from the sun, cooling the planet. This would help counteract the heating issue of climate change, possibly triggering a global cooling with enough particulate matter in the air.
However, since Bill Gates is involved in funding, that's about all anyone can talk about.
next weapon of mass depopulation. https://t.co/lVL7ya4wBc— The Inquisitive Observer (@The Inquisitive Observer)1613913018.0
Bill gates is currently tryna cover the sun if you’ve ever seen the movie THEY LIVE you’ll know that these billiona… https://t.co/MtVTrJf28I— Ray2Live😈💸 (@Ray2Live😈💸)1613671776.0
The fact that Bill Gates is trying to cover up the sun gives me demon vibes.— March 17th 🧜🏾♀️☘️ (@March 17th 🧜🏾♀️☘️)1613691000.0
Bill Gates now wants you to eat synthetic meat and spray the atmosphere with calcium carbonate dust to block out th… https://t.co/xQP5pnFaVD— 𝐼𝑑𝑎𝑙𝑦𝑠 (@𝐼𝑑𝑎𝑙𝑦𝑠)1614123546.0
The truth of the matter is that Gates is barely connected to this experiment.
As previously mentioned, SCoPEx is a Harvard project, still in very early testing phases. The project is funded from a variety of sources and contributions, including the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research.
While Gates established the fund to try and find ways to tackle the issue of climate change, it's not controlled by him. Instead, it's managed by climate scientists from, once again, Harvard University.
There are a lot of questions one could ask about the program, and maybe even some ethical issues surrounding the experiment and the funding.
But it's a joke to think Gates is administering it as part of a world domination scheme.
I swear if Bill Gates blocks the sun....— Jedimarkus77 (@Jedimarkus77)1613508205.0
they will do EVERYTHING except what they actually need to i’d say it’s hilarious but it’s very much depressing https://t.co/T9jASpAcX6— connor (@connor)1614046678.0
Bill Gates thinks we can shut off the Sun on a rolling basis to fight global warming. Worth a shot.— Christian Siebott (@Christian Siebott)1613844424.0
https://t.co/U7Z2bCARxr Yesterday @ThatJessVideos and I talked about Bill Gates' plan to block out the sun, his ne… https://t.co/XaQOtH5cKj— TheymerSophie is Trinity too 🌈⚡ (@TheymerSophie is Trinity too 🌈⚡)1614082704.0
To many, the idea of Bill Gates blocking out the sun does sound like a plot from fiction. The movie Snowpiercer had a similar set up, where humans attempted to stop climate change with geoengineering.
But in the film, it goes catastrophically wrong, and instead creates a new ice age, leading to the last of humanity riding a globe spanning train.
And the idea of a billionaire attempting to block out the sun brought another, more comical villain to the mind of many:
The Simpsons' Mr. Burns.
@rothschildmd @dailydot https://t.co/5Pm1weohtq— Plastic Man (@Plastic Man)1614099109.0
this is basically now Who Shot Mr Burns? started https://t.co/E9gfqAJuNv— Mona Simpsons’s Girlfriend (@Mona Simpsons’s Girlfriend)1613929037.0
@samthielman @daveweigel I mean come on https://t.co/gbRSe35i4r— Hellworld Resident (@Hellworld Resident)1613917658.0
The SCoPEx program will hopefully help us determine how effective it may be to use particulate matter in the air to try and slow or reverse climate change. Lots of questions need to be answered about how it will affect the environment and what will happen if we ever stop.
But it's a far cry from the evil plan of a supervillain, and Bill Gates isn't even really the one doing it.
If you're going to enjoy conspiracy theories, we recommend leaving it to movie plots.