The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) released a statement saying that the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), which also had secured Harvard funding, will not go ahead as planned in June.
“SSC has had dialogues this spring with both leading experts on geoengineering and with other stakeholders, as well as with the SCoPEx Advisory Board,” the statement reads, adding “As a result of these dialogues and in agreement with Harvard, SSC has decided not to conduct the technical test flight planned for this summer.”
It also notes that “The scientific community is divided regarding geoengineering, including any related technology tests such as the planned technical balloon test flight from Esrange this summer.”
The Gates funded idea would have seen the release of calcium carbonate, essentially chalk dust, into the atmosphere from a high-altitude balloon to observe the effect it has on sunlight reaching the planet surface.
The ultimate goal of the study was to reduce the temperature on the planet in an effort to stave off global warming.
However, not surprisingly, the notion of blocking out the Sun proved somewhat unpopular, with environmental groups warning of potential “catastrophic consequences.”
The Saami Council, an advocate group for Sweden’s indigenous population, warned that the Gates experiment “essentially attempts to mimic volcanic eruptions by continuously spewing the sky with sun-dimming particles.”
The group also pointed out that SCoPEx could have “irreversible sociopolitical effects” and would do nothing to reduce Carbon emissions, which are touted as the leading cause of climate change.