Bill Gates Backing Geoengineering Projects

A handful of philanthropic billionaires, including Gates, are funding private research efforts into a 'Plan B' for climate change, should the UN and politicians fail to arrive at a solution.

What's the Latest Development?

Hedging their bets against politicians and a United Nations which seem incapable of finding solutions to climate change, a handful of philanthropic billionaires are funding private geoengineering projects which seek to manipulate the Earth's climate on a global scale. Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Canadian tar sands magnate Murray Edwards and Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström are donating millions of dollars annually to companies which hold patents over geoengineering technology, filling in for a lack of government funding.  

What's the Big Idea?

Geoengineering projects are on the cutting edge of climate science and remain deeply controversial. One area of research examines spraying millions of tons of reflective particles of sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere, intending to reflect solar radiation away from the planet in order to cool it. Activists are concerned that companies who hold intellectual property rights over geoengineering technology stand to make massive profits while delaying emission reduction strategies and permanently changing the climate in unpredictable ways.

Photo credit:

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less