Swedish environmental groups have written to the government and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) to voice their opposition toward the SCoPEx project. These organizations included the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Greenpeace Sweden and Friends of the Earth Sweden. The groups noted in their letter that the inaugural SCOPEX balloon flight could be the first step toward the adoption of a potentially "dangerous, unpredictable and unmanageable" technology.
The groups said: "We appeal to the Swedish government to oppose the SSC's involvement with SCoPEx's proposed tests, as they are fundamentally incompatible with the precautionary principle, in breach of international norms and inconsistent with Sweden's own climate policy framework." They stressed that the technology SCoPEx is using has "the potential for extreme consequences" and that "there is no justification for testing and experimenting with technology that seems to be too dangerous to ever be used."
An independent advisory committee would rule whether the June balloon test flight would push through or not. It is expected to release a decision on Feb. 15. The test flight to be facilitated by Harvard University scientists aimed to assess if the balloon could carry equipment for a future small-scale experiment. If the balloon proved capable, the next step would be spreading radiation-reflecting particles in the Earth's atmosphere.
The use of these particles called stratospheric aerosols has been put forward by some parties as an alternative solution for addressing climate change. Stratospheric aerosols are anticipated to be a "plan B" for global warming in the event governments around the world do not take sufficient action. Studies appear to bolster support for solar geoengineering using these particles, touting the technology as safer and more affordable.
However, critics of solar geoengineering have argued that the world is yet to understand the repercussions of its use. They also pointed out that large-scale stratospheric aerosol injections could do more harm than good. Among the potential risks critics cited were damage to the ozone layer, heating in the stratosphere and disruption of ecosystems.
The SCoPEx project took inspiration from the powerful 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. The volcano located in the northern Philippine province of Zambales launched sulfur dioxide particles in the air. These same particles lingered in the stratosphere and reflected back solar radiation, lowering the Earth's temperature by 0.6 degrees Celsius (33.08 degrees Fahrenheit.) As such, the solar geoengineering technology used for SCoPEx is still at a theoretical stage as of writing. (Related: Moronic Contradiction: How can we all switch to solar power if Bill Gates blocks the sun with pollution?)
The SSC confirmed that SCoPEx's balloon flight will be put on hold. An SSC spokesperson said the flight will only push through "provided that is compliant with national and international regulations." They added: "The process to find out if this flight is legally compliant and ethically appropriate is ongoing." Meanwhile, SCoPEx said any experiment involving a release of particles would require a broader review with different stakeholders – including Swedish civil society.
Interestingly, Bill Gates is involved with SCoPEx, partnering with Harvard University to provide it with the necessary funding. Biostatistician and JunkScience.com founder Steve Milloy criticized Gates and the project in an OANN interview. He commented: "This is like Bill Gates deciding what temperature we should live at."
Milloy slammed Gates for "trying to solve a problem that probably doesn't exist."
"It is unfortunate that this is the best thing Bill Gates can do with his money," he said. (Related: Bill Gates' latest depopulation scheme? Pollute the skies, collapse the ecosystem and starve everybody to death.)