While US President Donald Trump has been falsely linked to wanting to "nuke hurricanes," others who are vying for his position have no less bizarre ideas. Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, from the other side of the aisle, claimed on Monday that employing "space mirrors" might prevent a climate catastrophe.
Yang's proposal states that it will take $4.87 trillion worth of space mirrors to prevent a climate catastrophe. He wants to get US to zero emissions by 2049 by limiting the use of fossil fuels, ramping up renewable energy and employing methods to trap greenhouse gases. While he generally goes by the script that most democrats have followed till date, he wants to do it with a twist – he wants to employ geoengineering mechanisms such as space mirrors to manipulate the environment. He calls giant foldable space mirrors which will reflect the sun's light away from the earth as the "last resort."
While the current dispensation wants to go back to coal, Yang wants the US to lead the world in green technologies.
"We're the most entrepreneurial country in the history of the world. It's time to activate the American imagination and work ethic to provide the innovation and technology that will power the rest of the world," Yang stated in a policy statement. He wants to set up a $45 billion "National Lab" to develop research to combat climate change. Furthermore, he wants to spend $3 trillion to help households transition to clean energy over the coming two decades. Another $200 billion is expected to be spent on modernizing the country's power grid and $330 billion on zero emission transport.
He wants to impose a carbon tax starting at $40 per ton of emissions on polluters.
A controversial part of the plan is the reliance on nuclear energy – he wants to spend $50 billion on researching new technologies that will advance nuclear energy. He wants to replace all coal-fired plants with nuclear plants.
While Yang's plans are ambitious and President Trump wants to go back to primitive methods like coal, a climate emergency is definitely on the cards. It remains to be seen how US responds, especially post the 2020 election.