Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Sunlens

Greg Benford, physicist and science fiction writer, suggested a few years ago that global warming could be stopped by means of putting a giant fresnel lens in orbit at the L1 point between the Earth and the Sun. This would lower the amount of sunlight hitting the earth, thus cooling the entire planet a fractional but crucial amount; essentially, a parasol for the planet.

It's occurred to me that maybe a similar system could be used to increase the amount of sunlight hitting the earth, thus causing the entire planet to warm. But why, you ask, would you want to do such a thing?

Well, if a new ice age were to start, could be mighty handy....

Beyond that, a giant sunlens (albeit on an even vaster scale) could be useful for terraforming Mars

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