How our clouds will buy time to save the world.
OK: we've established (with data!) the abyss. Any reasonable person will conclude that we're in dire planetary straits if we care about maintaining an Anthropocene worth living during. If you're ok with "thems the deals: we as a species just have to shrug and let 1B+ die + a majority of species go extinct," then I have nothing reasonable to say to you. I hope others don't consider your life worth as little as you do theirs. Everybody else: get to work. It's protest (including property destruction) and technical innovation. We have time for little else. For us? We've found only 1 path to stay below 3C by 2100: reflecting sunlight.
Specifically, we're going to put tiny, reflective particles into the stratosphere (20km+) from latitudes in/near the tropics. Our clouds reflect *a lot* of light: every gram reflects enough sun to offset 1 ton of co2's warming impact for a year. Then, they settle back to earth and biodegrade.
Based on climatic responses globally to initial clouds, we'll increase as needed to *drop* the temperature to -1.3C from today. Then, as decarbonization scales over the coming decades, we'll scale back. Eventually, we can stop. At least on Earth: Mars by 2100 or bust!;)
It's important to note that we're not doing anything to address ocean acidification, remove co2 from the air, or rewild ecosystems. We leave this to the many worthwhile-but-nascent efforts underway, and we're confident smarter younger and/or folks than us will produce needed breakthroughs sometime this century. However, we need to keep a sufficiently functional world going in the meantime. It's tough to prototype when no parts are available, and not much energy's left for brainstorming if you're struggling to avoid wet bulb events. It's up to us to use the tools at our disposal, imperfect though they may be, to improve the world. Specifically for Make Sunsets, this means creating as much global cooling as quickly as we responsibly can.
Quantitatively, this is ~$20M/year to stop making the problem worse: sufficient clouds into the stratosphere to offset warming caused by new co2 emissions for next year. Then, we scale. Every $2B is -.1C, and ~$30B/year gets us back to pre-Industrial-Age temperatures. This number gets cut in half when a military with planes capable of reaching 20km altitude allows us to borrow + fly 10 of them (seriously). We are as gods, and earth can no longer afford for us to be bad at it;)