I have long covered wonderful, innovative and sometimes wacky inventions to reduce our use of fossil fuels, in order to prevent climate change. There’s no shortage of the genius needed. But, unfortunately, preventing climate change takes political commitment as well, to invent the policies that efficiently move everyone to alternative technologies that don’t destroy our habitat. The shortage of genius there – let alone basic common sense – is sorely lacking.
As a result, now we are beginning to move into the period of the catastrophic consequences of climate change. So by the 2300s, half the planet is expected to no longer be habitable – according to a study published at PNAS. (Barring some major leaps forward in heat-tolerance genetic engineering of the human body, of course).
But for the next 50 years or so, expect many inventions to be devised to make temperatures bearable – in the meantime. Writers like us, at sites like Green Prophet now, and those that follow us, will increasingly be uncovering some of the climate change mitigation inventions devised. And some of them will be wacky, bordering on the marvelously silly side of sci fi. Here is one.
Scientists at Qatar University have invented a portable cloud to hover over the stadium during a football game, the World Cup planned to be held in Qatar in 2022. It’s manufactured from light carbon materials and helium gas and should cost a mere half million US dollars to build. It will be made to hover using lightweight solar electricity on top, and to be able to be adjusted by remote control.
Dr Saud Abdul Ghani, head of the mechanical and industrial engineering department, said the project would be implemented in collaboration with the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). “We are in discussion with the QSTP about the costs and to create an initial model on a trial basis” he said.
Temperatures already average 40° C (104° F) in Qatar, but FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that the World Cup tournament dates will not be changed from its traditional dates in the summer.
It’s lucky that the artificial cloud can be moved by remote control, because it will definitely need to be brought much lower than is shown here, if it is to shade as large an area as shown, as the sun is actually much further away than this simulation has it.
And perhaps another cloud should be made as well, that will hover above the audience. A sort of doughnut-shaped one.
Come to think of it, shouldn’t everyone in the Middle East have their own GPS-controlled personal cloud to always hover a few feet over them, adjustable by remote control, and it should perhaps also shoot a spray of water down onto them periodically as they attempt to get about in the noonday sun.
We are mad dogs indeed.
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