Luke Iseman and Andrew Song explain how they think they can cool the planet.
Supposedly, Herodotus wrote that when the Greeks were told that the Persian archers at the Battle of Thermopylae would blot out the sun with their arrows, they responded: “Good, then we shall have our battle in the shade.”
Fast forward to the early 21st century and the issue is no longer Persian arrows, but the relentless heat from a sun less and less buffered by earth’s atmosphere because of the accumulated greenhouse gasses. The result, according to scientists, is a rapidly warming planet with increasingly extreme weather, droughts and floods, supercyclones and hurricanes, raging forest fires, or other unusually intense natural disasters. All of that has become the new normal with every likelihood that what’s extreme today might be perceived as moderate next year. The need for shade has never been greater!
What can be done?
One possibility is what’s called “solar radiation management.” SRM essentially amounts to reducing the amount of solar radiation hitting, and hence warming, the planet. It’s either an obvious approach—think, if not Persian arrows then the eruption of huge volcanoes—or crazy dangerous, depending on where you sit.
Luke Iseman and Andrew Song think it’s obvious, and are pioneers in trying to deflect solar radiation away from the Earth. But, unlike scientists, they have decided to stop talking about it and have begun doing it. Listen as they explain how they think they can cool the planet.
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ABOUT OUR GUESTS
Luke Iseman is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and has over 10 years of experience in building and leading startups that focus on sustainability, including boxouse, growerbot, Soil IQ, and re:char. Luke has also worked as the Director of Hardware at Y Combinator, where Luke helped hundreds of hardware founders accelerate their growth and achieve their goals.
Andrew Song has a degree in economics from New York University. Andrew is a sales leader, with extensive experience in business-to-business sales, marketing, and operations. And was an early hire at HackerRank, Scale AI, and Drop.com. He also co-founded a Y Combinator-backed startup that made guitars you can play in less than five minutes.