Mitigating Global Warming Using Space-Based Approaches

  • Greg Matloff
  • C Bangs
  • Les Johnson


Conservation, recycling, more efficient machines, altered lifestyles and new sources of energy are all needed to reduce the growth rate of our greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the best all of these actions combined can achieve is a reduced rate of emission growth. If humans are truly causing global warming by profligate use of fossil fuels, then we need to do far more than reduce the growth in our emissions. We must reduce the absolute amount of these gases in the atmosphere to levels below those of the last century. With more and more people entering the global middle class, and their commensurate use of more and more energy, it is unlikely, perhaps even impossible, that we will be able to stop global warming. We almost certainly will not be able to conserve our way back to pre-twentieth century atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. We should do all that is necessary to slow down the rate at which we dump CO2 into the atmosphere, but we are kidding ourselves if we believe we will be able to actually reduce the amount already within it. Conservation, recycling, more efficient machines and altered lifestyles are all band aids for a problem that requires reconstructive surgery.


Solar Wind Global Warming Lagrange Point Manufacturing Facility Maunder Minimum 
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Further Reading

  1. The guest authors Ken Roy, Robert Kennedy, and David Fields are all affiliated with the Department of Energy Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Their biographies are in the Appendices. Since they completed this chapter as Chapter 14 of the First Edition of this book, they have presented this concept at a number of scientific and technical meetings and published related papers in refereed journals. See for example Robert Kennedy III, Kenneth I. Roy and David E. Fields, “Dyson Dots: Changing the Solar Wind to a Variable with Photovoltaic Solar Sails” Acta Astronautica, Vol. 82, pp. 225-237 (2012). This paper was originally presented at the Seventh IAA Symposium on Realistic Near-Term Advanced Scientific Space Missions in Aosta, Italy on 11-13 July, 2011 with the title “Dyson Dots.” For additional information on this topic, consult Appendix 4 of this book, which is co-authored by these authors, and Eric Hughes.Google Scholar

For additional information on the topics discussed in this chapter, we recommend the following:

  1. Fogg, M. J., Terraforming: Engineering Planetary Environments, Society of Automotive Engineers (1995).Google Scholar
  2. Friedman, Louis, Starsailing: Solar Sails and Interstellar Travel, Wiley (1988).Google Scholar
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  4. Hayden, Thomas, “Curtain Call” in Astronomy magazine, edited by B.B. Gordon, January 2000, pp. 45-49.Google Scholar
  5. Kraft, Christopher C., The Solar Power Satellite Concept, NASA-JSC-#14898, US GPO 1979-673-662, (1979).Google Scholar
  6. McInnes, Colin R., Solar Sailing: Technology, Dynamics and Mission Applications, Praxis Publishing, Chichester, UK, 1999.Google Scholar
  7. Manne, Alan S. and Richels, Richard G., “CO2 Emission Limits: An Economic Cost Analysis for the USA” in The Energy Journal, edited by Leonard Waverman, Washington, D.C., 11(2), April 1990, pp. 51-74.Google Scholar
  8. Mallove, E., and Matloff, G.L., The Starflight Handbook, Wiley (1989).Google Scholar
  9. Matloff, Gregory, Deep-Space Probes, 2nd ed., Springer-Praxis (2005).Google Scholar
  10. Matloff, G. L., Johnson, L., and Bangs, C, Living Off the Land in Space, Springer-Praxis (2007).Google Scholar
  11. Roy, K.I., “Solar Sails: An Answer to Global Warming?”, CP552, Space Technology and Applications International Forum-2001, edited by M.S. El-Genk (2001).Google Scholar
  12. Roy, Ken and Kennedy, Robert G., “Mirrors & Smoke: Ameliorating Climate Change With Giant Solar Sails”, Whole Earth Review, edited by Bruce Sterling, Summer 2001, p.70.Google Scholar
  13. Stark, John P.W., “Celestial Mechanics” in Spacecraft Systems Engineering, edited by Peter Fortescue and John Stark, John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, 1991, pp. 59-81.Google Scholar
  14. Vulpetti, G., Johnson, L., and Matloff, G. L., Solar Sails; A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Springer-Praxis (2008).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greg Matloff
    • 1
  • C Bangs
    • 1
  • Les Johnson
    • 2
  1. 1.BrooklynUSA
  2. 2.MadisonUSA

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