Announcing the Reflective Earth Lab!
The RE Team
October 17, 2022

After a few months of development, Reflective Earth (RE) is proud today to officially launch the Reflective Earth Lab. 

The ways in which humanity can influence how much sunlight reaches and warms the Earth’s surface and how much that light influences the climate are truly mind-boggling.  From painting roofs to protect against extreme heat to placing bubbles at the Lagrange Point in outer space (and everything in between), there are a growing number of reflectivity innovations being explored in the face of the climate crisis. The Reflectivity Lab is meant to catalyze a community around this innovation in the hopes of accelerating the interventions and technologies that hold the most promise of cost-effectively slowing global warming and blunting its worst impacts.

Here we’ll explore thought-provoking innovations relating to reflective technologies as well as natural processes that can be harnessed to make a difference.  By strategically reflecting sunlight at almost any geographic scale, heat can be managed and reflected/radiated back into space to help stabilize the Earth’s energy balance. Discussions around these diverse approaches can become charged and even controversial, but RE is committed to curating a safe, exploratory space where people have an opportunity to share ideas and to develop new reflectivity solutions.

Please dive in!  Our goal is to post new ideas on a regular basis, along with enough information to allow our community to dig in, to evaluate, and, hopefully, to contribute to advancing the most promising interventions. In the Beta phase of the Lab, we’ve found that the Lab can foster dialogue in two broad categories:

  1. Solutions. Many Lab posts will be about stand-alone ideas (for example, Cirrus Cloud Thinning) for reflecting more heat back to space. Our hope is that the Lab community will both debate diverse solutions that have already been proposed and also contribute novel big solutions.

  1. Technical Implementation/Feasibility. There are a lot of solutions already proven to make a great difference for reflectivity (highly reflective paints, for example), but these solutions face technical or implementation challenges that keep them from deployed at meaningful scale.  For these, we hope the Lab community will contribute research, resources, and ideas to move these proven ideas into real-world practice.

Whether or not you personally view reflectivity as a tangible tool for positive change, it is important to foster dialogue around these technologies and to build awareness and literacy around the broad range of potential reflectivity interventions. We must start acting now to cool our planet. We look forward to your contributions and to your participation in building a vital community of practice around reflectivity!