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Chris Sacca's plan to salt the Earth

Illustration of a spray head on a salt shaker spraying salt.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Billionaire investor Chris Sacca yesterday said that spraying particles into the Earth's atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays and slow global warming may now be the only way to save humanity.

Why it matters: The Lowercarbon Capital founder has helped turn a fringe idea into one now attracting serious attention.

Driving the news: "We have no opportunity for survival on this planet unless you reflect back sunlight," Sacca said at a summit in New York City organized by venture capital firm Equal Ventures.

  • "If we don't do it as a species, it's all over."

Catch up fast: Sacca was an early investor in Uber, Twitter, Stripe, Instagram and Kickstarter, and later a regular guest on "Shark Tank."

  • His climate-focused firm, Lowercarbon, this week announced that it raised another $550 million, bringing its total assets under management past $2 billion.

The latest: Sacca has previously called for research into solar radiation management. He was especially forthright yesterday in arguing that the tech is needed to "buy time" to switch to low-carbon energy sources and remove carbon from the air.

  • He and his wife, Crystal, have funded research into spraying salt particles into the atmosphere.

The intrigue: The White House this summer outlined a potential research program focused on solar reflection, such as with salt, and the European Commission called for high-level talks on the issue.

The other side: Former Vice President Al Gore has criticized geoengineering proposals, citing potential unintended consequences.

What they're saying: "Bless Al Gore, this movement would not have happened without him and 'Inconvenient Truth,'" Sacca said yesterday. "But he has for years shamed anyone paying attention to that space because he's considered it a moral hazard."

  • "We've all been geoengineering the planet for decades," he continued. "If we don't normalize research in sunlight reflection, we're all f__ed."

Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the term in paragraph 7 to solar radiation management from sunlight radiation management.

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