Reflective sandbags against
Working Student Strategic Design
"Time is working against society. As people around the globe are already facing the serious implications of the climate emergency, and a rise in temperature will only continue to amplify the situation, immediate action is needed. Lumobag is one approach, that may be the possible solution in providing society with more time in transitioning to carbon neutrality.”
As part of this years Munich Creative Business Week, N+P took part in the Science Moonshot 2022 and collaborated with a series of other experts from science, engineering, finance, marketing, and communication. Over the course of 72 hours, the team aimed to turn a scientific theory into a desirable, feasible, viable and sustainable solution. The goal of the Moonshot is to equip the project initiators with everything they need to be successful in taking their idea forward and turning it into reality.
With CO2 emissions continuing to increase worldwide, rapid action is needed to curb the global temperature rise and limit it to 1.5°C, as outlined in the Paris Agreement of 2015. Although conversations are happening on all levels of society on how the global system can transition sustainably to stay within the agreed temperature limit, upholding this goal is becoming increasingly unrealistic. The speed at which society is transitioning to carbon neutrality is simply too slow, which will cause long-term damage. Nevertheless, instead of watching the climate crisis unfold, solutions are needed that give society more time in transitioning to a sustainable future.
This is where Lumobag comes into play. By covering a proportionally small amount of desert area with aluminum-coated sandbags, enough solar energy emitted by the sun could be reflected out of the atmosphere, instead of refracting and heating the earth. Although this approach does not decarbonize the planet, and already produced emissions would remain, society would gain valuable time for reducing its emissions.
If carbon emissions would continue to be emitted in their current levels annually, 40.000 km² of reflective Lumobags would be needed every year for successful compensation. Although this scale of land presents a challenge, it becomes more manageable when viewed in perspective: With thousands of square kilometers worth of rainforest deforested each year - the blue square on the map below – the actual amount of annual Lumobags needed - visalized in white – almost look marginal. Additionally, considering that carbon emissions will hopefully reduce exponentially, fewer Lumobags would be needed each year.
Over the course of the Moonshot, N+P supported in contextualizing the project and building the strategy behind Lumobag. By thinking in horizons, we helped paint a picture that made Lumobag tangible: Current sandbag filling machines could be used to start the project immediately, before developing a trailer that fills and places sandbags in the desert. Ultimately, this could be further developed into an autonomous vehicle that fills and places reflective sandbags around the clock. Through the renderings and illustrations created, the idea was brought to life and clearly visualized.
However, no matter what the future will hold, the motivation behind Lumobag exemplifies the art and importance of innovation. Even if an idea sounds impossible to turn into reality initially, the climate crisis is too important for us not to try. Instead of being closed-minded and continuing with the status quo, conversations and collaboration is needed to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. We are excited to see where Lumobag’s journey heads next.