Because interfering with Earth's climate is risky, some scientists have set their sights on blocking the sun's rays from space. Giant light screens and fleets of mirrored spacecraft have been proposed, but if enough dust could be procured, it has a real shot at blocking the sun — at least temporarily.
Which is where the moon comes in: It's a dusty place, and because it has lower gravity than Earth, it would take less energy to send that dust out into space. Also, Earth's mining operations don't really make dust in the volume it would take to make a space shield for our planet.
The proposed plan would be to send the moon dust out into space towards a point called the "Lagrange Point 1 (L1)" between Earth and the sun, where gravitational forces are balanced enough to hold a cloud of moon dust in a path between our planet and the sun, at least for a while. The dust supply may need to be replenished every few days for the plan to work.
Although the authors haven't suggested how the dust would be catapulted off the moon to make its way to L1, they are looking at a previously worthless-seeming resource in a new light:
"It is interesting to contemplate how moon dust — which took over four billion years to generate — might help to solve climate change, a problem that took us less than 300 years to produce," said Scott Kenyon, co-author of the study from the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard + Smithsonian, in a press release.