Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The weather is here

An article on ENN today is talking about which countries think they can control the weather and how much control they think they have. Apparently China and Russia think they have a lot of control: China says it can fill the Yellow River and Russia says that Moscow's parades have been saved from rain by its scientists.

American scientists seem to think that the level of control they're talking about is baloney - but they do say that we are capable of dispersing fog (I didn't know that!) - which is handy near airports - and that there may be some merit to the process of seeding clouds to try and force them to make rain.

I'm just hoping that the Americans are right and that nobody can really control the weather. I can just imagine what kind of "useful" scenarios would emerge if we actually could decide when and how much rain and sun we wanted. Who would have control? If China can can really make it rain - I'd like to know who is downwind from China, getting less rain, and who is downstream from China, getting flooded out? (How much would I have to pay to guarantee sunshine on my wedding day?) And what sorts of unexpected consequences could we expect from the weather control? I love that we think that putting more chemicals in the atmosphere is probably a good idea. It's never been a good idea before (I'm thinking here of stuff like CFCs (hole in the ozone layer), particulates (cardiovascular and respiratory mortality), leaded gasoline (nervous system deficits)...)

Of course it would be nice to fix some of the droughts and other climate problems that are happening in various parts of the world - but in my opinion we need to learn to manage our agricultural and human resources better - not go off on a tangent that has us trying to gain control of another aspect of nature.

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