Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Chinese Army to Control the Weather

Thirty-two thousand people are employed by the People's Republic of China in their weather control program. The operation costs up to ninety-million dollars and members are equipped with everything ranging from rocket launchers to modified anti-aircraft guns.

The small army influences the weather for more reasons than just to alleviate drought. Everything from firefighting to having the perfect conditions for the Olympics are now being influenced by Chinese efforts.

An interesting question for the future is concerns the "right" of countries to make it rain. The moisture that is being prematurely forced into rain could have become rain for South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, etc. A whole slew of problems from water access to denying rain for political purposes to others are just some potential things which may lie in the future.


Peter said...

I recently spent a year on the Tibetan-Qinghai plateau, right below the source of the Yangtze. The area where I was had long been robbed of all its trees (the few that could grow at that elevation) and has suffered terrible erosion problems since. Now, to raise water levels on the Yangtze (for the 400m+ who get their water from it, from Sichuan to Shanghai), the government is building an airfield next to a Tibetan burial ground for a town previously only accessible by dirt road (a 24 hour road, at that). From this airfield planes will fly to seed the clouds to increase snow and rain over the town. While China's water problems are impossible to ignore, this solution is going to wreak havoc on the culture and climate of a town that is already going through more than they can deal with --- but my Tibetan friends there took it all with their typically bemused and long-sighted perspective. I admire them, and I have to admire the sheer audacity of most of China's solutions, but this culture of raping the land to serve the state's ends can't go on much longer. From Mao to now, and the thousands of years before, how much more can the land take?

Adrian said...

Very interesting post. I expanded on your last paragraph a bit on my own blog here.

Adrian said...

Can't figure out why my post isn't giving you a trackback on your site. Any idea?

Catholicgauze said...

No idea what so ever.