Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What mad scientist obsession is getting real, almost too real?

Controlling the weather! Specifically, inciting precipitation.
The Burger Police Jail in an artificially created Beijing snowstorm
Whoa there Abu Dhabi! The eastern Arab state hired a Swiss company to produce rainstorms for the oil-rich country during the summer. So Meteo Systems International set up what everyone is describing as lampshade shaped (though I can't find a single photo of them) ionizers in the desert. When the humidity reaches above %30, they switch on the ionizers, the ionized air rises and attracts dust, which turns into clouds, and hopefully rain. It worked so well that they made it rain 52 times last summer, sometimes even inciting hail, lightning, and rain. That sounds pretty damn effective. Fat Joe probably doesn't even make it rain so much in one summer.

China also attempts to make it rain with old school cloud seeding technology. The Time article where I found out about all of this claims that China messed up by making it snow in Beijing, but I mean, they just wanted water out of the air and on the ground, so I would call that a success. Shooting model rockets up into the air just isn't as high tech as a bunch of ionizers though.

So, I wrote all the above in January and didn't publish it for some reason. Doing some follow-up, I came across this article that seems to be written by Lyndon Larouche masquerading as an eco-conscious dude. I mean, he claims that this ionic technology could make deserts a thing of the past, which seems ridiculous. I imagine that stealing sky-water would change weather patterns a little bit... inevitably it would be some kind of feedback loop.

Anyway, it would be nice if we could just rent one for Northern New Mexico or Arizona and put out or slow one or two of these fires. Of course, the lightning involved could just start more fires, but I'd risk it once just to give it a shot.