The Weathermakers (Chinese style)

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I was astonished to learn the other day (see clip from BBC news) that the Chinese government plans to fire rockets into clouds to induce rainfall immediately prior to the Olympics in Beijing next year to help clear the air of pollution, and to avoid having any rain during the opening ceremony. These guys don’t let a little thing like nature get in the way of anything. The Three Gorges Dam, the road to Everest base camp, and now rainmaking to clear pollution. A recent report in The Hindu reveals that this has been going on for years, the Weather Modification Department under the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences benefitting from a sizeable budget. Firing chemicals into the atmosphere does not seem to be an issue (surprise, surprise), nor does the fact the US and the Europeans gave up this practice several decades ago given there were questionmarks over its effectiveness.