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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

 

China readies artillery to avert rain at Olympics, but some think idea’s all wet

‘As opening day for the 2008 Summer Olympics draws near, thousands of Chinese villagers are in training. Loading up artillery shells and readying rocket launchers, they await a call to arms.

The villagers aren’t part of some civilian security corps. They’re part of China’s weather modification program. Their mission: to shoot dust into threatening clouds in advance of the opening ceremony Friday in Beijing.

Rain will not be allowed to dampen this Olympic flame.

China is home to one of the oldest, largest and most costly weather modification programs in the world. [..]

That has meteorologists and weather modifiers in the United States chuckling. The thought of being asked to seed clouds to prevent rain on Super Bowl Sunday, for example, makes them snort. [..]

Recalling the fate of China’s former food and drug administrator, who was executed for corruption amid product safety scandals, Ahlness, at Weather Modification Inc., said his sympathies were with the Chinese scientists charged with holding the umbrella.

“I don’t think I’d want to run their weather modification program,” Ahlness said. “I hope they have clear weather just so they don’t have to try anything.”‘

Followup to Weather Engineering in China.




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