Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/05/chinese_rain_seeding/

China moves to enslave Mother Nature

Weather bows to state hose-down operation

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Science, 5th May 2006 11:51 GMT

Chilling news from Beijing, where the meteorological overlords of Orwellian nightmare agency, the "Weather Modification Office" have seized control of clouds. Not content with being set to dominate the world economy and politics, the government has decreed even Cumulonimbus must bow to the will of the People.

Or rather, they've come up with an eminently sensible plan to rid the capital of the tons of sand and dust from the Gobi desert that a recent storm dumped - by inducing rain.

State news organ Xinhua reports success: "A total of 163 pieces of cigarette-like sticks containing silver iodide were burned and seven rocket shells were launched in six districts and counties, which resulted in the heaviest rainfall in Beijing this spring."

This "cloud seeding" works by providing a minute silver iodide nucleus for small water droplets to conglomerate around. Eventually, enough join for rain to fall.

Cloud seeding was a pet interest of record-breakingly homicidal USSR despot Joseph Stalin. In fact, mad Uncle Joe had bigger ambitions. In the 1930s he ordered whole teams of researchers set to work to grant him dominion over the weather. The St Petersburg Times reports they worked on warding off hail and dispersing fog. ®

Bootnote

Take note, Thames Water. The current hosepipe ban in the London area could be easily avoided with a bit of "grey skies" thinking like this. With sky lords like Bill "Bully Boy" Giles on side, Britain's own "Weather Modification Office" would surely be a huge success.