Archive for the ‘Weather Control’ Category

GAO Grapples With Climate Change’s Impact on Infrastructure

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

While the extractive industries and their political handmaidens continue to press the notion that climate change is nothing but a hoax, the actual scientific evidence that it is real continues to mount as inexorably as arctic ice melts and temperatures rise around the globe. Those greedy scientists who invented The Great Climate Change Hoax to get rich off grant money are now telling us that even the ice on Mount Everest which provides a water basin for more 1.5 billion people is melting.

As the “controversy” grinds on, the General Accounting Office and the National Research Council are not sitting idly by, waiting for the last skeptic to be won over. According to a newly released GAO report,  the U.S. already spends billions of dollars every year on infrastructure, but much of that infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, wastewater systems, even NASA centers are vulnerable to climate change. By way of example, the GAO points out that within 15 years segments of Louisiana State Highway 1—providing the only road access to a port servicing 18 percent of the nation’s oil supply – will be inundated by tides an average of 30 times annually due to sea level rise, effectively the port.

The report criticizes national and state decision makers for failing to systematically consider climate change in infrastructure planning. Replacing aging bridges and highways is an expensive and time-consuming task made no easier by piling climate change on top. But such planning is both essential and doable.  The GAO points by way of example to Milwaukee’s efforts to manage the risk of greatly increased rainfall by enhancing its natural systems’ abilities (including local wetlands) to absorb runoff.

The GAO report makes numerous recommendations, including the establishment of an executive agency to work with other state and federal agencies to identify and mitigate future disruptions and provided guidance on how agencies should address such disruption. Amidst all the hand-wringing and sleight-of-hand political distractions surrounding climate change, the report makes for refreshingly direct and level-headed reading. You can find the whole thing here.

Controlling Weather Control

Photo by Marc Veraart. Some rights reserved.

In the midst of the coverage of Hurricane Irene, one post from the New York Times in particular caught my eye. As folks struggled to wrap their heads around a potentially massive hurricane making landfall in New York and the potential subsequent devastation, the post drew attention to “Category 7,” a 2007 work of fiction about a fictionalized hurricane of unprecedented strength unleashed (purposefully!) onto NYC by an evil master of “secret, cutting-edge weather science.”

While so-called “weather warfare” is officially banned (the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques – an international treaty adopted in 1976 – formally prohibited such activities), more innocuous weather modification techniques are surprisingly common. Cloud seeding is a process used to increase precipitation, reduce hail, or eliminate fog by means of spraying tiny particles such as silver iodide into the sky to trigger cloud formation.

Most weather modification licensing and regulation happens at the state level. For a good example of weather modification laws, you can see Title 9, Chapters 301 and 302 of Texas’ Agriculture Code. However, federal level law requires certain weather modification activities to be reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): “Any person intending to engage in any weather modification project or activity in the United States shall provide a report of his intention, to be received by the Administrator at least 10 days before the commencement of such project or activity.” (see 15 CFR Part 908)

A 2009 congressional bill (S. 601) would have established a Weather Mitigation Research Program within the National Science Foundation, and authorized a “research and development program to improve the understanding of processes relating to [weather modification activities].” While today’s weather modifications are mostly limited to those serving agricultural purposes, future activities are likely to focus on mitigating climate change and its effects (like deadly hurricanes!). A recently released GAO report assessed “climate engineering technologies, focusing on their technical status, future directions for research on them, and potential responses.”

Interested in reading more about weather control? Check out this great piece in Harper’s Magazine, Disaster aversion: The quest to control hurricanes by Rivka Galchen.

%d bloggers like this: