[Farmers] grab rocket launchers and a 37-millimeter anti-aircraft gun and begin shooting into the sky. What they launch are not bullets or missiles but chemical pellets. Their targets are not enemy aggressors but wisps of passing cloud that they aim to "seed" with silver-iodide particles around which moisture can then collect and become heavy enough to fall.It's not surprising then that China has a Weather Modification Department.
According to Wang Guanghe, director of the Weather Modification Department under the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, each of China's more than 30 provinces and province-level municipalities today boast a weather-modification base, employing more than 32,000 people, 7,100 anti-aircraft guns, 4,991 special rocket launchers and 30-odd aircraft across the country.Farmers are not the only beneficiaries of this controversial program. The 2008 Olympics, which will be held in China may be rain free. At least on August 8th, opening Day.
"Ours is the largest artificial weather program in the world in terms of equipment, size and budget," Wang said, adding that the annual nationwide budget for weather modification is between US$60 million and $90 million.
Zhang Qiang, the top weather-modification bureaucrat in Beijing, said her office has been conducting experiments in cloud-busting for the past two years in preparation for the Games' opening ceremony on August 8, 2008.I don't know what the Global Warming crowd thinks of this development. Maybe someone will ask Mr. Gore soon. If I hear about it, I'll let you know.