Moscow won’t let it snow

November 3rd 2009

Already in the early days of modern civilization, people claimed that they could control the weather. A known example from recent history are the rituals that American Indians used to induce rain.

Nowadays, many people still tend to regard these stories as fairy-tales and consider controlling the weather impossible. In Moscow though, the mayor recently proposed a snow-free city. It proves that several countries, including the People’s Republic of China, USA and Russia, are modifying precipitation for several decades. In Russia, it is common practice to engineer dry days on public holidays and special events in Moscow.

Moscow’s plan is to disperse a mixture of silver iodide, liquid nitrogen and cement powder into clouds to trigger precipitation. This ensures that snow is banned from Moscow’s city centre, but results in a regional climate change in the areas just outside Moscow where the clouds empty their load. You can imagine the consequences...

Related: Hurricane control causes storm of lawsuits, Fight climate change: Hack the planet, China controls weather for olympics.

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What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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