Many years ago, there was a television commercial that featured the line, “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature…” While it was a silly commercial, it underlined the hazards of going against Nature.
I thought of this commercial when I recently read that China is planning to expand its experimental weather modification program to cover an area of more than 2.1 million square miles. That’s more than 1 ½ times the total size of India!
Modifying the weather is nothing new. Cloud seeding has been going on, to some success, for many years. Usually, it’s done on a relatively limited basis to impact a small area of the planet. For example, clouds were seeded during the 2008 Beijing Olympics to reduce rainfall.
According to a CNN report, over the next five years, China hopes to reach its goal of widespread weather modification by the year 2025. They spent well more than $1 billion between 2012 and 2017 on weather modification programs. They claim their efforts have greatly reduced hail damage in agricultural regions.
On the surface, this may not sound like a bad idea.
But, let’s consider this. All things on this planet are connected. One thing leads to another. If those delicate connections are thrown off, what happens? Is it wise to tamper with the natural workings of this planet? We humans have done enough to upset the balance with our pollution already. Further tinkering could only tip the scales even more.
In the commercial, when Nature is fooled she sends a sudden bolt of lightning as punishment. Let’s hope the efforts to make our own weather don’t backfire.