TED Conversations

Mitch SMith


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The case for cloud-seeding

It is quite evident that most states in the world now conduct cloud seeding.

Cloud seeding is not all that new, in my youth it was common in the apple growing districts to shoot skyrockets above possible hail formations to disrupt the coalsecence of hail stones and reduce their impact on the crops. I believe the active chemical used was silver nitrate.

The more common chemical seen in modern cloud seeding is silver iodide. This nucleates rain drops which then gather electrostatically into cloud.

You will recognise them for their whispy-feathery appearance, which may or may not form into rain clouds - depending on the ambient humidity.

The presence of cloud seeding was first noticed by conspiracy theorists as "chemtrails", agianst which no official refutation was poffered - because no public agreement was sought for the practice.

I can think of some good reasons for cloud seeding - wildfire mittigation, cachement optimisation (water-supply dams) or even mittigation of global warming.

We don't know the justifications because we were not consulted. And the debate was never undertaken.

Let's have the debate now.

To kick it off, i will opose the practice and state as my opening arguement that: cloud seeding is vandalism of the sky.

Please state and argue your case:

For and against.


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  • Dec 12 2012: wonderful post. Rech Chemical Co.Ltd sells magnesium sulphate.
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      Dec 12 2012: Epsom salt.

      Yes - putting sulphates up above teh ionosphere would definitely stop global warming.
      I assume that is already being done.
      (I missed this link - seems the topic is far from new - what is odd is that the public/political discussion has still not happened - and here we are 5 years later than the TED talk that brought it up.)
      What is interesting in that link is that anyone with a high power microwave emmitter could use photophresis to loft a bunch of epsom salts up over he ionosphere and cause an ice age.
      Very low cost - total world domination.
      I expect that is already prepared in some parts of teh world - it would be a political necessity - just like the MAD policy with nukes.
      It has still not been passed to the community for discussion.
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        Dec 12 2012: OK post 3, hands malfunctioning today as very cold minus 4 in London last night. Don't need any mad scientists or global domination theories here, global warming already got London in it's icy grip. No cloud cover in the daytime lovely but at night temperatures fall away dramatically. Icy fog is not the sort of cloud cover anyone wants, it closes airports for a start. Seem to remember reading recently entropy actually not happening, if anything wave pattens seem to be accelerating so scientists in that field have an enigma or dichotomy to explore. With regard to human motivation, good and evil are value judgements (see Aristotle for the arguement on that one re a virtue just being an appropriate point between two vices). With further regard to human classification although in same biological category as sentient creatures like apes and dolphins humans actually unique. Human brains half monkey, half lizard (you would have to look through my entire history of posts to find the book I quoted someone else about that). The sheer amount of human knowledge that has been acquired even since the 1960s is truly incredible. The sheer amount of human misery still around is also truly incredible. Been seeing what is happening in Damascus and truly petrified. Going to get shouted at again by TED staff for lack of focus but it is all relevant to this debate Mitch so do bear with me. The so called 'great and good' need cold hard cash to fund their belief systems. The environment is what sustains all of us. Ben Elton (UK author) wrote a novel about what might happen if air became so polluted, breathable air became a marketable commodity. Any living organism will compete for whatever resources are available, even plants will put out bigger leaves or grow taller if necessary. This is going to take a 4th post.
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        Dec 12 2012: OK 4th post and enough for now. It seems to me the problem is time. All living organisms need some time to reproduce, the environment affects which genes are switched on and off. It has been noted somewhere that more boy babies are born after a period of war and don't know if that research was ever followed through. Female humans usually much physically and genetically stronger but can only reproduce a finite number of children (I understand after the fifth pregnancy the risk to mother and baby is much higher). Because of the weird seasons we have been having, this summer the dominant bird in London has changed from pigeons back to sparrows. The fact that hawks are being flown out of the Royal Parks in central London might also be involved. Sparrows have done well this year as they managed to get two clutches of eggs hatched and there has been a huge amount of insects for them to consume. Your tower of babel allegory as a pattern of functionality a really good framework for so many observations. Yes where people ill-educated and literally wage slaves, no time to even formulate informed opinions let alone get them heard and acknowledged. Truly frightening things going on here for poor people and yet media keep reporting on events thousands of miles away. Apathy, avarice etc truly changing social paradigm here rapidly. 'Great and the good' OK thank you very much but forgetting it is the little people that make their world so cosy and no jobs means no one can pay their taxes. USA has it's welfare state now but ours in danger of expiriing. Oldest artifact is the cup of community, as evidenced in pagan and christian sites. Even if an optimal size community is 200 every one of those 200 has potential and the meta communities fight to feed and love is not greater than the individual self's needs. Please refocus me if straying away from thread of this debate. Great debate !!!

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