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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 15 2012: Just like to add my two cents worth.

    IMO, you, Mitch, nailed it with this:

    "In my opinion, the real issue lies in the un-knowability of outcomes. That we are meddling with stuff that cannot be predicted seems somewhat cavaleer and irresponsible."

    I call this attitude childish. At one time in human history the use of new technologies with little concern for unintended consequences was natural and the results were generally positive. We now can clearly see the evidence of our mistakes. People often use the automobile to justify this cavaleer behavior, by asking if we should ban automobiles and go back to the days of the horse and buggy. The automobile is an excellent example for taking a more responsible attitude toward new technologies. It is completely obvious that we could have saved many lives by making automobiles more safe from the beginning. The pollution from automobiles might have been foreseen and mitigated, and many cases of various lung diseases might have been avoided.

    Employing new technologies without understanding the full effects is irresponsible, and irresponsibility is childish. In the case of cloud seeding, the full effects are unknowable no matter what research we do.

    Perhaps it is too much to expect that the human race will ever mature.
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      Dec 16 2012: Yes - it seems that way.

      I am reminded of teh story of the doomsday prediction in the 1800's where the malthusian effects of the population growth in New York city would lead to horse manure 6 feet deep in the streets.
      This is quotaed often in support of Henry Ford's production-line breakthrough that replaced the horse with the internal combustion automobile.
      They use this arguement as progress against Malthus.
      However, can you imagine the value of 6 foot of horse manure - enough to cover long island?
      Who would have any need for nitrogen fertiliser?
      Can you imagine the number of jobs created in collecting, processing and distributing all that natural humus?
      Can you imagine the quality of the produce enhanced by that fantastic resource? All of it cerified organic?
      The promethians still use their half-considered arguement for brute force against the planet.
      But then .. think of all the methane.
      Never worry - we are getting the methane now, and our children have not learned how to live with our brothers the horses.

      THere is no going back. We pay now or pay tomorrow with interest.
      When the interest bill exceeds our value - we no longer have value, and the conservation of entropy will collapse the envelope we call "self" - i.e. us.
      It is not the bankers, it is not the politicians, it is not the corporations it is not the illuminati - it is us.
      In our petulant insistence of false comfort and unreasonable convenience, we have cancelled our own account with the universe. The knocking on our door - it's the debt collector and he is not a man.

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