Next geopolitical hack… weather modding

The pairing of human control and weather systems isn’t new. Every year we get better at forecasting; we tune algorithms to hone our knowledge related to when and where rain will fall… but we still have to be reactive to the rain event itself.


Or do we?

I remember reading that the Chinese hacked their weather during the Beijing Olympics. They fired 1,100 rockets filled with silver iodide into the clouds. The result was that clouds let their precipitation fall before they arrived in Beijing. How do you improve the odds for dry weather connected to an event important? You take things into your own hands, there is even a government office for this, the Beijing Weather Modification Office.

Of course the U.S. is into this area as well, cloud seeding has been experimented with for a decade. Other experiments connected to weather mods literally go back a century.

This is one of those subjects that sounds small until you fathom how it could be used to streamline and focus access to natural resources. Of course it will be used to drive economic returns (crop yields, water table replenishment, access to clean water, etc). It might even be used to address the massive amount of energy used to move water (an estimated 19% of California’s energy used to move water). It could also be used to force one region to comply with another region’s geopolitical preferences.

The simple truth is that it’s hard to tell where this will go but the road ahead is bound to be (sorry) slippery.