Cloud Seeding; The Confirmed Weather Modification Program
There’s an undeniable human desire to manipulate every aspect of our world and the weather is no different. In our attempt to achieve this, the prospect of geoengineering has become a very real and very contentious reality. And while debates over chemtrails continue to rage, discussion of cloud seeding receives less attention, despite its recognized use.
For decades, millions of dollars have been spent implementing cloud seeding technology near ski resorts, bodies of water, and areas experiencing drought, yet scientific institutions studying the practice often describe its actual efficacy as unproven or highly conflicted. So, why do they keep doing it and is it safe?
What is Cloud Seeding?
Discovered by Vincent Shaefer, before it was refined by Kurt Vonnegut’s brother Bernard, the most common cloud seeding technology involves the dispersion of silver iodide in cloud water. Vonnegut and colleagues discovered the reaction while working for GE in Schenectady, NY in 1946.
Those familiar with Kurt Vonnegut’s seminal novel, Cat’s Cradle, might not be surprised to learn his brother’s cloud seeding discovery became the impetus for the notorious Ice-nine – the water polymorph developed to solidify mud for soldiers’ convenience, but which turned out to kill them upon contact with bodily tissue.
In reality, silver iodide isn’t the deadly compound Vonnegut imagined, but it’s use in manipulating weather has certainly sparked conspiracy and skepticism; particularly when it comes to weaponizing the weather.
And the U.S. government did, in fact, attempt to use cloud seeding to weaponize the weather during the Vietnam war. The once-classified Operation Popeye invoked rainfall in north Vietnam with cloud seeding missions conducted over a five-year period. According to documents later declassified, the operation was credited with increasing rainfall by 35 inches – more than four times the average annual rainfall in certain parts of the American southwest.
Contrary to the intention of Vonnegut’s imagined Ice-nine, the military anticipated cloud seeding technology to create mud and flooding in Vietnam, making it difficult for enemy troops to move efficiently.
Though the operation was claimed a success, it was eventually discontinued, possibly due to ambiguities in how that success was measured, as well as a Geneva treaty prohibiting weather weaponization. Since then, the military hasn’t admitted to any further cloud seeding, though it has been accused of it.
Is Cloud Seeding Safe?
Cloud seeding with silver iodide is allegedly safe as the amount of the compound used in a single session is pretty minuscule – typically 10 to 50 grams. The only reactions to the compound are listed as discoloration of the skin, but only after years of exposure. Pilots who have worked extensively with the compound have reported it turning their hands temporarily yellow.
Environmentally there seems to be little risk of contamination in water sources or crops, though some of the secondary effects have led to catastrophe in the past.
In 1952, a cloud seeding experiment dubbed Operation Cumulus, caused torrential downpours in Lynmouth, a small village in Devon, England – 35 people were subsequently killed after flooding destroyed homes, businesses, and local infrastructure.
More recently in 2009, flooding in the Saudi capital of Jeddah led to the deaths of 122 people after 2.76 inches of rain fell in just four hours – this was double the average annual rainfall and was believed to have been caused by cloud seeding. Similar incidents have occurred in other middle eastern countries that have attempted to use the technology to fight drought and arid climate.
Meanwhile, other countries have accused those with cloud seeding practices of stealing rain and precipitation from them. Something one might perceive to be a harbinger of weather modification warfare in the future. When everyone tries to control the weather, there will inevitably be disproportionate accumulations favoring those with more resources that can influence Mother Nature.
Cloud Seeding Conspiracy
There are also larger overarching concerns with weather manipulation technology when it comes to those polluting and degrading the environment. Though maybe less of a case with cloud seeding, weather manipulation could dissuade corporations and major polluters from cleaning up their act. Why switch practices that negatively impact the weather, when you could just pay to control it?
That pay for precipitation problem could become even more exacerbated and convoluted when the über wealthy start paying $100,000 to have clouds “overseeded” in order to prevent rain on their wedding day – but wait, this is actually a service one could currently purchase today. In fact, a large percentage of cloud seeding technology is used to benefit wealthy parts of the world where people want more precipitation for recreational activities or unsustainable farming and water use habits. Instead of curbing wasteful practices and reversing long-term detrimental trends, our solution is to engineer temporary or short-term solutions by essentially trying to hack the system.
And this has become the case with certain solutions to climate change, including Harvard scientist David Keith, who proposed spraying aerosols into the atmosphere to increase the planet’s albedo (its reflectivity). Keith says he believes injecting sulfuric acid into the upper reaches of the atmosphere could reflect enough sunlight to counter act rising global temperatures caused by climate change.
His proposal includes the use of hundreds and eventually thousands of annual flights with the sole purpose of spraying chemicals into the atmosphere to manipulate the weather. The only problem, which he admits himself, is that once this process was underway, it might have to continue indefinitely, eventually dumping millions of tons of chemicals into air.
Is it any surprise people are convinced that something like this is already underway?
For more on weather modification watch this episode of Open Minds with Dane Wigington:
Professor Finds $21 Trillion Missing from Government Budget
A Michigan State University economics professor discovered $21 trillion unaccounted for in the federal budget starting in 1998 until the end of fiscal year 2015. Professor Mark Skidmore enlisted the help of his graduate students to examine government documents from the Department of Defense and Housing and Urban Development to uncover an unfathomable amount of unauthorized spending.
According to the Constitution, all federal spending must be voted on and authorized by Congress each fiscal year. Any discrepancies found in the way of unauthorized spending would normally elicit a congressional hearing and investigation.
Skidmore and his students’ analysis used publicly available government documents from the two agencies’ websites to expose this inconsistency. Shortly after Skidmore published his findings, both agencies removed those documents from public access.
While no congressional committee tied to the budget had signaled the would open an inquiry prior to Skidmore’s findings, the Department of Defense allowed a first ever department-wide audit by independent firm Ernst & Young.
Skidmore says that sometimes there can be discrepancies meant to account for inadequate transactions, but those adjustments are usually no more than 1 percent of the total budget.
The Army’s annual budget for FY 2015 was $122 billion, meaning that an adjustment for inadequate transactions might be around $1.2 billion. The Army’s actual adjustments for FY 2015 were $6.5 trillion – 54 times what it was authorized to spend.
Out of thousands of documents spanning that period, Skidmore was able to find Army budget documentation for 13 of those years, saying its budget represented roughly $11.5 trillion of the missing $21 trillion. He also called these accounting documents “opaque,” saying it was not clear what the unauthorized adjustments were for.
That amount of unauthorized, “missing” money is equivalent to about $65,000 for every person in America. The government estimated that the federal deficit sits at around $20 trillion, an entire $1 trillion less than what Skidmore found missing in these adjustments.
So, what exactly is this money going towards? The revelation of a $56 billion Pentagon black budget for secret military, space, and surveillance programs has led some to speculate that it could be merely a fraction of what’s actually being spent.
Skidmore said he reached out to the Office of Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office, and Congressional Budget Office, asking if maybe the $6.5 trillion figure was a mistake and was instead supposed to be $6.5 billion. It was confirmed that $6.5 trillion was the correct adjustment. Though, when he asked if any of these agencies were alarmed or considering this a red flag, his questions were met with slight confusion and little concern.
Though Skidmore has reserved his speculation as to what he thinks the money might be going toward, it’s clear that either someone knows that a large amount of taxpayer dollars is being spent without authorized permission, or the accounting practices of those in charge of massive amounts of public money are that flawed.