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Vandalism In The Sky

The military failed to tell the public
that they do not know what exactly will happen, but a Penn State science article brags about that uncertainty. Macho science? The HAARP project uses the largest energy levels yet played with by what Begich and Manning call "the big boys with their new toys". It is an experiment on the sky, and experiments are done to find out something not already known. Independent scientists told Begich and Manning that a HAARP-type "skybuster" with its unforeseen effects could be an act of global vandalism.


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For centuries, humans have been trying to control the weather and to some extent, we've succeeded. We can, to a limited extent, give clouds a hand in making rain through a process called cloud seeding. But now, the Air Force is looking at cloudseeding as a weapon of sorts, or at least a tool in gaining military advantages. Hi, I'm Dave Thurlow from the Mount Washington Observatory and this is The Weather Notebook.

In a report titled "Owning the Weather in 2025", the Air Force explores how the US military could use the weather to their advantage in the line of battle. They propose to create rain by cloud seeding...turning battlefields into mudbaths in order to immobilize enemy troops. Another weather weapon proposed involves triggering lightning storms over airfields to keep enemy aircraft on the ground. And a third -- fire lasers to burn through heavy fog, giving US planes a better view of enemy targets. Sounds plausible I guess, but there's a problem. In 1977, the United States signed a UN resolution that forbids changing the weather for hostile purposes.

So, where does that leave weather-based weaponry? For now anyway in the forecasting field. Better forecasting allows the military to use changing weather to its advantage.

But that doesn't mean the US military has stopped keeping track of weather modification technology. In fact, private companies work on weapons that battle weather - like cloud seeding over drought-stricken farms, and laser fire into thick runway fog. So, the military is keeping a close eye on how that technology can be used for military purposes in the future.

Our show is underwritten by Subaru, with major support provided by the National Science Foundation.

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