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Last updated on July 2nd, 2017 at 08:49 am
China – which hasn’t had much luck lately controlling the weather – plans to, ahem, halt rain during the Beijing Olympics. Charged with this awesome task is China’s elite bureau of weather modification:
The bureau of weather modification was established in the 1980s and is now believed to be the largest in the world. It has a reserve army of 37,000 people—most of them sort of weekend warriors who are called to duty during unusual droughts. The bureau has 30 aircraft, 4,000 rocket launchers and 7,000 antiaircraft guns …
This bureau is the Chuck Norris of climate change! Rain doesn’t stand a chance against all those rocket launchers.
Bah! They’ll need more than their crappy obsolote Commie cannons to shoot down Ying Long!Posted by richard mcenroe on 2008 02 03 at 10:49 AM • permalink
Speaking of grandiose ideas and talk of “thousands”, Dear Leader Kevin Rudd wants 1000 eggheads to solve “the 10 most pressing problems facing the nation over the next decade”.
Weather control using anti-aircraft guns? Sounds like a variation of “Beating swords into plowshares”.
Not that the Chinese are all that interested in pacifism, of course.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 03 at 11:38 AM • permalink
Re #7, Burbank, this seems to be the most objective article I could find on the subject, and it seems to be anything but open and shut.
Me, I’d guess that they’ve had limited success, but like any bureaucracy (especially a Communist bureaucracy) wanting to keep their budget, they spun that up into something bigger.
Still, even they are being cautious about this. From the last paragraph in Tim’s second link:
“If you’re talking about a small rainfall, you can eliminate it,” Wang said. “But if it’s going to be raining cats and dogs, there’s nothing man can do about it.”
I expect some pretty pretty fireworks all around Beijing for the Olympics, the usual amount of rain, and lots of hype from the Chinese Bureau of Weather Modification.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 03 at 11:52 AM • permalink
Re #8, C.L., I’ve seen that tried on a smaller scale.
And it failed dismally.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 03 at 11:53 AM • permalink
All powerful, the Emperor commanded his armies to march into the sea and slash at the waves with keenly sharpened swords. As the seas subsided, a thousand men stood guard against the breeze and fired deadly arrows at the clouds.
In readiness, a Great Wall was built to keep the rabbits out.
Let the games begin!
- Maybe this is tin-foil hat territory, but hmmmmmmm: The Chinese, while hosting the Olympics during The War On Terror ™, will ring the Games area with 4000 rocket launchers and 7000 AA
guns to………..control the weather! You betcha!“Forecast calls for mostly clear weather with scattered periods of Al Queda-crashing-hijacked-airliner-into-
large-structures-with-massive-casualties- attempts and the resulting flak shrapnel showers; be sure to take your umbrella!”I just see a problem with the official explanation for some silly reason.
Oops, yes, the Official explanation… the Lord Karl in his wisdom has decreed to switch climate change to the ‘off’ position until further notice.
Climate control renegade Michael Lonie was taken into custody early this morning and is reportedly being held in a soggy sandstone mead cellar a few minutes south of the thirty third parallel.
Rob, I admit, that I find the idea of posting ack ack guns all around China simply to “control” the weather as being awfully close to lunacy. When I first read the article, I was thinking, “Yeah, sure, guys, now pull the other one!” This is certainly a great cover for a nationwide, low level, anti-aircraft defense system.
But it’s vaguely possible to fire both conventional and “silver iodide” ammunition from the same guns, although I have to wonder about barrel life and ammunition reliability.
And there are AA guns with the range needed to shoot into clouds; the Chinese use (or did use) the
Type 55 AA gun (AKA KS-19 from the not-so-heady days of the USSR); it has a maximum range of 12,600 meters (41,400 feet) with suitable radar support. (I haven’t found an order of battle or TO&E for the PLA AA regiments, so I just looked here).
So it’s possible that the PLA could have declared their old AA guns as “excess”, and turned them over to the “Bureau of Weather Modification” for “scientific research”. And they probably do fire “silver iodide” shells into cloud formations; certainly it’s a low cost means of applying that technique, and no doubt great gunnery practice.
But any weather alert system that scrambles gun crews to shoot at clouds could easily be upgraded into a military formation to shoot down aircraft. Still, their effectiveness depends on where and how many guns are placed, and what radar support they have.
So it’s possible. But there are no data that I can find to prove or disprove the hypothesis.
Still, it’s gotta make any would be terrorist pause and consider the possibility.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 03 at 02:07 PM • permalink
Re #22, oh, no doubt, splice. None at all.
But I should have noted that we are talking about a massive bureaucracy here: the Chinese government.
According to the articles I read, this “Bureau of Weather Modification” started around 1958…..when precision guided, stand-off AG weapons was barely conceived of by most nations, and China was barely out of the rubble from WWII, and trying to industrialize. Not to mention, striving to become relevant on the world stage.
Putting on the tin foil cap, maybe some nameless PLA officer back in 1958 dreamed up this “Bureau of Weather Modification” as a cover for a nationwide AA defense screen at the grass roots level. Being a cover, they actually had to conduct “scientific research”, and maybe they had some limited success. Further, such equipment does not count towards military strength, since it’s not under the PLA. Sounds like a decent cover back then, eh?
However, since 1958, technology marched on, and turned ack ack guns into a third tier air defense system in most countries, really applicable only at the tactical level, if that (recall that pre-2003 Baghdad was ringed with AA gun batteries, mostly for show, or low level protection….and not very effective at that).
However, in China, here’s this massive organization, with a budget, trained personnel, equipment…..and a comfortable bureaucracy. Do you think they’re going to will themselves into nothingness because they are running what amounts to an obsolete militia armed with the air defense equivalent of muzzle loaders, and are no longer relevant to the national defense? Especially when they have this wonderful cover of “Weather Modification” and “scientific research”?
And, under this particular scenario, if said Bureau were to be shut down, just what would be the cover story? That they failed in their basic research, and blew decades of effort and resources? I doubt that the Chinese concept of “face” would allow them to admit a failure in scientific research, or admit that they had a “secret” army all along
Nope. They’re going to do their best to be relevant to the country, even if it means skirting the edges of La La Land.
So, continuing with the tin foil hat mode, it’s possible that this “Bureau of Weather Modification” is a holdover from the Cold War, struggling to fit with modern needs, striving to look like cutting edge technology, all in order to avoid admitting either deception or failure and keep their cut of the national budget.
It’s possible. There just ain’t proof either way.
I base my tin foil hattedness on my experiences with the bureaucracy of the US Federal government….where I’ve seen similar thought processes at work, just on a smaller scale.
/tin foil hat modePosted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 03 at 03:25 PM • permalink
- Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 03 at 03:29 PM • permalink
splice: AAA isn’t there to shoot you down, it’s there to force you into the engagement envelope of SAMs…
This is why, on the seventh day, between two periods of extended rest, god created the HARM.
What’s Chinese for “today’s forecast calls for scattered 20mm rounds falling from the sky, with the possibility of an artillery barrage later in the afternoon…”?
Paco, #23, I know of a case where a guy got shot in the back of the head with a .22 (he had it coming – stole a motorcycle) and not only did he survive, when he went to the hospital with a bad headache, they cleaned him up and sent him home without detecting the slug; apparently they thought he fell and just got a laceration. They found it on his second visit when the headache did not improve.
This is Al Gore’s way of stopping global warming. If we can bring the Chinese economy to a halt, and shut down their nasty industries and power stations, think of the reduction in CO2 production!
After all, 1 dead polar bear = 10 million dead Chinese. A few snow storms has gotta be worth it to His Greeniness.
ps – the reduction in CO2 output caused by that one storm probably equalled Australias entire annual output. We need to burn double this year just to be standing still.Posted by mr creosote on 2008 02 03 at 03:56 PM • permalink
- 31. Retread
If he could just match Rays “more chickeny chicken, just like the old days” Id vote for him.Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 03 at 06:22 PM • permalink
Its been a long time since I posted – and I know Im breaking in with an Off Topic post when Ive mostly lurked (Tim – the prayers go on for your continued health and for your family!) – but I ran across an article this morning that is kind of an answer to a knowledge-quest I had started last autumn.
I also realize I might have poked in on a previous thread before about the subject Im interested in, and there may have been a whole plethora of replies, but its been so long, and I dont remember what post that was, so Im also hoping you’ll be merciful in responding to me once more.
Here is the article – Still Trying To Bring Their Fallen Home
I also bought a book called “Soldier Dead” by Michael Sledge on this very subject, which Ive found very fascinating – I wanted to come here to perhaps appeal to those Down Under who might be able to satisfy a curiosity about whether or not a similar effort is going on for Australian veterans – and if so, are there any documents/books/articles I can access? Is there any online or hard-copy information I can collect?
It may perhaps be easier if you do have an answer to email me at email@example.com
Im sorry for the Off Topic breakin – but I know at Tim’s blog, I have read and enjoyed the smartest and funniest and most well informed people posting, and I would love to benefit from that.
Sharon FergusonPosted by Sharon_Ferguson on 2008 02 03 at 06:27 PM • permalink
#8 C.L. I’ve just heard the (caretaker?) opposition leader on the radio saying “This is a good idea. It forces us to think about what sort of nation we want.”
Well it isn’t a good idea. It’s getting a pack of god-knows-what unelected pundits together to try to solve by committee the sorts of problems that the politicians were elected to solve. The politicians were meant to have a clue about all this stuff before even standing, and to tell us what their take on it was. As far as I can see calling such a conference at all is a massive admission of incompetence.
As for the stuff about making “us think what sort of nation we want.” Well, aren’t political parties already meant to have some idea about this? And it’s insulting to the rest of us to suppose that we need something like this to make us think about our values. Not to mention that the idea of national values being decided by committee and presumably promulgated by legislation and regulation is both repulsive and alarming.
After hearing this type of comment I’m afraid that the national Libs look as if they are becoming as aimless and meandering as the state branches.
Who knew that chicken shops were so dangerous?
We earlier sprinkled CSIRO on the problem
From 1947 to 1952, CSIRO scientists used Royal Australian Air Force aircraft to drop dry ice into the tops of cumulus clouds. The method worked reliably with clouds that were very cold, producing rain that would not have otherwise fallen.
CSIRO carried out similar trials from 1953 to 1956 in South Australia, Queensland and other States. Experiments used both ground-based and airborne silver iodide generators.
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, CSIRO performed cloud seeding in the Snowy Mountains, on the York Peninsular in South Australia, in the New England district of New South Wales, and in the Warragamba catchment area west of Sydney.
Of these four experiments, only the one conducted in the Snowy Mountains produced statistically significant rainfall increases over the entire experiment.
In the late 1960s, the Governments of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia seeded clouds. Results were either inconclusive or controversial.Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 03 at 07:02 PM • permalink
- Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 03 at 07:04 PM • permalink
Is Kevin going to the Games? He could sign his Mein Kampf while there.Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 03 at 07:06 PM • permalink
#35 Nelson is damned if he does and damned if does not. History tells us that people tire of Labor and who happens to be Liberal leader at the time wins.Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 03 at 07:49 PM • permalink
O/T but another useful idiot surfaces.
Try this for supidity on a stick
Dick Smith on Hicks.” I asked him why he was in Afghanistan and it was quite different to what we’ve heard about … (it was) all about trying to help independence movements.”
Hes a complete and utter dickhead, I have never and will never buy his products.
This is one of the tools who reffer to Immigration detention as “cruel gulags” but at the same time thinks Terry Hicks is a good father and David must be ok because, “But I’ve changed my view completely now because he’s said he’s never supported terrorism”
Well thats ok then.
Fuck you Dick.
And the horse you rode in on.Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 03 at 08:14 PM • permalink
#8: The Prime Minister announced yesterday that 1000 of the nation’s “best and brightest” would be picked to attend a two-day summit in Canberra to articulate radical solutions to the 10 most pressing problems facing the nation over the next decade.
There is no problem that cannot be made infinitely worse by subjecting it to a giant government committee for resolution.
#42: Complete with photo of Rudd making classic Mao ‘onward to the future’ arm-gesture (not online).
“Let a hundred duckweeds bloom; let a hundred special-ed schools of thought contend.”
Mao liked to swim with the flow.Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 03 at 08:36 PM • permalink
- 45 We all await the great Hick-up.
Or dick down?Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 03 at 08:39 PM • permalink
Dick Smith said that Hicks was an fighter for an independence movement. What did the Taliban in Afghanistan want independence from?
Women, beer, kites?
I’m declaring an independence movement against Dick Smith. I think he should be forced to wear a full burka on penalty of being shot in the back of the head in a soccer field.
- Rain, rain, go away.
Or face our anti-aircraft spray.
After the Olympic games are played,
we’ll turn the guns round on Taipei.Posted by eeniemeenie on 2008 02 03 at 09:57 PM • permalink
The rain will be the least of their problems in Beijing if you cant see what’s going on due to air pollution.
Nic, then maybe the Chinese do want rain, to wash (or hide) away the daily pollution, eh?Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 03 at 10:11 PM • permalink
Jeff, what will happen is an interesting point. The rain as you say, may well be better than the pollution. My bet is that for a few weeks both before and during the Olympics, power stations etc will be shut down as will much of the road traffic. It doesn’t surprise me that the Chinese are willing to do anything so that they dont lose ‘face’ as regards the olympics.
No more Rain Stops Play! Cricket fans demand access to silver bromide and anti aircraft guns.Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 02 03 at 10:41 PM • permalink
Yo, consumer alert! Don’t be lured into buying Paco products at this place. In the first place, if they have any for sale, they’re fake. In the second place, they won’t work any better than the real thing. And in the third place, they may steal your credit card information and use it to buy weapons using your credit (Think your interest charges are high now? Wait until you get stuck paying for a battleship).
Interesting. I never knew that “stop raining, or we’ll shoot” actually worked.Posted by SwampWoman on 2008 02 03 at 11:00 PM • permalink
I think I’m gonna have to pass on the North Korean SUV. It’s still outrageously cold there, so they have obviously not been making them right.Posted by SwampWoman on 2008 02 03 at 11:08 PM • permalink
Well, I am waiting for my invite to Canberra.
Happy to give advice on any of the 10 subject areas just as long as we don’t do “get to know you activities” and I want to stay at the Hyatt with room service.
AND, don’t book me on Virgin. I know Qantas sucks, but flying five hours on Virgin sucks way more!
you are cordially invited to a Gathering of the Canberra Chapter of The Blair Brethren. Feb 9
Venue to be advised upon receipt of the secret password.
You can never be TOO careful!
Awaiting your enquiry. 😉
Forget the “get to know you activities” if any of you have hair growing out of your nose, I’m outta there!!!
#80 – Like a geriatric stuck in a Diebold machine in Florida, I’m confused.Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 02 03 at 11:55 PM • permalink
- #19 Splice,
That’s not true, just a scurrilous rumor. You should know better by now than to listen to Wronwright.Lord Rove has given us instructions to devise several different contingency plans for this event. I am afraid that Chinese antiaircraft guns and rockets will be no match for our technology, including the Quantum Weather Butterflies. As a senior Neocon Conspiracy operative with long experience in the Weather Control Operation that’s all I can tell you.By the way Paco, how are the sales of those special AAA shells and rocket propellant coming?Posted by Michael Lonie on 2008 02 03 at 11:57 PM • permalink
( Dons tweed jacket with the intellectual-looking elbow patches and pince-nez).
Kevin Rudd has called for a meeting of the best minds in Australia for the purpose of solving the country’s ten biggest problems. I haven’t seen the list, and I’m not Australian, but undoubtedly, one of Australia’s biggest concerns is the issue of global warming. And surely, Mr. Rudd won’t stick at receiving free advice from a non-Australian.
Now, I have here a sun lamp, which represents the unprecedented warmer temperatures that the climate change experts have been talking about. Watch as I turn it on ( The bulb bursts. “Damn!” Removes bulb, burning fingers – “DAMN it!” – replaces with new infrared bulb).
As I was saying, this lamp represents global warming. I stand – thusly – under the lamp. Already, I am beginning to feel the effects: I am uncomfortable, I perspire, the light is irritating my skin. An enormous problem requiring international treaties, the expenditure of billions of dollars, and a return to a primitive quality of life? Not at all, Mr. Rudd.
(Walks over to large armoire, opens doors, and retrieves beach chair, suntan lotion, and pith helmet. Removes tweed jacket with the intellectual-looking elbow patches, revealing a very becoming Hawaiian shirt – green, with a yellow hibiscus flower pattern – puts on suntan lotion, claps pith helmet on head, and plants self in beach chair under sun lamp. Takes long drink from a glass of lemonade on side table.)
Ahhh! There, Mr. Rudd. I believe I’ve solved your global warming problem. Next week, we’ll tackle the remaining nine Australian challenges.
#5 and #6 Al Gore better cancel his trip to the opening ceremony, if these Weather Modificiation boys use AA guns on rain what are they going to do if it snows?
I’d wouldn’t mind betting they’ve all been issued with a photo of Al and “Shoot to kill” ordersPosted by the nailgun on 2008 02 04 at 12:29 AM • permalink
Re #67, Nic, I wouldn’t be surprised at ANYTHING the Chinese do to make the Beijing Olympics “perfect”.
Glad I ain’t going, and I doubt that I will watch any of the games. The Olympics are not about sports anymore…..they’re about chest beating and one upping the other countries. In the immortal words of Kos, “Screw ‘em.”Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 04 at 12:39 AM • permalink
The Olympics are not about sports anymore
Precisely. That’s why artillery barrages might make bits of it worth watching.
After the Olympic games are played,
we’ll turn the guns round on Taipei.
There is some speculation that this is exactly what they are planning. I’m not sure how convincing the case for this is though.
I’m in two minds about schizophrenia.
Having said that, let me say this, I think this place needs a cull, there’s bush pigs rooting around in the rubbish dump, donkeys busting down the boundary fence in the back paddock, brumbies teachin me good stock horses bad habits and camels stomping the bottom out of the water troughs.
Mark L, get the chopper, Grimmy can I borrow a Ruger Mini 14 ? and IT get goin on a mission for piss n ammunition.
I want this place shot out fenced up and cleaned out before the end of the wet. Boss Blair will be off the verandah come the start of the dry and if he gets wind of the mess that’s going on shit will be trumps and one of us will have a lone hand.
Anthing that’s unmusterable or bites: shoot.
No, Ash, mystery is clueless. You ain’t!Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 04 at 02:27 AM • permalink
- #57 Local residents informed me some time ago that that is indeed the plan of the government. You can see a similar effect a few days into Golden Week when the factories all shut down. The wholesale bulldozing of the shabbier residences started ages ago and you don’t get an awful lot of “No Woolies” Maleny style of protestors in Beijing.
#112 Go Team Blair.Posted by Dame Penelope on 2008 02 04 at 02:28 AM • permalink
- #110, missred
‘spalination below:American Football is an amazingly complex game of force on force, force diversion, misdirection, force canalizing and such, so on and so forth.A culture, society or civilization that has not made the leap to industrialization would not have the necessary ability to conceptualize the strategies and tactics involved in such a highly nuanced game of finesse that underlies the brutal force aspects of the game.
Also, being hugely developed in the area of trauma medicine is a must.
Hope that helped.
I don’t have a mini-14. I don’t, currently, have anything in .223 either, sorry.
I do have a standard issue ChiCom AK47 (civilianized to semi auto only :/ ), a 7mm rem mag bolty, or a 12 gage shotty. You’d be welcome to borrow as needful. No need to clean em before returning either. I rather enjoy that part. It’s a zen thing.
Oh, I prolly have more than enough ammo too. It’s about time I rotated stock so use it up.
#113 , thank you, tim for clearing up that mess. god bless you
A culture, society or civilization that has not made the leap to industrialization would not have the necessary ability to conceptualize the strategies and tactics involved in such a highly nuanced game of finesse that underlies the brutal force aspects of the game.
i am soon to be back in scotland, where i become enlightened every year. where i also believe the industrial revolution and the age of enlightenment was spawned. brutal force however always eludes me.. or have i missed your point?
Much of what makes America great came ashore with the first waves of Scottsmen… or Scotts-Irish as they’re sometimes called here.
Now, I have no doubt that the Scotts could do quite well at American Football. I suspect they don’t because all those who were so inclined are already Americans.
Note to the English: See what you get for that whole “highland clearances” thing? Now you’re stuck with eunix games that girls can play just as well as boys.
The force on force thing? I’m surprised you didn’t notice that part of the play. It usually comes with real loud cracks of pads and “ohh, that had to hurt” from the announcers.
- Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 02 04 at 07:25 AM • permalink
A humble suggestion Mistress Andrea..(tugs forelock, bows, scrapes, and grovels)… But in the event of troll splatters could the actual written part be removed and just a blank space left? That would leave the numbering intact, Whilst I realise you cant digitaly put troll heads on stakes it might still serve as a little monument to their lack of effect, and allow us to follow numbers from earlier replies a bit easier.
/bow, scrape, grovel, back out of trophy room….Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 04 at 09:20 AM • permalink
Sorry folks, I’ve been out all day paying bills (or rather, explaining to people why I won’t be able to pay certain bills this week), so I missed the troll. Tim must have deleted the comments.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2008 02 04 at 06:21 PM • permalink
It sounds like the Chinese have discovered we’re calling our new stealth bomber the Cumulus…Posted by richard mcenroe on 2008 02 04 at 11:14 PM • permalink
I’m not sure if the story has been big in Australia, though, owing to snowstorms in China disrupting rail traffic, there have been 800,000 people shut out from the railway station in Guangdong in temperatures that have been pretty cold.
Imagine that, being stuck in the middle of 800,000 people.