Green Glossary: Weather Modification
According to a company called Weather Modification, Inc., this concept is also "commonly known as cloud seeding, cloud modification, atmospheric resource management, and precipitation management." The recent media spasm for this exercise in human arrogance took place on August 8, 2008 when the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau "fired a total of 1,104 rain dispersal rockets within an eight-hour period prior to and during the opening ceremonies of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad."
Even more insane—and yet eerily predictable—are the alleged military applications for weather modification. As DefenseTech.org claims, "Someday the U.S. military could drive a trailer to a spot just beyond insurgent fighting and, within minutes, reconfigure part of the atmosphere, blocking an enemy's ability to receive satellite signals, even as U.S. troops are able to see into the area with radar."
Josh Clark of HowStuffWorks.com reminds us that military minds have tried to control weather before: "On August 15, 1952, the day the rain started, an estimated 90 million tons of water coursed through the town of Lynmouth in just one day. Entire trees were uprooted, forming dams and allowing the tide of the two rivers flowing through Lynmouth to grow even stronger in force. Boulders were carried by the current, destroying buildings and carrying residents into the sea. In all, 35 Britons lost their lives that day as a result of the torrential rain."
Consider the history of flubs in this field, I'd suggest we stick to rain dances.