What's Up?


Q: Has the town or county or both considered seeding the clouds to make it rain? I know it just takes the rain from other areas, but this is an emergency.

A: See the "Living" section of the Tuesday, July 15, Roundup for an in-depth article by Stan Brown on the history of cloud seeding in the Rim country and other ways to "induce rain."

Brown points out that "weather modification strategies are extremely tenuous and complicated" and that "our technological mentality has given us a false assumption that we humans can command the forces of nature...." Among the major drawbacks to cloud seeding:

  • "Ordinary cumulus clouds cannot be seeded.... The cloud from which seeding will produce rainfall is already close to producing rain on its own."
  • "The problem in a drought is that day after day there are no clouds at all...."
  • "The impact of silver iodide on the environment is unknown," but "it is toxic when ingested and becomes concentrated" in the ground through the seeding process.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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