2017-09-07 / Outdoors

Weather or not

There is a flood of stories (no pun intended) about rains, hurricanes, storm fronts and more making news headlines lately. Some conditions will be blamed on global warming, others on human-originated weather terrorism. The latter is the act of humans controlling the weather. But is this possible?

The human race has always tried to change the weather, either by offering sacrifice to the gods or through scientific and mechanical means. How is this possible, you ask? The farmers in Kansas and Oklahoma and the grain-growing regions of North America have, at times throughout history, experienced extreme drought conditions. Crops dry up and wither, the topsoil blows away in the wind and lives are ruined. A method to create rain was needed.

Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification. It works by injecting substances into the atmosphere. This was done by aircraft flying into and above clouds and dropping silver iodide or dry ice pellets into the cloud. In short, this would provide a small amount of moisture in the cloud, a nucleus to form ice and larger water droplets. This creates air movement and can energize the cloud to enlarge, producing rain (and snow, at times). Does it work? Yes, most of the time — if conditions are right.

All weather is nothing more than heat exchange — warm air rising colliding with cold air sinking. If someone could harness and direct the weather, be it locally or widespread, he or she would have a power similar to that of weapons of mass destruction.

There are theorists who believe that testing of these weather warfare systems exist now. Back during the Vietnam War, prior to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. Air Weather Service used cloud seeding over the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This increased rainfall by an estimated 30 percent in 1967-68. It was called “Operation Popeye,” and the increased rainfall was to reduce the rate of Viet Cong down that trail. The rules of engagement of the Geneva Convention prohibit this type of action now.

A development over the last several decades is called High Frequency Active Aural Research Program. Originally designed to study our atmosphere, it morphed into a military study. It was designed as a defense against attacking missiles from foreign soil. The system uses a series of high frequency transmitters all aimed at a point in the ionosphere from 30 to 600 miles above Earth’s surface. Think of this as a reverse magnifying glass, but using radio waves instead of sunlight. The focused beam creates heat and can also alter our ionosphere and ozone layer as well as change, create and disrupt weather — not to mention disrupt communications in the focused area. This information can be verified, as Dr. Bernard Eastlund patented this system in 1987. It was to be used for peaceful purposes and not military weather control, but we humans continue to seek the destruction of our species.

Hurricanes, typhoons and super storms have been naturally occurring since Earth’s beginning. What makes this scary is that anytime mankind steps in to make nature better, it is usually disastrous. Animals — at least wild ones — have the ability to sense weather changes. Rarely do you look at film footage of destruction caused by weather phenomena and see lots of wild, dead birds, animals, reptiles or other creatures. Many studies have been done to try and find out their “secret” early warning sense. Even our domesticated pets still have this sense. Perhaps someday we humans may understand and utilize it to make this a better world. While we still can, enjoy our great outdoors.

Fair winds; calm seas.

— Capt. Dennis Kirk has been traveling the Peace River since 1979. His life adventures are written from various chapters in his three decades of experience in Southwest Florida. He is part owner of the Nav-A-Gator, a riverfront restaurant and marina in Lake Suzy, just off Kings Highway. For more information, call 627- 3474. ¦

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