Mark Twain cynically observed, “Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” A hundred years later, George Carlin completed the cynicism, “The weather will continue to change on and off for a really long long time.”
Americans are obsessed with knowing the weather in advance. In advance of what? Often, nothing more than getting up in the morning. Although for others, the weather can make all the difference. So it’s no surprise we annually spend hundreds of millions on weather related forecasting, starting with the United States Weather Service, right down to the hundreds of radio and television stations where the local “weather personality” is often an audience favorite.
But what of Twain’s other concern that “nobody ever does anything about the weather?” The truth is — already we’re in trouble here, because truth these days is a flighty visitor — the truth is that both nations and conspiracy-theorists have been investing in this cause for years. Humanity’s next great leap: Controlling the weather!
China has reported 37,000 trained personnel work in their national Weather Modification Office. They have deployed some 4000 rocket launchers and up to 7000 anti aircraft guns to control unwanted rainfall by chemical action. Russia has reported using chemical seeding to control rainfalls on national holidays. The US military tried various weather-control strategies during the Vietnam War, called Operation Popeye. There is even a company which guarantees sunshine for your wedding day at $6000 per bride.
There is something sensationally fascinating yet admittedly fearsome about the presumptions we can defy the gods. Still, holy men and hucksters alike have over the centuries promised us the balm of better weather. It was even reported General George Patton commissioned a weather prayer during the Battle of the Bulge to clear the skies for his tactical air support.
Today’s cynicism might shrug, “And all this affects me how?”
Not much so long as you watch weather forecasts heavy-lidded and skeptical. If, however, you suffer an occasional itch for another conspiracy theory, you might wish to Google ardent theorists who swear the Government’s HAARP is up to something while we sleep. This is the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program charged with investigating the influence of atmospheric conditions on military radio signals.
That, we are whispered, is actually one more Air Force conspiracy to control not simply the weather, but those of us who are impacted by the weather. Which, when you think about it, is all of us. Conclusion? HAARP may be the next weather balloon which conspiracy-tinged officials send up for possible investigation. I mean, the more balloons in the air, the harder it is either to tell the weather or to tell the truth.
The next 10 PM weather forecast you doubt, consider this….
The issue here is not so much cynicism nor conspiracy, but rather control. It’s been humanity’s persistent passion to control the forces around us, and so we have cleared forests, drained swamps, and molded mountains. However, when this passion to control and subjugate our world extends to our fellow citizens — well, this is why democracy was formed to replace autocracy.
Filed under: Uncategorized