Now I love the sun as much as the next man. Nothing invigorates me more than a warm and sunny day. Endless blue skies, without a cloud in sight, is the stuff of dreams.
Many of us have enjoyed a holiday this year either in the UK or abroad. In particular, when partaking in a UK break we keep our fingers crossed that the weather will be kind to us. Let it rain on somebody else’s parade!
Yes, I know that we need rain to survive as a race. I hear that argument and in fact, I have on many occasion made it myself when I hear whining about a rainy day. ‘Be thankful we have it’ I cry! Yet, of course, I’m a hypocrite. Let it rain when I’m safely ensconced at work or tucked up in my bed but please not at the weekend!
However, it would seem that in the future we may be able to control the weather with a degree of certainty. Yes, a cloudless sky could soon become a reality. A perfect wedding or party can now be planned ahead as rainclouds are zapped away.
Scientists in Geneva are meeting later in the year to discuss using lasers to shoot pulses into the sky and thus controlling the weather.
Yet … I’m not sure how I truly feel about playing with the Ecosystem in this way. The theory is the technology will trigger rainfall out to sea. Thus allowing a major event to continue without the imminent threat of rain. You will recall that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee pageant was a rather damp affair and if the laser technology were available it would have assured a rather different backdrop to the nation’s celebrations.
The rain was not to be a welcome guest at the Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony as huge cannons were used to repel any clouds. I recall fearing it was going to look like Armageddon as canons were fired into the sky pushing back any storm having the temerity to venture over China.
Referred to as cloud seeding my fear is who gets to play God? Who decides when we push away the rain and will individual countries have a bank of rainclouds jokers in reserve? Could it become a form of currency if a nation uses its laser action allocation up could they then enter the ‘Cloud Buster Currency Market’ and barter for extra usage?
Of course, the reason Britain is such a ‘Green and pleasant land’ as William Blake noted is because of the light and dark, the rain and shine. Would we want to lose this? For me, the unpredictable weather is one of the endearingly predictable facets of our country.
On a serious note, technological advances such as this could mean that extra rain could be directed to countries all too often blighted by droughts, and consequently famines, making them a thing of the past. Hurricanes could be negated as storms are diapered before they reach land.
So whilst I err on the side of caution there are certainly opportunities for good.
Until next time…