- By Bobby PierceBobby Pierce is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.
Some of the world’s remaining communist countries (plus former Soviet Russia) are preparing to control the weather. Indeed, China, Russia, Venezuela, and Cuba are preparing ways to control precipitation — hearkening back to something the X-Men guys thought up during the Cold War (see: Storm).
Last a summer, Chinese government officials worried that it might rain on their parade, literally, during the Olympics. They fired rockets filled with dry ice and silver iodide into the clouds, to make them cough up any raindrops before Beijing. The process might have backfired, causing two fierce snowstorms. But Moscow’s mayor seems undeterred by the weather — he is using the same technology to deflect snowfall from his city, having military planes spray iodide clouds.
Venezuela isn’t as concerned with deflecting precipitation. Chavez is trying to increase rainfall on parched areas of his country. And rather than simply ordering the cloud seeding to take place, he is going to do it himself, going airborne with a group of Cuban scientists.
“I’m going in a plane. Any cloud that crosses me, I’ll zap it so that it rains,” Chavez said.
JUAN BARRETO/AFP/Getty Images