For decades, the US military has experimented with weather warfare, controlling weather to make it a weapon. For example, the US's Operation Popeye seeded clouds over the Ho Chi Minh Trail to hopefully flood the enemy's logistical system. And while the official word is that proper weather warfare technologies never advanced much, some conspiracy theorists insist that HAARP atmospheric research system is just a cover for weather control experimentation. Over at Paleofuture, Matt Novak puts weather control in the context of the Cold War.
In August of 1953 the United States formed the President’s Advisory Committee on Weather Control. Its stated purpose was to determine the effectiveness of weather modification procedures and the extent to which the government should engage in such activities. Methods that were envisioned by both American and Soviet scientists—and openly discussed in the media during the mid-1950s— included using colored pigments on the polar ice caps to melt them and unleash devastating floods, releasing large quantities of dust into the stratosphere creating precipitation on demand, and even building a dam fitted with thousands of nuclear powered pumps across the Bering Straits. This dam, envisioned by a Russian engineer named Arkady Borisovich Markin would redirect the waters of the Pacific Ocean, which would theoretically raise temperatures in cities like New York and London. Markin’s stated purpose was to “relieve the severe cold of the northern hemisphere” but American scientists worried about such weather control as a means to cause flooding.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.