I have been having a good deal of e-mail correspondence lately with David Wells, the leader of a weather-control advocacy group called the Pow...., er.., sorry, make that the WEATHER Rangers. The Weather Rangers are an internet-based club of backyard hobbyists who want to control the weather.
While we have some major disagreements on scientific theory about how the atmosphere functions, we have an even bigger one on what type of planet we want to live on. These e-mails between us render in stark relief the gulf between the biocentric attitude and the anthropocentric attitude.
These letters are an important record of the vast differences in values and it is important for those who wish to protect the natural world, including the weather, upon which the entire biosphere depends, to know exactly where the problem lies. Too often, environmental activists think the problem is only a few big corporations motivated by profits, and fail to recognize the bigger problem of an anthropocentric culture. The attitudes and values shown by Mr. Wells illustrate perfectly what we are up against and we ignore them at our peril.
Here is a letter from Mr. Wells, followed by my answer.
David Wells wrote:
I think you are wrong about restoring the land to the grass lands of the past , There are too many people now to turn back . I read somewhere that half of all the people that ever lived are alive today . Until the population is somehow prevented from increasing , we will need more and more food . To do this , weather control can help more than any thing else . Weather is more important than fertilizer when it comes to yields .
To avoid famine , we have to produce food . Modern science has done a lot to boost production . I can see diminishing returns from chemicals and fertilizers . The only way on up with yields is more water .
I agree the vast excess population is the root of all environmental problems, but that does not mean that nothing can or should be done about protecting the remaining natural areas until the population is "somehow" brought down. It means we have to fight on two fronts: We have to work on protecting what is left of the earth, and we must also work to reduce the overpopulation.
Those of us who are trying to protect the remaining ecosystems from destructive forms of development like your proposal to manipulate the weather are well aware of the need to reduce population. Most environmental activists do include that goal as something they work for and advocate.
is a good example for you to follow if you want to do something about the population problem instead of ruining the weather.
Instead of trying to protect the remaining bits of the natural world, you are trying to destroy the remaining ecosystems by changing their climate to feed the excess people, but what are you doing to reduce the population?
Are you spending time in a lab trying to invent a better form of birth control? Why do the people who like to invent things always go in for free energy devices and weather-destruction machines instead of trying to invent better, cheaper, and easier methods of birth control? That would be an invention that could really help a lot of people, and do some good for the world instead of destroying the climate.
Are you politically active against the religious fundamentalists who try to prevent contraceptive education from being taught in public schools? Do you stand up and speak out publicly against the religious fanatics who try to ban abortions?
Most developed countries have already brought population under control. Populations in Europe are not growing. Rampant population growth is a third-world problem. The United States is the only exception among first-world countries, and that is largely because of the Christian Right, which agitates against education about contraception, so one way to help bring population under control is to speak up strongly against these Christian cults and their interference in political issues at every chance. I do that. Do you?
You cannot preserve a wilderness while at the same time changing the climate in which all plant and animal species live. If the climate is changed, the species adapted to that climate will die, even if their habitat is protected from other forms of exploitation. So if your proposal to change the weather on a large scale, over a number of years, is ever carried out, the species native to the area you affect will die just as surely as if their land had been turned into farms.
Protecting any significant area of land in a natural state must also include protecting the natural weather to which the species native to that area are adapted.
Draining water from rivers for irrigation ruins the rivers and the ecosystems along their banks. Artificially increasing rainfall ruins the ecosystems and threatens the survival of species in the area which gets the increased rain. Neither is a good solution.
Regarding your suggestion that I move to Ethiopia, so what if there are some other places left that people like you have not yet ruined? I am not interested in a place where I could go to hide out. I am intererested in protecting the natural climate of the Great Plains from people like you who want to destroy it, not in having a place to myself where you and those like you have not gotten to yet.
This is not about my having a place for me personally to enjoy living in. It is about my wanting to protect my planet. My moving to Ethiopia would not do anything to protect the climate of the Great Plains from your attacks.
Actually, in most places, including Ethiopia, traditional methods of farming were quite able to feed the population successfully. The reasons for famines have nothing to do with lack of productivity. They have more to do with wars and displacements caused by political issues brought in from outside.
But there have also been some serious famines caused by droughts. Those droughts are not natural. They are caused by the huge increase in DOR due to human intereference in the weather by building nuclear reactors and setting off nuclear bombs. In other words, by humans controlling the weather instead of letting it alone. The people setting off the bombs and building the reactors did not intend to change the weather, and did not know they were doing it, but regardless of their intentions, that is what they did do.
Building nuclear reactors and setting off nuclear bombs is a form of weather control. The production of oranur and DOR changes the weather, regardless of if the people doing it know about DOR or not. So the famines in Ethiopia were caused by humans changing the weather. and if they had left the weather alone instead of changing it by testing nuclear weapons in Africa, as the French did in Southern Algeria in the late 50s and early 60s, which is what caused the current drought cycle in the Sahael, there would not have been a famine.