A cluster of new technologies aim to fulfill humanity’s ancient desire to influence the weather. But is it a good idea?

Olivia Solon, The Guardian, August 26, 2018

Farmers in Mexico have accused Volkswagen of ruining their crops by installing “hail cannons”, which fire shockwaves into the atmosphere in an effort to prevent hail storms from damaging the cars rolling off the production line.

The devices are being blamed for causing a drought during months when farmers near the German carmaker’s plant in Puebla expected plenty of rain.

While some may be convinced of the hail cannon’s power, scientific research has cast doubt on these observations. But effective or not, the technology represents humanity’s latest attempt to control the weather – rain dancing 2.0 – and has raised concerns about the lack of regulation and the assumption that there is a quick fix for complex meteorological phenomena.

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