Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Using science to end droughts

While there is no good time to have a famine, probably the worst time is when everybody is looking the other way which is why the famine in Eastern Africa is not dominating the news agenda.
Up to 13 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan and Somalia are at risk from the worst drought for 60 years but the succession of the Greek crisis, News International's implosion, Amy Winehouse's death and the Norway massacre has kept the famine down the list of news stories which must impact on the donations received.
The latest famine is blamed on drought, war and corruption. The second and third reasons can only be dealt with at Government level but why are we not doing anything about drought when we have the technology to bring rain when the rains fail?
China, United States, Russia, India, Germany, Australia, Canada, Niger, France, Spain, Mali and Austria all use cloud seeding to turn on or off the rain, even to relieve drought hit areas of their own countries, so why can't the number of commercial companies who offer weather modification services produce the required results over East Africa?
Billions have been spent over decades researching the matter worldwide and it has been confirmed that a person is more at danger of contamination from the fillings in their teeth than from the silver iodine used to seed the clouds so why is it not an option?
The American and Australian Meteorology boffins are joining forces and spending £8 million to ease the drought in Queensland by using cloud seeding so the science is there to bring rain where it is most needed.
With global warming set to make inhospitable areas all the more barren, the ability to make it rain where we need it could become one of the most important life saving inventions mankind has ever dreamt of but for whatever reason, we seem unwilling to even try to relieve the almost annual famines in Africa by removing one of the major contributing factors.

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