If cloudbusting is to be done responsibly, one of the first and most basic safety precautions must be that no operation is kept secret.
In the 1970s and 80s, Trevor Constable ``solved`` the pollution problem in Los Angeles. He made it all go out of the Los Angeles Basin into the desert. He told radio talk shows he had gotten rid of the pollution. He wrote articles about it in Borderlands magazine. He asked all his fans to write to the Los Angeles County Commissioners demanding they hire him to protect the city from pollution.
On the weather maps, you could see the polluted air streaming out into the desert. The 5,000 year old Bristlecone Pine trees at the Joshua Tree National Mounument, the oldest living things on earth, were dying that summer from pollution from Los Angeles. The Grand Canyon was so polluted you could not see one rim from the other. Airborne sampling by Project Lighthawk, an environmental group of volunteer private pilots, showed the pollution was from Los Angeles. But Trevor Constable thought he had solved the pollution problem in Los Angeles.
He told his radio listeners the small, grass-roots, under-funded environmental movement was actually all nothing but a plot by the big auto companies to force people to buy expensive catalytic converters for their cars, and there was no need for any laws to prevent pollution because he was now able to clean it all up with his cloudbusters.
Now we are seeing a global crisis caused by over 40 years of reckless dependence on nuclear power. A cloud of radioactive particles from at least one, possible several, Japanese reactors is moving around the Northern Hemisphere, and the inhabitants of America and Europe are rightly concerned about their health and that of their loved ones. In this crisis, some of the hunderds of people who have read about cloudbusters on the internet are almost certain to think of diverting the fallout away from where they live with a cloudbuster.
And, since almost all of those people are likely to be humans, we can be sure none of them will think of the fact that wherever they divert it to, someone else lives there. Wherever it goes, it all ends up in the same atmosphere of the same finite planet.
So, look on the weather maps. Look for sudden unpredicted shifts in the wind, with the main body of fallout suddenly going to someplace other than where it was first predicted to go. Especially if it diverts away from a heavily-populated area to one with lesser population. That is a clue that someone with a cloudbuster has been at work.
And look on those same weather maps for sudden, unpredicted shifts directly TOWARD a populated area. That is a clue that someone with a cloudbuster has been at work who did not know what they were doing. Because there are very likely to be several cloudbuster operators at work, and most of them will not know what they are doing, and mistakes will inevitably be made by at least some of them.
But even if none of them made any mistakes, which is very unlikely, the risk of compounding the problem by having several cloudbusters operating in the same area at the same time, with none of them knowing about the others, is much greater than the risk of one of them making a mistake. In fact, it makes causing greater problems almost certain.
If cloudbusting is to be done responsibly, one of the first and most basic safety precautions must be that no operation is kept secret. That all data must be shared. That any potential operator in your area must be informed of what you plan to do. And that rule must have no exceptions. Nobody, not even a radioactive Moslem Communist Emotional Plague Character from outer space, should be left uninformed of any planned cloudbusting operation.
Because, as this global emergency amply demonstrates, we are all in this together. We all live on the same small planet. And we had better all learn that now.
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