As a native San Franciscan, I may be biased, but I doubt I’ll get many naysayers booing down this proposal: better weather in our beloved city. You may think the CTA, the public schools and the local government are a disgrace, and I won’t hesitate to agree with you there, but I say: let’s fix the problems we can solve!
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “I know my bus never comes in the morning, and the aldermen are corrupt by the dozen, but surely—surely!—those can’t be insurmountable problems, like wind and snow.” But that’s where you’re wrong. Wind and snow—and rain and tornadoes, for that matter—aren’t insurmountable, and I have the evidence to prove it.
Look to our compatriots of the well-earned reputation for corruption and crappy weather—the Russians. Last fall, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov wanted to stop snowfall in his city. The only thing stopping him was concern from neighboring towns. Moscow’s neighboring towns are called The Golden Ring. Some of the most picturesque in the country, they’re a favorite among tour guides. We’ve got Gary.
Russia may have lost the race to the moon, but they’ve won the race to the sunshine. They’ve even figured out how to stop the snow: The Russian Air Force would shoot blasts of liquid nitrogen, silver or cement particles into clouds, forcing them to disperse over those beautiful onion domes outside their city rather than on top of the Kremlin.
Personal motivations aside, Luzhkov calculated it would save the city a lot of money that could be used for more useful purposes. While the program would cost $6 million, snow removal usually costs double that.
Nobody’s saying Hot Rod Blagojevich wouldn’t have taken our money if the weather were closer to his speed. But better weather could make us all a bit richer. Last year, hotels were at just forty-three-percent occupancy in January, compared with eighty-two-percent occupancy in July. Think of all the business we wouldn’t lose if O’Hare could be really, truly open twelve months of the year, if people actually came to those conferences in February, if visitors were actually willing to venture outside for dinner and a drink.
Weather modification could solve the lousy weather we have now as well as the snowstorms we’ll be seeing in six months. It could mean an end to summer rainstorms. Even tornadoes could turn into faint whispers of the past—on his web site, Brad Mason of Tornado Fighters says rockets could shoot tornadoes to pieces. “How many times do you have to be hit before you hit back!” he exclaims. And so say I: Mayor Daley, all we want are blue skies ahead. (Ella Christoph)