"Everyone talks about the weather,
but nobody does anything about it."
Points to Ponder: Rosalind Peterson on the weather modification bill.
March 2006: Rosalind Peterson was born and raised on a working farm in Redwood Valley, California. The weather was the foremost factor in determining whether or not tree crops produced fruit and nuts.
Between 1989 and 1993 Rosalind worked as an Agricultural Technologist for the Mendocino County Department of Agriculture. After leaving Mendocino County she took a position with the USDA Farm Service Agency as a Program Assistant in Mendocino, Sonoma, and the Salinas County Offices.
In 1995, she became a certified U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency Crop Loss Adjustor working in more than ten counties throughout California. Many crop losses throughout the State can be attributed to weather related causes. Rosalind has a BA degree from Sonoma State University in Environmental Studies & Planning (ENSP), with emphasis on agriculture, watersheds, climate, and crop production.
The following article was first written for use in a newspaper in January 2006. Since that time Rosalind has been a central figure in organizing a major protest demonstration for 23 March 2006 in Los Angeles to draw attention to the experimental weather modification bills, U.S. House Bill 2995 & U.S. Senate Bill 517 that (at this time) are being introduced without the oversight of agriculture and the public.
Rosalind has carried out a great deal of difficult, time consuming research and from her professional point of view is well qualified to express the views below.
In addition, Rosalind has produced some very effective posters that are making a great impact. They are as large as 30"x24" (76cm x 61cm) and are being distributed in exchange for contributions to fund the continuing efforts of her group. We are fortunate to have on this page small samples of three of them.
Although this article focuses on issues directly relating to the United States we must remember that, as is pointed out below, weather does not respect political borders and so Canadians should be as concerned about the issues raised as people in the U.S.
The following article by Rosalind Peterson and her three poster images are used here with permission.
Scroll down the page to see all of the poster images.
These two items have been added to this page early April 2006 - the first is a report by Rosalind Peterson of the Los Angeles rally mentioned above.
Rather than a standard web page this link will take you to a small PDF format file for downloading or reading online: 23 March, Los Angeles rally. The Acrobat PDF file will open in a separate window of your browser if you have the usual plug-in installed - it may be kept open, minimized or closed to return here.
Most computers have the PDF file reader installed but if not the free reader is available here for download:
The second is a short personal report of the same event along with another poster, this time of Los Angeles skies: 23 March, Los Angeles - Anne Berg.
28 May 2006 - Here is an update with some explanation of the USA Weather Modification Bill that is discussed below. This is an important issue for Canadians as their weather is our weather! There has been some confusion regarding the current status of the bill so we have asked a few questions with Rosalind Peterson providing the answers:
Question: When we speak of the `Weather Modification Research and Development Policy Authorization Act of 2005' - that is S-517 by Sen. Kay Hutchinson. Was that in effect as stated in the bill in October 2005?
Rosalind: No, I believe that is when they wanted it to take effect. If passed this bill may be retroactive... I am not sure if the funding for this project has already been passed in some funding bill... There is no way to find out as taxpayer money may be mixed together through a variety of government agencies (DOE, EPA, NOAA, NASA, etc.)
Question: So it is true to state that S-517 was a "bill" introduced on the floor of the U.S. Senate in the spring of 2005 but by Fall 2005 it did not become law. Will you please explain something of the approval process?
Rosalind: It was introduced on both the floor of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate in the Spring of 2005. The bill then went into various Committees per the rules. They discuss and vote on the bill and if it is approved by the various committees with or without changes the bill goes to a master list of bills to be passed. If the Republican leadership (currently in power in both the House and the Senate) thinks they have the vote to pass it... it will be brought to the floor of each respective body for a vote... if they think it won't pass in 2006, then they either kill the bill by not bringing it to the floor for a vote... or reintroduce it in 2007 under the next Congress.
Question: This was what NBC were talking about in their "Toxic Sky" report where it specifically shows S-517 at 3:37 minutes and the voice over says: "...soon to be voted on in the US Senate."
Rosalind: Yes, this bill is on a list (#317) to be brought before the U.S. House (#2995) or U.S. Senate (#517), at any time. The bill was voted out of the Senate Commerce Committee and is awaiting the push from Senator Frist (Senate Leader), to be brought to the floor for a vote of the U.S. Senate. The same is true for the House leadership which could bring the bill out anytime for a vote. We may only have 24 hours notice or less depending on the lead time given by Senator Frist to the members of the Senate.
Question: Is there similar legislation at State level that perhaps put "extra touches" to S-517?
Rosalind: There does not seem to be any in the wings at this time. However, I do believe that funding may have already passed and is awaiting passage of the actual bill. Funding can be voted for various projects and then given to those who would be involved in this program without our knowing... which is what I believe is happening right now... otherwise there would be no $ for these DOE and other ongoing projects.
Question: To your knowledge did the S-517 ever receive any earlier mainstream TV coverage before KNBC aired "Toxic Sky"?
Rosalind: No, I don't think there has been any coverage of this bill prior to my raising the issue. If there was I would be surprised... other than in Texas. I think they have (because Hutchison is Texas Senator), covered this issue to say how wonderful the bill is because the bill is being sold as one that may benefit financially the technological community in finding ways to modify hurricanes and tornadoes - in other words benefit the people. This argument will be the driving force when they try to pass it. Other than a couple of positives in Texas... I don't think there has been much television coverage. Some radio stations have begun to pick up the story and a few newspapers.
Question: How is it possible to keep up to date on the progress of such legislation?
Rosalind: The best starting point is the Website: GovTrack.us This site tracks all bills and gives their current status. You can also check U.S. House Bill 2995 as well at this site and other legislation. The only other avenue is actually talking to a U.S. Senator's Office. We all need to monitor the Congressional Offices of our elected officials in Washington because actual notice of a floor vote will be very short.
EXPERIMENTAL WEATHER MODIFICATION BILL ON FAST TRACK
U.S. Senate Bill 517 and U.S. House Bill 2995, a bill that would allow experimental weather modification by artificial methods and implement a national weather modification policy, does not include agriculture or public oversight, is on the "fast track" to be passed early in 2006.Copyright © 2006 - Rosalind Peterson - All Rights Reserved
This bill is designed to implement experimental weather modification. The appointed Board of Directors established by this bill does not include any agricultural, water, EPA, or public representatives, and has no provisions for Congressional, State, County, or public oversight of their actions or expenditures.
Weather Modification may adversely impact agricultural crops and water supplies. If the weather is changed in one state, region or county it may have severe consequences in another region, state or county. And who is going to decide the type of weather modification experimentation and who it will benefit or adversely impact?
This experimental weather modification bill will impact residents across the United States not just in California. Many current and ongoing weather modification programs (47 listed by NOAA in 2005), including the one in Wyoming that is designed to increase the snowpack, may be diverting rainwater away from Oklahoma and Texas, two states that are currently fighting fires caused by a lack of rainfall. We have no idea what the unintended consequences of the Wyoming action or other experimental weather modification programs might be now or in the future.
In addition to the experimental weather modification programs listed by NOAA, there are both private and ongoing government sponsored atmospheric testing and heating programs underway in Alaska and across the United States. Alaska Senator Stevens recently received $50 million in funding for Alaska’s atmospheric heating program.
All of these unregulated, private, government, and public weather modification programs, may also have unintended synergistic effects. Senate Bill 517 does not address these issues but intends to implement more experimental weather modification programs without a national debate or public oversight.
Artificial weather modification can impact all of us by reducing water supplies, changing agricultural crop production cycles, reducing crop production, and water availability. Since most experimental weather modification programs use chemicals released into the atmosphere the public could be subjected increasingly toxic or unknown substances that could adversely impact agricultural crops and trees.
Trimethyl Aluminum (TMA) and barium are just two of the toxic chemicals used in recent atmospheric heating and testing programs according to NASA. The Alaska H.A.A.R.P. atmospheric heating program may have the capability of changing the Jet Stream which could also change our weather.
Many private weather modification companies admit that precipitation effects may be positive or negative. Fog dispersal programs, using dry ice, liquid nitrogen, liquid propane or silver iodide may improve visibility while adversely impacting Redwood Trees along the California coast by depriving them of needed water they derive from the fog.
The increasing use of varied chemicals like aluminum (coupled with increasing air pollution), can severely impact tree health by depriving trees of water and nutrients normally absorbed through their root systems.
The December 2005 Popular Science Magazine discussed a plan to use an oil slick to stop hurricanes without noting the adverse environmental impacts of the oil used to cover the ocean.
Popular Science also noted that a private company, Dyn-O-Mat, plans to purchase jets to drop thousands of pounds of a water absorbing chemical powder (unknown substance), into hurricanes to absorb moisture that may dissipate hurricanes. There is no agriculture oversight or public hearings to determine the consequences of this and other actions or to monitor or prevent adverse impacts of this chemical once it falls on the surface of the ocean or on land.
Alaska and other areas across the United States are beginning to feel the impacts of climate change. Enormous changes are being seen in the declining health of native plant and tree communities in many areas across the United States.
NASA noted in an October 2005 newsletter that increasingly persistent contrails are "…trapping warmth in the atmosphere and exacerbating global warming…" NASA goes on to note that: "…Any increase in global cloud cover will contribute to long-term changes in Earth’s climate. Likewise, any change in Earth’s climate may have effects on natural resources…"
Global dimming and the persistent contrails, that produce man-made clouds, may have serious impacts on crop production. A recent corn crop study in Illinois shows that cloud cover reduces corn crop production while direct sunlight increases production. In addition, increasing man-made clouds may reduce the effectiveness of solar panels.
Gil Smolin, an Avian Bird Flu expert, noted on the Ron Owens Show on KGO Radio (January 5, 2006), that the flu was spread more quickly in the winter when there was a "lack of sunlight". Would man-made clouds be contributing to the lack of sunlight which might cause the Avian Bird flu to spread more quickly at other times of the year? Experimental weather modification programs could also exacerbate this problem by changing climate patterns, increasing man-made cloud cover, and changing our weather and climate patterns.
Senate Bill 517 does not address any of these important issues. Its sole purpose is to establish an experimental weather modification policy without any agriculture or public oversight of private, military, and government programs. Without oversight or public hearings agriculture, our natural resources, and watersheds may be negatively impacted. And who will be responsible to determine the synergistic effects of these programs or pay for unintended disasters created by this experimentation. If these programs change growing seasons and interrupt the pollination process crop losses could be substantial exacerbating economic losses.
Please contact all of your elected local, state and federal officials to stop this bill in its present form. This bill needs to have appropriate agriculture and public oversight, with public hearings included, prior to any more experimental projects. We need a national dialogue on this subject before more experimentation takes place.
For more information please contact:
Post Office Box 499
Redwood Valley, California 95470
You are invited to contact us at the "Holmestead".