Hugo Chavez, Rainmaker?

SuperFreakonomics briefly considers the possibility of a rogue leader like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez deciding to unilaterally try geoengineering the planet. Who’d have thought Chavez would actually try some geoengineering with his own hands? According to this Reuters report, Chavez recently asked a team of Cuban scientists to seed clouds over his drought-stricken country. (Perhaps he was inspired by Beijing’s artificially enhanced snowstorms.) And Chavez has announced his intent to personally join the scientists: “I’m going in a plane,” he said. “Any cloud that crosses me, I’ll zap it so that it rains.” [%comments]

Leave A Comment

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.



View All Comments »
  1. Kel says:

    “Any cloud that crosses me, I’ll zap it so that it rains.”
    So cloud hunting is the new sport of kings?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  2. Phil Chamberlain says:

    Why is Chavez a ‘rogue’ leader? What part of the definition of rogue do you think applies to Chavez – and why? Do you think that definition could also be applied to some American presidents; but would you ever consider calling them ‘rogue’?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  3. Machiavel says:

    Well, if Venezuela and China does it, it can only be a good thing! :)

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  4. Miguel says:

    «Rainmaking» has been done lots of times at least in Israel and Portugal… the process is not science-fiction and the results are considerably good. (a few milimeters of rain are better than no rain at all for months at a time…)

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. Andre D. says:

    Here in Alberta it’s used to mitigate the damage done by hailstorms as opposed to rain creation.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  6. TsaiCMS says:

    Hugo Chavez.. Classic example of terrible economics that Hugo Chavez would do. Altering the environment for the benefit of his country may cause terrible consequences for other areas nearby, such as flooding our droughts in neighboring countries, which in turn would alter their own economy as well. Altering the environment is never a wise decision, given how it exists in such a balance of cycles that forcing clouds to rain may alter the whole system in the area. Hugo Chavez should work on other alternatives to improve their domestic economy such as removing price floors or ceilings, or better, listen to his team of economic advisers.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  7. Jon says:



    Speaking at the Turtle Bay Cesspool:
    “And the Devil (Bush) came here yesterday. Yesterday the Devil came here. Right here. [crosses himself] And it smells of sulphur still today.”

    About his ally in Zim:
    “I give you a replica of liberator Simon Bolivar’s sword. For you who, like Bolivar, took up arms to liberate your people. For you who, like Bolivar, are and will always be a true freedom fighter. [Mugabe] continues, alongside his people, to confront the pretensions of new imperialists.”

    Speaking about the failed death-cult of authoritarian socialism:
    “Those who want to go directly to hell can follow capitalism… and those of us who want to build heaven here on earth will follow socialism.”

    I think those things said by Chavez were likely why “Freakonomics” is willing to go out on a wire and use rogue as an adjective to describe his behaviour as deviating from the generally accepted standard of qualified thought and statesmanship. It’s not like they were calling him a playful vagabond, or scamp…

    After all, Sarah Palin calls herself rogue and she just parrots the hard right.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  8. louie one eye says:

    Chavez has escaped death on more than one occasion. As leader he would likely feel a sense of a sword-in-the-stone destiny.

    The man has a sense of humor too. Oh my, that’s quite dangerous.

    Demonize as you will, Chavez continues to try to help the common man in very difficult times.

    The real top gun, however, is subcommandante marcos.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0