Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Location: Big Island Down Under
|Posted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:44 am Post subject: Australian company claims it can make rain
|Don't know much about this but since a lot of the eggspurts are dissing it, it must be true, right.
Regardless, will be interesting to follow the results at the company's web page.
Reporter: Emily Bogue
DAVID MILES, AQUIESS: There is welcome scepticism, and I think anyone would be sceptical. I think, however, bringing the data that we have on historic results, people see, yes, there might be something in it.
EMILY BOGUE, REPORTER: This man says he can bring rain to your property. Exactly how is a bit of a mystery. The mobile rain making station he's set up in a shipping container doesn't give much away. A satellite dish and a computer about as much as he's prepared to let anyone see. But David Miles' says that his invention can break the drought.
FLETCHER MILLS, FARMER: There is 7 per cent of water in the lakes and we can't even get a dam fill this year.
EMILY BOGUE: Farmers are having to sell livestock, and trying to grow a decent crop is risky.
DALE FRANKEL, FARMER: By end of July, early August, it would normally so high and lush and covering the ground. But because we have got no subsoil moisture from previous dry years, we have had to wait until there is absolutely sufficient moisture to get a germination.
EMILY BOGUE: For many it's a desperate situation. Fertile ground for someone promising they can make it rain. David Miles is a self taught rain maker who says his resonance technology alters weather behaviour by sending signals to weather systems to change and redirect them.
DAVID MILES: We're able to launch an electromagnet pulse off mainland Australia, basically, that uses our own sphere as well to bounce, so to achieve the reach that we need. Then the endeavour is to establish a resonance with a targeted weather system and draw it in over our client targets, and anybody else that's in that pathway.
EMILY BOGUE: The Department of Primary Industries has declined to be interviewed by Stateline, but says the company's claims are a cruel hoax.
CHRIS SOURNESS, DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES DROUGHT RECOVERY OFFICER: Resonance technology has got no credible science behind it. There is no one we can find that suggests that resonance technology could control rainfall events.
EMILY BOGUE: Mr Sourness has now given an affidavit to Consumer Affairs Victoria, which is investigating a complaint about the rain making claims. A spokeswoman told Stateline: "The Department wants to ensure vulnerable customers are not being disadvantaged."
DAVID MILES: Essentially I think that the suggestion that what we're doing is wrong is quite a surprise to us.
EMILY BOGUE: Despite the warnings, about 20 farmers in the district have already signed up for the rain making service, agreeing to pay $200 for every month their properties receive above average rainfall.
DAVID MILES: I've met with farmers and continued in dialogue with them, and most I think all of them are happy. We've not sought money from anyone that didn't want to pay or be involved.
EMILY BOGUE: Of those clients willing to be interviewed, most admit to being sceptical, but say it's a small price to pay to see whether the technology works.
DALE FRANKEL: Most farmers put in 100, 200,000 into growing a crop for the year, and then some of them even put another $600 to paying for a forecast. Well this bloke was sort of asking for a few dollars to try and make something happen. After nine dry years, well, I thought it was definitely worth a go.
EMILY BOGUE: The Federal Member for Mallee, John Forrest, has long been a fan of weather modification trials and wants a research centre to test ideas like David Miles'.
JOHN FORREST, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR MALLEE: I've been working with him for nearly four years now and I'm convinced that, at least, what he is offering is deserves a proper scientific assessment. That's all I'm asking for. Whether he's right or wrong, I don't know, but I want to know.
PROF MICHAEL MANTON, MONASH UNIVERSITY: Natural systems vary so much from day to day that you can't tell whether something occurs by chance or whether you did have an external influence on it.
EMILY BOGUE: Professor Michael Manton is a former head of the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre. He says there is no scientific evidence to support the rain making claims, and with the company unwilling to explain the process in detail, it can't be taken seriously.
PROF MICHAEL MANTON: It's very difficult to take up a study when you don't know what resonant technology is. When I look at the literature, I can't see anything. When I look on the website of AQUIESS there is a reference to one paper, but that paper describes possible ways of controlling the weather in 30 to 50 years time. Amongst the technologies that it has are things like solar panels out in space, or giant rows of fans that blow the air along. But it doesn't talk about resonance technology at all.
DAVID MILES: Once we've set up the trials we'll be planning a schedule of tests and then scientists will be able to observe the processes as we go forward, for sure.
EMILY BOGUE: It's a debate that's likely to continue as least as long as the drought. The only point that isn't in dispute is that the Wimmera Mallee needs more rain.
Aquiess Weather Modification
Rain dancers waiting for a weather report
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