In enterprise architecture (EA) we plan business processes improvement and technology enablement to engineer the business, drive results of operation, and manage change and transformation. We do this for both core mission functions as well as mission support and business support function in our organizations. But how far can our organizations go in architecting change and results?
For the Olympics this year, China will literally be engineering the weather!
MIT Technology Review, 25 March 2008, reports that “the Chinese plan to modify the weather in Beijing during the Olympics using supercomputers and artillery.”
Here’s the architecture plan for how this will work—it involves technology and fine-tuned choreographed processes to achieve the target weather desired for the Olympics:
“To prevent rain over the roofless 91,000-seat Olympic stadium …the city’s branch of the National Weather Modification Office…will track the region’s weather via satellites, planes, radar, and an IBM p575 supercomputer…that executes 9.8 trillion floating point operations per second…then using their two aircraft and an array of twenty artillery and rocket-launch sites around Beijing, the city’s engineers will shoot and spray silver iodide and dry ice into incoming clouds that are still far enough away that their rain can be flushed out before they reach the stadium. Finally, any rain-heavy clouds that near (the Olympics stadium)…will be seeded with chemicals to shrink droplets so that rain won’t fall until those clouds have passed over.”
China’s national weather-engineering program is also the world’s largest, with approximately 1,500 weather modification professionals directing 30 aircraft and crews, as well as 37,000 part time workers—mostly peasant farmers—who are on call to blast away at the clouds with 7,113 anti-aircraft guns and 4,991 rocket launchers.”
How successful is China’s weather modification program?
“The state run news agency Xinhua claims that between 1999 and 2007, the office rendered 470,000 square kilometers of land hail-free and created more than 250 billion tons of rain—an amount sufficient to fill the Yellow River, China’s second largest, four times over.”
“Although they possess the world’s largest weather modification program, the Chinese point to the Russians as being the most advanced. In 1986, Russian scientists deployed cloud-seeding measures to prevent radioactive rain from Chernobyl from reaching Moscow.”
What’s our weather modification program like in the U.S.?
“During the 1960s and ‘70s, the United States invested millions…simultaneously the U.S. military tried to use weather modification as a weapon in Project Popeye, during the Vietnam War…[but] a 2003 report from the National Academy of Sciences concluded…‘there is still no convincing scientific proof of the efficacy of international weather modification efforts.’”
Other meteorologists disagree and say “the evidence that it works in certain situations is very compelling.”
For thousands of years, mankind has looked to gain dominion over the environment. From mere charlatans to professional engineers and architects, human beings seek to control the world around them and in essence, their very fate. With modern technology and science, supported by planning and governance, we no longer need to rely on witch doctors or rain dancers to effect change. G-d has given us the resources and the tools to try and make the world a better place.