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Weather Mod a costly failure

Tanner Vix, Velva

I am a Ward county farmer and taxpayer and I am voting “no” on weather modification. Agriculture is the backbone of our state and local communities and many farmers oppose Weather Modification because it does not prevent hail or enhance rainfall.

The farmers who say they haven’t had hail because of the program I ask the question: “Is weather modification the reason you don’t get hail or is it the fact many areas never get hail anyway?” Many areas of my farm get hail repeatedly and many areas of my farm don’t. We are the longest running hail suppression program in the USA yet our crop hail insurance premiums are still higher than non-participating counties, and no lower than before the program existed. Where is the suppression when it continues to hail when storms are seeded?

In fact, our neighboring counties who do not have Weather Modification projects report fewer crop hail losses than we do in Ward County.

For years we’ve watched Weather Mod airplanes fly into storm clouds introducing the nonorganic compound, silver iodide, which makes storms suffer. The program calls it “early rainout” which means the clouds don’t reach their full precipitation potential. Not only does this process take our rain away, it also infringes on our private property rights. Unelected bureaucrats, the so called “experts”, decide for us when the airplanes fly and decide for us if the flights are for so called hail suppression or rain enhancement. This program attempts to control the weather for you and me and tries to decide for us where it’s going to hail or not hail, rain or not rain. There are many risk mitigation options (crop hail insurance, comprehensive auto insurance and home owners coverage) for everyone to protect themselves against adverse weather. A private interest group has zero right to play God over our county, our livelihoods and property rights.

There is zero accountability to the spending on this program. The only measured benefit coming out of the Weather Modification Project is the financial gain of private groups and political class that are directly involved with this project. Weather Modification Inc, Fargo Jet center and the Atmospheric Resource Board are such examples. The private interests tied to the planes, fuel, repairs, the silver iodide and pilot flight time are the ones collecting the money that we dish out via our hard earned tax dollars.

Not only would another five years of this project cost Ward County $2 million, a breakdown of the 2017-2019 State Atmospheric Resource Board $6,688,526 budget shows us $1,134,932 in total salaries, $723,382 in operations and $4,775,212 allocated as Grants, Benefits and Claims. $4.7 million of this budget cannot be accounted for even after multiple requests for a breakdown of this budget line item!

It’s time to stop this insane attempt to control the weather and let It do as it would naturally. Ward County taxpayers do not need to throw endless funds at a scientifically unproven program. 3,237 other counties in the USA don’t fund this program and we shouldn’t either. 3,237 other counties said no to Weather Modification! I will continue to purchase hail insurance for my crops and carry proper coverage on my home and automobiles regardless if we have weather modification or not.

Request your ballot now and vote “no” on Weather Modification June 9.

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