Sun, Oct
18
2009

The Moscow Winter versus Napoleon, Hitler, and now Luzhkov

Sun, Oct 18, 2009

Moscow Snow

Consider, for a moment, this quote:

Moscow will blast clouds from the sky this winter to save money on snow removal, a city official said Wednesday…

My first thought is: could you imagine if Toronto had the power to do this? As if we need another reason for the rest of Canada to hate us, imagine us being able to control the frickin’ weather!

My second thought is: just how powerful is Russia these days if the city council of its capitol up and says to itself, “you know what? I think our winters are too harsh. How about we control the weather and save ourselves money in snow clearing? All in favour?”

but the plan threatens to anger the surrounding region, which would have to cope with the extra powder.

Yeah, I strongly suspect that this isn’t going to end well.

Airborne snowfall prevention will save the city about 300 million rubles ($10.2 million) this winter, said Andrei Tsybin, head of City Hall’s department for public works and utilities. Moscow is ready to spend about 180 million rubles to disperse clouds “in the event of very big and serious snowfall,” he said at a news conference.

Mayor Yury Luzhkov is a long-time proponent of fighting clouds by spraying liquid nitrogen, silver, or cement particles into the cloud mass, which forces precipitation to fall before it can reach the capital and spoil holidays like Victory Day and City Day.

Last month, Luzhkov proposed expanding the technology to fight the snow drifts that snarl traffic every winter.

And, again, I imagine Toronto planes heading up to try and seed clouds moving in on Mississauga and Vaughan. And I’m picturing Mississauga and Vaughan sending up their own planes to try and intercept. Again, this just doesn’t seem like it’s going to end well. I’m just saying.

And my favourite line?

“What if we force this snow to fall beyond Moscow? The Moscow region will have more water, bigger harvests, while we will have less snow,” he said at an award ceremony for Moscow’s best-kept yard.

I’m starting to get a picture of Mr. Luzhkov. I suspect he’s not a big fan of organic, pesticide-free gardening. How about you?


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