Here’s a story about China controlling the weather; one of the benefits would be a sunny summer Olympics. Oddly enough, it’s not controlling the weather that sparked my interest. Reading further we have the following:

China’s more than 30 provinces and province-level municipalities today boast a weather-modification base, employing more than 32,000 people, 7,100 anti-aircraft guns, 4,991 special rocket launchers and 30-odd aircraft across the country…

“Ours is the largest artificial weather program in the world in terms of equipment, size and budget,” Wang said, adding that the annual nationwide budget for weather modification is between US$60 million and $90 million.

Let’s recap: 32,000 people employed on a $90M budget? Let’s assume that there are no capital expenditures, no anti-aircraft guns, no rocket launcher, no need for chemicals (let’s assume these are all military surplus, of which China has a huge supply), no maintenance costs (we’re just going to let the equipment rust until it disintegrates), no overhead or anything….And, let’s be conservative and say that each person is working half time. That gives us 16,000 full time equivalents (FTEs).

That would be approx $5600 per year per full time equivalent (compare this with $2800 per year per FTE, which assumes all are working full time). According to US Standards, all employed under this system would be in poverty. By World Bank standards these workers are not considered poor (remember, no costs other than salaries). Anything strange here?

Asia Times Online :: China News – Ready, aim, fire and rain

China–Story within a story?
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