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27 September, 2010

Are the Weather Rangers Outlaws?

"If the weather rangers can save lives by operating the machine they have justification to do it regardless of what anyone else thinks. It is no one Else's responsibility. As we test and find out more from the machine under controlled conditions we will find a safe way and the feasibility of it will become more clear." – Ashtweth Palise

Are the Weather Rangers Outlaws?

Response by Joel Carlinsky

This is from a member of the Weather Rangers. I do not know if it is official Weather Rangers policy or just the opinion of this one individual, but if it is not a policy that the Weather Rangers group as a whole has decided upon, they should lose no time in repudiating such a statement.

The statement admits the process is not yet safe, but claims the right to endanger the public by use of an unsafe technology in the hope it will be possible to make it safe. This amounts to conducting potentially risky experiments on the public atmosphere, thus forcing unsuspecting members of the public to be unwitting experimental subjects without their having given their consent. This is a human rights violation that is prohibited by International Law and the laws of every country on earth.

Contrary to what many people may think, there are laws that regulate weather modification. They were intended to cover cloudseeding, but are usually worded in such a way that any method of weather modification would be included, even methods not yet invented at the times the laws were passed.

In the United States, all weather modifcation operators are required to file a notice with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ten days before the start of an operation.

It is illegal under the Endangered Species Act to do anything that will affect the habitat of a species on the Endangered Species List.

It is a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act to conduct a project that will affect the environment without giving advance public notice and having some means in place for members of the public to comment.

It is a violation of the Wilderness Act to alter the "pristine character" of a designated Wilderness Area.

In addition, some states have laws that either ban weather modification or regulate it. Some require that operators carry sufficient insurance to guarentee compensation to anyone whose property is harmed by their operations. And a large body of case law exists in which the courts have consistantly uphelp the liability of cloudseeders for any damages they cause.

Do the Weather Rangers have a formal position on the issue of what their policy is if their operations conflict with environmental protection laws? Most of them are law-abiding citizens, not normally given to breaking laws. And most of them profess concern for the environment, so breaking environmental protection laws should be particularly repellant to them, quite aside from any possible legal punishment.

It might be a good idea for the Weather Rangers to consult a lawyer before they decide to conduct any further experimentation that carries the risk of both criminal and civil liability. If they were to, say, divert a storm from one area to another, and if people were harmed in the area to which they had diverted it, they might find that a claim to have "saved lives" in the area which might otherwise have been struck might not serve to exonerate them in court.

Of course, the legal establishment is not likely to prosecute at this time, though if the Weather Rangers were ever to succeed in getting the weather-control technology they use accepted by official science, that would change. But there is a very realistic matter of how the part of the public that does believe their device works shall regard them, as well as a question of how they want to be able to regard themselves.

If they are willing to be regarded as an outlaw group, protected by the fact that since their method is unrecognized by official science, they can violate laws without fear of punishment, they should state that clearly on their website for all to see. Anything less in a group that is trying to obtain funding for anything is defrauding their potential donors.

Mr. Palise is not one of the leaders of the Weather Rangers. The people in the group with the most influence are David Wells, who invented the device, Alberto Feliciano, and Sterling Alan. They are the ones who hold the positions that count in the Weather Rangers. It is up to them to set the policy and decide if the Weather Rangers are a law-abiding group of responsible citizens conducting scientific experimentation in an ethical way or an outlaw band who willfully ignore important laws intended for the protection of our environment.

To Leaders of the Weather Rangers: what about it? Does Ash Palise speak for you on this issue? So far, he is the only Weather Ranger to have spoken, so unless there is some public statement setting forth the position of the group on if they obey environmental protection laws or not, it must be assumed that he does.

The Weather Rangers website:

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