It sounds like a supervillainous plot, but Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has vowed that Moscow will see no snow this winter. Luzkhov is pushing through a plan to ensure that the city's trademark blizzards land in someone else's backyard.
Luzhkov's plan is to spray clouds with a chemical mist — made of cement powder, dry ice, or silver iodide — before they reach the city, causing the clouds to dump their snow loads on the surrounding suburbs. The advantages, he claims, are numerous: Moscow residents won't have to contend with congested streets, the agricultural regions will receive more precipitation, and the whole project is considerably less expensive than the current cost of clearing Moscow's streets.
The plan is only to keep blizzards out and allow smaller snowfalls to occur inside the city, but environmentalists aren't pleased with the project's rapid approval by the City Council. Also less than thrilled are the residents of Moscow's suburbs, who will now be enjoying all the snow that Moscow turns away.
This is hardly Moscow's first foray into climate hacking. Each year on Victory Day and City Day, Moscow pays the air force to prevent rain falling on the city's celebrations. And several years ago, Luzhkov spearheaded a project to reverse the flow of the River Ob through Siberia to help irrigate other Central Asian regions, a plan that met with limited success.