W.R. McAfee

Copyright©2012 by W.R. McAfee.  All rights reserved

OP-ED

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Travel IH-10 West from San Antonio and you will eventually pass through Fort Stockton, Texas. Continue on and you will notice grass-covered mountains coming into view on the left side of  IH-10.  These mountains are the Barrilla Mountains. They blend with the Davis Mountains and others that  stretch south of the highway for more than a hundred miles to the Rio Grande;  mountains covered with rich, rocky, volcanic soil that can’t be plowed; mountains good only for ranching—the bigger the better.  Water in theseThunderhead mountains is scarce and deep except for an occasional spring. Ranchers there are totally dependent upon rainfall to produce the protein-rich gramma grasses for which the mountains are known.

Opposite the mountains and to the right of IH-10 west, the land is level and stretches miles north, checker-boarded by farms sitting atop good soil and an aquifer that supplies water for crop  irrigation or sprinklers or cienegas.

Thunderheads bring rain to both sides of this stretch of IH-10.  They form naturally in the west and northwestern sky and move east, raining on rancher and farmer alike. The ranchers watch these thunderheads and hope for rain.  The farmers watch these thunderheads and hope it doesn’t.

The hardest drought ever to hit West Texas began in the 1950s.  Southwest Weather Research, a company that seeded clouds, began to dissipate forming thunderheads to eliminate the possibility of  hail north of IH-10.

Ranchers in the Davis Mountains asked the farmers to not do this. They needed the rain.  Many were teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and one more dry summer would  push some over the edge. They were running out of water and grass and watching livestock die as springs and dirt tanks went dry.

The farmers said no.  Lines were drawn. Thunderheads would form, the cloud seeding planes would arrive, and 20 minutes later the cloud would be dissipated. In desperation, some individual(s)—no one is quite sure who—climbed atop their windmill(s) in the afternoon when the thunderheads formed and seeded them with lead when the  planes arrived.

They never downed any, but seeding pilots began discovering an occasional bullet hole during preflight checks. Protests were lodged with local gendarmes.

“You get a look at who it was ashootin’ at cha?”

“Hell no. I was too busy flying.”

“You sure someone was ashootin’ at cha?”

“Hell yes I’m sure. I got a bullet hole right here in my plane you can stick a finger in.”

“Well, see if you can get a good look at who it is that’s ashootin’  at cha, and where he was ashootin’ at cha from, and we’ll go talk to him. Otherwise, ain’t a whole lot we can do.”

Or words to that effect.

Pilot enthusiasm for seeding clouds above the Davis Mountains faded.

Ranchers took the farmers to court the summer of 1958 in Jeff Davis County, Texas; leaving work that needed doing to crowd an unairconditioned  courtroom to testify or wait for an  outcome.  The young sat on open window sills.

Eleven ranchers testified against the cloud seeders. All said they would be watching a potential rain cloud or thunderhead when a cloud seeding plane (or planes) would show up, begin spraying, and ten to twenty minutes later the thunderhead would be destroyed and dissipated, leaving only a fuzzy or wispy type of mist.

One witness said it seemed like a “nightmare.” Another stated he would remember it to his “dying day.” All testified flatly that the airplane’s action destroyed  rain clouds above their property. In several instances they testified a sprinkle or rain that had even begun, but stopped as soon as the plane made its runs.

After hearing both sides for several days, Judge “Pat” Patterson of the Eighty-third District Court, Jeff Davis County, rapped his gavel and grounded the cloud seeders with an injunction knowing it was going to end one way or the other as far as the ranchers were concerned.

So he ended it peacefully and faded the heat. The Court of Appeals, and the Texas Supreme Court upheld his ruling; pointing out legal and Constitutional restraints associated with cloud seeding operations along the way:

“We believe that under our system of government the landowner is entitled to such precipitation as Nature deigns to bestow. We believe that the landowner is entitled, therefore and thereby, to such rainfall as may come from clouds over his own property that Nature, in her caprice, may provide. It follows, therefore, that this enjoyment of or entitlement to the benefits of Nature should be protected by the courts if interfered with improperly and unlawfully. It must be noted that defendant’s planes were based at Fort Stockton, in Pecos County, and had to fly many miles to seed clouds over defendants’ lands in Jeff Davis County.” [read:  the Davis Mountains]

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In California Law Review, December 1957, Volume 45, No. 5, in an article, “Weather Modification”, are found the following he statements:

“What are the rights of landowners or public body to natural rainfall?  It has been suggested that the right to receive rainfall is one of those ‘natural rights’ which is inherent in the full use of land from the fact of its natural contact with moisture in the air.

“Any use of such air or space by others which is injurious to his land, or which constitutes an actual interference with his possession or his benefit use thereof would be a trespass for which he would have remedy,” Hinman v. Pacific Air Transport, 9 Cir. 84 F. 2d 755, 758″

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In the Stanford Law Review, November 1948, Volume 1, in an article entitled, “Who Owns the Clouds?”, the following statements occur:

“The landowner does have rights in the water in clouds, however. The basis for these rights is the common-law doctrine of natural rights. Literally, the term ‘natural rights’ is well chosen; these rights protect the landowner’s use of his land in its natural condition. * * *

“All forms of natural participation should be elements of the natural condition of the land.  Precipitation, like air, oxygen, and sunlight and the soil itself is an essential to many reasonable uses of the land.  The plant and animal life on the land are both ultimately dependent upon rainfall.  To the extent that rain is important to the use of land, the landowner should be entitled to the natural rainfall.”

Fast forward about three decades and envirocrats are now trying to tell  ranchers, farmers, gardeners, and citizens they cannot capture rainwater for their own  use in certain states; that there are others “who deserve the rainwater water falling on your roof.”

Their end goal then and now is control of  people and to harass ranchers, farmers, and citizens off rightfully owned property and into the cities and onto bicycles so they and the rest of humanity can be easily herded and spoon-fed what Oz  thinks they should eat and know.

They’ll take care of the land.

Like Russia’s Central Planning Committee  took care of Russia’s land.

Fast forward another decade or so and we find Oz now ignoring centuries old natural law and playing tic-tac-toe in our skies, daily seeding the weather and humanity with god-knows-what, purposely generating  droughts and floods and food shortages, wreaking havoc upon people so they can. . . make a few bucks off food futures? Destroy crops?  Create food shortages? Sicken people in the name of trying to blot out sun warmth to perpetrate a global warming hoax and carbon tax that  already has been dismissed by the planet? What manner of financial demons force this?

Had these sons-of-witches tried to pull this on humanity during the Fifties, ranchers in the Davis Mountains had a ready-made answer for them.