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Bill Gates vs. hurricanes

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Can Microsoft’s Bill Gates control the weather? It’s a Category 5 idea if it works.

The entrepreneur of the personal computer revolution now has set his targets on a new venture -- fighting hurricanes.

Gates has teamed up with scientists and inventors on a plan to lessen the strength of hurricanes by cooling the warm ocean waters where hurricanes thrive. He wants to kill hurricanes in their path by positioning hundreds of barges in the path of hurricanes, sort of like a giant flotilla of bathtubs.

Pipes on the barges would feed the warm water on the surface down to depths where the temperatures are much cooler. Other pipes would pump the cooler water to the surface, which supposedly would weaken tropical systems as they move over the area.

The National Hurricane Center is skeptical.

“This plan would involve many thousands of pumps. It would also disrupt other water and ocean currents elsewhere,” said Dr. Frank Marks.

And who would pay for all this?

Gates apparently is banking on insurance companies to help subsidize his plan, rationalizing that the lower the risk of hurricanes, the lower the amounts that insurance companies would have to shell out after a devastating storm.

However, maybe even Bill Gates can’t fool Mother Nature.

-- Gay Nagle Myers

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