Re: “Cloud seeding gains steam as West faces worsening droughts” [Nov. 22, Nation]:

We know that we have the technology to alter the course of nature, to increase our snowpack in the face of drought, to help generate hydropower when rivers threaten to dry up. But this article about creating rain in a drought was one-sided, ignoring the fact that silver iodide, or any metal salt, added to clouds is going to end up on the ground, and will wash into streams and rivers.

And not one word was written about the potential for repeated treatments of this material to kill soil bacteria (especially cyanobacteria) and algae. Modern farmers have been ignoring the fact that soil is a complex living organism, part of a vast, delicately balanced ecosystem that provides humans their food. Dead soil does not support plant growth, nor fungi or other microorganisms and the creatures that feed on them.

We need to instead stop burning fossil fuels that are responsible for the warming that’s keeping natural rain at bay. It’s past time to start paying attention to what we put in our atmosphere. Short-term “fixes” like this only shorten the time remaining for life to exist on this planet.

Adelia Ritchie, Hansville