Miles Research chief executive David Miles is building a following in the Victorian grain belt, where a group of farmers have paid for rainfall between May and October.
"A good John Deere tractor is worth $500,000 — for six month's rain, it's worth a John Deere tractor isn't it?" Mr Miles said.
"We're offering rain into any region in Australia, that would engage with us on a success basis." Mr Miles also said non-farmers had invested "several million dollars" via a separate company called Sovereignty, which enabled him to keep the technology concealed from shareholders.
He does not have any scientific credentials, claiming the weather modification expertise is self-taught. "I just believed from the start that there is no problem given to man … that cannot be solved," he said. Mr Miles said he had declined offers from two foreign governments wishing to buy his technology outright. He also claims to be picky about potential clients.
"We've had phone calls — 'can you make sure we have a sunny day for our wedding?'
"You know, we really don't do public events."
"We've done a few favours for a couple of people, but that's it."
In 2006 the Victorian Department of Primary Industries labelled Mr Miles' company, then Aquiess, a "cruel hoax" that was "taking money from farmers already doing it tough".
The company has since rebranded as Miles Research, updated its website and promoted its services with full-page advertisements in regional newspapers.
Victorian Farmers Federation president David Jochinke labelled Mr Miles a "snake oil salesman" and urged vulnerable farmers not to engage with his company.
ABC News, 24/10/2019, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-23/wimmera-mans-company-sells-rain-to-farmers/11630028
After three straight years of crop losses due to soaring temperatures and crippling droughts, Heiner Luetke Schwienhorst has had enough and is taking Europe’s most powerful government to court.
The dairy farmer from the edge of the Spreewald forest, just south of Berlin, blames German chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for stoking climate change and wants to know why efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions have fallen short and put his livelihood at risk.
“We’ve lost over a third of our millet crop, half our hay crop,” Mr Schwienhorst said. “It’s a catastrophe.”
At the end of October, judges in the German capital will hear his case, which is backed by environmental group Greenpeace and two other farmers.
The hearing underscores Ms Merkel’s climate failings as she tries to get Germany back on track with a much-criticised €50bn (£43bn) environment package.
Rising temperatures in Italy have created a plague of crop-eating bugs, causing hundreds of millions of euros in losses.
The Swiss government has recently said that last year’s record temperatures, followed up by more heat waves this year, bring “grave consequences” for agriculture.
The Independent, 29/10/2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/farmer-court-germany-government-climate-change-crop-failure-a9174451.html
GDP From Agriculture in Australia decreased to 10618 AUD Million in the second quarter of 2019 from 10847 AUD Million in the first quarter of 2019. GDP From Agriculture in Australia averaged 8071.27 AUD Million from 1974 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 12517 AUD Million in the first quarter of 2017 and a record low of 3997 AUD Million in the second quarter of 1983.
Trading Economics, 2019, https://tradingeconomics.com/australia/gdp-from-agriculture
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