TV tonight: Hacking the Planet premieres on The Weather Channel

Hurricanes are just one of the natural disasters scientists are attempting to manipulate. Photo: Wikimedia/Hacking The Planet

WASHINGTONFebruary 28, 2013 —Yet again, most of the networks will show reruns tonight. However, some unlikely places provide entertainment.

Tonight, that unlikely place is The Weather Channel. Their newest series Hacking the Planet, explores the possibility of engineering weather to diminish its devastating effects. According to The Weather Channel, “Hacking the Planet describes the latest attempts by scientists on the cutting edge working to prevent, weaken, or redirect dangerous weather events.”

It sounds like pure science fiction, but heart transplants and space exploration seemed just as improbable two hundred years ago. Among the ideas is a way to slow hurricanes by using ocean spray, seen in the video below in our listings area under the “Basic Cable” head.

Other ideas explored in this six-part series include ways to increase and decrease rainfall, channel lightning, and harness the power of tornadoes.

Is this concept unsettling, or a reason to inspire hope for the future of the planet? The premise sounds like the script of a really bad science fiction movie and brings to mind the Woody Allen saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” 

One could apply this approach to trying to manipulate the weather, as well as the other natural disasters The Weather Channel explores in this series. “If you want to stir up Mother Nature, tell her you know how to control her.”

With a seemingly endless parade of more intense weather in the news, scientists’ exploration of ways to control the elements is understandable. The question is whether science can come up with an effective approach before it’s too late.

It all sounds like a short cut around man’s detrimental effects on the planet. Until we all collectively decide to start treating this planet with more respect, all the brilliant scientists in the world are unlikely to create a technology that allows us to continue on our current path.

Tonight’s viewing

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: Zero Hour: (New) Hank returns from India with renewed determination; Laila starts leaving a trail of clues for Hank; Hank’s parents seem to be keeping a secret.

CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (Repeat) Sheldon gets all revved up when the university reassigns his parking space to returning space traveler Wolowitz, and the resulting battle affects the entire gang.

FOX: American Idol: (New) The fourth and final group of semifinalists take the stage.

NBC: Community: (New) The gang’s in for a rude awakening when a new history professor cracks the whip. Malcolm McDowell guest stars!

CW: The Vampire Diaries: (Repeat) Rebekah questions Stefan, Elena and Caroline about the search for a cure. Meanwhile, Bonnie’s father suddenly becomes more involved in her life.

8:30 p.m.

CBS: Two and a Half Men: (Repeat) A visit from a friend’s daughter makes Walden feel his age.

NBC: Parks and Recreation: (Repeat) Halloween brings some upsetting news for Leslie in the form of a job offer for Ben. At the same time, Ron and Andy go trick-or-treating with Diane’s daughters, while Tom looks for a new business venture.

9 p.m.

ABC: Scandal: (Repeat) Olivia unravels as her colleagues learn the truth about the rigged election; Mellie tries to reel Fitz in.

CBS: Person of Interest: (Repeat) Reese and Finch face an ethical dilemma when the Machine gives them the number of a mob enforcer who’s in danger. Meanwhile, Finch gets help from an unlikely ally.

NBC: The Office: (Repeat) When Pam unwittingly brings lice into the office, Meredith gets blamed and Dwight goes on a quest to annihilate the tiny insects. Elsewhere, Jim courts a potential associate in Philadelphia, and three staffers snoop into Darryl’s love life.

CW: Beauty and the Beast: (Repeat) Vincent is nearly caught by his former fiancée. Later, Cat is forced to confront her feelings for Vincent.

9:30 p.m.

NBC: 1600 Penn: (New) The President and First Lady take radical steps to connect the kids with nature.

10 p.m.

ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars: (Repeat) Actor Jamie Foxx; actor Channing Tatum; TV host Robin Roberts.  

CBS: Elementary: (Repeat) Sherlock is forced to work with an FBI profiler to stop an unpredictable criminal in New York. Meanwhile, Watson faces eviction from her apartment.

NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (Repeat) Two suspects are tried for the same murder in separate, simultaneous court proceedings, with the DA in each case rushing for a conviction.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

Hacking the Planet at 8 p.m. on The Weather Channel. See the video below.

Highway Thru Hell at 8 p.m. on NGC

West End Salvage at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on HGTV

Property Wars at 8:30 p.m. on DSC

Comic Book Men at 9 p.m. on AMC

Swamp People at 9 p.m. on History Channel

Mysteries at the Museum at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Auction Kings at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on DSC

Freak Show at 9:30 p.m. on AMC

Anger Management at 9:30 p.m. on FX

The First 48 at 10 p.m. on A&E

Immortalized at 10 p.m. on AMC

North Woods Law at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet

Property Wars at 10 p.m on DSC

Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

Big Rig Bounty Hunters at 10 p.m. on History Channel

Mudcats: Down and Dirty at 10 p.m. on NGC

King of the Nerds at 10 p.m. on TBS

What Not to Wear at 10 p.m. on TLC

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Safe House on CINEMAX

My Boss’s Daughter on ENC

The Road on FMC

Transporter 3 on IFC

Uncertainty on SUND

The Graduate on TCM

The Black Dahlia on TMC

9 p.m.

Wanderlust at 9 p.m. on HBO

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on MOMAX

Stake Land on Syfy

Later tonight:

Grumpy Old Men at 9:30 p.m. on ENC

Titanic at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Paycheck at 10 p.m. on FLIX

Joyful Noise at 10 p.m. on HBO

The Producers at 10 p.m. on TCM


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

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