Emerging market recovery and growth will not be driven by commodities alone. Fiscal restraint is also required and Russia is taking a leadership role. While the price of oil will be important in determining the country's economic fate, Moscow has identified a simple, modest plan to spur agricultural production and reduce costs: eliminate snowfall this winter. The mayor, Yir Luzhkov, plans to shell out $6 million to enlist the Russian Air Force to litter the sky with cement powder, dry ice or silver iodide in an effort to reduce precipitation in the city.
"You know how every year on City Day and Victory Day we create the weather?" Luzhkov asked a group of farmers outside Moscow in September, according to Russian media reports. "Well, we should do the same with the snow! Then outside Moscow there will be more moisture, a bigger harvest, while for us it won't snow as much. It will make financial sense."