Make It Rain: State Control Of The Atmosphere In Twentieth-century America by Kristine C. HarperMake It Rain: State Control Of The Atmosphere In Twentieth-century America by Kristine C. Harper

Make It Rain: State Control Of The Atmosphere In Twentieth-century America

byKristine C. Harper

Hardcover | March 21, 2017

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Weather control. Juxtaposing those two words is enough to raise eyebrows in a world where even the best weather models still fail to nail every forecast, and when the effects of climate change on sea level height, seasonal averages of weather phenomena, and biological behavior are being watched with interest by all, regardless of political or scientific persuasion. But between the late nineteenth century—when the United States first funded an attempt to “shock” rain out of clouds—and the late 1940s, rainmaking (as it had been known) became weather control. And then things got out of control.

In Make It Rain, Kristine C. Harper tells the long and somewhat ludicrous history of state-funded attempts to manage, manipulate, and deploy the weather in America. Harper shows that governments from the federal to the local became helplessly captivated by the idea that weather control could promote agriculture, health, industrial output, and economic growth at home, or even be used as a military weapon and diplomatic tool abroad. Clear fog for landing aircraft? There’s a project for that. Gentle rain for strawberries? Let’s do it! Enhanced snowpacks for hydroelectric utilities? Check. The heyday of these weather control programs came during the Cold War, as the atmosphere came to be seen as something to be defended, weaponized, and manipulated. Yet Harper demonstrates that today there are clear implications for our attempts to solve the problems of climate change.
Kristine C. Harper is associate professor of history at Florida State University. She is the author of Weather by the Numbers: The Genesis of Modern Meteorology.
Title:Make It Rain: State Control Of The Atmosphere In Twentieth-century AmericaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:March 21, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022643723X

ISBN - 13:9780226437231

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Table of Contents

Part I Weather Control: Scientific Fringe to Scientific Mainstream (1890–1950)
1 Ka-Boom!
2 Weather in an Icebox: Scientific Weather Control
Part II Coming to Grips with Weather Control (1950–1957)
3 US Congress: Controlling Weather Control
4 State Governments: Averting “Weather Wars”
5 The Meteorologists: Corralling the Research Agenda
Conclusion to Part II
Part III Weather Control as State Tool (1957–1980)
6 Weather Control as State Tool on the Home Front
7 Weather Control as State Tool on Military and Diplomatic Fronts
Conclusion to Part III
8 Conclusion: Weather Control and the American State

Editorial Reviews

“Harper provides a detailed analysis of government involvement in attempts to force or prevent rain, disperse fog, increase snowpack, etc., from the late 19th century through the 1980s. These attempts were regarded by many as ‘fringe’ science at best, engaged by crackpots or con artists. However, serious problems with foggy airfields, drought, flooding, and hurricanes led to interest and funding from some mainstream scientists, governmental agencies, and legislators. Harper divides her work into three sections, beginning with the development of serious scientific attention to the issue, continuing with efforts to develop and regulate weather control by federal and state agencies, and ending with efforts to use weather control as a weapon and diplomatic ‘tool.’ Recommended.”