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Make It RainState Control of the Atmosphere in Twentieth-Century America$
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Kristine C. Harper

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226437231

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226437378.001.0001

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State Governments: Averting “Weather Wars”

State Governments: Averting “Weather Wars”

Chapter:
(p.109) Chapter 4 State Governments: Averting “Weather Wars”
Source:
Make It Rain
Author(s):

Kristine C. Harper

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226437378.003.0005

This chapter discusses the disputes that erupted in the early 1950s as city leaders and farmers, ranchers, utility companies, and others across the country worked with weather control providers to increase or decrease the amount of precipitation that fell on their land. But it was not long before cloud seeding and overseeding created massive discontent among residents. New York City’s attempts to fill their depleted water reservoirs with induced rainfall led to lawsuits from those who claimed that seeding had ruined their crops and sent rising streams into their houses. In Washington State, ground zero for the weather wars, wheat farmers hired seeders to produce rain and cherry farmers hired seeders to stop rain. In both cases, hearings uncovered the tensions between different groups and their desires for perfect weather for their purposes. States in the middle were not immune, and soon state legislatures were passing bills to establish weather modification boards to license cloud seeders and keep the disputes to a minimum.

Keywords:   weather wars, cloud seeding, overseeding, New York City, lawsuits, State of Washington, agricultural interests, power companies, licensing

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