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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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Conclusion to Part III

Conclusion to Part III

(p.230) Conclusion to Part III
Make It Rain

Kristine C. Harper

University of Chicago Press

The conclusion to Part III discusses why state weather control slid as quickly to a stop in the 1970s as it had started its upward trajectory in the late 1940s. On the domestic side, the US Department of Agriculture pulled funding from Project Skyfire, insufficient hurricanes passed through safe seeding zones in the Atlantic Ocean and international opposition to seeding hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean doomed Project Stormfury, and when natural precipitation ticked upward in the 1970s, Project Skywater lost its reason for being. On the military side, the exposure of the secret weather weapon in the Pentagon Papers and by journalists Jack Anderson and Seymour Hersh prompted hearings led by Senator Claiborne Pell. The result: Senate Resolution 281 “Prohibiting Military Weather Modification,” which put the brakes on military efforts, or at the very least drove them further underground. However, these declines were aided by the fragmented nature of state weather control in the United States. With no one agency in charge and several agencies fighting over dwindling funds, no single voice could step forward to advocate for continued government patronage.

Keywords:   Project Skyfire, Project Skywater, Project Stormfury, Pentagon Papers, Jack Anderson, Seymour Hersh, Claiborne Pell, fragmentation of leadership

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