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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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Weather Control and the American State

Weather Control and the American State

Chapter:
(p.235) Conclusion Weather Control and the American State
Source:
Make It Rain
Author(s):

Kristine C. Harper

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226437378.003.0011

The conclusion argues that weather control and the American state grew in tandem during the twentieth century and that weather control was different from other state controls of nature because modifying the atmosphere affects everything downstream, not just a large patch of land. In contrast, even large dam and levee projects are essentially local. But now the effects of climate change add a new level of interest to humans’ desires to choose their environmental conditions. Geoengineering techniques, including carbon sequestration and reflecting sunlight back into space, are on a much larger scale than any weather control attempts. They would also be subject to global, not state, control, which makes them less likely, though not impossible. Depending on where they live, people will probably be clamoring, however, for more or less water, and that is within the capability of current weather control techniques, which have always been about water. Weather control may have lost its luster as a state tool in the 1970s, but that does not mean it is gone for good. Lessons learned from those earlier attempts could be key to future fresh water supplies.

Keywords:   weather control, state tool, American state, control of nature, geoengineering, water supply

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