The chequered history of weather and climate modification exhibits a modicum of promise and an excess of hype. This paper examines two completed historical cy- cles: the first, dating from 1839, involved western proprietary rainmaking or “pluviculture”; the second, from 1946 to 1978 involved “cloud seeding,” commercial rainmaking, and the attempted weaponization of the clouds. Recently, discussion of weather and climate modification has returned to the science-policy agenda, framed as seemingly inevitable responses to killer storms and global warming. The long history of deceptive and delusional attempts to “control” nature, how- ever, raised serious questions about the rationality of these options.
KEY WORDS: climate control, climate modification, cloud seeding, geoengineering, patho- logical science, weather control, weather modification