Owning the Weather | Chicago Reader

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93 minutes · 2009

You've heard that joke "Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it"? According to this documentary by Robert Greene, there are currently more than 50 weather-modification programs in the U.S., most of them scientifically dubious cloud-seeding projects intended to produce snow for ski parks or rain for drought-ridden areas. Greene traces the history of weather modification back to the early 20th century, when distressed communities turned to professional rainmakers like Charles Hatfield, and surveys the current wave of geoengineering schemes to combat global warming (satellites that will refract sunlight away from earth, giant hoses that will spray sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere). The movie's theme is nicely encapsulated by Harper's contributing editor Garret Keizer when he asks whether "a creature that can't control its intake of chili dogs should be in charge of the wind and the rain."
Director: Robert Greene

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