In exploring the impact of weather on human development and the course of civilization, Bova ranges from the effect of air pressure on school and work performance to the role of agriculture in establishing class distinctions and the relationship of human fear of snakes and falling to our tree dwelling past. But, except for a chapter devoted to climate-induced racial differences — in nose structure, body build and, less clearly, skin color — he pursues no particular topic, giving open questions the same casual passing attention he awards to such obvious observations as "lumbering takes place where there are forests" and "almost ali professional hockey players are Canadian." There is also a good deal of unnecessarily unintegrated background, all the way back to the formation of the solar system and the news that "the sun is a star." Less diffuse chapters too often seem devoted to telling readers what they already know ("weather is crucial to farming") and more questionable assertions are not properly qualified. It's probably true that the inflated 1972-73 meat prices came about "partly because of too much rain" in the corn belt Midwest, but to say so without mentioning the Russian wheat deal and other economic factors is beclouding the point. In sum, like the author's Man Changes the Weather (KR, 1973), this touches on some potentially interesting issues but does little to clear the air.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1974

ISBN: 0201005557

Page Count: 139

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1974

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