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Would you believe that a lot of people have been talking about the weather but nobody's doing very much about it? That is the sum and substance of veteran science writer D. S. Halacy's glum picture of meteorological research today. Yes, we might have another mini or major ice age (a consensus of experts tends towards cooling). On the other hand. . . and so it goes. We are apparently fairly successful at cloud-seeding, but don't seem to be doing very much of it lately. (This may be just as well because we could get into legal difficulties.) We are zilch on hurricane or lightning control, not so good on fog either. Weather forecasting is still a sometime thing, and long-term climatological change will either happen according to one of the many theories of ice age causation or by preposterous human interventions (lamp-blacking snow, tugging icebergs, launching little sun or moonlets). It would be nice if government agencies and academia would generate concerted programs but these too are not forthcoming. Certainly weather is an area where international collaboration is a realizable goal, but more attention has been paid to the dangers of weather warfare than to peaceful cooperation. With so much inaction, Halacy can only conclude that should we be in for bad times ahead we may be able to scrape through but only barely. Let's hope that his book strikes some responsive chords in responsible authorities. The negative picture, however, may only create further hopelessness in the reader.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row