Science: For Regulated Rainmaking

The U.S. Senate, worried about what science has wrought, began hearings last week on three bills to support and control rainmakers. Most fervent witness in favor of prompt control was Robert McKinney, chairman of the New Mexico Economic Development Commission. Most of New Mexico, he said, is infested with fly-by-night commercial rainmakers who seed the sky irresponsibly with large amounts of silver iodide. Hired by drought-plagued ranchers and farmers, they are making lots of money, but their clumsy, uncoordinated efforts are producing little rain. Experts have often pointed out that too much silver iodide may prevent rain instead of causing it.

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