Vanderbilt Law Review


T. E. Watts Jr.

First Page



Mark Twain's oft-quoted assertion that "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it" was first disputed by reputable scientists during the mid-forties, when General Electric Corporation, in conjunction with the Armed Forces, began serious attempts at weather modification by "seeding" cumulus cloud formations with solidified carbon dioxide or "dry ice."' Now, after a decade of experimentation, scientists still cannot agree on the effectiveness of major weather modification attempts. However, it is generally conceded that under certain atmospheric conditions, precipitation can be artificially induced with a relatively high degree of success and accuracy in a given local area, and this fact has given rise to a recent growth of the surprisingly ancient trade of "rainmaking." Thus, in the summer of 1951, western ranchers and farmers spent more than $3,000,000 with rainmaking companies in order to increase precipitation on some 350,000,000 acres, and the majority of the subscribers thought they had received their money's worth.