A State Perspective on the Development of Weather Modification: The Case of Illinois

W Henry Lambright

Abstract


The Illinois Precipitation Enhancement Project/Precipitation Augmentation for Crops Experiment (PEP/PACE) illustrates some of the more important issues requiring consensus-building in weather modification. PEP/PACE shows how project leaders can build support among key interests within a state. In terms of debate and differing perspectives, it points up disagreements between proponents of basic and applied science, and between federal and state perspectives in developing a new technology. There are lessons for how administrators of large-scale R&D projects must seek to balance scientific and political values generally, if those projects are to run the gauntlet of pressures they face over years. This essay is written from the state perspective, since the moving force for PEP/PACE over the years was a state science organization. The problems faced by those seeking to forward weather modification in lllinois illuminate issues in developing and applying the technology generally at the state level. To the extent there were mistakes made, proponents of weather modification can learn lessons. But there are lessons also from the achievements, particularly in keeping a program going many years under sometimes adverse circumstances.

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