12 Feb SciFi Weather-Making
What will change about the weather in the future? Back around the year 1899, there were European companies promoting themselves with postcard predictions that by the year 2000, science would control everything, including the weather, via giant weather canons, which would somehow blow the bad stuff away, leaving us with clear skies and sunshine.
In the 1960’s an artist depicted the concept of an endless — or least dialable — day, via the use of airborne globes that were just a couple thousand feet above and capable of producing, oh, limitless amounts of bright, man-made luminescence, changing night into day, all the better for barbecuing a nice steak in the back yard at 10PM. Perfect time to eat a steak!
And about those airborne lights. Let’s see, um, the energy to provide a billion candle-power would be 20 to the 6th power, divide by 9, carry the three… I dunno, A zillion watts, times say 50,000 globes to light most of America, times some kinda fuel to do it — no, we’ll use the sun and store solar power in little batteries on the things! Yeah, and use the extra power to light our home for freeeeeeee!
Sigh. I remember wondering about controlling the weather when I was in grade school. Had this concept about deciding WHEN it would snow, which would come with community voting. Then, on designated days, like Xmas eve, the Snow Official would climb up a special tower to prepare for the event.
Meanwhile, newspapers, radio TV and local public address systems would remind, then warn everyone about the impending snow-FALL.
At the designated moment, the guy on the tower would spit on his hands, rub ’em together and grab onto the handle of a giant five-foot lever and slowly pull the thing from its resting left-leaning side to the right. The clanking of gears, the wheels beginning to turn, the expectation of delight on the faces of the kids surrounding the tower, watching this ritual move, and then: OK everyone, step under the sky cover, here we go — and pflooof! Eight pristine inches of magically delicious fresh fallen snow would plop down on the entire city, blanketing it holiday cheer and delight for all.
Surely by the year 2000. OK, SURELY by the year 2100. It’s what we all want, I mean we can all agree on that, right? What a wonder to look forward to!