He knows, however, that this is a minority view. “The weather machine is a wonder we treat as a banality,” he writes: “a tool that we haven’t yet learned to trust.” This book is his attempt to convey the technical brilliance and political significance of an achievement that hides in plain sight.
As Blum acknowledges, in weather forecasting as in so many other fields “multinational technology corporations are poised to create a new structure of data ownership and exchange”. In other words the meteorological business is on the brink of being privatised and commercialised. Having created something that benefits everyone regardless of nationality, location or financial circumstances, humanity is, it seems, meekly handing it over to Google, Amazon, Facebook and IBM to exploit. It’s a story that’s getting depressingly familiar.