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Both law and weather affect us every day of our modern lives, yet most people do not know how the weather has affected developments in the law, nor are they aware of how the law has attempted to develop ways to affect the weather. When Nature Strikes is the first book to examine the various areas in which law and weather meet and affect each other. This one-of-a-kind work describes the law related to weather in the United States in the context of specific cases, legislation, and administrative legal action.
For example, weather can be the means to commit a crime or the factor that turns an event from a terrible accident into a criminal act. Weather can be a defense against liability in both civil and criminal cases. People seek relief in court from the harm caused by weather events, whether a slip on the ice or the horrible devastation wrought by a deadly hurricane. Courts and the criminal justice system can be affected by weather events that prevent physical access to the courthouse or that destroy evidence. Through laws passed by Congress, U.S. weather services have evolved from simply weather recording into weather forecasting and warning systems. Federal patent law offers monopolies over inventions to encourage inventors to develop new devices that increase human safety in extreme weather or to improve methods such as cloud seeding or wind energy.