I learned today that a portion (chapter 6, to be exact) of my book Arming Mother Nature has been excerpted on Salon. The excerpt is titled “We Tried to Weaponize the Weather,” which is much more direct that the chapter’s title, “Wildcat Ideas for Environmental Warfare.” It’s the natural one to excerpt, I think, because it lays out what most people usually ask me about, namely the specific ideas raised about using the natural world to fight in the projected global war against the Soviet Union. It makes for dark reading, and some of the ideas just seem nutty. But I hope that I can challenge readers not simply to conclude “can you believe how crazy we were back then?” but rather to think about the ways that these ideas inform how we think about environmental threats today. And of course, I’d love it if people would come to question their assumptions about how Americans thought they would use science after 1945, which doesn’t always paint a pretty picture.
The Salon excerpt is great, though I should say that the subheadings are not mine, but come from Salon‘s editors. I don’t have anything against them, just pointing it out. And the opening graphic, which is appropriately dramatic, might suggest that there are aliens involved in my book. There aren’t. I swear. Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you should just read the article… and the book!
Here’s the link: