Roundtable on Arming Mother Nature

After editing a couple of dozen H-Environment roundtables myself, it was fun to have one of my own books, Arming Mother Nature, as the subject of one, this time guest-edited by Michael Egan of McMaster University.  It was a great opportunity to engage directly with commentators.  One of them, Dolly Jørgensen, recently featured my book…

Arming Mother Nature Excerpted in Salon

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…

The Grim Logic of Biological Weapons

Biological weapons are not weapons of mass destruction.  They are weapons of widespread death. The recent bombing of a Syrian research facility by Israel has brought into our view once again the future of the Middle East as a place of continuing political, religious and ethnic conflict, and a place where the worst manifestations of…

Can’t Historians Predict the Future?

Nostradamus could have been a policy wonk. My favorite not-so-witty quip during my public talks is “historians are always asked to predict the future.”  It usually gets a chuckle.  I say it as a cop-out when someone asks me about anything controversial: the future of nuclear power, the future face of warfare, or whether Iran…

Will 2013 be the Year of Environmental Security?

Happy new year, folks.  The Mayans were wrong, and I hope you haven’t cashed in the retirement fund.  We’re still here.  And yet the rhetoric of doom is alive and well, as the lead up to the entirely-avoidable “fiscal cliff” in the United States testifies.  It seems like we always enjoy flirting with disaster.  And…