alarm over global warming spreads, a radical idea is gaining momentum.
Forget cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, some scientists argue.
Instead, bounce sunlight back into space by pumping reflective
nanoparticles into the atmosphere. Launch mirrors into orbit around the
Earth. Make clouds thicker and brighter to create a "planetary
ideas might sound like science fiction, but in fact they are part of a
very old story. For more than a century, scientists, soldiers, and
charlatans have tried to manipulate weather and climate, and like them,
today's climate engineers wildly exaggerate what is possible. Scarcely
considering the political, military, and ethical implications of
managing the world's climate, these individuals hatch schemes with
potential consequences that far outweigh anything their predecessors
might have faced.
what can happen when fixing the sky becomes a dangerous experiment in
pseudoscience, James Rodger Fleming traces the tragicomic history of
the rainmakers, rain fakers, weather warriors, and climate engineers
who have been both full of ideas and full of themselves. Weaving
together stories from elite science, cutting-edge technology, and
popular culture, Fleming examines issues of health and navigation in
the 1830s, drought in the 1890s, aircraft safety in the 1930s, and
world conflict since the 1940s. Killer hurricanes, ozone depletion, and
global warming fuel the fantasies of today. Based on archival and
primary research, Fleming's original story speaks to anyone who has a
stake in sustaining the planet.
Fixing the Sky
The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control
by James Rodger Fleming
Columbia University Press, 2010