This week on HFTF, Colby College historian James R. Fleming discusses his 2010 book, Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control. Fleming’s work traces the efforts of visionaries and charlatans since antiquity to manipulate weather and climate. On the show, Fleming describes weather manipulation in classical mythology, 19th century attempts to make it rain, and British military undertakings to clear fog from airport runways during World War II. In showing the mix of hubris and confusion marring many historical efforts at weather control, Fleming’s work offers a powerful caution for those who propose “geoengineering” to mitigate climate change. Give the show a listen!
At the end of the show, James Fleming mentioned a couple of authors exploring the ethical and human dimensions of geoengineering. To take a look at Stephen Gardiner’s recent publications, click here, and for Alan Robock’s article, “20 Reasons Why Geoengineering May Be a Bad Idea,” click here (.pdf).