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Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control (Columbia Studies in International and Global History) Hardcover – September 2, 2010
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Current hopes for a technological answer to global warming are not an altogether new quest; they echo a rich history of attempts to work upon the weather. James Rodger Fleming explores this history thoroughly, parading a colorful variety of scientists, visionaries, and charlatans who reveal important lessons about our past-and possible future. (Spencer Weart, author of The Discovery of Global Warming)
With humanity's planetary impact reaching a Richter scale equivalent, what seem to be quick fixes become exceedingly tempting. Fixing the Sky's historical insights are a revelationan anchor and essential base from which to consider addressing the greatest challenge in the history of our species. (Thomas E. Lovejoy, George Mason University and The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment)
James Rodger Fleming's book is a kind of tour de folie, an authoritative recounting over two centuries of weather changers and climate controllers, rainmakers and rain fakers, and cloud seeders and fog dissolvers. All in all, an engrossing work about vain hopes and technological hubrisas well as a cautionary tale to anyone concerned with attempts to engineer the planet. (Dan Kevles, Yale University)
Provides an essential foundation for understanding the long and dubious scientific tradition from which plans for climate control hail. (W. Patrick McCray Science)
Fixing the Sky is a very readable, in-depth popular account of the history of weather modification, ranging from myth and movies to experiments, commercial ventures, and proposals for the future control of weather and climate.... Recommended.Choice (Choice)
Provides a detailed account of weather modification.... The topic is an important one, and the book is relevant for scientists, stakeholders, policy makers, and concerned citizens alike. (Rasmus E. Benestad American Scientist)
The topic is an important one, the book is relevant for scientists, stake-holders, policy makers, and concerned citizens alike. (Sigma Xi (Reprint of American Scientist Review))
I recommend this book to those interested in weather and climate modification and the history of applied meteorology. (The Weather Doctor Blog)
Fleming has provided another valuable contribution to the still tiny but emerging historiography of global warming. (Sam White Monthly Review)
An entertaining book about a serious issue. (Gail Cooper Technology and Culture)
Fleming is a masterful writer, at the top of his game, and his skill and good humor make this book a blast to read. (Paul Edwards H-Environment Roundtable Reviews)
This interesting and original work, building off of Fleming's previous studies of meteorology and climate science history, provides valuable perspective on what may soon become serious policy debates over how to respond to global warming. (H-Environment)
a very useful and entertaining book. (David Philip Miller Metascience)
This is a marvellous text for classroom adoption, and will engage undergraduates with its resolute, fairminded and comprehensive approach to a difficult and utterly fascinating subject. (Mott Greene Ambix)
Fleming's book should be mandatory reading for each climate engineering enthusiast, as it provides historical precedent to the current debate. Anyone interested in climate change-related issues will benefit from the book because of its easily accessible and jargon-free style. (Axel Michaelowa Climate Policy)
...not just a stellar addition to the history of science, but also a major contribution to the discussion on the role of history in science policy. (Vladimir Jankovic Isis)
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. Showing 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 both full of ideas and full of themselves. Weaving together stories from elite science, cutting-edge technology, and popular culture, he 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 story speaks to anyone who has a stake in sustaining the planet.
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Top customer reviews
Fleming is a great writer, and we like the way he's has arranged the chapters, from historical instances, to examples of media (mostly propaganda) utilizing the subject of "rainmaking" in fiction books, cartoons, movies, etc. some are hilarious.
it is a very important subject which needs to be addressed by the citizenry, as obviously the fake news will not tell you anything, although googling ' geoengineering' will give you an idea of how out-of-control it is.
The book covers not only the more recent phenomena occurring in this scientific era, but the more primitive, mythological, and shamanistic practices of ancient times. You see, man has always wanted to control the weather. This is a constant here on planet Earth. The book continues to take us on a venture into the wild, wild American West and the pseudo-scientific efforts of that early era. Fleming also recounts the birth of the modern era of weather modification with the 1946 efforts of Langmuir, Schaefer, and Vonnegut. Lastly, the book contains an examination of our military's involvement in these technologies and a discussion of the man-made global warming hypothesis.
"Fixing the Sky" gives us a good understanding as to from where today's weather modifiers are coming.
The author writes clearly and packs a lot of information on each page. Occasionally, he throws in a bit of humour but mostly, the book is written in a very serious, lively and quite engaging, tone. It should be of interest to a wide range of readers: from meteorologists and climatologists to lay readers with a serious interest in the subject.