Arming Mother Nature The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism

ISBN-10: 0199740054
ISBN-13: 9780199740055
Edition: 2013
List price: $29.95 Buy it from $4.49
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Description: Famines. Diseases. Natural catastrophes. In 1945, scientists imagined these as the future faces of war. The United States and its allies prepared for a global struggle against the Soviet Union by using science to extend "total war" ideas to the  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 6/12/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.452
Language: English

Famines. Diseases. Natural catastrophes. In 1945, scientists imagined these as the future faces of war. The United States and its allies prepared for a global struggle against the Soviet Union by using science to extend "total war" ideas to the natural environment. Biological andradiological weapons, crop destruction, massive fires, artificial earthquakes and tsunamis, ocean current manipulation, sea level tinkering, weather control, and even climate change - all these became avenues of research at the height of the Cold War. By the 1960s, a new phrase had emerged:environmental warfare. The same science - in fact, many of the same people - also led the way in understanding the earth's vulnerability during the environmental crisis of the 1970s. The first reports on human-induced climate change came from scientists who had advised NATO about how to protect the western allies fromSoviet attack. Leading ecologists at Oxford also had helped Britain wage a war against crops in Malaya - and the Americans followed suit in Vietnam. The first predictions of environmental doomsday in the early 1970s came from the intellectual pioneers of global conflict resolution, and some haddesigned America's missile defense systems. President Nixon's advisors on environmental quality had learned how to think globally by imagining Mother Nature as an armed combatant. Knowledge of environmental threats followed from military preparations throughout the Cold War, from nuclear winter to the AIDS epidemic. How much of our catastrophic thinking about today's environmental crises do we owe to the plans for World War Three?

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Total War and Catastrophic Environmentalism
Pathways of Nature
The Natural Vulnerability of Civilizations
Bacteria, Radiation, and Crop Destruction in War Planning
Ecological Invasions and Convulsions
Forces of Nature
Earth under Surveillance
Acts of God and Acts of Man
Wildcat Ideas for Environmental Warfare
Gatekeepers of Nature
The Doomsday Men
Vietnam and the Seeds of Destruction
The Terroristic Science of Environmental Modification
Adjustment or Extinction
Conclusion: The Miracle of Survival
Notes
Index

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