"Maximizing Human Death was the Principal Goal"

When the Pentagon pondered plans to weaponize the weather.


Over at Salon, an article adapted from Jacob Darwin Hamblin's upcoming book Arming Mother Nature looks at a bizarre byway of the Cold War: the Pentagon's proposals to weaponize the weather. The "immediate post-Sputnik years," Hambloin writes,

You tease, and you flirt, and you shine all the buttons on your green shirt.

had a peculiar air, both of desperation and of opportunity. Doors were wide open to a range of technological possibilities. Nearly anything that was technically feasible made it to the highest levels of discussion. For starters, that meant revisiting the questions surrounding biological, chemical, and radiological weapons. But it also sparked discussion of the ambitious, the horrendous, and the quirky. Like wildcatters exploring for oil, American scientists grasped desperately around them, striving to ?nd the next weapon of the future….

The only thing not in doubt in these discussions was that maximizing human death was the principal goal. Which was better, [Edward] Teller and his colleagues asked—drowning villages along the coast, igniting the countryside with thermal radiation, or simply laying waste a city? Should humans be contaminated through the food chain, or beat into submission through ecological dependence?

The excerpt ends with a hint of the argument that I gather is at the heart of the book: that the Pentagon, rather than the counterculture, was the birthplace of what the author calls "catastrophic environmentalism." An interesting thesis, and I'm certainly curious to read more.

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  1. Scientists also respond favorably to giant bags of cash.

    1. See the entire AGW scare as an example of this. Amazing how quickly the science gets settled when you start handing out money to anyone who agrees with one side.

      1. "That's a nice research grant you've got there. Sure would be a shame if something happened to it."

    2. Too bad the science market has been continually distorted by gains through theft and parceled out by a self-serving bureaucracy, to those who wish to serve the bureaucracy first, second, and always.

  2. Yes. The Pentagon is to blame. There is absolute no evidence in human culture that humans are obsessed with catastrophe.

  3. http://www.thegwpf.org/we-cool.....sts-claim/

    Russian scientists claim that we are headed for a 200 year cooling. It is worth noting that they were saying this several years ago adding that the cooling would begin in 2012. And sure enough, the spring of 2013 is the coldest on record. One year does not make a trend. But damn.

    1. One year does not make a trend.

      Don't speak such doubts, heretic!
      The SCIENCE! is settled.
      Begin the tire fires to warm the world.

    2. Should temperatures plunge, what are the odds that Greenpeace will start calling for increased energy usage? 🙂

      1. Less than zero. They will just pay off scientists to "hide the decline" and tell the believers to not believe their lying eyes.

        1. Actually, they'll just switch to saying that cooling trends are, again, anthropogenic. Everything bad that happens will be squarely blamed on human activity.

          People are actually starting to believe that human activity is responsible for earthquakes. No joke. I don't know how many leftists friends of mine are blaming fracking for a lot of earthquakes going on.

          They are like the religious nuts of old. The volcano eruption was because we should be sacrificing virgins. The drought is because we are a sinful people and need to turn back to the gods. These powerful hurricanes and tornados are because we are driving gasoline powered automobiles. REPENT!

          1. Doomsday cults have always been good business.

            1. It really is a human need. This is just a new doomsday cult. IN the 19th Century, when the country was pretty much uniformly Christian, they were based on the bible. In our secular present, they are based on "science"!!

              1. Oh... my... science!

              2. By "science" I assume you mean consensus, right?

                1. Leftist nonsense has always come wrapped in the cloak of science. Don't forget, Marxism considers itself a "science". Leftists love to rape that term.

                  1. Leftists love to rape that term.

                    They love to rape words in general. Take 'marriage' for example...

                    1. Yes, the banning of polygamous marriage has been a great injustice and is completely an impediment against the free exercise of religious beliefs.

                  2. How else do you expect them to get their smug on? They love to think of themselves as smarter, more intellectual, in short, better than everyone else. There's few better ways to do that than to wrap all of their bullshit in "science". That way, anyone who disagrees is an anti-science neanderthal or at best an ignorant hick who doesn't know any better.

          2. Well, fracking almost certainly causes localized seismic activity. I'd be more surprised if it didn't. But the key is whether being able to measure seismic activity makes it good or bad.

            1. the key is whether being able to measure seismic activity makes it good or bad.

              People are going to be accessing a source of energy that doen't come from wind or solar, therefore fracking is bad. Period, end of story. The "OMG, FRACKING CAUSES EARTHQUAKES!!!11!!" crap is just their latest excuse to gin up opposition to something they already hated.

    3. Crank up the CO2 emission!

  4. I am totally okay with weather modification, just to fuck with other countries. It's really cool.

    We control the weather. What now, bitch?

    I'm serious.

    1. You wouldn't want to tell them. That is no fun. What you do if let them think God is doing it. Flood the living shit out of the Nile and then start a disinformation campaign that Allah is displeased because of the heretic Muslim Brotherhood is running Egypt. Then stop the rains for a bit as soon as they are thrown out.

      1. Heh.

        Have fun countering the widely-held belief that the JOOZ control...well, everything.

        Just a few weeks ago, they were responsible for both the Boston Bombing and an earthquake in Iran, didn't you know?

        Quite an industrious people, those Jews!

  5. If Communism isn't killing its people fast enough, just add wind.

    1. Ever notice how communist countries seem to always be starving due to this or that natural disaster. It is almost like capitalist countries never have droughts or floods. Maybe we do control the weather.

      1. Or maybe capitalism creates enough surplus that one drought or flood isn't enough to kill us all.

        1. now you're just being silly

        2. You stooge. We're so well off because we have FEMA! I thought everybody knew that.

      2. We should have a contest to see who can start one of these conspiracy theories and have it survive once released in the wild.

        The Lizard People thing is hard to top, but hey, nothing like a challenge, right?

        1. And you would have to disqualify anything involving the Jews, since there are people out there who believe any conspiracy theory involving the Jews. So if your theory involves the Jews you know it will survive in the wild and that is cheating.

          Bonus points for any theory that involves a seemingly benign organization like the Red Cross or The chautauquas really being a front for the most nefarious of purposes.

          1. I was thinking of starting one that said that the vast majority of the world population died in a plague in 1998, but that the TV networks have been keeping it a secret by faking the existence of most of the world's countries.

            Because I can definitely see that one getting some traction among people with no passports.

            And anyone who denies the story, and tries to claim he's been overseas, etc., is in on the conspiracy.

            1. Not bad, I can think of some parts of America where that would really catch on.

            2. no... they've been brainwashed by the government to believe. they're not necessarily in on it. they're just brainwashed. All the photos they take? Fake! Implanted memories and such.

              you gotta make it more grandiose!

              1. Yeah, you'd have to bring in brainwashing to account for all the rural Americans who serve in the military overseas.

                I'd also claim that the increase in drone warfare is due to the fact that drone operators never see their enemy face-to-face. So all the guys who think they're killing the Taliban using drones are actually just using simulators, so they can then go home and their war stories can support the conspiracy.

                1. The military has these incredible virtual reality simulators. The guys get on the plane and land in a now totally uninhabited Kuwait and are unloaded into huge hanger where they are sedated and hooked up to virtual reality machines and fight the war kind of like the Matrix. When their tour is up, they wake up and think they are getting on the plane to go home. The few who wake up early or somehow figure it out are the casualties.

                  1. Dude, I like it.

                    Because you could make a video with clips of guys getting off of C-150's, and have little arrows pointing to the backgrounds utterly devoid of people.

                    And you could use clips of deserted London from 28 Days Later and claim they're from real life.

                    There are lots of things like that you could do. Use SARS news clips and stuff. Make it look good.

            3. That is a good one.

  6. If you want the Weather Control Device you have to be on the Allies. Maybe they're onto something.

  7. some swear that HAARP is all about controlling the weather. Super tornados!! IT'S HAARP!!! OH NOES!!

  8. Are you implying that Katrina was not caused by the Halliburton Hurricane Machine with Darth Cheney at the helm?

    1. Well, I have it on good authority that George Bush does not care about black people.

  9. Thomas Dolby totally called this one.

  10. I've been reading Turing's Cathedral by George Dyson lately, about early computer pioneers, and it talks about weather prediction and potential weaponized weather modification bringing in lots of DOD cash. Fascinating stuff.

    1. I don't understand how human beings can be as smart as someone like Alan Turing. If someone came in and told me people like Turing or Von Neuman were in fact aliens or the decedents of some lost higher race like Elves in Tolkien, I wouldn't believe them, but I would be forced to at least listen to what they had to say.

      1. I like the story of Von Neumann, as a student, being told about an unproven theorem during a physics lecture and proving it on the blackboard five minutes later. Some people are born with 40-inch verticals, some people are born smart.

        1. Von Neumann was a freak among freaks. When the guys at The Institute for Advanced Study think you are kind of scary, you are fucking smart.

      2. And how much was lost when Von Neumann and Turing died so young? They had both turned their minds to biology and were doing some mind-blowing shit before their deaths. I mean, our computers are still using the same architecture that Von Neumann jury-rigged as an expedient in 1946.

        1. A lot. We lost a lot. Sadly, some of our best minds are wasting their lives on string theory, which is the scientific equivalent of masturbating to internet porn, instead of working on computation, or neuroscience or other more productive fields.

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