Are today's environmental crises linked to the plans for World War Three? 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. This book links environmental warfare to the environmental crises of the 1970s and beyond.
When most Americans think of environmentalism, they think of the political left, of vegans dressed in organic-hemp fabric, lofting protest signs. In reality, writes Jacob Darwin Hamblin, the movement--and its dire predictions--owe more to the Pentagon than the counterculture. In Arming Mother Nature, Hamblin argues that military planning for World War III essentially created "catastrophic environmentalism": the idea that human activity might cause global natural disasters. This awareness, Hamblin shows, emerged out of dark ambitions, as governments poured funds into environmental science after World War II, searching for ways to harness natural processes--to kill millions of people. Proposals included the use of nuclear weapons to create artificial tsunamis or melt the ice caps to drown coastal cities; setting fire to vast expanses of vegetation; and changing local climates. Oxford botanists advised British generals on how to destroy enemy crops during the war in Malaya; American scientists attempted to alter the weather in Vietnam. This work raised questions that went beyond the goal of weaponizing nature. By the 1980s, the C.I.A. was studying the likely effects of global warming on Soviet harvests. "Perhaps one of the surprises of this book is not how little was known about environmental change, but rather how much," Hamblin writes. Driven initially by strategic imperatives, Cold War scientists learned to think globally and to grasp humanity's power to alter the environment. "We know how we can modify the ionosphere," nuclear physicist Edward Teller proudly stated. "We have already done it." Teller never repented. But many of the same individuals and institutions that helped the Pentagon later warned of global warming and other potential disasters. Brilliantly argued and deeply researched, Arming Mother Nature changes our understanding of the history of the Cold War and the birth of modern environmental science.
In Nature and the Iron Curtain, the authors contrast communist and capitalist countries with respect to their environmental politics in the context of the Cold War. Its chapters draw from archives across Europe and the U.S. to present new perspectives on the origins and evolution of modern environmentalism on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The book explores similarities and differences among several nations with different economies and political systems, and highlights connections between environmental movements in Eastern and Western Europe.
There is a widespread assumption that the American food system after World War II was transformed-toward an increasingly industrialized production of crops, more processed foods, and diets higher in fat, sugar, and calories-as part of a unified system. In this book, Bryan McDonald brings together the history of food, agriculture, and foreign policy to explore how food was deployed in the first decades of the Cold War to promote American national security and national interests, a concept referred to as food power. In the postwar years, Americans struggled to understand how an unprecedented abundance of food could be used to best advance U.S. goals and values. Was food a weapon, a commodity to be valued and exchanged through markets, or a substance to be provided to those in need? McDonald traces different visions of food power and shows how food formed an essential part of America's postwar modernization strategy and its vision of what it meant to be a stable, secure, and technologically advanced nation. Policymakers and experts helped build a new food system based around American agricultural surpluses that stabilized prices and food availability. This system averted a global-scale food crisis for almost three decades. The end of this food system in the early 1970s ushered in a much more precarious period in global food relations. By the late twentieth century, food politics had become a battleground in which the interests of security and foreign policy experts, farmers, businesses, and politicians contended with a growing social movement whose adherents worried about the role of food in contributing to conflict and inequality. Food Power argues that the ways postwar American policymakers and experts politically linked people and places around the world through food illuminates both America's role in the world during the mid-twentieth century and sheds light on contemporary food problems.
Rap to Mars, a book of poetry, satire, and prose, attempts by words and art to dissect and sift through diverse aspects of the life of man in his quest to assert himself as the king or queen of the universe. This is even in spite of mans obvious lapses, frailties, and entrapment. During the course of various attempts, sometimes, success smiles on man. But when failures present themselves, arrogant and deceitful man refuses to accept his obvious limitations. Often, in his ever-willing efforts to deceive the more gullible, man in his cowardice plays the monkey that uses the cats paws to extract nuts from the fi re. From a safe distance, the minion, man, details his more gullible fellow men to sacrifi ce themselves and others in silly and assumed defense of the Almighty Maker. The martyr and suicide bomber along with their victims become the willing and unwilling by-products But even in spite of his sometimes comical shenanigans, man, who unsuccessfully plays the angel on Earth, remains man and suffers or causes others to suffer the pains arising from a perpetual struggle between the good and the bad as represented in Rap to Mars by Earths angels, suicide bombers, and whores. At the end of the day, man, mere mortal man, still fi nds himself trapped in his self-imposed cocoon of a shanty or a mansion. In the latter, man again plays the elitist parent of a lone child while the downtrodden fi nd their pleasure by doggedly obeying the injunction of increase and multiply. Rap to Mars is a mixed grill of fun, challenges, and what the evolving society was, what it is, and what it should fi ght hard not to be.
A serial killer stalks Harlem's Strivers' Row... On a sweltering Harlem summer night, ex-cop Mali Anderson steps out to celebrate her friend Claudine's divorce from a handsome, cheating deadbeat who couldn't keep his fists out of her face. But Claudine doesn't show up for their dinner. Instead, she is found brutally murdered in her elegant home just off Strivers' Row, and Mali has no doubt Claudine's ex did it. Despite his threats, she can't keep out of the investigation. Especially when another woman meets the same savage, bizarre fate.... The two murders are just the start of a trail that leads street-smart Mali through the trash-talking and wise philosophizing of barbershops, beauty parlors, and bars...and toward a cunning killer whose homegrown hatred is zeroing in on Mali herself.