Tim Harford’s long-running column in the Financial Times, “The Undercover Economist,” reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His first book, The Undercover Economist, was published in 30 languages and sold…
Gain access to ad-free versions of 20+ podcasts from the Pushkin library along with exclusive bonus episodes and other member benefits.
Today, the idea of controlling the weather is controversial. Scientists who research geoengineering have even received death threats. But once upon a time, people were optimistic about remaking the climate in entire regions of the world. They approached this science with a touching faith in the power of human creativity.
Absent-minded genius Irving Langmuir was one such scientist. He dreamt of making deserts bloom and conjuring rain from an arid sky. He even believed that his experiments with a hurricane had succeeded in redirecting its path.
Why did we stop trying to control the weather? And might geoengineering help us solve climate change – or have we missed our chance?
For a full list of sources, please visit timharford.com.