James Fleming takes the page 99 test and is featured in the American Scholar

James FlemingJames Fleming author of Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate, explains what page 99 of his book does and does not reveal about his work:

Page 99 of Fixing the Sky tells two stories of rain fakers: the charlatans Doctor Sykes and Colonel Stingo who conducted a weather betting scam at Belmont race track, and Irving Krick, who sold rainmaking to farmers and prepared weather forecasts “tailored to be just what the client wanted to hear.” This page addresses the checkered history and tragicomedy of weather control and its commercialization, but does not reveal some of the other themes in the book: climate control, militarization of the sky, and the role that history can play in public policy.

Fleming’s book was also mentioned in an article on geoengineering in the current issue of American Scholar. The article considers some of the scientific, philosophical, environmental, and political arguments made both for and against controlling the climate to help curtail global warming. For his part, James Fleming is decidedly against it. The article quotes Fleming:

“Geoengineering is in fact untested and dangerous. We don’t understand it, we can’t test it on smaller than planetary scales, and we don’t have the political capital, wisdom, or will to govern it. Planetary tinkering is not ‘cheap,’ as some economists claim, since the side effects are unknown. It poses a moral hazard by possibly reducing incentives to mitigate. It could be attempted unilaterally, or worse, proliferate among rogue states, and . . . learning from history, it would be militarized. Geoengineering could violate a number of existing treaties.”

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