And while all of these things may be horrible, Hamblin lays out a case that something good came from such murderous thinking. Without US research on how to harness the earth to help it kill its Cold War enemies we would not know about climate change and its human causes.
Hamblin states it even clearer: “Scientific growth after World War II owes its greatest debt to the US armed services, which paid the lion’s share of the bill. Indeed, the discovery of global warming would have been impossible without scientific projects funded by the American military.”
Without scientists trying to figure out how to blow holes in the arctic ice to create shipping lanes, the data establishing that the ice caps are melting would likely not exist. Sniffing out Soviet atomic tests, discerning the exact shape of the earth to send missiles over the North Pole, studying radiation’s effect on soil, all of these pursuits helped us discover climate change. As Hamblin writes, “Global environmental monitoring began as an explicitly Cold War activity.”
Do you have experience with earth sciences? Have declassified military experiments increased understanding in your field?