Review: Hack the Planet–Science’s Best Hope–or Worst Nightmare–For Averting Climate Catastrophe

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5.0 out of 5 stars Tour of the Horizon, the Smartest of Skeptics

July 25, 2010

Eli Kintisch

I bristled when I saw the title, but bought the book in association with my own talk to Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) on “Hacking Humanity.” I've put the book down glad I did not give up in the early pages, and thoroughly impressed by the author, clearly among the smartest of skeptics.

Although I was suprised to find no mention of HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) which is striving for openness but still appears to have an unnerving patina of weather change and earthquake triggering potential–in my uninformed view. I'd love the author's informed opinion on HAARP.

What the author does provide in this book is a totally superb overview with multiple drill-downs of what is now called “geoengineering.” Geo-systems are not in this book, and that is the greatest flaw with any contemplation of geo-engineering–you cannot engineer what you cannot understand.

The arrogance of those proposing “methods” to “hack” the Earth is truly outstanding, an arrogance I am glad to see that the author does not share. Among the long list of ideas:
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