Fifty Years after “How to Wreck the Environment”: Anthropogenic Extinction of Life on Earth

Main Article Content

J. Marvin Herndon
Mark Whiteside
Ian Baldwin


Aims: Fifty years ago geoscientist Gordon J. F. MacDonald penned a book-chapter entitled, “How to Wreck the Environment”, in which he described how a nation might alter the environment so as to covertly inflict harm on an enemy nation. Our objective is to review MacDonald’s suggestions of environmental warfare strategies in light of subsequent technological advances, and in the context of actual deployment of the war methods he described.

Methods: We review the interdisciplinary, historical, scientific and medical literature.

Results: MacDonald discussed overt and covert weather warfare based upon seeding clouds to cause rainfall. Subsequently, a method was developed for inhibiting rainfall by jet-emplacing pollution particulates where clouds form. For at least two decades citizens have observed such particulate trails occurring with increasing frequency. Forensic scientific investigations implicate toxic coal fly ash as their main constituent. Around 2010, the aerial particulate spraying ramped-up to a near-daily, near-global level. Presumably, a secret international agreement mandated the aerial spraying as a ‘sunshade’ for Earth. However, aerial spraying, rather than cooling, heats the atmosphere, retards Earth’s heat loss, and causes global warming. MacDonald also discussed destroying atmospheric ozone and triggering earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, activities now possible with high-frequency ionospheric heaters.

Conclusions: The U. S. military’s ongoing decision to weaponize the environment for national security purposes was accurately forecasted by MacDonald. But he failed to realize that national militaries could and would be co-opted by a secret international agreement the consequence of which, however unintentional, was to wage war on planet Earth, on all its biota, and on its natural, biogeochemical processes. Unless and until politicians, news media, scientists, and others in our society face the truth of what is happening before their very eyes and collectively demand a halt to these covert technological activities, we will march onward – to the first anthropogenic-caused mass extinction.

Trigger earthquakes, climate modification, ozone depletion, ionospheric heater, Gordon J. F. MacDonald, coal fly ash, geoengineering

Article Details

How to Cite
Herndon, J. M., Whiteside, M., & Baldwin, I. (2018). Fifty Years after “How to Wreck the Environment”: Anthropogenic Extinction of Life on Earth. Journal of Geography, Environment and Earth Science International, 16(3), 1-15.
Review Article