The Control of Nature cover

The Control of Nature


The Control of Nature is a 1989 book by John McPhee that chronicles three attempts (with varying success) to control natural processes. It is divided into three long essays, "Atchafalaya", "Cooling the Lava", and "Los Angeles Against the Mountains". The Army Corps of Engineers prevents the Mississippi River from changing course, but has had less success in controlling flooding along the river. The residents of Heimaey, Iceland saved their harbor by spraying water on the volcanic lava flow threatening to close it off. The residents of the San Gabriel Mountains have had little success in preventing debris flows from destroying their houses.
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original title: The Control of Nature
date of publication: 1989
genre: non-fiction

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