What Is a Natural Disaster?

Steinberg queries the distinction between natural and human-engineered disasters. Using evidence of floods caused by artificial dams, rain created by cloud seeding, and hurricanes affected by weather control projects, the author suggests that humans are altering the weather and unself-consciously contributing to natural disasters such as floods and droughts. This essay traces the history of natural disasters to underline the changing attitudes towards environmental events during the last two hundred years and distinguishes among weather events perceived to be Acts of God, neutral events, or human-engineered events.