raindrops on a window

These days Californians are often too preoccupied with the drought to consider rain’s cultural significance. But journalist Cynthia Barnett explores just that in her book, “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History.” Barnett discovers the true shape of a raindrop, how rain inspired perfume in India and even, rain’s effect on Kurt Cobain’s music. Barnett also discusses rain’s complicated history: from humans’ desire to control precipitation to present-day water-conservation efforts.

A Playlist for California's Drought

Cynthia Barnett, environmental journalist; author of "Rain: A Natural and Cultural History"

  • Skip Conrad

    Who are the Climate Change deniers? Do you have any names of prominent people who attest to this heresy. Someone like AIDS denier Perter Duesberg, or Holocaust denier Davis Irving.
    Who exactly are these heretics? And what are their theories?

  • Kurt thialfad


  • Raj

    Speaking of grunge, Seattle band Alice in Chains amazing song – Rain When I Die. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR0K0mmm6R4

  • Ben Rawner

    What are some of the cultural differences regarding rain in different climates such as deserts versus rain forests, and how have these cultures adapted art and habits in reference to rain or the lack thereof???

  • Ross

    Climate deniers seem downright sane compared to the ‘flat earthers’ in the news this week

  • Mykuhl

    Speaking of the arid Southwest, you mentioned Sagebrush. I was going to mention Mesquite bushes and how you can produce a scent of rain by snapping a sprig of Mesquite while holding it under your nose. Is Mesquite, generically, called Sagebrush?

  • Robert Thomas

    Dr Krasny and others have from time to time attempted to evoke a note of irony by describing Richard Nixon as the “most environmental president”. This is disgusting.

    Richard Nixon was a sociopath who had absolutely no interest in environmental affairs. Nixon was very pleased to extract foreign policy concessions from his then (younger people will find it difficult to comprehend this) solidly and perpetually Democratic Congress in return for his acquiescence on (to him) uninteresting and unimportant issues of domestic policy. Among these trivial matters were those of environmental policy; the great environmental laws and federal institutions created in the era were conceived, developed and nurtured by such as Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine.

    During Nixon’s administration Wally Hickel of Alaska infuriated Nixon as his Secretary of the Interior when first, he unaccountably became a real champion for the environment and second, wrote of being horrified by the violent deaths at Kent State and of Nixon’s distrust of both young people and environmental concerns. In November of 1970 Nixon angrily fired Hickel and his undersecretaries, replacing them with the ineffectual and subsequently ignored Rogers Morton.

    Those Southeast Asian people whose lands were defoliated by cascades of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D will not so easily swallow such a flippant, “green-washed” description of the homunculus from Yorba Linda.

  • Rock Poster Society

    Moonalice performing Let it Rain ???? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcw5g4lbwwA

  • karaj lost coast

    another tune for calif drought playlist: posted for paris conference. still work ahead to meet the spirit of the agreement. check it out! and share as possible…

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