It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year—more than all other natural disasters combined.
Journalist Jonathan Waldman travels from Key West, Florida, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to learn how rust affects everything from the design of our currency to the composition of our tap water. Jonathan Waldman’s new book Rust: The Longest War explores how this substance could determine the legacy we leave on this planet.
Originally aired in March 2015.