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By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change—what was happening, why it was happening, and how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Obviously, we failed.
Nathaniel Rich’s groundbreaking account of that failure—and how tantalizingly close we came to signing binding treaties that would have saved us all before the fossil fuels industry and the Republican Party fully committed to anti-scientific denialism—is already a journalistic blockbuster, a full issue of The New York Times Magazine that has earned favorable comparisons to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and John Hersey’s Hiroshima. Rich has become an instant, in-demand expert and speaker. A major movie deal is already in place. Publishers around the world are clamoring for the rights. It is the story, perhaps, that can shift the conversation.
In the book Losing Earth, Rich is able to provide more of the context for what did—and didn’t—happen in the 1980s and, more important, is able to carry the story fully into the present day and wrestle with what those past failures mean for us in 2019. It is not just an agonizing revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we got to now, and what we can and must do before it's truly too late.
Nathaniel Rich will be in conversation with Alec MacGillis. MacGillis covers politics and government for ProPublica. MacGillis previously spent three years writing for The New Republic, five years as a national reporter for The Washington Post, and five years at the Baltimore Sun.
TIME & DATE
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 7:00pm