Available in April 2019
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 full 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. It is the story, perhaps, that can shift the conversation. In 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 is a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine and his essays have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, Harper’s Magazine, Rolling Stone, and The Daily Beast. He is also the author of three novels—King Zeno, Odds Against Tomorrow, and The Mayor’s Tongue—and a book about film noir, San Francisco Noir: The City in Film Noir from 1940 to the Present. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and young son.