Climate change demonstration

Climate change demonstration

Today marks the release of “Losing Earth: A Recent History,” Nathaniel Rich. The narrative tracks the story of a handful of scientists and politicians from 1979 to 1989 as they tried to build awareness of climate change, and gain support for policies that would avoid environmental disaster. The frame is tight: a decade in time, a few key characters, known science, and one central question. That becomes a doorway to epic issues of money, power and human stewardship of the Earth.

Rich was interviewed yesterday by Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

Rich’s book is the expansion of a 30,000-plus-word piece in the New York Times Magazine published last August; the entire magazine was devoted to that singular story, complemented by historic photos and news clips, and haunting aerial photos and video of today’s struggling planet, taken by George Steinmetz.

Storyboard contributor Rebecca Boyle spoke with Rich last September, soon after the New York Times piece was published. Boyle is a freelance journalist who specializes in coverage of astronomy, physics, and climate change. She wanted to know why and how Rich framed the climate change debate in that one decade. And, as she wrote: “I wanted to know if Rich thinks narrative storytelling can be a catalyst for meaningful action on what I consider the most important issue of our time.”

Boyle’s deep-dive conversation with Rich was headlined “A conversation with National Rich on ‘Losing Earth,’ human inertia and storytelling as ‘a moral act.'” You can read it here.

Most popular articles from Nieman Storyboard

Show comments / Leave a comment