By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change â€“ 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 Richâ€™s groundbreaking account of that failure â€“ and how tantalizingly close we came to signing binding treaties that would have saved us all before the fossil fuels industry and politicians committed to anti-scientific denialism â€“ is already a journalistic blockbuster, a full issue of theÂ New York TimesÂ Magazine that has earned favorable comparisons to Rachel Carsonâ€™sÂ Silent SpringÂ and John Herseyâ€™sÂ Hiroshima. Rich has become an instant, in-demand expert and speaker. A major movie deal is already in place. It is the story, perhaps, that can shift the conversation.
In the bookÂ Losing Earth, Rich is able to provide more of the context for what did â€“ and didnâ€™t â€“ 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 at the beginning of the twenty-first century. 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.