Tuesday, July 31, 2018

This NYT Sunday Magazine narrative by Nat Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change.


"Losing Earth' author Nat Rich plans to publish book with same title

Just after the end of the war, in 1946, American author John Hersey published a short book, about 30,000 words, titled "Hiroshima" about the day the Japanese city of Hiroshima was destroyed by an first atomic bomb dropped over the city by a U.S. bomber. The book, still in print after all these years, turned out to be Hersey's journalistic masterpiece, told through the memories of survivors of that fateful day: August 6, 1945. A timeless, powerful and compassionate document, the short book became a classic the New York Times said "stirs the conscience of humanity." 

Fast forward to 2018, and Nat Rich, a reporter for the New York Times, has recently published a 30,000-word long-form essay titled "Losing Earth" about a key period of time in American history (1979-1989) when climate scientists and politicians on both sides of the aisle where trying to come to grips with the great existential threat humankind had every faced. The article ran in tne New York Times Sunday Magazine, taking up the entire issue and getting a huge response online and worldwide from readers who were both applauding Rich's work and criticizing it as well.

"Losing Earth" is now set to become a 30,000-word paperback, capitalizing on the forward momentum the Times article created, and much like John Hersey's 1946 paperback, Rich's book is likely to become an American classic, too. Give it time. It's only 2018 and the article is still fresh in readers' minds. By 2050, how will "Losing Earth" be seen by readers then and by our descendants 100 years from now?

Hersey's gripping account of what he discovered about survivors in Hiroshima has withstood the test of time. Will Nat Rich's upcoming book about his New York Times reporting stand the test of time? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, according to sources close the Times, Nat is at this very moment prepping a non-fiction book based on his controversial climate change reporting, a process that took 18 months of research and writing and entailed doing over 100 interviews with people involved in that momentous decade. The publisher has not been announced yet, and the publication date remains an industry secret, but sources in New York tell me the book could be out this fall or in early 2019.

Okay, it's going to a short book, just 30,000 words, but it's going to be a big book, given the publicity it has also generated all over the world. Most books come in at 80,000 words or more, some as much as 150,000 words. So a short 30,000-word book about climate change is going to be a unique kind of publishing venture.

When it comes down to it, it's all about word count. British ''Atonement'' author Ian McEwan has said a ''novella'' -- a short novel, longer than a short story but shorter than full-length novel -- usually comes in at around 20,000 and 40,000 words. Other book pundits put the word-count at around 50,000 words. 

So Nat Rich's hugely popular and stunning (and controversial) news article won't be that unusual for a New York publisher to handle, even with a shorter than usual word count, according to book industry sources.

Once that book is released, Nat will be expected to go on another round of marketing and promotional chores, doing interviews on TV, NPR radio and in print publications nationwide. There will be college lecture tours, book signings, panel discussions and bookstore visits. 

Will the book come with an introduction by someone famous, such as  James Hansen or Rafe Pomerance or Al Gore, or will Nat write a new introduction for readersm taking into account the controversy (and the applause) that ensued after the initial newspaper story went viral? 

This will be a book worth waiting for, and you won't have to wait that long for it to appear in print.


The whole wide world, it is a'warming/ Heatwaves, fires, this is a warning/ What you see is the truth all around you/ The planet's gettin' hotter and #ExxonKnew /California Dreamin' is a thing of the past /We are losing ground and losing it fast 



From the mouth of a very smart [and worried] pre-teen: 

"Where should we go to stay safe?" asks Mia, 


a 12 year old - a person of color -- POC -- at the Nat Rich climate event in NYC

Nat Rich's 30,000-word essay in NYT mag this week ''LOSING EARTH'' will become a paperback book in early 2019 and be compared favorably with John Hersey's 1946 nonfiction book ''HIROSHIMA''. Film rights for both straight docu HBO style and Hollywood cli-fi film with ensemble cast

#CliFiEditor’s Note

This narrative by Nat Rich is a work of history, addressing the 10-year period from 1979 to 1989: the decisive decade when humankind first came to a broad understanding of the causes and dangers of climate change. Complementing the text is a series of aerial photographs and videos, all shot over the past year by George Steinmetz. With support from the Pulitzer Center, this two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it. -- Jake Silverstein, EDITOR, Sunday Magazine

Link to entire 28,000- word article, soon to be published book later in 2018.



''LIVE'' ONLINE NOW HERE: The NYT SUNDAY MAGAZINE Nat Rich piece on climate change. #LosingEarth LINK TO NYT: https://northwardho.blogspot.com/2018/07/this-nyt-sunday-magazine-narrative-by.html

***"Curious, empathetic, compassionate: What we should be as human beings."***

THE ''Cli-Fi ''REPORT:
100 academic and  media links:

1.‘This Is the Whole Banana’Spring 1979
The first suggestion to Rafe Pomerance that humankind was destroying the conditions necessary for its own survival came on Page 66 of the government publication EPA-600/7-78-019. It was a technical report about coal, bound in a coal-black cover with beige lettering — one of many such reports that lay in uneven piles around Pomerance’s windowless office on the first floor of the Capitol Hill townhouse that, in the late 1970s, served as the Washington headquarters of Friends of the Earth. In the final paragraph of a chapter on environmental regulation, the coal report’s authors noted that the continued use of fossil fuels might, within two or three decades, bring about “significant and damaging” changes to the global atmosphere.
Pomerance paused, startled, over the orphaned paragraph. It seemed to have come out of nowhere. He reread it. It made no sense to him. Pomerance was not a scientist; he graduated from Cornell 11 years earlier with a degree in history. He had the tweedy appearance of an undernourished doctoral student emerging at dawn from the stacks. He wore horn-rimmed glasses and a thickish mustache that wilted disapprovingly over the corners of his mouth, though his defining characteristic was his gratuitous height, 6 feet 4 inches, which seemed to embarrass him; he stooped over to accommodate his interlocutors. He had an active face prone to breaking out in wide, even maniacal grins, but in composure, as when he read the coal pamphlet, it projected concern. He struggled with technical reports. He proceeded as a historian might: cautiously, scrutinizing the source material, reading between the lines. When that failed, he made phone calls, often to the authors of the reports, who tended to be surprised to hear from him. Scientists, he had found, were not in the habit of fielding questions from political lobbyists. They were not in the habit of thinking about politics.
The reporting and photography for this project were supported by a major grant from the Pulitzer Center, which has also created lesson plans to bring the climate issue to students everywhere.
Pomerance had one big question about the coal report. If the burning of coal, oil and natural gas could invite global catastrophe, why had nobody told him about it? If anyone in Washington — if anyone in the United States — should have been aware of such a danger, it was Pomerance. As the deputy legislative director of Friends of the Earth, the wily, pugnacious nonprofit that David Brower helped found after resigning from the Sierra Club a decade earlier, Pomerance was one of the nation’s most connected environmental activists. That he was as easily accepted in the halls of the Dirksen Senate Office Building as at Earth Day rallies might have had something to do with the fact that he was a Morgenthau — the great-grandson of Henry Sr., Woodrow Wilson’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire; great-nephew of Henry Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Treasury secretary; second cousin to Robert, district attorney for Manhattan. Or perhaps it was just his charisma — voluble, energetic and obsessive, he seemed to be everywhere, speaking with everyone, in a very loud voice, at once. His chief obsession was air. After working as an organizer for welfare rights, he spent the second half of his 20s laboring to protect and expand the Clean Air Act, the comprehensive law regulating air pollution. That led him to the problem of acid rain, and the coal report.

Losing Earth: The Decade We
Almost Stopped Climate Change

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