1979-1989: The Decade We Almost Saved the Planet

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This week, we're using an entire episode to discuss an ambitious piece of reporting on climate change. Earlier this month, the New York Times Magazine devoted an entire issue to a specific period of time in modern history: 1979 and 1989.

It was a time when we first reckoned with the impact of climate change — a period of great awakening in science, politics and industry to the threat of greenhouse gases.

As we’re painfully aware, that awakening didn’t turn into action. The 31,000-word piece weaves together a narrative to help explain why — when everyone seemed to be on the same page about the threat — we failed.

We talk with Author Nathaniel Rich about the reason he wrote the piece, detail some of the most important moments during the decade, and address criticisms.

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Recommended reading:

  • New York Times: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change
  • Atlantic: The Problem With The New York Times’ Big Story on Climate Change
  • Guardian: 30 Years on, World Is Failing 'Miserably’ to Address Climate Change

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