The premise of this piece is extraordinary – the discovery of “a precise geological transcript of the most important sixty minutes of Earth’s history” – that is to say the wave of destruction caused by the asteroid that hit sixty-six million years ago, an event that wiped out 99.9999% of all living organisms on the planet.
An interview with a professor who researched a recent book through numerous interviews with people living in rural communities in Wisconsin. These conversations convinced her that while fact-driven policy did come into their electoral choices, it had far less impact than fundamental questions of identity, tied up in numerous issues, but boiling down to – “Who am I for, and who am I against?”.
Published this month, The Uninhabitable Earth is apparently the most read article in New York Magazine’s history. The piece proposes that the impact of climate change will be felt far sooner and far more severely that people realise. The piece is of interest in its own right, but has also provoked a strong response in the scientific community, including many climate change scientists who believe it overstates the case in an unhelpful manner.