Friday, April 20, 2007

The Nation Magazine Publishes Special Issue on Surviving The Climate Crisis

New York, NY – Today The Nation Magazine released its first-ever special issue devoted to the environment and the emerging climate crisis. As Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation’s environmental correspondent, reports in his contribution: “We must accept, unfortunately, that the battle to prevent global warming is over; now, the race to survive it has begun. This race will continue for the rest of our lives, testing human ingenuity, institutions, and values as never before. Losses are inevitable, but the situation is not hopeless.” This special issue of the magazine offers a frank look at the extent of the climate crisis while also seeking to restore hope to the discussion, setting out a broad program for a green future.

Executive Editor Betsy Reed, who supervised the issue, said, “The scientific debate over climate change has been settled. Now we need to focus on how we must respond – both to mitigate its effects and adapt to the changes that are already inevitable.” The special issue subjects faddish solutions such as ‘clean coal’ and carbon offsets to serious scrutiny, and introduces radical new proposals: George Monbiot calls for end air travel as we know it, and James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, outlines a 5-point-plan for transforming our energy infrastructure.

The Nation’s vision doesn’t simply stop at the nation’s borders; the climate crisis is a global one, and so the special issue puts it in global perspective. Elizabeth Economy, Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, considers the “nightmarishly bad” implications of China’s development strategy while chronicling the country’s search for a green path to growth. From Bangladesh to the Gulf Coast, Mark Hertsgaard reports on the calls for climate reparations to address the disproportionate impact of global warming on the poor. And Matthew Gilbert, a member of the Gwich’in tribe of northeastern Alaska, offers a rare perspective on the devastating effects of climate change on his people’s way of life.

Ultimately, the climate crisis demands we change how we think about our relationship with the planet. Lawrence Weschler, director of NYU’s Institute for the Humanities, surveys the artistic response to the crisis, and the role art can play in transforming our vision of the world. The Nation’s special issue represents a renewed commitment to that transformation.

Click here for the contents of this special issue of The Nation:


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