Is climate change far worse than we realise?

(The Guardian, 5 Feb 2019) David Wallace-Wells, the author of new book The Uninhabitable Earth, depicts a world ravaged by climate chaos. India Rakusen talks to the author about why he thinks we are underestimating the impact climate change will have on the environment.

The opening to an article David Wallace-Wells wrote in 2017 begins: “It’s worse, much worse, than you think.” Based on the worst-case scenarios foreseen by science, the journalist’s piece portrayed a world of drought, plague and famine, all caused by climate change. Critics called this irresponsibly alarmist. Supporters said it was a long-overdue antidote to climate complacency. It was among the best-read climate articles in US history.

Wallace-Wells has now written a book-length follow-up – The Uninhabitable Earth: a Story of the Future. He talks to India Rakusen about why he believes the crisis is happening far faster than any of us realise. Human beings are engineering their own destruction, Wallace-Wells says, pointing to the fact more than half of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere was in the past 25 years, a period when we were fully aware of the damage that burning fossil fuels can cause.

Also: Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has announced it is withdrawing production of a new model from Sunderland in the north-east of England, saying uncertainty surrounding Brexit is part of its decision. Helen Pidd, the Guardian’s north of England editor, reports on how this might affect the area.

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The Guardian, 5 Feb 2019: Is climate change far worse than we realise?