On July 8 2021, Earth.Org founder Constant Tedder had a conversation with journalist and author Nathaniel Rich, regular contributor to The New York Times Magazine and The Atlantic, about his recently released book, “Second Nature,” published in March 2021.
Nathaniel spoke with Earth.Org about several topics, including:
- To what extent humans are now capable of modifying and subverting nature into almost unrecognisable forms.
- The ethics of humanity’s current relationship with the environment.
- The double-edged sword that is technology, and its role in averting the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
- The role of literature in environmental advocacy.
Nathaniel spoke with us about his book, a collection of ten vignettes recounting tales of humanity’s relationship with nature, how we have now become emboldened to transform it dramatically, sometimes beyond recognition, but also protect and preserve it through acts of immense human compassion. Through these tales, which despite their occasional incredibility are all recollections of real people and events, the author focuses on the stories which are real and difficult, because our relationship with nature is anything but simple.
Nathaniel also speaks about how we can further engage everyone with the climate crisis, criticising the “infantile” binary that has emerged among environmental activists that seek to either alarm or inspire, and nothing in between. Nathaniel believes that there is a middle ground, which is neither fear-mongering nor peddling false hope, but that shows how our relationship with the natural world is complex. The stories that will truly capture audiences are those that make people think and feel, and reevaluate their place within this complex relationship.
You can check out the full version of Earth.Org’s conversation with Nathaniel Rich below:
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