David Wallace-Wells, deputy editor of New York Magazine, discusses the growing threat of climate change as told through his book, The Uninhabitable Earth: A Story of the Future, and his ideas on how to combat it.
On the misconceptions associated with climate change: “I felt maybe 10 years ago that climate change was mostly an issue of arctic ice melt and sea level rise and that meant then that if I was not living on a coastline I would be safe – that the issue was concerning, but all it meant was that we were going to have to draw our coastlines several hundred meters inland. That would be bad, but it wouldn’t be that bad. The more you know about the research, especially the new research on the subject, the more foolish that seems.”
On using fear and alarmism to bring attention to the issue: “There are those who think that it’s dangerous to alarm people. And on that question I have a number of different answers, but all of which tell me that it is valuable. I’m not alarming people, the science is alarming people. If the best publications on climate change being published in Nature and Science and The Lancet and all of the top scientific publications in the world are sketching out these possibilities, I think as a journalist it is valuable to share that information with that public, rather than hide it from the public.”