Second Nature by Nathaniel Rich [6/10]

Nathaniel Rich’s Losing Earth, a history of climate change inaction, captivated me two years ago, so I came to “Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade” ready to be enthralled again. And there is much to love in this set of essays, a number of which have already appeared. As the author puts it in a preface, the essays fall into three categories. The first three essays are exposes of corporate malfeasance; I especially enjoyed “Here Come the Warm Jets,” covering a massive ongoing methane leak. Then there are some fascinating essays about places and milieus already changing in a warmer world; “Aspen Saves the World” is brilliant, tackling a rich person’s skiing play town when the the snow is disappearing, while the town itself reimagines itself as a climate activist forerunner. And the final section concerns hubristic tales of attempts to fix old wrongs, often resulting in further debacles. Second Nature is an intriguing, educational, stylish romp through parts of our new climate emergency world.

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