Page 23: New York Times Magazine, climate special

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Our latest page 23 is from last weekend’s NY Times Magazine, an issue that explains how humankind had the chance to save planet earth and questions whether we can still do so. As such, it is surely one of the most depressing, yet essential, magazines ever produced.

Consisting of one lengthy essay, ‘Losing Earth,’ by Nathaniel Rich, the issue records how we missed the chance during the eighties to respond to the accumulated research and head off climate change. Together with George Steinmetz’s stark aerial photography, the 70-page issue rams home its message in harsh black and white.

Like the front cover (above), page 23 is a dense black page, part of a series of double spreads with quotations from the essay. Starting on the left page, we read, ‘All the facts were known, and nothing stood on our way,’ and on page 23 we’re hit with the desolate, ‘Nothing, that is, except ourselves,’ (below).

The magazine has caused much discussion, not just about the essay itself but about the possible result of presenting the it so bleakly; could it create the negative response, ‘There’s nothing we can do, why bother changing our actions’ ?

But anything that forces discussion of these issues is to be welcomed, and it’s reassuring to find a writer, photographer and magazine team collaborating so strongly in support of the once impeachable idea that experts are the best people to address important subjects.

Based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews, it’s another extraordinary editorial package from the NY Times Magazine.

Editor-in-chief: Jake Silverstein
Design director: Gail Bichler
Art director: Matt Willey
Deputy art director: Ben Grandgenett
Director of photography: Kathy Ryan
Photo editor: Christine Walsh

Read the entire essay here.

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