Can engineering save nature?

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, by Elizabeth Kolbert. New York City: Crown, 2021; 256 pages, $28.

Human beings have changed our planet so dramatically and rapidly that many scientists increasingly think of our time as a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. “People have, by now, directly transformed more than half the ice-free land on earth … and indirectly half of what remains,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert in her latest book, Under a White Sky.

Noting that significantly scaling back our impact on the planet would be prudent but also unlikely, Kolbert’s premise in her

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