tv Rancher Farmer Fisherman CSPAN November 11, 2016 2:30pm-3:31pm EST
it is very easy for them to find large ethnic company's are welcome and provide a really nice entrée into the economy, the local economy. but the problem is it essential also holds back their acquiring the language skills, their acquiring the incentive to move to a broader economy and to sell their labor to everyone else as opposed to just a captive labor market. >> you can watch all previous afterwards programs at booktv.org. >> good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the rare book room.
it's my pleasure of author miriam horn choices even. she's author of two previous books including a "new york times" bestseller. she pretty worked for the u.s. forest service and spent 15 years writing numerous newspaper articles and for magazines including the "new york times," u.s. news, world report, smithsonian. tonight we're celebrating the most release and -- recent book, "rancher, farmer, fisherman." during the conversation we are glad to ian frazier. but first tell us a bit about her book, lee's welcome miriam horn. [applause]
>> thank you for welcoming us to this incredible row at the strand and for keeping the strength such a vital part of our lives. thank you for joining me here. i have been a group be of ian frazier for 25 years since i first read great plains which remained one of my most beloved books ever. if you haven't read great plains and you should pick it up on your way out. i wanted to do a couple things before we start the conversation. when it's just to its blame a little bit about why i chose the geography i chose for the book. any others to do a little reading. let me start with the geography. the book unfolds as a trip down the mississippi river. the mississippi river, it's the third largest river in the world. it's the only outside besides the amazon and the congo, but we
who live in flyover country i think overlook its significance. it's really at the center of the american story in almost every imaginable way. it carries a million tons of silt and clay in it every day, or it did before we reengineered it. but that money actually built the american continent. it filled all of the land from missouri down to louisiana when it overtopped its banks. it built its own delta and those wetlands that are just about half of the marshaling in the united states in an absolutely critical ecosystem. it's been critical to american history, the geography of the watershed maps almost perfectly with the louisiana purchase, which thomas jefferson foresaw would determine the destinies of the republic.
mark twain called it the body of the nation, and fraser said in his book, and hogwild also wonderful collection, he said the mississippi is us and vice versa. this is where lewis and clark took their famous journeys, and huck finn and gym bears. it's where many of the most significant battles of the civil war were fought and lost. it's where most of our natural wealth still resides. it up in the mountains, are copper and other minerals supplies from those great plains, our meat and agreeance and our beans and from its estuaries and the gulf of mexico beyond its delta come most of our seafood. so it remains totally central still to our food supply. and lastly, it's really critical to our politics. in addition to mapping on the
louisiana purchase, it also maps almost perfectly onto red state america. so figuring out who we are as a country also happens in that territory. if you read the title essay in ian frazier's book use it almost maps perfect on the population of feral hogs in america. ihis essays and on your logs. i have to hog cameos in my third chapter. in both cases they are either trying or succeeding at eating people. so the book unfolds in five long chapters. basically i begin in the headwaters of the missouri which is the furthest northernmost reach of the mississippi with a cowboy, a former rodeo champion who has been really instrumental in saving hundreds of thousands of acres of both private ranches and public wildlands. he raises his cattle alongside. i did write about a kansas
farmer, a large-scale farmer from kansas. i go out onto the mississippi river with a ceo of a barge company that navigates all of the infant waterways that provide this tremendous connectivity to both within the country and with the continent and the rest of the world. i go into the louisiana wetlands with sandy, a vietnamese refugee who is the advocate for the shrimping community, and in the gulf of mexico with a red snapper fishermen named wayne who has been instrumental in reforming fisher's management to bring back the red snapper populations from which we are were virtually wiped out, to bring them back to the tremendous abundance. the chapter i want to read from his chapter to which is about the kansas farmer. there's a couple reasons i want to do that. what is because it's my favorite chapter but the second is because the kansas farm is actually here. he and his wife flew out
yesterday from central kansas for the very first visit to new york city to be here for this event. justin was my most challenging subject. he was a very reluctant starlet. he said no to be four or five times before finally said yes. but he then opened up his life and his world to meet in the truly amazing way. so justin farms on almost 5000 acres but his mother sent her swedish immigrants homesteaded right after the civil war and for generations they farmed the way people the farm for 10,000 years. they went out with blouse and they broke the sod every turn the so over and they treated those incredibly beautiful black fragrant straight long for as we all associate with the heartland. the most beautiful iconic scene of the heartland. you know from grant woods.
lee westwood of this book i went back to willa cather and was really struck at how willa cather described, she really sees an orderly farm as indicative of an orderly cell, that it's the families in her novels, the forms are also come everything is ragged and the families that are upright and morally sound and industrious have these beautiful geometries. it's like a modern artist, willa cather. that's not justice family farms for generations -- that's how justin's family farms. she talks about the brown earth yielding to the plow with a blissful sigh. i'm paraphrasing a little bit. that was written in 1913 and we all know what happened 20 years later in the '30s when we had
after a prolonged drought some steady wind started blowing and 10 million acres of the richest soil in the world picked up and blew away. we lost half a foot, up to two feet of topsoil. and blue sometimes across kansas in a cloud 10,000 feet high and 200 miles wide. and we lost was essentially a nonrenewable resource. that's so i've taken the mississippi river millions of years to build, and it was up and blow away because it turns out that when you break the sod and you turn those over, they become highly vulnerable to erosion. the wind erosion and water erosion. they turn into the kind of hard, thick clouds come all the beautiful space that allows era of water to penetrate collapse into a hard candy at the solar can't take want a more. the drought gets worse and worse and the group becomes an
increasingly medical problems are the worst damage that was done which we didn't even know about until the science of microbiology flowered in the last decade was the damage to the lights and the solar. soil is a the most diverse ecosystem on the planet. it's got more biodiversity than a tropical rain forest, and the ocean. it's all microbes. there are uncounted species undoubtedly thousands, maybe tens of thousands of species, trillions of organizing in every teaspoon and they are the foundation of life on earth. they make photosynthesis possible from which all of her food and all of our air comes from. they are critical to every plant that justin rose. so justin has totally revise the way his family farms. along with many farms lake and across the great plains, they have retired their plows. they now farm. justin has not plowed into the 15 years. is introduced enormous and ever-increasing diversity into
his thousands of acres so he keeps added a new rotation of crops and he also adds in cover crop that are not, they're not commercial crops. he never harvested by the plans mixes of cop crops of those help protect and wienerschnitzel. he is the first of thing from a small organic local farmer, but his soils are rebounding in a really remarkable way. the levels of carbon and organic matter into cells and the level of life in his soils are beginning to approach the native prairie. that's a really important achievement given how critical farmers in the heartland for for all of our future. i want to read just a little bit. i spent many, many hours going around justin's fields within. you walk on this beautiful ground and listen to justin talk about why he farms the way he farms. i want to read just a little bit of justin's chapter.
if i can manage all of these things here. >> justin fields malik nothing like it grandfather's tidy first. his acres of wheat and alfalfa and milo are still marked off by willa cather's vast checkerboard light and dark, dark and light. they are messy to than me has double standard like bart simpson's hair with a fixed angle map of straw were frozen at least covering the ground. what his predecessor set out to clear away or tame nature, justin strive to emulate the native prairie. we have large sometimes very violent dangers thunderstorms in the spring, with heavy rainfall, heavy winds. and then we get dry, hot and windy, and very cold with blizzards. temporary can with all that. it is steady, resilient across long periods of time.
our farms and the per have to learn to do the same, to be resilient to these dramatic harsh forces. farming like the prairie requires learning how to come along side of biology, to poor do with it. it also requires resisting the temptation to think we can control it. a living system is complex, always changing and adapt them. that's part of its ministry. that mystery, they need to deal with lots of little things is were my faith plays in to myself as a farmer. science is part of the. technology is part of it but humility is part of it as well. farming in concert with the prairie requires constant almost paternal attention. justin knows the land intimately through soil testing and data analysis but even more those own senses enhance. and it is a jewel for online writing class, and he describes
watching justin standing, seeing things i can't see a return to it over in his hands examining every square inch with the eye of the scientists and the touch of a father. is a nail scrapes away something, his nose almost touching the week. justin is often stride across the field as he is cocooned an attractor, opening a for a soybean pod to bite into one of the tiny a joke you will cede to see if it's ready to harvest, stopping to did with the small shovel he carries everywhere, or crouching to sink his big hands deep into the black, fragrant so. is often joined by his young employee garrett kennedy, a bright young case they graduate to remind justin of himself fresh out of college. though garrett is so skinny that shovel barely notices him when he jumps on. sometimes andrew comes along with his own pint-size shovel, diligently digging alongside his
dad. it would be hard to say who is more excited by their discoveries, especially a fat earthworms whose excavations and excretions inspire and justin thrill and also from as the verge on comical. even a pile of their castings bring him joy. this is wonderful. they shine me to go into their poop, very rich for plants. they burrow down five feet or more eating all the time filling the with nutrients that they carried from deep in the cell up to the root zone, and caring of other things back down. in deep draft to go deeper still, tied themselves in the nod and go dormant. we can see fungi or bacteria, the earthworm activity is my best measure of biological activity. what a gift of this is. so justin, thank you for sharing your life with me. [applause]
>> didn't you have an earthworm that was like four feet long speak with one of my friends has a photo of one. i haven't found one on my farm. [laughter] spent wasted four feet long, like a nightcrawler speak with these guys carry pictures other worms around with them to show each other. [laughter] >> that was also cool. you can grow wheat and like downtown cleveland. pretty amazing. that's a great chapter, and no till farming is so inspiring, the concept, just read about it. having read a lot about the dust storms of the '30s and seeing the pictures of them and talk to people who are in them, it's just amazing to think that's something that could be, that could actually do something about. so i was just, as i read your
book, what impressed me was how down to like a square foot it got insurance of geography and in terms of the places where the people were. it sort of reminded me, you know, that here sometimes in new york, my book about the great plains came out, i had people say to me, i'd like your book about iowa. well, it's not actually iowa. [laughter] and i'm from ohio and, of course, the standard thing people in europe's is allowed, yes, here we call that iowa. [laughter] did you find, this leads to kind of another strange thought but it may be think that democrats may not be very good at geography in general, you know,
the republicans are better at geography. this is just an instinct that i have. because i feel like you talk about these are red states, all the places that you go, and yet you have such, everybody seems to this incredible knowledge of the place where the core. did you start with the place and look for people in the place, or did you start with the people and become interested in the place where the people were? that is, how did you get together with adjusted? >> i started with the people. i spent a lot of my own childhood on a farm in california with some farmers who are really extraordinary stewards, taken very, very long view of the land and in a choice award the forest service in colorado. in both cases i had really gotten exposed to have deeply people who live and work on the land know it, how much they
understand and love in a way, i mean, i was out of the bay area and thought i knew everything and realized i knew nothing about when it got to colorado about a forest and how you to take care of the forest. i've been at environmental defense fund and it sort of unusual in seeking out partners like justin and working with come within a national scale farmers award with commercial fishermen and working with corporate ceos and try to move some of these really big levers in the world to make change. i had been hearing stories for years for my colleagues about people like justin, people who were doing this really tremendous work that was going completely overlooked by most of us and certainly by most of the people in the environmental community. so i started canvassing really everyone i'm new for good subjects, and slowly began to converge on this idea of using
the mississippi as a narrative for the book and sort of loud when i looked at maps and realizing that it was the louisiana purchase and was huck finn and lewis and clark, and it was red america, and it was where all of our natural resources are with a few exceptions. at geography begin to speak to me. and so, so then it kind of fell into place. montana, i had to look a little extra hard because the first cab ivan was on the wrong side of the continental divide. >> how far over? >> over were used to live. he lived -- gemstone -- jim stone. >> you mentioned them. >> id. account what i write about as part of this huge partnership that spans the divide, spans 10 million acres. i had to start with him and asked them for a ranch on the right side of the divide whose water would flow down to the mississippi. but other than that, the
geography really just sort of fell nicely into place. >> the people are distributed. you have far west and then you have the american enterprise, the barge owner is, i mean, there are like, part of the operation is all the up in the illinois river. they are almost up to chicago. >> and they go up the tennessee river. the cumberland river, at the mississippi water goes in the rocky mountains to the appellations. the tributaries that feed it, it does look like this enormous little. the tributaries go all the way. as you point out you can start here and go through the great lakes and come down the mississippi but there is a connected water with all the way there. you look at the tributaries, they work all the way up the illinois river. they mostly carry oil and gas and chemicals. they carry what are called red flag cargo skirt i went out with them, i spent 24 hours with a
been pushing for football fields of oil barges up the mississippi river. it is mind blowing the traffic on the river. it is basically bumper-to-bumper traffic of coal barges and grain barges and rock barges and fuel barges and everything you can imagine. you really see that there is still an and daschle hard at an agricultural heart in this country. it's still enormously important. it was really the people, i mean, sort of an embarrassment of riches. there were dozens of other stories that i could've told that would've been nearly as good. and so i've been have the latitude to kind of find it is nice journey. >> it's also kind of a cliffhanger. like you don't know, are they going to be able in the story about the cowboys, will that work? he has all these different
people who are, you know, that he can get all these different people to work together is really amazing. his patients but really all the people you talk about are so patient and able to deal with people yelling at them from both sides. >> and open. i mean, you know, the thing that really struck me and you write, blunt end as a great example of a place where people hate each other's guts. that's where the spotted owl fight took place in western montana, probably the nastiest natural resources fight, one of the nastiest fights ever in history of the united states. you've got the bundy trial starting this week. you've got the ranchers hate the hippies hate the hikers hate doctors, hate the outfitters, hate the loggers, they all hate the federal bureaucrats but somehow they all came together. that were exceptions. there are people who never joined.
>> their friendships that end forever. spent his best friend, his best man is never spoken of again because they saw him, first he saw bunch of oil and gas leases are going to go in and change one of the largest contiguous, the montana it probably the last best place. the largest contiguous outside of alaska in the united states. it's 10 million acres that looks almost like you did when -- said dusty came back from the road and got involved in that fight and that was what caused the rift with his best ma been becae they were sort of seeing visions of -- they wish the bakken had never happened. but they saw what they thought was going to be huge fortunes to be made. dusty knew that, and so many other guys, you that once you destroy the stuff, you can't turn it back. you can't get it back and he
says that. justin thread lock -- walked around for months indicating does seem saying there's more singles event grass, it's too late, partner. they had a sense but it has been, this book inspiring things about the book is to actually see that there places where people still come bridge this vast political divide. >> so used to just spaces. but these are local situations where things do get done. i was just, i found it hair-raising a description of the barges going down the mississippi where you've now got either an enormous flood which is just how viciously difficult to keep control of the barge, or you've got nine feet, 10 inches wide and you've got a nine-foot draft on your barge. i mean, how they manage to deal with this incredibly very
difficult waterway, and i was out there, i did a piece about invasive carp, and i was out there a while ago and read, the infrastructure of the missive is just falling apart. it is not being maintained. that comes to also in your book. how this guide managed to keep pushing those barges through when he's either got flood or drought. >> they have nerves of steel. i used this book as an excuse to go and read all the great american literature i read some more mark twain and, of course, he describes life on the mississippi, what it means to learn to be a riverboat pilot. he gets very, he spend weeks learning going up the river and learning every day and and every sandbar. he gets to the top and usually cocky and the guy who's been teaching says of course it's a completely different river could do. it will be a completely different river tour because the
sample is shifted, and so the level of a cute alertness that these guys have to maintain. they've got lives on board. they've got these dangers fuels, dangerous cargo, and the weather, as justin well knows, the weather is getting more and more extreme all the time. so they are swinging, they will have one month the army corps will be blasting levies to try to release the flood and the next month they will be dredging the bottom to try to do with the drought. it's swinging like crazy. that's another thing they all have been, in that, it was a great advantage of focusing on the geography is there really on the front lines of a lot of the changes that are happening in terms of prolonged drought, in terms of rein rains that come mh more intensely, much more concentrated, in terms of past moving across with a didn't used to exist. >> i thought this would be described this guy come easily had to go around like a been
initially tough part we go around the bend and you just have to let it drift and you just have to hold your breath and let it drift before you kick the motor inn, the steam engine and again. and you that an exact parallel in mark twain where he said i hate letting it drift, the hardest thing in the world. you think of mark twain and he went out and was a steamboat captain for a while and hadn't made his brand like that but, in fact, he really did learn the river and to do some very, very difficult things spewed he was navigating much smaller vessels. johnson is like shooting rather than an aircraft carrier. these things are so huge he can't deliver. the captain walked me to the front of the barges and it took us 10 minutes to walk from the wheelhouse to the front of the barge. it is so vast and with anything like the biggest thing out on the water. these things are so huge and they're navigating them through these narrows with the water whipping them around.
i mean, it also sort of one of the central themes in the book is a learning, justin and the passage i read, justin talks about a. you can't control. you have to accept that a lot of stuff we can understand. microbiology, there will be hundreds or thousands of years before the i should understand everything that's living in the cell and what it's doing and how these ecologies are working. .. >> the only way to do it is to use the power of the river, release the river and you release the river unless this force is greater than any human could be.
so there is a kind of letting go. >> the core of engineers comes across as like, something in a cartoon or something. they do this and then oh no, they go do that. it's a lot of tight things, like maybe we shouldn't have done some of these things and let's build it this way. the vietnamese you were talking about had been there for years area and of course they had a wholegeneration there . a lot of the story really that you tells talks about the ancestry and how they got there and it's all a biblical story and the story of sandy when, how she got there in her father's fishing boat which he sank in order to be allowed onshore .
so to give the host country no choice. the tough times that those people have had and to see that this particular, it's kind of funny that in that chapter you think great, will just like the river, get all this built but they go wait a minute . those must have been very amazing people. you also describe the cuisine which is just a whole new thing in the book. >> my daughter tells me i should just do a presentation of the greatest meals i had in every place that i went. when i go to new orleans, i think i am going to do that. one of the greatest meals when i was with the vietnamese, we flew out in a seaplane to one of the fishing boats and everywhere you go, the food is so central to the culture so we fly out there and they invited us to lunch and all
the vietnamese were there in their little pajamas but they pull in a net of shrimp. they take the shrimp to their kitchen on the boat and they boil them up and they brought with them on the boat which they do as a matter of course, they brought these rice cakes that you soften in hot water and brought this delicious basil and various herbs and they brought pork belly and they brought rice noodles and hot pot and we make these fresh shrimp wraps on the boat that i will never forget for the rest of my life. i had many fabulous meals with sandy but i ate meals all the way along. when you ended the book, the last part takes mostly inthe gulf with wayne , the fisherman and in the gulf, i guess people are aware what the goal is like from having this horrible deepwater horizon coverage but talk a
little bit about what the bill looks like. i had realized this but it was an industrial floor, basically. >> it was shocking to me because it's very wild. i got terribly seasick out there. it is truly rugged waters and we went out about 90 meals to go fishing but there were these oil rigs that are the biggest things you've ever seen in life area it's like you're in a space colony. these things, they look like those things in return of the jedi, those imperial walkers in return of the jedi except 100 times bigger than those and they're completely strong with lights so you look off into the water and you don't really see stars, you see these industrial constellations banning as far as the eye can see and you actually fish at the rig so red snapper really like rigs . they're basically like reefs
for them so we would go out and wayne would be looking for the fish, we were out fishing with his nephew and he be looking for the fish with his sonar and invariably he would find them gathering around the rigs so this pristine nature experience fishing in the shadow of this monster oil rig. >> they're pulling them in, their hook and line but there are these multiple hooks on these lines so whenthey pull them up it looks like a christmas tree, these shiny red ornaments on either side . it is an amazing landscape which i was not atall prepared for . >> one of the great pleasures of the book is the american landscape and you go from montana all the way out into the goal and it's something that you don't see all that muchanymore . where someone will take an entire thing and try to describe .
it's much more now what people try to do is describe one thing and find one thing , like the history of one particular thing. and it's something i've found great strength in that it's easier to talk about the country if you go north and south then to go east and west. ethan west you get new york and la but if you go north and south, it's more interesting. we want to have questions and we got 15 minutes or so or less, i don't know for questions. >>. [inaudible] >> who are you directingthat question two, rick? maybe i'll ask you that question, why are they red ? >>. [inaudible] i think it's
actually more complicated than that and i'll go with justin again as another example. justin andi ended up talking about climate a lot. it's still not an easy conversation to having campus . the politics are interesting because if you go to louisiana, if you listen to louisiana's leadership when they are in washington dc, climate change doesn't exist. if you follow them home to louisiana, they are totally accepting the un's stance on sea level rise and one of the master plans for the louisiana coast, they are relying on that science , calculating in sea level rise and intensifying hurricanes as part of the plan so the politics i think get more authentic and interesting if you leave the sort of media bubble in washington and as
you go have a conversation closer to the ground so justin took me up to take k where he went to school with his professors. first, we walked by, they have all these labs where you had to do all these tests. you had to be able to tell a to from some other weed and they were doing all these experiments area one of the labs looked like the endeavor, it was all practice is and sand and justin said maybe that's a great farm in 20 years, there's the climate change lab. but when we went to talk to his professors, they all were completely clear that climate change is happening but they were also clear that that's not a useful way to talk to their state legislators so they talk to their state legislators about extreme weather and about the ogallala aquifer and the same conversation is happening increasingly among farmers.
if you look at the agriculture craft and justin shared an interesting article from increasingly in the mainstream agriculture craft, will have moved from, the first step isextreme weather is happening and we have to figure out ways to be more resilient to that weather . we have to figure out how to put water in the soil and protect our crops. the next step is, this seems to be a trend, that maybe this is happening a lot but we're going to leave aside what his stances. i don't see any purpose of getting in a fight about what's causing it but let's deal with it. let's deal with the fact that the climate is getting more extreme and let's make things better in any way that we can. let's do everything we can and then the next step is to say okay, well, i will quote you saying this, as justin says, if the problem is that
there's carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide going into the atmosphere, i have things i can do on my farm that offers solutions. i have ways of farming that can restore carbon to the soil and prevent nitrogen from being lost from my fertilizer into the atmosphere. there's a woman that i quote in the dust chapter who says if you listen to people and you give them a chance to not be defensive about their lives and choices, you can really getsomewhere. and what i lovedabout doing this book , having conversations , justin said before i felt like i could ask justin anything. i pushed hard on him on insecticides which are these things, insecticides that people are concerned are having a detrimental effect on pollinators along with a lot of other things but there's evidence that they are one of the contributors.
not only did justin engage in that conversation for hours and hours and he's the only person i know who has read the whole 380 page epa report they did on the particular chemical that he had been using and he modified the way that he farm. there's a level of openness and the people that i met and it wasn't just that i found these five enlightened guys in the heartland. justin had a huge network of thousands of farmers who many of them are young like him come out of college like he doesn't are very high-tech and very sophisticated in the science who are counting themselves constantly and inviting other people to challenge them including new york environmentalists area i had to pass the test, justin gave me the no frame conference and none of them have even met in new york before and they are all like, who is this interloper that
we spent a lot of time and in my dad's generation when my dad was farming, a lot of it was set up for failure. wheeze also had to work really hard on alternative power and your success in regards of language based on how hard you could work and today is much more, i don't spend all those hours destroying the land like idid when i was young . we are much more efficient with our time and we spend a lot more time at home with my kids. it's part of these things on our farm about how we appreciate the lifestyle and being with our family and the several generations together. and a sense of place and the land.
and we said that beyond our lifetime so that change, what we spend our lifetime doing and in my generation it's not so much the things you do on the farm but is much more based on knowledge and are knowledge for same time thinking and studying, reevaluating, challenging others here and how to improve our system. this is your second question, the first day miriam came, we arrived at a very intense time. we worked into the week when the environmental conditions and whether can be disheartening and this weather comes off the planes and you have hail, a lot of hail and baseball size and we
can lose our entire year's crop in a weeks time. when the crop was ready, we worked good and hard area that's when miriam came, she flew into kansas in our rental car and where trying to get on the road and she confided and she did, she just had a notepad and her pen and it was really intimidating at first. and she started asking questions and learning and it was very intellectually challenging to me. i had to do it at the same time is running the combine and i was very apprehensive and we farmers, we tend to be
introverts and it's difficult to open our entire world up to many people because it's a world on the land that and it reflects a lot of our personal selves so it's difficult, it's a big chore to open ourselves up in this way but she was so honoring of that and wanted to truly understand the complex decisions that we made and how we navigated these decisions, that was pretty impossible from the start but as time went on that level of trust improved and i learned a lot from her. the things i have learned and the healthy conversations have improved my farm. thank you.
>> i'm curious about your thoughts on the other activist but. [inaudible] your thoughts on that and what might bridge that divide. >> that's a really good question so the question was what about the activists that are prepared to trust and the industrial scale farmer to find conservation in the heartland and i think that, it is a hard question. there are people whose view of the environmental defense fund is that we are too ready to partner with companies like walmart which we do
partner with, we have a office in bentonville. there have been tensions in the environmental community. i think it's fair to say there has been an evolution at least in the bigger groups that you would have heard of, that there's a convergence around a kind of pragmatism, a recognition that it's now or never and that if you hold out for perfect, if you hold out, not only that if you hold out for perfect you can't get anywhere but the idea that perfect is in itself flawed. you really see this in food production that there's sort of an idea that if justin were just a better guy he would get rid of every pesticide on his farm or he certainly wouldn't use gm holes and when you actually start to look at the choices that justin is making, every
choice that you make comes with trade-offs so the really honorable way to farm is to be standard about that and consider what the choices are so that if you forgo pesticides, you end up losing an entire crop, you therefore have lost every natural resource you put into that crop. he was the water you put into it, all the diesel, you've lost the land that you use so you constantly are having to weigh in the balance these choices and i think that the environmental community more and more is, it's in part because of the urgency of climate change and the urgency of the challenges we are facing and everything from invasive species, all of the things that are coming along with climate change and the loss of wild land and the loss of important private habitats, the endangered species issues, i think there is a growing convergence around sort of a middle that is not about, it never feels
quite like compromise to me. it's not like you're giving up half of what you believe in, you are listening to a more complicated story and some of the people that i met over where and used to live on the left side of the continental divide in montana , one woman had her tires slashed about 10 times and she looked like this hippie who had moved in from seattle and she was doing political cartoons of the newspaper that were pictures of clearcuts. she was really going after the loggers and then she started working with the loggers and trying to find common ground with them and she realized that both of them, both of them felt like the best they could find was a day in the woods and so they are walking in the woods and they said the longer the group of people who thought they had nothing in common, the longer they genuinely
talked and listened, the more consensus emerged. there was like, i will give you this, you get that. there wasn't this parceling out the pain. there was this realization that if you pull in a richer story and more parameters that you can arrive at something that works better all the way around. >> we have time for one more question. >>. when you describe it that way you make me feel hopeful but then i think we answer our best friend and this for profit, this fracking, now when you see all this in your creek and stuff but it just seems that at some point, there's so much money to be made. that you're going to come to
some point. >> so hattie has asked about places where the stakes get so high that you can't actually find commonground . i certainly am not utopian. i know there will be places where there just are collisions that are impossible to overcome. on the other hand i think that louisiana is a really interesting example. there's no place on the planet really where you have more powerful style than you do in louisiana, that's a mind blowing thing about that landscape is you have the biggest oil companies in the world, america's biggest fish food, you have new orleans and millions of people, you have the biggest conference in the hemisphere, it is massive, it's the big boys all sitting there together at those tables and they manage to figure out a recreation plan that they got total
consensus from everyone from exxon mobil to the audubon society and the entire louisiana state legislature and again, it's this pushing harder to figureout , if we can restore wetlands, and gary graves is the freshman republican congressman from louisiana and he used ted up the local restoration of authority in louisiana and he tells a story i repeat in the book about disappearing wetland and most of louisiana's privately owned, almost all owned by gas companies so he said the environmentalists were all like, take the land away from them because it was a really critical ecological but also the wetlands are critical store protection or not only the city of new orleans and all those people but were oil and gas infrastructure, the biggest infrastructure in the country with most of our oil and gas moving through those ports in the pipelines so
instead he said, if you go to the oil company and say if you help us restore this wetland, not only are you going to hold on to your bottom line because the land, you also lose the mineral rights, you're going to keep your mineral rights. you will have reform, we're going to get all of these nutrients that are coming down the mississippi river that are creating algae blooms in the gulf and thousands of miles and so really harming louisiana fisheries. if we plant wetlands, it takes up those nutrients and the nutrients become miracle grow for the wetlands and they are no good instead of a bad thing in the gulf of mexico. you can come up, sometimes actually it is mind blowing that you can come up with these solutions that help everybody. they protect all the people. they protect oil and gas interests. they protect fishing interests. they protect the navigation interest. you can't do it everywhere
but it's possible in a place where the stakesare that high , that you get that kind of unanimity. you can be helpful. >>. [inaudible] >> thank you for joining us tonight. miriam is available to sign books so if you have purchased a copy we will erect you to this side of the room. we also have a couple of ian's books if you are interested in purchasing those so thank you all today for joining with us. [applause] >>. [inaudible conversation]
here's a look at some of the staff pics of the harder bookstore in cambridge massachusetts. yahoo! news political columnist matt five explores how the downfall of gary hart, presidential campaign has shaped today's campaign in all the truth is out. supreme court justice stephen breyer looks at how the high court decisions are stretching beyond america's borders in the courts and the world. in 1944, historian j when it fdr had to make regarding d-day and the end of world war ii. journalist jenny nordberg reports on the lives of afghan women and girls in the underground girls of kabul. another staff pick is black man in a white coat by doctor damon tweedy who weighs in on race and inequality in the american healthcare system. in we should all be
feminists, team amada and josie and dj argues that everyone should be fighting for gender equality. grant brandeis university english professor john burke dissects the debates between abraham lincoln and stephen douglas during their 1858 us senate seat race in lincoln's tragic pragmatism. in their markup reveals the difficulties she faced as a career pilot and as the first woman to fly solo across the atlantic ocean and her memoir west with the night. that's some of the staff pics from harvard bookstore in cambridge massachusetts. many of these authors have appeared on book tv. watch them on our website, booktv.org. >> soap misfits leaving home, my latest misfit leaving home is a french teenager, marquis then lafayette and this book tells the story of him leaving home and his pregnant teenage wife to come to
america to throw in with george washington's continental army and so i'll read and then i will take questions and i wanted to read this section of his voyage to america and his early time and i will read a little tangent about a heroic book seller to pander to the subject of the proceedings. [laughter] so it's 1777. lafayette has absconded to america. he's bought his own ship to come here. the king of france is trying to keep them at home. his wife's family is trying to keep them at home because as i mentioned she is pregnant. and once he makes it onto this ship he has purchased across the atlantic, he starts spending his wife's, he starts writing his wife these letters trying to explain why he has abandoned her.
and their forthcoming child. i say in the book that while history might be full of great fathers, history is not where to find them. at sea, lafayette unveiled the grandeur of his mission to his wife audrey and attempted to include her in it. he wrote, i hope that as a favor to me you will become a good american. she is a teenage french aristocrat from one of the most illustrious families in france. she lives in a mansion in paris when she is living at their mansion in bursae so asking her to become a good american is sort of baffling. also, he wasn't really in a position to ask her any favors. nevertheless, he wrote of his wife, the welfare of america is intimately bound up with the happiness of humanity. it is going to be, deserving and ensure refuge of virtue,
of amnesty, tolerance of equality and of a tranquil liberty. now, to establish such a forthright dreamland of decency, who wouldn't sign up to shoot a few thousand englishmen, just as long as mister beam wasn't one of them? from our end of history, this big file cabinet blocking the view of this week future republic lafayette foretold and the government keeps the folders full of indian treaties, the chinese exclusion act and monitored electronic messages to national security which is apparently all of them including the one in which i asked my mom for advice on how to get a red sharpie staying out of couch upholstery. lafayette confided in his wife incoming is a friend to offer my services to this
intriguing republic, i bring to it only my frankness and my goodwill. no ambition, no self-interest and working for my glory, i work for their happiness. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. william done rc was a lawyer and legal writer for 32, he is the author of three previous books on federal judges as well as a book on the nature of practicing law. he has a ged from the university of connecticut school of law and a phd from the university of california riverside. poser is circuit judge, united states court of appeals for the second circuit and a lecturer at the university of chicago law school. joining the conversation tonight by tom ginsberg, professor of international law and the university, presenting this program please join me in welcoming them now. [applause]