Image: A group of men planting trees for a Civilian Conservation Corps project on the Nett Lake Reservation in Minnesota
In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Neil Maher about the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Maher, a professor of history at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University-Newark, elaborates on this famous New Deal Program, which employed more than three million young men in conservation jobs during the 1930s and left an indelible mark on the natural areas of the United States. As President Joe Biden proposes the creation of a modern-day Civilian Climate Corps, Maher emphasizes that any future program should be more accessible to women and minorities, devote resources to both urban and rural areas, fulfill its mission with ecologically sound strategies, and focus on helping communities adapt to climate change.
Listen to the Podcast
- Ecological and economic goals of the Civilian Conservation Corps: “Franklin Roosevelt really thought of [the Civilian Conservation Corps] as the conservation of two different resources: the natural resources that were out in the woods, on the farms, and in the parks, but also the human resources of these young men … The corps argued that it trained these young men while they were on the job. The young men would leave their camps and go out into the forests, and they’d work with foresters, or they’d work on farms with agronomists, and they would learn about those sciences through their work.” (8:27)
- Exclusionary practices stunted the program’s reach: “It was all male. It was very, very young men, so older men were not allowed to enroll … African Americans were sent to segregated camps, and Native Americans were in a separate program. These social issues accompanied many of the ecological problems, to create a program that was incredibly successful through its work but also, if you look a little bit deeper, had some drawbacks that I think are important to acknowledge and understand and avoid in any future programs.” (13:52)
- President Biden supports a new corps with a climate focus: “A new corps needs to focus on the most pressing problem today, and that’s climate change. That seems to be what President Biden is pushing here. A new corps could help communities adapt to climate change by building climate-resilient infrastructure, like restoring wetlands or building green stormwater systems. It could also help mitigate climate change by developing solar and wind energy systems.” (25:34)
Top of the Stack
- Stop Saving the Planet! An Environmentalist Manifesto by Jenny Price
The Full Transcript
Kristin Hayes: Hello and welcome to Resources Radio, a weekly podcast from Resources for the Future. I'm your host, Kristin Hayes.
Today, I'm talking with Neil Maher, Professor of History and Master Teacher in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, Newark. Dr. Maher's research focuses on the intersection of environmental and political history, and his scholarship includes his 2008 book entitled Nature's New Deal. I came across that particular book in looking for a guest who might talk with me about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the lessons from that Depression-era program that might apply to current policy and political deliberations. So I'm very pleased to welcome Neil to the program today, for an overview of the CCC's successes, its challenges, and its legacy in the American conservation and historical landscape.
Neil Maher: Hi Kristin, how are you? Thanks for having me.
Kristin Hayes: Hi, welcome. Thank you so much for joining me today on Resources Radio. So Neil, I think you're the first environmental historian that we've had on the show. I really should check my records on that, but I believe that's the case. I wanted to start by asking about you and how you came to find yourself at the intersection of these multiple disciplines, as you were building your research career?
Neil Maher: Sure. I was an undergraduate student, and I was a history major, and I was into the outdoors. After college, I moved to Boston where I joined an environmental organization, the Public Interest Research Group, which was begun by Ralph Nader. It was quite a while back; it was the 20th anniversary of Earth Day and we ran what, at the time, was the largest door-to-door canvas in US history, so it was really an exciting time. It was a recycling initiative, and Ralph Nader actually came to the canvas and wished us well. But, I missed academia, so I then realized there was this field called environmental history, where I could combine that interest in the past with the environmental work, and the environmental interest that I had as well. So it was a perfect fit for me, and I was glad that it was out there.
Kristin Hayes: Right, that it existed in the first place.
Neil Maher: Yeah.
Kristin Hayes: Great. Well, again, I'm really pleased to be joined today to talk about the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is a topic—and I mean this quite sincerely—it's a topic that I've had an interest in speaking with someone about, so I was really grateful to come across your work. I will say my interest has only grown since the advent of the pandemic, and all the accompanying discussions about the ways in which both the private sector and the federal government might be able to put people back to work in this time of such terrible employment conditions.
I think there's a lot here for us to dive into. I wanted to start with some definitional work, as is often beneficial. What was the Civilian Conservation Corps? And, what were its primary aims?
Neil Maher: Sure. It was a New Deal program that Franklin Roosevelt initiated during his first 100 days in office. In one of his early fireside chats he said, "Look, we're not only facing an economic crisis." He also said, “we were facing an environmental crisis as well.” He talked about deforestation and some flooding, so he thought the CCC would be a way to solve both crises at the same time, putting young men to work.
Kristin Hayes: And it was only men, is that right?
Neil Maher: Yeah, it was only men. Only men between the ages of 18 and 25, and their families had to be on relief rolls. It functioned for nine years, and did an incredible amount of work out there. But that issue of it being all male is one of the blind spots that I think we'll be discussing later in our conversation.
Kristin Hayes: Yes, I would love to get back to that, too. But, maybe we can talk just a little bit more about the demographics of the people who were involved, too. I'm curious, how many people actually went to work through the program? And, what do we know about them?
Neil Maher: Sure. There were over three million young men who enrolled in the program. Yeah—it only functioned for nine years, but three million young men went through it. Again, they had to be between the ages of 18 and 25, and their families had to be on relief rolls, so their families were unemployed.
There's a misunderstanding that it was mostly urban young men that went into the program, that's not true. It was 50-50, urban and rural men. And they were sent to these camps, these 200-man camps that were stationed all over the country in forests and near agricultural lands and in parks. And they lived there, and then traveled out into the woods to do their work.
Kristin Hayes: Very interesting. Did they represent all races, all levels of income? We've talked about how it sounds like it was a pretty narrow age range. I'd be curious if you can say anything more about maybe why they limited it to 18 to 25. But within that, did they really cover, did they come from all sorts of backgrounds?
Neil Maher: Yeah, they did. First, let's talk about some of the problems. They didn't allow women to join, and also African-Americans were put in segregated camps. And, Native Americans had a whole separate program that they were put in. So it wasn't exactly the most accessible or open program, but it did embrace a whole generation of working class Americans and gave them a job when they didn't have one, and fed them. It helped their families as well, because the pay that these young men got, the majority of it, $25 of the $30 a month paycheck went home to their families.
Kristin Hayes: Interesting. So the 18 to 25 year olds, you mentioned—Sorry, what was the term that you used?
Neil Maher: Public relief.
Kristin Hayes: Oh, public relief. Okay. How big was the set of people who were on public relief? Had they started off at various levels of income, and then only to find themselves on relief during the Depression?
Neil Maher: It's hard to know. When the Depression hit, we reached a 25 percent unemployment rate, so one in four Americans were unemployed. Many, many young men were unemployed. If anything, jobs were going to the breadwinners in families, so the fathers. This was a way to get the young men out of the house, get them off the street corners, and give them jobs that would help their families and take some of the financial pressure off those families. It was working class people, working class young men.
Kristin Hayes: Interesting. What did the jobs actually look like? What was the range of activities that these folks were undertaking?
Neil Maher: It changed throughout the 1930s. They began, primarily, as a tree planting program so the camps would plant trees in forests. But then, in 1934 the Dust Bowl hit in the Great Plains, the massive dust storms hit, and the corps expanded its work into soil conservation, conserving 40 million acres of land. That's after planting 2 billion trees, which was half the trees planted in US history up to that time. But then in the late 1930s, it expanded again into park development work, and the corps developed 800 new state parks from the ground up, and basically improved every national park in the country. All told, they transformed an area that's larger than California—a massive amount of work.
Kristin Hayes: That's pretty significant. Right, a pretty significant legacy. I definitely want to talk to you later on, about the legacy. But, even just having that picture of the scale of this is really impressive, and something I was really not aware of, to be honest. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that.
Neil Maher: Franklin Roosevelt was very aware that a lot of people didn't know what the corps was doing, so in the 1930s, they promoted it very extensively, all over the country. Advertisements, news reels, magazine articles. They were very aware of the promotional efforts that were needed to get everyone on board.
Kristin Hayes: Right. And not just promoting it in the sense that it exists, it's an opportunity and we want people to join, but really promoting it for its successes. Is that right?
Neil Maher: Absolutely.
Kristin Hayes: Okay. Another thing that I've been curious about is about the training programs that might have been, or that were associated with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Were there training programs? If so, what did they look like?
Neil Maher: Yeah, the training was essential to the program. Franklin Roosevelt really thought of this as the conservation of two different resources, the natural resources that were out in the woods, and on the farms and in the parks, but also the human resources of these young men. They promoted this all the time, and the training programs were part of that. The corps argued and showed that it trained these young men while they were on the job. So the young men would leave their camps and go out into the forests, and they'd work with foresters, or they'd work on farms with agronomists, and they would learn about those sciences through their work.
But then, when they came back to the camp, after dinner they could take classes. Many of those classes were vocational, like automotive classes or even learning how to type, a lot of literacy classes, but they were also classes in the conservation sciences, as they called them. Many of these young men, later on, went into conservation-related jobs. So actually, they were trained well.
Kristin Hayes: Who was providing the training? Were there government employees? Were they connected with local farmers? Who was actually doing the educating?
Neil Maher: The camps were run by the military, so in each camp the military made sure the young men were eating correctly, and clothed in the winter and warm in the winter, and those sorts of things. They brought people in—there was an educational advisor for each camp and they would either have the administrators, the forester or the agronomist, the agricultural administrator, doing some of the work with the men, teaching a class. Or, they would team up with local schools and have teachers from the schools come in and teach the young men. There was a real fluid movement of people and ideas between the camps and local communities that was quite interesting, actually.
Kristin Hayes: I'm finding this fascinating. I feel like you're doing a wonderful job with articulating how robust the program was, and how much thought they put into the different aspects of it. In fact, I'm sitting here thinking, "Wow, what a marvelous program." Yet I am sure that, looking back at least, there's maybe significant concerns about how it was designed, or who was included. So let's talk about some of the downsides, at least looking from a 21st century position backwards. What are some of the things that people criticize about the Civilian Conservation Corps?
Neil Maher: When Roosevelt proposed it, first of all, the unions were quite alarmed because they felt that this was going to be taking a lot of work away from workers. So Franklin Roosevelt then adjusted and tweaked the program in ways that would alleviate those concerns. He hired two unionists to run the program, which helped. Then, he made most of the labor the young men would do manual labor, so it was supposed to not interfere with the more skilled labor of many of those union workers.
An African-American congressman also opposed the corps because it was segregated, so Franklin Roosevelt adjusted it, and it accounted for population percentages for each state. Then, the program allowed African-Americans to enroll according to those populations.
During the 1930s there were also people who pushed back against the corps because of its work. In some instances, the corps undertook work that was ecologically unsound. It's interesting; we have to remember that the science of ecology back then was in its infancy. Very few people were studying it, but the corps did do several types of programs that made people quite upset.
Kristin Hayes: Can you give some examples?
Neil Maher: Sure. For instance, the reforestation program. They tended to plant single species of trees in straight rows.
Kristin Hayes: Right.
Neil Maher: Which decreased biodiversity, but also made them more prone to pest infestations and diseases. Along the Eastern seaboard, they tried to control mosquitoes by draining swamps, which again hurt, for instance, migratory bird habitats. Then, to control soil they used a lot of invasive species to hold that soil, including kudzu, a Japanese invasive species that is now rampant all over the South.
Kristin Hayes: It sure is.
Neil Maher: So on the ecological front there were some problems. But, we have to put ourselves in the moment. In the 1930s, a lot of those issues, we weren't aware of them at the time, as fully as we are now.
Kristin Hayes: Right. It's funny that you mentioned those three examples, because I feel like those are three things that I can point to, again, from my 21st century perspective and say, "Oh, really? Even I, fairly removed from tree planting and kudzu, can say, oh kudzu, that's really bad." But you're absolutely right. I imagine, at the time, it seemed like a good idea.
Neil Maher: Right.
Kristin Hayes: Is that how we got kudzu? I just want to ask. Is that really where it entered this country in the first place?
Neil Maher: I don't know if that's where it entered, but I do know that is the reason we have such a problem with it across the South. Absolutely, yeah. Because the kudzu was also a good fodder crop for cattle, so they thought it was the perfect solution to hold the soil and also feed your cattle. But there were no predators so it obviously spread everywhere.
Then, of course I also want to talk about the social and cultural missteps also, but we can do that maybe later. I'm not sure where you want to go.
Kristin Hayes: Let's talk about it now, that sounds great.
Neil Maher: Okay.
Kristin Hayes: Yeah, why don't we share a little bit about that, too?
Neil Maher: Sure. Along with those ecological missteps, there was a host of cultural or social problems as well. We've already mentioned the fact that it was all male. It was very, very young men, so older men were not allowed to enroll—although the local communities were allowed to send five what they called local experienced men to help the young enrollees out. Again, African-Americans were sent to segregated camps, and Native Americans were in a separate program. So these social issues accompanied many of the ecological problems, to create a program that was incredibly successful through its work but also, if you look a little bit deeper, had some drawbacks that I think are important to acknowledge and understand and avoid in any future programs.
Kristin Hayes: Right. This is also leading towards the legacy question, but you mentioned a number of things that current ecological practice would frown upon. Have people actually had to undo the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, to rip out some of these? Well, I think they probably have, but to rip out some of these invasive species, and re-diversify forest stocks, and things like that.
Neil Maher: Absolutely. I think that one of the work projects that was also criticized but I didn't really mention before was that the corps was also responsible for building roads and trails through what had been wild, roadless areas. There were these incredibly large swaths of forests that were inaccessible, and to increase accessibility and to allow people like Franklin Roosevelt, who had polio and couldn't hike, to make it more accessible, they built roads. Many of those roads have now been taken out. The wilderness movement, actually, began in opposition to many of the roads that the CCC was building through national parks, especially down in the Great Smoky Mountains. They've taken out some of the roads, they've ripped up the kudzu.
Kristin Hayes: Right, interesting. A question that I meant to ask earlier but I'll go ahead and ask it now, is what was the perception of these jobs? Were they generally seen as desirable, or even prestigious? I don't know if you can answer that across the entire population of three million people, since everyone's an individual of course. But, I'm curious what the historical record shows about that perception.
Neil Maher: Sure. Well, the public perception of the corps really shifted. In the beginning, there were 1500 of these camps spread out throughout the nation, all near local communities. At first, the local communities were incredibly upset that what they thought were these young, urban boys, hoodlums, were coming into their areas, and coming into their towns, and trying to dance with their daughters and those sorts of things.
But, they soon realized that the federal dollars that were flowing through these camps into these local communities was incredibly helpful and substantial. About $5000 a month per camp flowed to local businesses. So as soon as that kicked in they kept an eye out on their daughters, but allowed the young men to come to town and supported the corps. That was one area where the corps gained, on the economic front.
But, even public perception of it was very, very positive. I think it was, without a doubt, the most popular New Deal program. There's a story I came across in my work where a young boy went home for a visit. When they went home, they wore their CCC uniform, which was this olive green uniform with a tie. And, while he was home the uniform was stolen.
Kristin Hayes: Oh. It was that prestigious. Okay, great.
Neil Maher: The guy wanted to wear it around town and pretend he was a CCC enrollee.
Kristin Hayes: Right.
Neil Maher: I think that says a lot, those local actions of borrowing a friend's uniform to make yourself look a little better says a lot about it.
Kristin Hayes: Was that something that the Roosevelt administration actively made happen? Do you see them as having a role in making these jobs seem prestigious? Or, was it rather organic that they developed that reputation?
Neil Maher: I think it was both. I think that maybe prestigious might not be the best word, because it wasn't considered really like a high-level job. Yeah, I could think it was more of a job that people felt very positive about these young men working for the country, and they were doing hard manual labor. They were transforming themselves physically, which Franklin Roosevelt and his administration were very public about. People felt really good putting these young boys to work in American nature, and making American men out of them.
That was really part of this story, that the young men who came in were often thought of as Polish Americans, Irish Americans, German Americans, and the corps promoted it as a civic melting pot. Where, through work in nature, these young hybrid Americans became full-fledged Americans. That was popular at the time. It would be very unpopular today, I think, not as popular today. There's also a problem with that because if you don't buy into that nice story, that makes it pretty tough to participate in the program. Also, African-Americans couldn't transform like that, nor could Native Americans, so it left some people out of that narrative as well.
Kristin Hayes: Wow, I'm learning a lot. Okay, I'm trying to digest all this in my head. I feel like I want to jump ahead, and ask you about the many, many ways that it occurs to me that we could learn from this experience, in the current political context. But, let me just talk about the history for just two more questions, here.
So how would you characterize the legacy? Maybe at a 30,000 foot level, how would you characterize the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps? Again, in your view, did it achieve the aims that we talked about at the outset of this talk?
Neil Maher: Yeah, the legacy would be twofold. First of all, it left a legacy with the young men who went through the program. I've interviewed maybe a dozen of them, just to get their take on their experiences. The analogy I keep thinking of is like a college experience, where these young men were working class men, they were not going to college. But, this was the first time they were able to leave their families, be independent, be in a group of peers. Many of them traveled far away, because the corps assigned these young men to camps that were distant from their homes because they didn't want them to be able to walk home when they got homesick. So many of them saw the country for the first time, young boys from New York City who were traveling out west to the Rocky Mountains to do work. So they think of it with nostalgia.
And, it changed their lives. Many of them went into the military from the CCC and had a positive experience in that. Many of them went into conservation jobs. Many of them met their wives, actually. They went into town, they went to those dances, and they actually met their wives.
Kristin Hayes: Shoot, I guess they were wise to keep an eye on those daughters.
Neil Maher: Yeah. But, the other legacy, I think, is the physical landscape that's been left behind. Any state park you go into today, there's CCC trails, CCC visitors’ centers, CCC campgrounds. The national parks, the same thing. The whole Tennessee Valley is peppered with CCC work. Many of the agricultural fields we see today or rely on for our farms have been affected by that rethinking of soil conservation back in the 1930s. The American landscape has been transformed by it, and we don't realize that, and that's okay. But, it does give us a chance to get outside and enjoy our parks in ways that I think leads to a better appreciation of the natural environment that's very positive.
I just want to add, also, that part of that human conservation that I talked about earlier, where these young men were being conserved. The CCC also promoted the recreational infrastructure that it created as a way of helping conserve human resources as well, because it gave urban people a chance to get out of the cities and go to these state parks nearby, and get outdoors and hike and camp. That was another example of that human conservation that they had talked about in the 1930s.
Kristin Hayes: Alright. So with this tremendously helpful background, I'm now going to ask you to take on the herculean task of pulling all of these threads together and looking forward into the future. There's, again, so many different ways where I think we could approach the conversation about what the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps might mean for today.
Maybe just to give one bit of context, President Biden has signaled interest in starting, what I've read would be titled something like the Civilian Climate Corps as part of his wide-ranging commitment to tackling climate change. And, I think there have even been signals that he wants to model this, to some extent, on the Civilian Conservation Corps and its successes, and overcoming some of the challenges. So what lessons should the Biden administration be keeping in mind, given this tremendous history here, as they're seeking to design a new program for today?
Neil Maher: First, I think they should hire a historian to help them do it, and they should call me up, and I would be happy to take a leave from my university for a year to help them. But more seriously, I think he and his administration have to realize that this was a program that you can both learn from and build on its successes, but also you have to understand and learn from its missteps. And, I think that there are maybe three or four ways to think about that.
The most obvious improvement would be to make it accessible to everyone, regardless of gender, age, race. This is incredibly important, because people right now, women and minorities, are experiencing higher levels of unemployment and higher levels of economic insecurity than the population at large, so that inclusiveness is incredibly important right now.
Second, I think the program would need to be more geographically equitable. What I mean by that is that the camps were spread out all over the country in the 1930s, but they were spread out in rural areas, like forests, farm land, and parks. City people really did not benefit from the work being done, so they had a host of problems on their own. Waste pollution, toxic waste, different sorts of limited access to outdoor parks, things like that. The corps really could have helped that, so I think that a Biden program would need to place those camps not only in cities but also in suburbs, not just rural areas.
Third, I think that the program would need to be more environmentally just. What I mean by that is that Biden's CCC could still conserve natural resources like the original CCC did, but also needs to undertake environmental justice work. That would entail identifying local problems, listening and involving local people, and then trying to address those local problems. So for instance, I teach in the city of Newark, New Jersey, and we could benefit enormously from a corps camp in the city of Newark to help us out remediate toxic waste or help us build community gardens.
Finally, I think a new corps needs to focus on the most pressing problem today, and that's climate change and that seems to be what President Biden is pushing here. A new corps could help communities adapt to climate change by building climate-resilient infrastructure like restoring wetlands, or building green stormwater systems. Then, it could also help mitigate climate change by developing solar and wind energy systems.
Kristin Hayes: Weatherizing homes.
Neil Maher: Right, right. Or, even just the planting of the trees that it did in the 1930s, to help sequester carbon. All of this work could help train enrollees today in jobs in the green energy sector, just like the old CCC did for jobs in the conservation fields.
So for me, there's a great amount of potential and I'm just really excited that he's moving ahead with this.
Kristin Hayes: I think it'll be very interesting to see how this unfolds. Clearly the administration has signaled as well, its interest in having all of these discussions centered in environmental justice.
Neil Maher: Yes.
Kristin Hayes: Tell me if you think this is a fair characterization: that the set of activities that something like a Civilian Climate Corps, or a Civilian Environmental Corps, would undertake is in fact more diverse, more disparate, but would require different types of skills. You know, it's a different skillset to install solar panels than it is to plant trees. So, to really tackle the sets of problems we're talking about today would take a different kind of program design, and a different type of training commitment than perhaps even the CCC did back in the day. Do you think that's a fair characterization?
Neil Maher: I do, I do. I think that it's very different. But, I think it doesn't necessarily suggest that it's insurmountable, and I know that that's not what you were suggesting. But we have to remember, in the 1930s, these young men, many of them had never even held an ax before, and they definitely hadn't been hiking. So the CCC hired these local men, who were often loggers, and they had people from the Department of Agriculture or the Department of the Interior training these young men. And within a couple weeks, these young boys were really doing amazing amounts of work.
I think that we could do the same thing. I think that you could hire people with experience in installing solar energy systems, or people who have knowledge about restoring wetlands, and training these young people pretty quickly. I've talked to some of my students about this type of possibility, and they're very excited about it. They're really excited to learn a new skill, while also feeling somehow connected to the country, and to a civic culture that I think is really missing in our world right now.
Kristin Hayes: Well, that's such a great lead in. I'm really glad you mentioned that, because that's actually the last question that I want to ask you. I'm sorry that we're running out of time here, but a lot of what you were mentioning, in describing the CCC, is about the way that it bonded society together in some interesting ways, or at least certain subsets of that. Recognizing all of its problems, but giving a sense of American purpose, and contribution to the country. I wonder if you feel like that's possible today, in the same way?
Neil Maher: I feel it's possible, and I feel it's absolutely necessary. I feel strongly about that because I hear it from my students. But, I think it would have to be a little bit different.
In the 1930s, there was this belief that that Americanization process was something very, very positive. I teach in Newark, New Jersey. My campus was, at one point, the most diverse campus in the country. My students don't want to lose their identities and their cultures, but they also long to feel more connected to an American culture. I think that rather than it being an Americanization process, a program like this could allow young people, or people of any age, to maintain their identities and their cultural connections that are so important to them, but still join together across those divides and across divisions that separate them culturally, to feel like they're working for a common good. I think that that's just so important. We have not had that in so long.
So I think there's a way to walk a fine line between letting people who enroll in a program like this maintain their sense of self, while also having them be able to join together more in this common civic purpose, which could allow them to really understand each other and also maybe their relationship to the nation a little bit more.
Kristin Hayes: Boy, I'm feeling very inspired right now myself. I hope that sense for inspiration comes across in whatever design a new administration would put forward because I certainly hear you on the community building benefits of a program like this. Yeah, I feel like getting outside and planting a few trees myself. Good thing it's a Friday afternoon, so maybe I'll use my weekend.
Neil, I just really appreciate your time on this. It's been a really interesting background, and as I've mentioned, I've learned a ton. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.
Neil Maher: Thanks for having me, it's been a really great conversation.
Kristin Hayes: Yeah, of course. Great.
So let's close with our regular closing feature, Top of the Stack. I'm sure our listeners know at this point what Top of the Stack is, but I would love to ask you to recommend some good content. Happy to take recommendations about the CCC, or really any other compelling subject matter that you'd like to recommend to our listeners. So Neil, what's on the top of your stack?
Neil Maher: The top of my stack right now are 30 midterms that I need to grade, of my students, but I'll get through that. I've been just beginning a book that is by a colleague of mine, her name is Jenny Price, and the title of the book is Stop Saving the Planet!: An Environmentalist's Manifesto. It's a short little book, about 100 pages, published by Norton. It's incredibly reasonably priced on purpose, it's 10 bucks. Basically, Jenny's an amazing writer. She wrote an amazing book about plastic pink flamingos, she's just this incredibly talented writer.
But, this book is really trying to make the argument that environmentalists need to stop talking about an environment that is out there and separate from us, like wilderness. We need to start really thinking about the environment that's all around us, and all connected to us, and the environment that connects us with other people who might not be the same as us. It's really a call to think more locally. It's a call to think more equitably. I think it is a call to think about your daily actions in ways that might be more sustainable and more realistic in trying to help alleviate some of the environmental problems that we're dealing with.
She's just a great writer. It's very short and funny, and you could read it in an afternoon. I highly recommend it.
Kristin Hayes: That's fantastic. Great. Well, we will link to that from the recording page so that folks can check it out. Yeah, really appreciate the recommendation. Thank you again, it's been a great chat.
Neil Maher: Kristin, thanks so much for letting me chat with you, also. It's been wonderful.
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