In this week’s episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with New York University Professor Colin Jerolmack about his recent book, Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town, which explores how fracking has transformed a rural Pennsylvania town. Jerolmack describes how residents of Williamsport, Pennsylvania—many of whom leased their land to gas companies—have economically benefited from the fracking boom and feel a sense of pride about their town’s role in providing energy to the nation. But many locals also have become aggrieved by how fracking has changed their lives and their need to confront increased pollution and loss of control over their own land.
Listen to the Podcast
- Lives disrupted by leasing land: “One of the things that [people who leased their land for fracking] didn’t really recognize was how much autonomy they would lose over their own estate: guards telling you that you can’t access your own driveway at certain hours because the trucks are moving in; people you don’t recognize; gas companies setting up trailer camps for people to live on while they’re drilling not only your own well, but even your neighbors’ wells, since they could still use your property as a staging area. There were all these ways that people didn’t really understand how much they were turning over their property to the gas companies, who could then tell you what you could and couldn’t do.” (12:59)
- The limitations of activism by out-of-towners: “A group calling itself Artists Against Fracking took a tour bus through the area with journalists, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Susan Sarandon, and Mark Ruffalo. They toured the area and protested at areas where contamination had allegedly occurred. What this did was cement people’s view that anti-fracking advocates were outsiders—that they were urban liberals who were not part of the community, and they would do what people sometimes call ‘drive-by activism.’” (25:01)
- How to lease land without surrendering your property: “What more of [the locals] would have done is form landowner coalitions—banding together with other property owners and saying, ‘You have to lease all of us as a block, or else none of us will lease,’ and then fighting for better lease terms. [Things like:] you have to drill further away from a water source, you can’t put infrastructure this close to my house, you have to get more money for a leasing bonus.” (29:06)
Top of the Stack
- Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town by Colin Jerolmack
- “Not in Your Backyard! Organizational Structure, Partisanship, and the Mobilization of Nonbeneficiary Constituents against “Fracking” in Illinois, 2013–2014” by Fedor A. Dokshin and Amanda Buday
- “They Couldn’t Drink Their Water. And Still, They Stayed Quiet.” by Colin Jerolmack
- This Is Chance! The Great Alaska Earthquake, Genie Chance, and the Shattered City She Held Together by Jon Mooallem
- Scene on Radio Season 5, “The Repair,” with hosts John Biewen and Amy Westervelt
The Full Transcript
Daniel Raimi: Hello, and welcome to Resources Radio, a weekly podcast from Resources for the Future. I'm your host, Daniel Raimi. Today we talk with Colin Jerolmack, professor of sociology and environmental studies at New York University. Colin recently published Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town, which—for my money—is one of the very best books on the shale revolution written to date. Colin lived for eight months in a rural Pennsylvania county experiencing the shale revolution and documented the experiences of residents over eight years. The result is an extremely thoughtful, nuanced, and human portrait of how shale development has affected one community for better and for worse. Stay with us.
All right, Colin Jerolmack from New York University, welcome to Resources Radio.
Colin Jerolmack: Thanks. Glad to be here.
Daniel Raimi: I'm really looking forward to talking to you today, Colin. Your book is so fascinating and so well done. I really encourage people to give it a read if they're at all interested in shale gas and fracking. But before we start talking about the book, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got interested in working on environmental issues, either from a young age or later in life?
Colin Jerolmack: Sure. It's hard for me to pin an exact origin, but if I had to pick something, I would say punk rock music. When I was in high school, I got very into punk rock, and that's how I got into politics in general. I got involved in protests and activism around racial injustice. I got into vegetarianism—and I've been vegan for 21 years—and originally, that was around animal ethics. But this expanded my sort of orb of concern and wellbeing for the non-human world.
I also have been an avid cyclist. I was raised in the suburbs, but when I moved to the city for college, I just biked everywhere, and I continue to bike everywhere through all seasons. In that way, seeing the way that cities are really organized around cars and how historically, there has not really been room made for cyclists. Even when a cyclist is killed, it's really not treated as a significant death, in a way. Drivers are almost never punished. And that got me. So, there were various avenues around my personal lifestyle intersecting with punk rock and making me think about all kinds of ethical issues.
Daniel Raimi: That's really interesting. And when you say city and suburbs, you're referring to New York City, right?
Colin Jerolmack: Yeah. I'm from Philadelphia, although I was raised in the suburbs, and I went to college in Philadelphia. I would really say that's where it started, but I've been living in New York City since 2002 when I moved here to get my PhD at City University of New York.
Daniel Raimi: Great. Okay. So let's dive into your new book, which we'll have a link to in the show notes. The title of the book is Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town. Can you just start us off by telling us about that American town, which is Williamsport, Pennsylvania in Lycoming County? That's where the book is set and that's where you carried out the research. Just tell us a little bit about it, how you found yourself there, and how much time you spent there and all that.
Colin Jerolmack: So, Williamsport—some listeners might be familiar with the Little League World Series, which brings together Little League teams of 12-year-olds from around the world every year for 10 days in August—that's what it's most known for. Apparently, in Little League baseball, the idea of different teams of kids competing against one another was born in Williamsport. It’s about 28,000 people. It's a small city.
Historically, in the late 1800s, it was known as the lumber capital of the world. There was a period of about 25 years where it claimed to have milled the most board feet of lumber anywhere in the world. That’s really what put it on the map. That's why anybody wound up living there. On 4th Street downtown, there's still this stretch of beautiful Victorian mansions called Millionaires’ Row where all the lumber barons lived. In the mid-20th century—it was always small—but it was a bustling industrial center. For the past 50 years, like so much of middle America, it has seen the loss of those manufacturing jobs, which led to a pretty major population decline. Williamsport lost about a third of its population over the past half-century.
These days, when I moved there—I don't want to say that there was nothing going on other than fracking. I mean, there are two small regional colleges, there are two mid-size hospitals, so there's a small professional population there—but during the time I moved there, it was an area that had outsized drug violence. It was known as a heroin distribution center. It was pretty regular that there was gun violence happening, even people affiliated with gangs that I did not presume to be operating in areas this small. That's the kind of scene in Williamsport. Now, as soon as you step outside of Williamsport in the county surrounding it, it's much, much, much more rural. There’s no other town of note that's more than 2,000 people. It's in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and so, it's either state forests and game lands or small farms, mostly just dairy cows or beef cows. There are not many crops grown here. It’s a very bucolic, pastoral place as soon as you get outside of the small city of Williamsport.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah. That's great. I've spent some time up there myself doing research, and it's really beautiful—rolling hills and just wonderful forests and barns all over the place. When did you move there and how long were you there?
Colin Jerolmack: I moved there in 2013, and I lived there for eight months. I selected this area because the year before I moved there, Lycoming County had the most new gas wells drilled of any county in Pennsylvania, so I knew it would be a place where a lot of fracking and drilling were happening at the moment I would be there. Also, Williamsport—as small as it is—is the largest city for about an hour and a half in any direction, so that made it an ideal place for all the petroleum companies that were operating in the northern tier of Pennsylvania to set up headquarters. Halliburton built a facility there, you had Chesapeake, and Anadarko.
I lived there for eight months back then in 2013, but the book follows the people I met over seven years up through 2020. I've made many visits back and stayed in touch with people, which really made the book. I don't know if it's the way I intended it when I moved there because I didn't think it would take me this long to write the book, but it tells the story of the boom and then the bust and what happened afterwards as the industry declined in the region.
Daniel Raimi: Well, let's talk about that now and the types of things that people experienced through your eyes. Let’s first talk about the good and the bad and the ugly and everything, I hope. So, let's start with some of the good. What were some of the benefits that community members experienced that you observed?
Colin Jerolmack: The most tangible benefits come to landowners who lease their land. This is a place where even many people who would be living technically under the poverty line still own property. Over 90 percent of the area is owner-occupied, so there's not a lot of renters. Even people who are poor might have inherited a piece of ancestral farmland. You might be living on 10, 20, 30 acres that was part of your great-grandparents' 400-acre farm. I met less than a dozen people who did not lease their land. Everyone who leased got a leasing bonus per acre, and sometimes you didn't get much. I mean, if you leased early and you didn't really know what was happening, and you didn't talk to a lot of other people, you might have only gotten $5 an acre, $20 an acre. People who held out or who banded together with other leasers sometimes got as much as $2,000 an acre. And so, you could get substantial money from leasing bonuses.
If they wound up drilling underneath your property, you got monthly royalty checks, and that's really the life-changing money if you can get it. Everybody who leased their land got some money. It wasn't always life-changing, but certainly, it could settle a tax bill that was due. Maybe you could even set aside some money for your children to go to college. So that’s really where the biggest positive impact was: ancestral properties that might have been millstones for some people that they were struggling to hold on to now were generating revenue. It did temporarily—and we'll get to the bust later—help revitalize the downtown and create some jobs.
Williamsport did build five new hotels in a span of just a few years to house all of these itinerant workers who were coming up from the oil fields in Texas, in North Dakota, and Colorado. So, new hotels, new restaurants. Halliburton built a facility in Muncy that, at its peak, employed 600 people. I also say that, although this is less tangible, it shouldn't be underestimated as something that's really important to people around here: a lot of people talked to me about how fracking put them on the map, that this was putting Williamsport on the map, that it was being talked about across the state and sometimes even entering national conversations. The mayor at the time tried to redub the city as “the energy capital of Pennsylvania.” And there was real pride in that. There was a real sense that Williamsport could be known for something other than the Little League World Series, which, while that's a nice thing to be known for, doesn't really bring a lot of jobs or doesn't make people want to move to the area. These were some of the benefits.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah. That's great. So let's go to the other side of the coin. Can you talk to us about some of the downsides that people experience? I want to refer people to the book because, obviously, we're doing the thumbnail sketch here—there's so much great nuance on the book—but tell us some more about the downsides.
Colin Jerolmack: Sure. So probably the worst downsides, which are the ones that get the most publicity, which, thankfully, I didn't encounter a lot—although I follow six families in the book that this happened to—is that you wind up with contaminated water. When they drill for this shale, which is a mile underneath the ground or more, you obviously have to go through the water table. They put cement casing and metal casing that usually does the job of preventing the gas—the methane—that they're after from getting out, and the other chemicals that they use in the fracking fluid.
Occasionally, in the six families that I followed, what happened was the gas well that was drilled was never even fracked. It had a faulty cement casing. And so, it allowed the methane to leak into people's drinking water wells. Six families wound up with explosive levels of methane in their water that, 12 years later, are unresolved. They still have bubbling water. Two of the families also wound up with other contaminants in their water, turning the water brown and pink and winding up with some of the chemicals that are in the frack fluid in their water. So that's one of the things that can happen. Thankfully, it seems to happen to few people. That's the worst downside.
But I think the more typical ones that many people experience is what I would generally call “the loss of rural character.” To frack one well one time is 5 million gallons of water. That's about 1,400 big rig tanker trucks driving on small, often gravel roads. So, huge truck caravans idling along roads, chewing up the roads, A lot of generators running are loud and spewing fumes into the air. The methane that they're getting out of the ground is almost pipeline-ready, but there are some liquid impurities that are just burned off in people's backyards. There can be these acrid, volatile organic compounds being burned and vented around where people live. Sometimes, people close their windows from the smell of it. When they drill a new well, at the time, it was common before they hooked it up to a pipeline to flare it, which means you're burning off that gas that's coming out, and that is louder than a jet engine. It creates this huge flame that's 80 feet in the air and obliterates the night sky. Sometimes it was so loud for four or five days at a time that people would leave town because it was just unbearable.
In all these kinds of ways, you lose your quality of life. More deeply, people who lease their land—even though when I'm sure we'll get into the politics that a lot of people were supportive of the industry—one of the things they didn't really recognize was how much autonomy they lost over their own estate: guards telling you that you can't access your own driveway at certain hours because the trucks are moving in; people you didn't recognize; gas companies could set up trailer camps for people to live on while they're drilling not only your own well, but even your neighbors' wells; they could still use your property as a staging area. There were all these ways that people didn't really understand about how much they were turning over their property to the gas companies, who could then tell you what you could and couldn't do.
And the last thing I'll say is—not to be too dramatic—but a loss of local democracy or community control. One of the things that the industry was successful in doing in Pennsylvania and other states like Texas was convincing these conservative legislatures and governors who were very enthusiastic about drilling that if municipalities could control fracking through zoning, then they could control other industrial uses that that would create a huge obstacle to the industry, because every time they moved into a new town, they would face different restrictions on how far a gas well can be from a drinking water source, et cetera, et cetera. So what they convinced Pennsylvania to do, as many other oil and gas-producing states did, was to disallow communities to control how fracking is regulated and where gas wells are placed through local zoning.
A lot of residents, even though they were supportive of the industry, were really upset that they could not—like they could with other land uses, from a cell phone tower to a traffic light to a liquor license—turn up at a community hearing, voice their concerns, and push the township board of supervisors to put restrictions based on those concerns. That was something that I think people didn't anticipate, and they were very upset about the loss of community control over land use related to fracking.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah. That's such a good summary. It really dovetails with my own experience, traveling to a lot of shale regions. I obviously did not live in any of them for eight months, but I've been to lots of them. The stories about water contamination are severe when they occur, but they're really pretty rare. There's a term used in the book called “ambient insecurity” that captures a lot of these feelings of disorientation that people feel, and it really resonated with the conversations I had as well.
Colin Jerolmack: That's great.
Daniel Raimi: Let's talk about one particular person who you spent a lot of time with throughout these seven years or so and that you described wonderfully in the book. His name is George Hagemeyer. I think I'm saying his name correctly. Can you tell us about him and how his experience with shale gas evolved over the time that you knew him?
Colin Jerolmack: Absolutely. George, whom I would consider a dear friend of mine now, lives alone on 77 acres that he inherited from his parents. What really connects him so deeply to his land is that George is the youngest of seven siblings. He was just two years old when his father died, and so he actually never knew his father. He doesn't remember his father. His father's the one that bought the property, built the house, and built the barn, so George really feels like he's tending to his father's legacy and it's through caring for the land that he has this connection to his father.
He himself is a retired custodian. He worked for 30 years as a janitor at the local high school, Montoursville High School. Living on a pretty modest pension, he's very reclusive. He seldom leaves the property unless he has to. He claims not to have slept off the property in over 30 years. He never married. He does have someone who he calls a daughter. He stayed at his house to take care of his mother until she died. Also, his sister had planned to give up a girl for adoption many years ago, so George adopted that girl and raised her as his own. He even says that the only time he left the property 30 years ago was because his daughter at that time begged him to go to Disney World. He’s just very attached to his land, he’s content to spend the entire day just pacing the property, meandering in the woods, mowing it—I mean, mowing the fields takes a day and a half. He wouldn't call himself conservative—he refuses to identify himself politically—he just says, "I'm an American." I would say he's libertarian. He basically distrusts government in all forms and doesn't believe in almost any kind of regulation over land use or personal sovereignty.
At the time I met him, Anadarko was drilling six gas wells on about four acres they had cleared just about 800 feet behind his house. He was incredibly enthusiastic. I mean, he was excited about the money, but he also just felt like he was proud that he was playing a small role in making America energy-independent. He felt that the gas company was treating him with a lot of respect. He even told me that Anadarko could make a commercial featuring him because he was just so excited about fracking and so pleased with the way that they were treating him.
That changed over time. No major contamination happened on his property, he didn't wind up with contaminated water, he didn't wind up with any major spills. But it's this issue that I had already mentioned to you about really the erosion of his personal sovereignty. He was livid when a security guard put a temporary stop sign in front of him and said he couldn't go in his driveway because heavy trucks were moving in and out. He didn't know that they had put a security camera on the well pad. He walked across the well pad and took a shortcut through it to get to his back field, and the next day, the security guard told him that the camera—that he didn't even know was there—had recorded him walking across the well pad and asked him if he knew that he was trespassing. Even though it's his property, the company is leasing the pad and he would be arrested if he did it again. You can imagine how that made him feel.
He didn't know until he saw a classified ad in the paper that the petroleum company was required by law to file that it was going to be withdrawing 225,000 gallons of water a day from the stream running through his property to frack a neighbor's well, not even his own well. Lastly, when they were done fracking, they were done withdrawing water after a year, and things had finally calmed down and he thought his life was getting back to normal, all of a sudden, all these big rig trucks started driving down right by his house down the driveway to the pad with trailer homes on them. They were putting a so-called “man camp” where dozens of workers were going to be living temporarily while they were using his property as a staging ground for the well pad next door.
In all these really minor—but for him—major ways, he had become a tenant on his own property. I knew these things were happening: I had moved out, I was talking to him over the phone and checking in with him, but I didn't really appreciate how much it had fundamentally changed the way he thought about the industry until I invited him to give a lecture in my class in New York City. I had decided to bring him and Ralph Kisberg, who founded an anti-drilling group with the idea that George would represent the landowner who supported fracking. He had just gotten his first royalty check, which was $34,000 for just the first three months of production. All of a sudden, he was in the money, and he told me some of the things he was spending the money on. He was able to buy a new SUV and a zero degree radius turning mower—I'm not getting that right, I'm not a connoisseur of lawnmowers—and he rented a stretch limo to make the trip with Ralph.
I thought he was going to present the pro-drilling side. He got up in front of my class and said, "I wish I didn't do it. What would my daddy say if he saw the way that they desecrated my property? They don't respect me as the landowner." He did not become an anti-fracking activist—that's not really his style. But he did start turning up at the local board of supervisors meetings when drilling issues were being discussed, and he would basically offer testimony about all the minor ways and the indignities that he had suffered, and he started calling his state representatives saying, "We ought to be doing more to protect the landowners here and to let them know what's going to happen to them."
That’s the story of George Hagemeyer, which I think is a microcosm of the way that a lot of people felt and which I think really shows how the industry doesn't really care. The industry actually had the goodwill of a lot of people, and I think it could have done pretty basic community outreach to have kept the support of a lot of people like George that it just didn't do. There are a lot of people that I met that were what you might call “true believers” at the beginning who, now, are pretty sour on the industry.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah, that's so interesting. One thing that I did observe across the country is that there's a pretty wide range of behaviors within the industry, right? Some are better at being communicative than others—I'm thinking of places like Colorado, where there tends to be a lot more community outreach. But your points are really well taken, and the story of George Hagemeyer is really fascinating.
Let's go to sort of another topic, which is the anti-fracking movement. As our listeners will know, there's a large and very vocal anti-fracking movement in the United States. Can you talk a little bit about how the folks that you got to know in Lycoming County experienced that movement and how they viewed it?
Colin Jerolmack: Yeah. There’s one local organic anti-fracking group called the Responsible Drilling Alliance. As the name might suggest to you, they were very careful even in picking their name. They are against drilling, but the co-founders recognized that there was so much support for it that if they wanted to try to be able to make a bridge at all, they should call themselves the Responsible Drilling Alliance and sort of try to find ways to bring local people—many of whom, especially outside of Williamsport, are conservative. I mean, this is an area that went more than 70 percent for Trump in both presidential elections.
The problem is that the Responsible Drilling Alliance, which is very small—I mean, really about a dozen of core active members—got drowned out by a much more vocal, larger, and disruptive anti-fracking movement, which was emanating from urban sensors like Philadelphia, New York City, and Pittsburgh. For instance, there were two incidents that everybody talked about that colored the way that they thought about so-called “fracktivists.” One was that there was a trailer home called Riverdale Trailer Park: the people that lived there were going to have to leave because the owner of the land had sold it to a company that was going to withdraw water from the west branch of the Susquehanna River for fracking. The people that lived there weren't happy about it, but all of a sudden, it became this huge protest where a bunch of people came in from New York City and Philadelphia and camped out there for days. They called it “Occupy Riverdale,” explicitly making reference to Occupy Wall Street. A lot of locals who knew about Occupy Wall Street were not supportive of it because they saw it as a bunch of urban liberals who wanted the government to take care of them. This was pretty early on, this was in 2012. This becomes the most visible manifestation of what it means to be anti-fracking: that it's Occupy Wall Street, that it's tied in with all these "socialist" activists.
The other thing, which happened just a few months after that, was that a group calling itself Artists Against Fracking took a tour bus through the area with journalists, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and Susan Sarandon. Mark Ruffalo was also a part of this group. They tour bused through the area and got out and protested at areas where contamination had allegedly occurred. What this did was this really cemented people's view that anti-fracking advocates were outsiders: that they were urban liberals who were not part of the community, and they would do what people sometimes call “drive-by activism.” You show up in your bus and then you leave, or you camp out and protest at this site, and then you leave. It really cemented the idea—this sort of rural-urban divide—that people who were against fracking were urban liberals.
Some people were aware that the state of New York has banned fracking, but the single biggest source of heating for New York State is either methane or propane, which comes from fracking. New York State is heating itself with fracked gas from Pennsylvania, including many tenement buildings, large apartment buildings, and condo buildings in New York City. Some locals will talk about that as well, like, "Well, they're going back to their apartment heated by fracked gas." That was the view.
To get more into the actual politics, a lot of the emphasis of anti-fracking advocates, which is the emphasis of a lot of environmentalists—which, by the way, is what I personally agree with, so this isn't to say that I think they're wrong—is that we need strong federal regulation, like top-down regulation restrictions on industry, restrictions on land use and the same at the state level, a push to ban fracking, and a push for the state to be more involved in regulating this industry. A lot of locals are distrustful of government regulation. A lot of locals don't believe that anybody should tell them what they can and can't do on their own land, which includes leasing their land for drilling. The policy message very much conflicts with their emphasis on land sovereignty, personal autonomy, community control over resources, and community control over land use. That’s the conflict.
Daniel Raimi: Yeah. There’s a journal article that you cite that just has the best title ever, which is “Not in Your Backyard” and nicely captures the dynamic there.
We only have a couple of minutes left, so I'm going to ask you a tricky question, a complex question, that I'm going to ask you to answer quickly if you can. You mentioned that George wouldn't sign the lease again if he had to do it all over again. Was that a common sentiment that you encountered? What was the mix of views that people have today if they could go back 10 years into the past and decide whether to sign that lease again? Would they alter the lease? Would they not sign the lease? What's the general sentiment?
Colin Jerolmack: Sure. I would say the general sentiment—which might surprise you—is not that people would not lease. I mean, I was very surprised. Even Tom and Mary Crowley—who I talk about in the book, and I wrote a piece recently in the New York Times about them, wound up with explosive levels of methane in their water. When I met them, when I talked to them most recently, they were saying, "If the company came around again, we would lease."
Now, why is that the case? I think the case is that because people recognized that even if they didn't lease, they would not stop fracking. The Crowleys only own—and when I mean, "only," I mean, it's a lot to me, but they own eight and a half acres. They're surrounded by farms of hundreds of acres, and they were actually contaminated by a well drilled on their neighbor's property. This a classic resource dilemma where people say, "well, I don't trust the industry, but would I lease again? I probably would, because as long as everybody around me leased, I'm still going to deal with all the consequences from it, so I might as well get the money."
I think what more of them would have done is form landowner coalitions, so banding together with other property owners and saying, "You have to lease all of us as a block or else, none of us will lease," and then fight for better lease terms: You have to drill further away from a water source, you can't put infrastructure this close to my house, you have to get more money for a leasing bonus, a greater percentage of royalties, et cetera.
Daniel Raimi: It is really interesting to note that there are parts of the country where these types of landowner coalitions have been relatively common, but they evolved over time, and the context is often different from what you saw in Lycoming County.
Colin Jerolmack, this was such a fascinating conversation. Once again, I just want to encourage people: if you're interested at all in fracking, I think you're going to learn a ton from this book. It's called Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town.
Let's ask you now the question that we ask all of our guests, which is to recommend something that's at the top of their literal or metaphorical reading stack. It can be related to the environment, or even just tangentially related to the environment that you think is really great and you think people should check out.
Colin Jerolmack: I'll give you two things: one book, one podcast. The book is This Is Chance! by Jon Mooallem. It's a wonderful book about the great Alaska earthquake and how, in the 1960s, Anchorage was a new city and was very disconnected from the continental United States. There was this major earthquake, and the community residents had to figure out together how to recover from the disaster. It’s a really great, beautifully told story about how communities respond to disaster and what community means. I can't recommend it enough. It's a lovely book.
And I've been hooked right now to the podcast Scene on Radio Season 5: The Repair, which has Amy Westervelt as the guest host and tries to track from the Book of Genesis until now how Western culture, Western civilization, and the politics and ideology of Western civilization contribute to climate change in the climate crisis. It's just phenomenal. Actually, I'm thinking about building a class at NYU around the podcast.
Daniel Raimi: Wow. Those both sound fascinating. I think I've heard of the Alaska book, but I had not heard of that podcast, so I'll definitely have to check out both. Great. Colin Jerolmack from New York University, thank you so much for writing this book. Thank you so much for coming on the show and for teaching your students and doing all the things you do. We really appreciate it.
Colin Jerolmack: Absolutely. This was a lot of fun. Happy to be back.
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RFF is an independent nonprofit research institution in Washington, DC. Our mission is to improve environmental, energy, and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement. The views expressed on this podcast are solely those of the podcast guests and may differ from those of RFF experts, its officers, or its directors. RFF does not take positions on specific legislative proposals. Resources Radio is produced by Elizabeth Wason with music by me, Daniel Raimi. Join us next week for another episode.