Daily Archives: November 15, 2021

The Hard Truths about Climate Change with Alex Halliday | Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed TV

CUNY TV– Apr 22, 2019

Climate change, with its rising temperatures and rising sea levels, its wildfires and extreme weather events, is a profound threat to much of the life on this planet, including human life. And yet we are not taking anything close to the steps necessary to mitigate this existential challenge. Bob explores some of the hard truths about climate change with his guest – one of the wisest minds on this issue – Alex Halliday, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. (Taped: 04/16/2019) Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed.TV is a weekly half-hour program featuring interviews with significant men and women from a variety of fields: officeholders and activists, economists, labor leaders, writers and artists. Herbert, a longtime journalist and former columnist for The New York Times, takes a close look each week at a compelling contemporary issue. He elicits personal stories and insights into the character of each guest, revealing not just what they believe about a particular issue, but why they believe it.

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The Pyrocene: How We Created an Age of Fire, and What Happens Next: Stephen J. Pyne

A provocative rethinking of how humans and fire have evolved together over time—and our responsibility to reorient this relationship before it’s too late.​

The Pyrocene tells the story of what happened when a fire-wielding species, humanity, met an especially fire-receptive time in Earth’s history. Since terrestrial life first appeared, flames have flourished. Over the past two million years, however, one genus gained the ability to manipulate fire, swiftly remaking both itself and eventually the world. We developed small guts and big heads by cooking food; we climbed the food chain by cooking landscapes; and now we have become a geologic force by cooking the planet.

Some fire uses have been direct: fire applied to convert living landscapes into hunting grounds, forage fields, farms, and pastures. Others have been indirect, through pyrotechnologies that expanded humanity’s reach beyond flame’s grasp. Still, preindustrial and Indigenous societies largely operated within broad ecological constraints that determined how, and when, living landscapes could be burned. These ancient relationships between humans and fire broke down when people began to burn fossil biomass—lithic landscapes—and humanity’s firepower became unbounded. Fire-catalyzed climate change globalized the impacts into a new geologic epoch. The Pleistocene yielded to the Pyrocene.

Around fires, across millennia, we have told stories that explained the world and negotiated our place within it. The Pyrocene continues that tradition, describing how we have remade the Earth and how we might recover our responsibilities as keepers of the planetary flame.


“An excellent grounding in how fire functions, how we think about it and why that matters. In Pyne’s hands, fire becomes more than simply a natural phenomenon.”
Los Angeles Times

“Stephen J. Pyne takes a measured, historical, and ecological approach to fire. . . . [A] brief but highly impactful book.”

The Pyrocene is his fullest elucidation yet of how humanity has entered a new age of fire, one that redefines the human-altered era of the Anthropocene. And Pyne . . . is certainly the best writer to make this argument.”

From the Back Cover

“The world is on fire, and no one sees that—or writes about it—better than Stephen Pyne. This is a brilliant guidebook to that future.”—David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth

The Pyrocene is a lambent meditation on the many meanings of fire: geological, environmental, agricultural, nutritional, metallurgical, metaphorical. Pyne makes the illuminating case that fire, our first domesticated beast, tamed and suppressed for much of the industrial age, is now re-wilding itself.”—Marcia Bjornerud, author of Timefulness

“A master class in pyrogeographic thinking. It sears into the consciousness the inescapable entwinement of life, fire, and culture.” David M. J. S. Bowman, Professor, University of Tasmania, Australia

“With The Pyrocene, Pyne redefines the Anthropocene as an age of fire, envisioning a renewal of our diverse relationships with fire as the path to a better future for people and the rest of nature.”—Erle C. Ellis, author of Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction

“Pyne is the pyro-poet of our time. We are the fire species and this is our story. This book represents a lifetime of observing the flame in all corners and cultures. It is a beautiful narrative that is deeply relevant and provides critical reflection on how we live sustainably on our fire planet.”—Jennifer K. Balch, Director of Earth Lab, University of Colorado Boulder

“A wonderful, insightful book. I highly recommend it, first to those dealing directly with wildfires, second to policy makers, and finally to every citizen because we need to know about our transition into the Pyrocene era, or we will become the frog in the boiling pot.”—Patrick Shea, former National Director of the US Bureau of Land Management

“Fire is one of the important climate issues of our day. In his masterful book, Pyne, the doyen of fire history, takes us on a journey from our near past through the present and into the future. Pyne provides us with the data and tools to help us understand fire on Earth, the role it plays, our interactions with it, and the threat it may pose. This is a book that should not be ignored but read by all interested in the world about them, but also importantly by educators and policy makers”—Andrew C. Scott, author of Fire: A Very Short Introduction

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ University of California Press; First edition (September 7, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0520383583
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0520383586
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.25 inches

Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught in America: Katie Worth

Why are so many American children learning so much misinformation about climate change?

Investigative reporter Katie Worth reviewed scores of textbooks, built a 50-state database, and traveled to a dozen communities to talk to children and teachers about what is being taught, and found a red-blue divide in climate education. More than one-third of young adults believe that climate change is not man-made, and science instructors are being contradicted by history teachers who tell children not to worry about it.

Who has tried to influence what children learn, and how successful have they been? Worth connects the dots on oil corporations, state legislatures, school boards, libertarian thinktanks, conservative lobbyists, and textbook publishers, all of whom have learned from the fight over evolution and tobacco, and are now sowing uncertainty, confusion, and distrust about climate science, with the result that four in five Americans today don’t think there is a scientific consensus on global warming. In the words of a top climate educator, “We are the only country in the world that has had a multi-decade, multi-billion dollar deny-delay-confuse campaign.” Miseducation is the alarming story of how climate denialism was implanted in millions of school children.


“Exceptional reporting undergirds the truly shocking facts in this book: the fossil fuel industry is doing all that it can to undermine education about climate change, which will be the most important fact in the lifetimes of kids in school today. Thank heaven for the teachers who stand up for the truth―and thank heaven that this book will spark a crucial national conversation about the hijacking of our educational system.” ―Bill McKibben

“A striking look at how climate change is taught in American primary and secondary schools.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A damning report on the state of science education in America, especially regarding climate change.” Kirkus Reviews

“Boy, do we need this book now. As the looming climate catastrophe introduces itself by fire and flood, as the world’s leaders need a sense of public urgency to make some hard choices, Katie Worth discovers widespread climate denialism in our nation’s schools. Ignorance of the scientific consensus, ideological pressure, fossil-fuel industry disinformation, and a well-meaning but misguided desire to tell ‘both sides’―it is a disheartening story, richly reported, clearly told and (we can only hope) just in time.” ―Bill Keller, former executive editor of The New York Times and founding editor of The Marshall Project

“In her meticulously researched and vividly written book, Katie Worth provides a detailed, comprehensive, and often enraging examination of the forces that obstruct climate change education in the United States through denial, doubt, and delay. But she also offers a glimmer of hope. Miseducation is essential reading for anybody who cares about the climate.” ―Glenn Branch, deputy director, National Center for Science Education

“Climate change is an unprecedented threat to our global community, and the frontlines of our efforts to address that threat are in the nation’s classrooms where clearheaded, well-informed educators can provide the coming generation with the facts about its causes and likely consequences. But what if those classrooms have been infiltrated by bad actors? In this engagingly written and important book, Katie Worth reveals how the science education that might save us has been influenced by partisan politics and special interests putting the future of us all at risk.” ―John L. Rudolph, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of How We Teach Science: What’s Changed, and Why It Matters

“Young people horrified about climate change are standing up against fossil fuel companies and governments the world over. Amid this global youth uprising, Katie Worth reveals in horrifying detail the ways in which children in American schools are being methodically―and oftentimes successfully―targeted with climate misinformation designed to keep profits and pollution from oil, coal and gas flowing. This deeply reported book names names and reveals filthy secrets and should be essential reading for anybody concerned for the future of humanity.” ―John Upton, editor at Climate Central

“Katie Worth’s Miseducation explores an under-appreciated but extremely important aspect of our climate crisis: the active mis-education around climate change in American schools. She explains how conservative politicians, well-funded right-wing foundations, and frightened textbook publishers, have watered down, eliminated or confused the ways the issue is presented to tens of millions of school children. They hope to raise another generation that will fail to act on what may be the greatest threat to our future. But, as Worth shows, efforts by committed educators has led to some real progress and represents reasons for hope.” ―Alexander Stille, San Paolo Professor of International Journalism at Columbia, author of The Force of Things: A Marriage in War and Peace

About the Author

Katie Worth is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning investigative journalist. From 2015 to 2021, she worked for the PBS series FRONTLINE on enterprise investigations and multimedia stories about science and politics. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, National Geographic, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and was included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2016.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Columbia Global Reports (November 16, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 184 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1735913642
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1735913643
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.9 x 0.6 x 7.4 inches

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African Americans played a crucial role in the Fourth of July – The Washington Post

The Declaration of Independence’s debt to Black America

When African Americans allied themselves with the British, the Patriots were enraged, and they acted.

By Woody Holton

Woody Holton, the McCausland professor of history at the University of South Carolina, is the author of “Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution.”

July 2, 2021 at 9:13 a.m. EDT

In his famous Independence Day oration of 1852, Frederick Douglass asked, “What to the American slave is your Fourth of July?” If we turn that around and ask, “What to the Fourth of July were African Americans?,” we can only answer: “A lot.”

African Americans played a crucial, if often overlooked, role in their White owners’ and neighbors’ decision to declare independence from Britain.


in November 1774 — five months before the Battles of Lexington and Concord — Blacks in the Virginia Piedmont gathered to assess how to use the impending conflict between colonists and crown to gain their own freedom. Over the next 12 months, African Americans all over the South made essentially this pitch to beleaguered royal officials: You are outnumbered, you need us — and we will fight for you if you will free us. At first the British refused, but eventually Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor of Virginia, began quietly welcoming African Americans to what he called his “Ethiopian Regiment.” On Nov. 15, 1775, Dunmore’s Black troops defeated a Patriot militia force, with the Patriot commander being captured by one of his own former enslaved men. Later that day, the governor issued an emancipation proclamation, promising freedom to rebels’ enslaved people who served in his army. With less fanfare, other colonial officials, especially Royal Navy captains, also accepted Black volunteers.


1775, most White Americans had resisted parliamentary innovations like the Stamp Act and the tea tax but had shown little interest in independence. Yet when they heard that Blacks had forged an informal alliance with the British, Whites were furious. John H. Norton of Virginia denounced Dunmore’s “Damned, infernal, Diabolical proclamation declaring Freedom to all our Slaves who will join him.” Thomas Paine pronounced the Anglo-African alliance “hellish.”

“Our Devil of a Governor goes on at a Devil of a rate indeed,” wrote Virginian Benjamin Harrison, who would later sign the Declaration of Independence.


fury at the British for casting their lot with enslaved people drove many to the fateful step of endorsing independence. In his rough draft of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson listed 25 grievances against George III but devoted three times as many words to one of those grievances as to any other. This was his claim that the king had first imposed enslaved Africans on White Americans and was now encouraging those same enslaved people “to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them.”

Soon after the adoption of the Declaration, Black freedom fighters set about transforming its meaning.

The Second Continental Congress’s most urgent motivation for declaring independence was to pave the way for a military alliance with France. That explains why the Declaration briefly mentions human rights but focuses on states’ (nations’) rights, specifically the right of entities like the 13 colonies to break away from their mother countries. And in the Declaration’s early years, as the literary scholar Eric Slauter has discovered, most Whites who quoted it went straight to its secessionist clauses, especially Congress’s pronouncement that “these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States.”

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The American Revolution from Two Perspectives: A Debate


Oct 30, 2021 Hybrid in-person / zoom event

Gordon Wood, Brown University; Woody Holton, University of South Carolina
Moderated by Catherine Allgor, MHS

Gordon Wood and Woody Holton are both distinguished scholars of the American Revolution. But they approach the founding very differently, as you can see from their just-published books. Join them as they debate their conflicting interpretations.

“Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution” by Gordon Wood
Americans explored and debated all aspects of politics and constitutionalism—the nature of power, liberty, representation, rights, the division of authority between different spheres of government, sovereignty, judicial authority, and written constitutions. Gordon Wood illuminates critical events in the nation’s founding and discusses slavery and constitutionalism, the emergence of the judiciary as one of the major tripartite institutions of government, the demarcation between public and private, and the formation of states’ rights.

“Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution” by Woody Holton

Using eyewitness accounts, Liberty Is Sweet explores countless connections between the Patriots of 1776 and other Americans whose passion for freedom often brought them into conflict with the Founding Fathers. Woody Holton looks at the origins and crucial battles of the Revolution, always focusing on marginalized Americans—enslaved Africans and African Americans, Native Americans, women, and dissenters—and on overlooked factors such as weather, North America’s unique geography, chance, misperception, attempts to manipulate public opinion, and (most of all) disease.

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Gordon Wood and Woody Holton clash over past and present

This combination of book cover images shows “Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution” by Gordon S. Wood, left, and “Liberty is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution” by Woody Holton. The two American Revolution historians gathered at the Massachusetts Historical Society last weekend to discuss their most recent books and their differing views of the country’s origins. (Oxford University Press via AP, left, Simon & Schuster via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Gordon Wood has engaged in many debates during his long and celebrated career, but rarely had he been confronted so starkly as by fellow scholar Woody Holton last weekend at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The two American Revolution historians had been billed to discuss their most recent books and their differing views of the country’s origins. But midway through the 60-minute event the subject turned to The New York Times’ 1619 Project, the Pulitzer Prize winning series from 2019 that placed slavery at the center of the American narrative. The mood soon resembled less a spirited, but academic gathering than a court of law, with Wood on the stand.

Holton’s allegation: Wood’s criticism of the 1619 project, which he and four other historians have condemned for saying the preservation of slavery was a “primary reason” the colonists sought independence, helped make credible the current backlash from such Republican politicians as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, along with school boards around the country.

“You did an open letter putting that project beyond the pale, outside the wire, and making it vulnerable to the attack by these demagogues,” Holton told Wood, who appeared startled but reiterated his criticism of the Times and 1619 project creator Nikole Hannah-Jones even as he acknowledged the language he objected to had since been modified to “some of the colonists” wanting independence over fears of slaves aligning with the British.

“You are a founding father, Professor Wood, of a massive campaign of censorship. You’re not the most responsible, but the five of you are responsible. And that’s why, right now, I want to ask you to write another open letter to Sen. Cotton, and to Gov. DeSantis, and to all the other demagogues who are using your letter to ban the 1619 project, to say, ‘I am Gordon Wood, and damnit, I am not in favor of censorship.’”

During a telephone interview a few days later, Wood called the debate a “disaster,” said he was “blindsided” by Holton’s attack and that Holton was carrying out his role as “the primary defender” among historians of the 1619 project. Asked if he found any positive qualities in the series, which includes essays on politics, culture, criminal justice and religion among other subjects, he criticized it for encouraging a sense of “victimhood” and feeling “aggrieved” that he called understandable but ”self-destructive” in the long run.

The letter Holton asked for will not be written.

“I had no idea of what DeSantis was doing,” he said of the Florida governor, who has labeled the 1619 project “critical race theory” and backed the state’s board of education’s decision last summer to ban the book from classrooms. “It’s out of my hands. We can’t do our historical research … (worrying) that it might be misused by politicians.”

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Tarikh al-Fatash fi Akhbar al-Buldan wa-al-Jayoush wa-Akbar al-Nasv.1 : Saʻdī, ʻAb d al-Raḥmān ibn ʻAbd Allāh, 1596-1656? : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Interne t Archive

Topics Songhai Empire., Tombouctou (Mali) History Sources., Mali History., Morocco History 1516-1830. Publisher Paris, E. Leroux, Collection gwulibraries; americana Digitizing sponsor George Washington University Libraries Contributor Houdas, Octave Victor, 1840-1916. Language Malay
This book is from the rare book collection originally held in the George Camp Keiser Library of the Middle East Institute (MEI), Washington DC. This collection, acquired in 2008 by the Gelman Library of The George Washington University, now forms part of the Special Collections Research Center.

History of Timbuktu and the surrounding region under Moroccan rule during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Includes index.


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