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tv   Book Discussion on The Storm of the Century  CSPAN  August 30, 2015 11:30am-12:01pm EDT

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for dissent or anywhere in the country, with the same answers that of the black caucus. where the technological age. surely they are at least personal lives of social security. they think about ownership. they want capital. when you think about market, social security is one way we can require them to personalize this. [inaudible] >> star parker, "blind conceit: politics and racial polarization" moving forward to say of america. there is the cover. this is booktv on c-span2.
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>> nbc coanchor al roker discusses the hurricane of 1900 committed to this national disaster in american history. >> hi there, how are you? would've been embarrassing if the weather had been so nice. thank you for being here. i really appreciate it. the genesis for this book i was trying to think about i actually sink in a little more than a year ago thinking about this hard to believe but it's been 10 years since hurricane katrina struck on august 28th. in researching where katrina
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fell in the pecking order of natural disasters in this country, i started researching the hurricane of 1900 that hit galveston, all the lift it off the map. it's a fascinating story to me and as i got into it a little bit more, i thought i don't think a lot of people know how bad this is. folks in the gulf region have a pretty good idea but the average person in america i don't think nose and the more i research the more deeply into it i got. i decided maybe i could make a book out of this. i have limited skills as you probably see every morning. i hired a guide whose name is bill hoagland is a wonderful author in his own right but is a marvelous researcher and as he
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delved into this and he would shuttle me information, the more i saw, the more i became fascinated by this and the more i decided this was a terrific story because galveston represented a lot of this country at the turn-of-the-century. can-do attitude and believe we are masters of our domain and we can take anything and make it better. galveston 100 years earlier was a sandbar that was headquartered for jumbo pete the pirate in a few decades later it was a center for shipping, for cotton, for industry as it was city of 37,000 it had per capita more billionaires than any place in
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america. the first street lights were strung in texas were strung and galveston. opera house, a city hall. it was by many people's approximation the paris of the south. the preeminent -- the largest u.s. weather bureau outside of washington d.c. was located and galveston. it is bigger than new orleans. it was really in a sense the epicenter shipping along the gulf coast. bad hurricanes before before they had storms, but they always weathered them. they always dealt with them. there is the belief that a major hurricane could not hit galveston, could not hit along the gulf coast at the storms had
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a natural curve and texas was not part of that curve. adding to that, there was a belief that the u.s. weather bureau that they were the supreme forecasting entity in north america if not the world however, the head of the u.s. weather bureau did not believe in consulting the cubans and did not want people thinking they were superior to them. basically shut down the cubans down the cuban forecasts that were coming out of cuba because the u.s. controlled the telegraph line.
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so on the fateful morning of september 8th when cuban new that there is a major hurricane moving through the caribbean, dated the forecast was to intensify once it passed through the caribbean island got out into the atlantic gulf coast would strengthen and would take aim at texas coast somewhere within 100 miles of galveston. the forecast was never disseminated because it was cut off from being disseminated by the u.s. war department which ran the u.s. weather bureau. so the forecast issued by the national weather service committee is weather bureau for the hurricane was going across over the florida keys and we can move out into the landings. the foremost u.s. forecast was a
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man named isaac cline. his story was told that necessarily by erik larson in the book isaac's storm. isaac cline up until eight hours before the hurricane hit was under the belief that storm was going to pass off harmlessly across florida and into the atlantic. ironically not too early before and the galveston paper saying they were city fathers who wanted to build a seawall. isaac cline was one that said not necessarily. if a hurricane does, it's not going to be that bad. we don't get that hurricanes that hit galveston. about 12 hours before the
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hurricane hit, isaac cline started to see signs that there was something happening out there. in 1900 would have no satellites, we had no radar, no weather balloons. we have weather stations around the country that reported by a telegraph to the national weather service, u.s. weather bureau in washington and whether the forecast was disseminated to the local u.s. weather bureaus. head of the weather bureau did not want local forecasters have in their own forecast. he felt they were too sensationalistic and we know better in washington that you local guys. i don't know if that sounds familiar but what a shock. some things never changed. so unfortunately,
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september 9th, early in the morning the hurricane comes onshore and life and galveston has changed forever. when it was all said and done, an estimate of 10,000 people lost their lives. many were washed out to sea. many in their homes. the city itself was decimated. 80% of the city was destroyed. it was the largest -- the worst natural disaster to befall the country. the first major disaster of the new century and what came after was a story about human survival, the will to live, to great publishing tycoons william
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randolph hearst, joseph pulitzer and a circulation more. william randolph hearst was able to get the first news report out of galveston by a woman, a female reporter who disguised herself as a worker and was able to document the horrors that have been in galveston and get their stories out by hitching a ride and getting the story out. the only way you had was by both. just a pulitzer higher to 78 road woman by the name of claire parker. you might recognize her as the founder of the red cross and he put in the bill paid for a massive train loaded with
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supplies, personnel, and got her down to galveston eventually transferring a rate in and moving into galveston to render aid to the survivors. not to be in a beautiful summer day, the third death games basically. what was interesting about galveston was a fairly diverse society. bites, blacks, hispanics, obviously black people were segregated in one area but had access to much of the town. after everything was decimated, partial law was put in place. the powers that be to load dead
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bodies onto barges on the plan was to take those bodies out and dump them for burial at sea. the only problem is bodies flow. and they washed back of onshore. and so, the only way to dispose of those corpses was to burn them. for weeks at a time there were bodies being burned and after a while they realized they needed more people. so the first integrated workings were basically work groups that were the death games burning bodies and galveston. it really is a story of survival i looked at him and focused on several people.
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isaac cline and his family, a young schoolteacher who was waiting to get married. a young married african-american woman whose father worked at the customs house, a rabbi, and hispanics shot on her. i still am amazed. i don't know that i would have had the wherewithal to survive some pain. i think it is an interesting parallel today as we look at ocean rise and greater the massive storms although this has been a very quiet year, it is a tale of perseverance of heroism and government ignoring obvious signs. so that is a little bit of a background. we've got a microphone i guess to answer questions.
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i'd be happy to answer a few before we take a break. anybody have any questions about this or anything? i've got limited knowledge. the nice lady over here. >> could you tell us something about yourself, how you got into the business, your background and education. >> how did i get into this business? well, i was a sophomore in college and i'll take a couple of meteorology courses and a college course to fulfill the science requirement. i had no plans have been on tv. i was a broadcast major. my department chairman told me after my first television cost that i had radio.
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at the end of my sophomore year he put me up for a job in c. or hughes, new york at the cbs station. he was the trolley on the magic toy shop. anyway, i got the job and i did weaken weather for a year and my junior year i got the monday through friday job so i drove 50 miles a day round-trip doing schools, taking classes and six months after that i graduated and got a job in washington d.c. where he met the man who changed my life, william scott, who was the weatherman and he kind of mentored me and after a couple years i got a job in cleveland, was there for five years and then i came in a teen 83 about
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six months after that doing weekends are monday through friday whether men left and went to channel two. i got his job in a few years later i started doing the weekend weather on the today show. here we are today. there you have it. >> if you believe in global warming, which i do a nice reading the article the other day that we are approaching a point of no return when we cannot reverse the effects. what is your opinion on that? >> phrase global warming probably should've gone with climate change because they think we are seeing our climate changing so we have wetter than usual years, hotter than usual years. are we reaching a point of no return? i don't know. i know we have to do something.
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i think there are those naysayers who don't believe it, but i think you look around and realize something is happening to our atmosphere and we've got to take steps to change that. i don't know that anybody knows what is going to happen. i don't think it will be good. maybe this later over here. >> today we have such sophisticated instrument in computers and everything else. what did they actually have to predict the weather in 1900? i know people and they use the cloud. what did they do to predict the weather is back then? >> while we have improved all of
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this supercomputers and satellites and radar but we have provisions of exactly what they had. they had anemometer is for wind speed and direction. at temperatures, thermometers. and they have barometers for barometric pressure. there are analogues. but they took that -- they would take those readings. the big change in effect in the 1900 was they had the telegraph and to a certain extent limited amount of telephone subroutines could be taken throughout the country of weather stations and the information telegraph through the u.s. weather bureau in washington. it could all be collated and created and they could make forecasts from that knowing what was happening by the rise and fall of the barometer wind
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direction, which is pretty much what we still do, but that is all augmented by satellite, by radar, by radio bulletins that takes down into the atmosphere. it's interesting to see if you look back at a lot of forecasts and they were fairly accurate given the limited amount of information they had. maybe that lady there. >> thank you yet have a couple family members who lost their homes and katrina and i'm wondering, do you feel new orleans has done enough after the storm to shore themselves up for a future massive storm? >> i was down in new orleans for the 10th anniversary. they put $14 billion in coupons and new levies and they are
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better prepared that they are still outside of that raid. they need more work and they are working on that. it's another five to 10 years before they are ready. they just can't wave a magic wand to matter how much money you throw at it, it is not going to help. they are better prepared today than they were 10 years ago and the other failures that happened besides everything else was they were not evacuation's weather through their own volition or their government not getting the mobilized. i think those plans are now in place. >> the gentleman right there. >> when i saw the pictures at seaside heights, new jersey, i saw the roller coaster in the ocean but they also showed us around and rise.
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have you heard any explanation as to how this happened? >> that is just where the tide ended up. part of the washed out into the ocean. you know, unfortunately it was in the wrong place at the wrong time. >> over here i guess. >> there is a second microphone. >> thank you. as you are describing things, there is a varied vivid imagery. do you think some of what you've written the next lord can transfer into a film version? >> it's funny i've had a number of people who read the book agreed it's like a movie. if somebody wanted to produce that, i wouldn't be against that. i think it would be a compelling story. >> gentleman right there.
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>> actually, piggybacking on the film question i always wanted to ask how you, matt and the whole crew ended up getting the ball up the sharp nato. >> you know, it is produced by our sister company. there you go. hi, g want to be in this? there you have it. this lady over here. >> i was wondering i've been reading reports that if the polar ice to keep some melt teen, that new york will be swamped. battery city and all of that will fledge in order. when sandy happens, it is still down actually a man drowned in
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the building. this to me is like i can't believe that we can't be better prepared with things like sandy and biggs arms. >> well, the question being why are we better prepared for things like sandy. i think when cities were designed, you didn't have the infrastructure. you didn't have all these buildings down there basically. we are in a place where we pretty much were supposed to be. as you have sea levels slowly rising in the frequency of greater storms you have more damage. they have to basically harden themselves against climate change. subway tomball's and the secular tomball's that have doors that
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can close off, buildings that are more waterproof. and heating plants and air conditioning may be raised off the ground floors. a lot of changes have to be made to prepare for what's coming. >> right after katrina a professor at tulane university was quoted as saying nobody should have been living in that war. i don't know how the government can come up with enough money to rebuild on land that people should not be living on an appropriately. they showed a man in italy this hot lava coming into his
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backyard. i guess we have to wake up and we have to just change the way we think about where we live. there have been islands in the south pacific for the natives had to pick up their homes and moved them further in land because the pacific was rising. >> look, folks who had to rebuild certain areas have to elevate their homes. people have to make choices and the choices also are we going to re-inhabit those places. it is a very issue. yes, sir. >> are you going to run another marathon? >> i'm not going to run another marathon. it was questionable i ran the first marathon coming in a six plus hours.
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>> i was there. i watched you just before he went back into the park and had a microphone and i said go outwork her. he turned around during your last stretch. i sat in my going to see you tomorrow morning the tv show and he said i'll be there. >> thank you. i had to do safety patrol duty the next day for my daughter's school. i asked my wife if she was switched with me and she said no. but i wore my medallion along with my safety slot. >> that is a nice segue. if i had a magic wand just as it is and being recognized away from this video.
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you had to choose. you couldn't turn it on or off. do you think you would choose to be anonymous from a studio in public? >> and everything would be the same and you would be unrecognized when you left the studio. we just wouldn't know that's how. >> i don't know. being recognized i've gotten some free meals out of it. that is pretty good. you know, everything has got a price. on balance it is all pretty good. you're not going to get me complaining about poor me.
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people come up and tell me they like me. that's just horrible. sometimes when i'm with my kids, not so much now because they're a little older but they may want to take pictures that i say with my kids. most people are very nice about it. all in all it balances. that lady behind. >> can you tell us about your bicycle? >> it is a folding bike, a british bike because we love everything british. not really. but in my mind it's the best bike out there so makes it easier to get around. you get some cardio. and i just like it. it's fun. i guess maybe one more question
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and we will call it a day. anybody else? thank you so much. that was fantastic. you were great. >> thank you so much. that was wonderful. you will be signing some copies. the line will form right behind me. thank you all for coming. so mac [inaudible conversations]
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>> now, american enterprise institute president arthur brooks discusses his book, the conservative part in which he said time for a new kind of conservatives and that fights poverty, promote equal opportunity and extol spiritual enlightenment. >> arthur brooks, you have great been exciting and important new book, the conservative part. how to build affair, had a more prosperous america. it's great to be with you. i read this book and as you can tell i started making notes. because you seem to have struck a chord here that i think wil


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