tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 26, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
u.k. just being a member of the eea. eu is likely to not admit the free movement of people over this deal. there is an exception for liechtenstein in the treaties but that is a small straw to .rasp but and is not liechtenstein however much i wish it was. the two main motivating factors behind the vote we know was a desire to take control of britain's laws and borders. the eea may be many options but it is not brexit in these terms. on the eu side britain's membership wouldn't be brexit either. the european parliament has received advice that the correct way to achieve any amembership would be treaty change not the use of article 50.
for the eu brexit has to mean brexit as well. article 50 ends all application of the treaties not just some of them. it is meant as a deterrent to exit and cannot be treated cavalierly. so brexit must mean brexit. britain must leave the e.u. entirely. that is the road that presents the greatest dangers, but it also in our view presents the greatest opportunity. and now rory will describe some of those opportunities. mr. broomfield: well, thank you very much. and thank you also to the heritage foundation for inviting me and ian to speak today about our plan, cutting the zpwordian knot. it is the second time we have written such a plan. the first time, as ian laid out, was for the institute of economic affairs two years ago. and once a former british prime minister said a week was a long time in politics i think we can agree two years is a long
time. and what have we achieved in that time? what i think we need to talk about now is the opportunity that the united kingdom has in embracing brexit. ian and ted talked just now about the potential roads heads ahead and the potential pittfalls the united kingdom could potentially fall into. i want to, like ian, address some key points. and i think we are never shy in the past two years to address the challenging questions and certainly with the project still on our back we were very keen to press the positive of brexit. indeed, this also goes to policy areas such as immigration, agriculture, and inward investment. and what we want to do in this particular report is to lay out the british government what
positive steps they can take to harness the potential and maximize the potential for britain in this new world. immigration was a particularly stark and contentious issue. it remains so today. but the united kingdom, voted to take back control. that doesn't mean just take back control with a few safeguard measures here and there administered on the prospect of renewal. it actually means defining a system that fits the united kingdom by the united kingdom for the united kingdom. and to this we say there are benefits in what we term a tariff system, an immigration tariff system. now, over the course of many years, brexit campaigns have been called many things. indeed, they have been called so many things i don't think ten minutes gives me enough time to
relay at least part of them. but what we propose and what other people have proposed in a nationality neutral immigration system is by no means the racist card that our opposition and our opponents have tried to cast us as. the idea of an immigration tariff, however, we believe has a massive benefit in alleviating the burdensome regulation that a state-sponsored tariff -- state-sponsored points-based system might generate. indeed, we also believe that the system as administered in our plan will allow for net benefit to take into account the skills and the income generated from the highest skilled individuals that come to the united kingdom. ultimately, we want to generate
a system where the best people from around the world want to come to britain, can come to britain, and find their home in the united kingdom. i think this lays out a plan without the state-sponsored burden that other proposed nationality neutral plans might generate. whether it be countries around the world, non-e.u. and e.u., there are siggets improvements that can be made and generated through a free market approach. now, what ian and i have done is looked at these approaches, looked at other countries who have administered a
protectionist measure and actually seen the limitations of such approaches in comparison to one guiding light. and that guiding light is the new zealand. the new zealand option has laid out the way the united kingdom should proceed with regards to agriculture. it is a free-market approach that has embraced globalism, has embraced free markets, and embraced innovation and change. ever since the 1980's when the new zealand government said no so subsidies, the new zealand farming sector has thrived. it hasn't just thrived because of the innovation that's been generation from it. it has thrived because new zealand as a country has reached out to new markets and embraced new potential. as a result, new zealand's stock index has populated roughly 10% of its agricultural firms. indeed, agriculture has been so successful it is one of the top
two industries in new zealand. and with the united kingdom's branding power on the world stage, i believe that such things as british beef, newly introduced into the united states, and indeed other such materials can have a great branding prowess on the global stage. so the big one. investment. it is through project fear we were told that it would finish. effectively, foreign investment would die on the brexit vote. well, the opposite has been true. two months to the day that britain voted to leave the european union, there have been 54 separate deals accumulating roughly $38 billion u.s. now, that to me does not seem
like a slippery slope. indeed, i think it's something to embrace. and in this plan cutting the gordian knot i think the united kingdom if it embraces a global free-market approach can generate more for the companies and the globally orientated and industries within the united kingdom and to the benefit of both its people and its trading partners. one final thought on that, because trading partners is key in this particular realm. we have friends in the united kingdom around the world. this is something that the campaigns during the actual e.u. referendum was putting on the table. we have friends around the world and far from the isolationist position that some of the remainers indeed advocated we believe that the united kingdom through maximizing its global potential through financial sectors and elsewhere can become a greater trading nation and indeed, to utter the words of
winston churchill, embrace the open sea. as a result, ladies and gentlemen, i commend the cutting the gordion knot publicication and its revised version, and as ian said, you can download it. thank you very much. mr. tupy: thanks to all of you. let me first congratulate ian and rory on a thoughtful and informative paper. i am particularly grateful for the authors for their valiant effort in finally explaining to me the difference between the european council, the council of the european union and the council of europe, which are all different.
and if you can grasp the distinction between the three, then particle physics should be a walk in the park. but joking aside, the paper does provide an excellent service in outlining the different challenges that britain faces in extricating itself from the eu and the options before british lawmakers in meeting those challenges. now, i have known ian for many years and i'm happy to report that we see eye to eye on most things. and as such i don't have any serious disagreements with the paper, which are based on clear and time-tested free market principles. that of course is also a risk for most people, including european and british decision makers, do not see the world through the prism of free market economics and may pursue policies that will not result in
further liberalization of the british economy or optimal results for the british people. in fact, the possibility of backsliding on economic liberalization was always in my view the best argument raised by some thoughtful libertarian and conservative critics of brexit. put differently, all the good suggestions that ian and rory offer in terms of policy reform after brexit may go unheeded. and yet, i firmly believe that brexit was a risk worth taking. centralization of power in brussels, just as centralization of power in washington, increases the risk of systemic failure. if wrong policy is enforced for everyone, be it the euro in the e.u. or very high federal corporate tax rate here in the united states, then everyone will suffer the negative
consequences of bad foreign policy decisions. and that is why competition is better. unfortunately, the concept of subsidiarity in europe, just as the concept of state powers here in the united states, has been tossed aside in favor of more decisionmaking at the center. there's a strong case for maximum policy autonomy of the smallest possible territorial units and jurisdictions which are much better suited to react in a timely fashion to rapidly challenging circumstances in a highly competitive global economy, as opposed to relying on large cumbersome units which suffer from competing preferences and collective action problems. a free trade deal between the e.u. and canada, which, for
example, is held up, by of all, places, romania. and so, yes, britain may opt for policies but that too will be a useful lesson for other countries, whether they are happy in the e.u. or whether they are thinking about leaving the e.u. whatever happens in the u.k., the e.u. will probably never be the same. i think that there is a likelihood that we have seen the coming and going of what one might call the peak e.u. prior to june 23 referendum on british membership of the e.u., british voters were subjected to a barrage of warnings and dire criticismims about what would happen to the british economy and people if britain left. experts, foreign and domestic, predicted recession. and urged voters to remain. britain, they argued, would be isolated and it might even, so the argument went, lose its seat
on the united nations security council. and then the british people voted to leave the e.u., and the european governments' response was by and large mild and measured. to everybody's surprise, much of the blame for the british withdrawal from the e.u. was placed on the head of the bureaucrats in brussels. for example, the estonian president said that the behavior had been abominable. the foreign minister whose name i will not attempt to pronounce said that the european institution starts to admit they made a mistake and that at least a part of the european leadership should stand aside. a prime minister said the british people have reacted to european policy and that nobody has the right to be angry with the british voters. the czech foreign minister said
that junker was not the right man for the job and that somebody in the e.u. should be thinking about quiting. the hungarian prime minister blamed brexit on the e.u. inept tude in handling the mass immigration crisis. and together the countries called for the e.u. executive to reined in. now, consider the engine of european integration, france and germany. only a week after brexit, the french finance minister stated that everything will be on the table when negotiating with the british, implying that britain would be offered if it wanted to membership of the single market on terms acceptable to the british electorate. i personally agree that that shouldn't in fact be an option. deputy tate of republican party candidate for president in
france has called for new balance of power between brussels and the member states. german ministers have advocated for the trimming of the powers of the commission. so why did that happen? well, great britain may be leaving the e.u., but it has not fallen off the edge of the earth. the country still remains the fifth largest economy and the fifth largest military power. it is in the interest of all of its trading partners that britain is safely anchored in an international economic system. in or out of the e.u., britain will still be a recipient of 10% -- or rather germany will still account for 10% of the british imports and france will account for 6% of british imports. similarly, in or out of nato britain remains an important military power and the second most important member of nato. as such, central european countries, especially in poland
and also the baltics, will do whatever is necessary in order to keep britain happy in order to deter from vladimir putin's russia. national interests of the european countries differ greatly. former communist countries, for example, are much more fearful of russia than say france or portugal. but the national interests of the e.u. member states do intersect in one crucial way. they all want a good post brexit relationship with britain. some have want it for commercial reasons, some for reasons of national defense. put simply, national governments face incentives that are different to the incentives faced by bureaucrats. the chief objective of the latter is the pursuit of an ever closer union, and they appear to be willing to punish those who make the achievement of their goal more difficult. but national identities of the
european states have been evolving separately and often in competition with one another for hundreds sometimes thousands of years. pan-european demos does not exist. the vast majority of the european peoples for them being european remains a geographicle, not a political, distinction. that is, because people's identities are not formed at least in europe by attachments to abtract principles of liberty, equality, fraternity, and such, but by cultural religious historicle and linguistic ties. in conclusion, the reactions of the european states to the outcome of the british referendum on e.u. membership clearly shows that the national interests and consequently the nation state remains the basic motivationd and basic building blocks of international relations and of european
relations and likely to remain so. thank you very much. ms. coates: >> thank you for fascinating perspectives. i don't want to take a lot of time this january because i'm really here to learn. congress has been in session only briefly since brexit took place. they're coming back to work in two weeks. run for your lives. so this will be a real opportunity for us to explore some ideas as both historian and a practitioner of democracy i'm acutely conscious, particularly in recent months, of the challenges that democracy presents. but at the same time, it's been wonderful to see a very positive example of democracy in
action, and what we very much want to explore on the hill is the opportunity that this presents to us. and, as ian was talking about the gordian knot, i was thinking about that moment years ago when the young alexander the great was confronted with the knot, his genius idea to slice it in half was only the first step. he then had to go on and conquer asia. so i think brexit can stand as an the moment of the slice, but the conquering of asia is very much what your new essay addresses. and i think for us, as we look at your conclusions and your path forward, in some ways it's a cautionary tale. the notion of this unbelievable burden of regulation that has come out of brussels and has tangled up your own legal system is something we have to be intensely conscious of as we
propose new legislation over here. and as predictions are very difficult about what our political makeup is going to be going forward, the thing i found myself reflecting on as our critical role is to redefine what free trade means. the concept of free trade has been to demonize relentlessly over the course of the last year and and it's made -- it's turned into basically a dirty word in american politics. and i think we do need to accept some culpability in that situation. i think both the atlantic and pacific trade deals, like the e.u., were in concept supposed to lead to greater liberalization, freedom, economic interaction. but as someone who is familiar with those deals and anyone else who is can tell you, that is not
the case, that the liberal agenda of regulation, of environmental reform, of labor reform has crept in and permeated those deals to the point that they are in many ways i find antithetical to the principles of free trade. and so as we look at brexit and what now is possible, and this is something senator cruz was very pleased to take the lead on, both in terms of the bike bicameral letter to president obama and then also in his op ed in the times, in which i guess titled actually but also made this argument that -- should be at the front of the cue for a free trade deal not at the back. but what opportunity does brexit pose to us in congress and beyond to redefine free trade and to look at what a bilateral deal between the u.s. and the u.k. might look like and how that can be explained to our relative population as a
tremendous opportunity for both our countries. another idea i think we should take very seriously is looking beyond geography as a determining factor if we are going to look at multilateral deals, because what i might want to do and in with great britain might be much more similar to what i might want to do with say japan than what i might want to do with greece or say vietnam. i think there are opportunities with all those countries for free trade expansion, but it is not going to be a one size fits all. and if we insist on looking at pacific asia north america as our boundaries, i think we lose sight again of an opportunity. i would also like to reflect on the very positive developments that ted was talking about in terms of armageddon not happening in the u.k. which we are of course all very pleased in congress, that the world did
not end. and again i think that's a powerful remind thear the priorityizing the status quo, while stability and predictability are both very valuable and in commodities that are in somewhat short supply these days, there can be worse things than -- the status quo is not necessarily our ultimate goal. and the change, while disruptive, can be positive. and so what i would like to leave you with is really a challenge to all our friends at heritage as well as our friends in the u.k. to spend the coming days, weeks, months, the end of this congress, the beginning of the next one looking at what is that free trade deal between the united states and the united kingdom might look like. i was very struck by your comments on immigration. i think this is going to be one of the great challenges to all of our nations as we go forward. i also was very heartened by
what rory said about the financial sector potential. i think that could be one of the great unifying elements that could bring the u.k. and the united states even closer together. intogether. so i don't want to take up any more time that we can use for questions. but i think if we can pursue those ideas, this can be a really valuable experience. thank you very much. mr. parks: thank you very much. and thank you to all of the panelists. i'm going to take the usual moderater's liberty and ask the first question. and after that we'll be happy to take questions from the audience. i'm just going to ask particularly ian and rory and also to take victoria's question about the possible structure and nature of a
u.s.-u.k. free trade area agreement both in terms of the content of the agreement per se and also sort of the broader question of whether it should be a u.s.-u.k. deal, whether it should be a revised or a new north atlantic free trade area, whether it should be a worldwide community democracy free trade area. there are a lot of possible permutations which you're very familiar with. if you can talk about the content of the agreement and sort of the broader nature and structure of it. mr. murray: i think that there are lots of different ways that this could go. what's very interesting is that when senator phil graham looked at this issue back in -- or there abouts i think it was, the benefits that would accrue to the u.k. and the u.s. were actually surprisingly low as a result of free trade. and that's because we already have largely free trade between
the u.k. and the u.s. there are just -- the time there were just a few tariff barriers that needed to be reduced. the big question is nontariff barriers. and that's where the i think there has been a bit of big increase in nontariff barriers on both sides since those days. so i think any free trade agreement would have to concentrate on nontariff barriers. and there are i think the best thing to do would probably be to look at nontariff barriers through a prism of regulatory equivalence rather than regulatory harmonization. as victoria was saying, what's happened with trade deals over the past 15 years or so, if you notice, american free trade deals have stopped being called free trade deals. they are now trade and investment partnerships and things like that. they're not free trade deals. that's because what they've done is just harmonized the regulatory burden on both sides. so the nontariff barrier disappears. but it's really still there.
just on both sides at the same time. so i think what would be helpful is for us to return to the good old federalist idea of regulatory competition. and recognize that regulatory systems are equivalent, but they don't have to be harmonized they can be in competition with each other so that we can experiment and find the best system of regulation. the one which provides the most benefit with the least burden on business. so that's the way i think free trade agreements between the u.k. and the u.s. should really have to concentrate on those areas. in terms of the potential structure, obviously good old bilateral u.k.-u.s. free trade agreement is perfectly possible. i think we could be more ambitious. we suggest a couple of other ideas. the possible expansion of nafta
to be a north atlantic free trade area, also including iceland and norway and if ireland should choose to join us, very well to have them on board. that sort of thing. but then there's another idea which was actually dreamt up in the these halls several years ago. our old colleague came up with the idea of a global free trade agreement -- global free trade association which would be open to anybody who met certain criteria. and he's actually developed this idea again recently in a pamphlet called the institute of economic affairs in london, where he suggests this could be done by act of parliament in the u.k.
parliament would pass a law that would say anybody who met these certain criteria would be eligible for completely free trade with the united kingdom. and that would be a good way of kick starting the idea of a global free trade association. so i think there's many ways this can go. but as i say, i think nontariff barriers has to be the thing that we look at the most. mr. broomfield: well, i agree with that. and i would also like to build on that. because there was one other model which was posited by professer minford a few years ago. that was a universal free trade. the idea is that indeed apparently there's an idea in economics of the importance of being unimportant. in the sense that you don't have preferential free trade deals in effect. you have universal free trade. so it takes it out of the hands of government in putting particularly favorable statuses on watchmaking or financial services or whatever.
and actually allow the market to drive competition and market to drive demand. so there's a sense here of an alternative vision. of course, in the days of political reality as we're living in now, this may not be the thing to implement tomorrow or the possible attempt to implement tomorrow. but certainly the idea of equivalencey, which incidently we also see coming out of the european union now with the method to regulations they're looking at alternative ways to structure, because they realize that if they cut themselves off as they have been doing for 43- plus years, then they're going to fall on their face yet again and again and again. and so if the u.k. can adopt an equivalence measure with the united states, and the good work that you've done, the heritage foundation is also
borne out some of those ideas, then that would be absolutely fantastic. but i think the big game, a more global aim, might be to work towards universal free trade where government is in effect out of the equation with regards to the safeguard measures and tariffs and nontariff barriers, and it allows the market, the consumer to find and drive demand. >> i have a feeling that idea will not be entirely unsympathetic. if he would like to offer a few more comments. mr. tupy: britain is facing an abundance of riches. it can choose anything from patrick minford's unilateral liberalization of trade with the rest of the world whereby britain will simply abandon old tariffs on imports thereby making inports in their manufacturing productivity much lower and -- sorry. much less expensive and output much less expensive therefore
much more competitive. so that you've got on the one hand. on the other hand, the nightmare scenario is really not all that bad. the nightmare scenario is that you are stuck with wto rules. and what do they mean? they mean apply tariff on manufacturing goods at about 3.5% and apply to agricultural goods at about 10%. all of that can be offset through better domestic economic policies in britain, including a large corporate tax cut. so abundance of riches. >> i would just point out that for the sake of the audience that if there's any country that historicically has lived up to the idea of being a genuine free trading nation, it's britain. from the middle of the 19th century up to depending on where you want to put it, the 1920's or the 1930's. and britain is almost uniquely positioned in the world to do this because it has relatively few domestic natural resources
and, therefore, structurally has to be a big importer of a lot of raw materials, which means that the more tariffs you put on raw materials that you import, the more you disadvantage your own manufacture exports and re-exports. so from a structural point of view -- people talk about free trade as being a pie in the sky kind of idea. it's almost uniquely easy and uniquely beneficial for britain to be free trading because it imports a lot of raw materials and a lot of food and it has to do so. so taxing imports is taxing yourself. an other countries i personally think good for everyone, but especially easy in the u.k. mr. tupy: just a quick note to say that some of the largest imports cut over the last 250 years have happened unilaterally. india and china have liberalized their import regimes before
they joined w.t.o., certainly in china's case, and they have done so because they realized that it was the thing to do. so unilateral is not a crazy idea. it happens every day. >> back in the days when britain was a unilateral free trader, the nascent labor party was very strongly in favor of free trade because they recognized the significant benefits that accrued to the working man as a result of free trade. >> i'm not sure how many elections the left -- because it wasn't just the labor party of course. i'm not sure how many elections the left in britain won on the grounds of of cheap food or no taxes on bread. but it was a significant number. if i had time i could run through and come up with several of them. victoria, do you have any comments you would like to make on the exchange so far? ms. coates: i think from a congressional perspective, i
think the most important point i would like to make is that while universal tree trade is an important philosophical ideal and goal post, that our immediate opportunity really is to work on something bilateral. and i take your point that we largely have free trade. and that's why i think the financial services sector is an opportunity in terms. but that in an effort to reclaim from these partnerships, whatever they are, miasmas, that if we need principles to become the basis of what we're trying to do with free trade, we need to start with something practical and specific. and congress does best in that world. the broad philosophical world. >> i think unfortunately that's probably a fairly valuable reminder for all of us to bear in mind going forward. let's open it up to questions. i believe we have microphones in both aisles. thank you very much, gentlemen. if you -- when you raise your
hand i'll call on you. if you could state your name and your affiliation, if any. and i would ask everyone to keep questions brief and in the form of an actual question. thank you very much. the gentleman right there. >> i would like to go back to the question of a schedule for the brexit move, whenever that's going to be happen, rather than free trade per se. it struck me particularly from the comments of ian, whose last name i can't see, but you talked more about -- sounded more to me like it was salami slicing rather than cutting the gordion knot. i think you mentioned a five-year projection for a 25% reduction in e.u. regulations that the u.k. would be subject to. that doesn't sound to me like the rhetoric of the two months ago, three months ago about what brexit really was going to be. it looks to me like we're going
to be into a different phase, but it's going to be something that will peter out over the decades. could you comment on that? mr. murray: well, there is -- there is a timetable laid out in article 50 which is from the invocation of article 50. you have two years to negotiate whatever deal can be negotiated in that time. and it then is concluded by the council with the consent of the european parliament. that's why i suspect, given how long trade agreements normally take, the quickest trade agreement in recent years was between australia and the u.s., and that took just under four years to complete. you're not going to get a comprehensive trade deal going with the e.u. in that two-year period. that's why i suspect that the
deal will actually be much more about the phasing out of the e.u. programs within that two- year period. and also, what -- the very contentious question of what happens to the e.u. nationals resident in the u.k. and the e.u. residents in the e.u. so i think that's what that two-year period will take. but the fact is that there is just such a huge amount of regulation that has been imposed on the u.k. as a result of the e.u. and the question of what would it have done anyway. i think realistically you have to look at a longer time period for repealing the regulation. i suspect that there will be a prioritization within government and that government departments
will be asked to come up with the regulations that can be got rid of quickly. even if they don't go for the regulation reduction commission that we suggest. so there may be some movement very quickly. but i think just realistically, it's a huge task ahead of the government. >> it certainly is. given the weight of e.u. law over the past 40 years, it is a real challenge for any government or any future governments to unwind. i would just point out in terms of making a trade deal that it hasn't happened for say a fully fledged member of the e.u. has been a member of the e.u. for 40 years has left the european union. as a result, though the united kingsdom has currently all the regulations needed theoretically
to make a trade deal, and the e.u. has 42 other trade deals around the world currently with countries as different from mexico to south korea, south africa, etc. so the u.k. has a unique position in this respect that already there are regulations there that will allow it to make a free trade deal in a more appropriate time scale than in comparison to maybe others that have taken ten years or whatever. the other part of it is if we invoke article 50, we're still under the umbrella -- so you couldn't theoretically or at least legally from day one start playing around with regulations that we would wish to repeal in due course. so that also a time consideration to think about because as a result we would be unable to change with a dramatic potential upside both regulations that it tends to
preside over in that two-year process. >> thank you. the gentleman seated on the aisle there. >> i am david smith of "the guardian." nigel is going to speak at a double trump rally tonight. just interested in your instant reaction to that. do you think he can help trump in the election? and indeed do you see deeper parallels between the brexit campaign and the trump campaign? >> do you have a comment on that? >> thankfully, i'm not a u.s. citizen. i don't vote in the u.s., and i'm very glad of that this year. >> i'm afraid the same goes for me. the parallels i think may have been overdone between trump and brexit. the sense is, however, i do see
one parallel in the u.s. and the u.k., and that's how the media report it. not naming any state-run media in the united kingdom, but they tend not to get out of london albeit they're based in southwark. so they generally have an opinion based upon the london metropolitan elite rather than talking to countrymen throughout the united kingdom. and i see in many respects in the u.s. media concentrating on what's happening on the hill rather than what's happening in other parts of the u.s. so that's something about the campaign that may be reflective from the u.k. to the u.s. i don't know, however, how broadly the parallels between trump and brexit apply. >> there are parallels, sure. but there is a fundamental difference. and that is the entire political establishment in great britain with possible exception of the far left has embraced free trade
as the future of the united kingdom and stands behind it and wants to have more of it. whereas, in the united states, we are seeing both leading candidates basically opposing and dissing it. and i think that's a terrible -- that will be a terrible choice come november. and that is the fundamental difference. and which makes the election in the united states, say, more dangerous. >> i'll just add one final point to that, that i've given up trying to project the results of elections or referendum because it's been proven to be quite conclusively that people know something about these things, are as good about getting the outcome wrong as anyone else is. but if any candidate achieves in the u.s. a 50% vote share and 75% turnout they will have done well. and i don't want to sort of predict anything terribly hasty
but i think that the winning margin of overall total vote in the united states come november is going to be a good deal less satisfactory and sizeable than the winning outcome than the brexit referendum was. therefore, i'm probably inclined to take the outcome of the referendum very seriously because it demonstrated a pretty sizeable consensus on a very large vote share and a big turnout. while maybe that's something they should pay attention to. ms. coates: i would just like to concur with rory's observations that the importance of both london and washington listening to the rest of the u.k. and the united states is vital, and i think that is a great lesson to learn from both. >> the gentleman seated right in the absolute center of the
auditorium. andrew. >> thank you. i'm retired. the impression i got from coverage of the brexit vote is that a lot of the vote was basically in opposition to call for refugee immigration, specifically by u.n. secretary general ban-ki moon. i'm wondering how the brexit vote is going to impact britain's response to calls for refugee immigration from the u.n. and other international organizations. >> well, from my understanding, the international trade -- or international obligations that we have regarding refugees are unchanged by the brexit vote. indeed, there's a wider issue with the european union of migration concerning refugees and so-called economic migrants. the question is how many have been coming through syria into the european union who are genuine refugees or who are
indeed economic migrants. that's a question for the european union to solve in that respect. there was in a way a vote in the brexit vote about immigration, a concern about immigration. but ultimately the vote was to take back control of the ability to make our own immigration system. and now we have voted to leave the european union, that ability to make an immigration system is now there. it's just a matter of which g immigration model we adopt. and in our particular paper, we put forward the immigration tariff model which is nationality neutral, looks to identify skills and qualifications, and as a result hopefully if implemented would attract the best and the brightest from around the world. but as a result of the brexit vote, i believe that no other international obligation concerning refugee status and
the like has changed whatsoever. >> let me sort of add a coda to that. there have been a lot of commentary, especially in the united states, but also in the u.k. to a certain extent, on the immigration and migration issue. i don't want to go into the whole detail, but you have to look back at the history of immigration into the u.k. really since the late 1990's. and shortly after tony blair's government comes in in 1997, you see a substantial surge, a very large surge of immigration into the u.k. and almost immediately you begin to get promises from politicians, first labour, then conservative, saying, yes, the numbers are too high, it's too rapid, and we're having trouble providing schools and hospitals and housing, and yet the numbers continued to climb. and this happened for about 20 years. and over the course of that time
promises were made by every political party and the consensus in british polling was about 80% that immigration was too high, almost a universal consensus. only on the very far left spectrum was there a rejection of this consensus. so to the extent that immigration was a significant factor in the referendum vote, i don't think it was a syrian issue, although i'm sure there were anxieties about the middle east. i think it was a reaction to almost 20 years of very high immigration coupled crucially with promises that were never kept by politicians from all parties that they wouldn't do something about it. well, if they had done something about it, perhaps the referendum vote would have gone another way. but they didn't. and so is the referendum vote went the way it did. and the result is now exactly as rory and ian laid out, that people said you said you were going to control the situation,
you haven't, so we're going to control it for you. well, now britain is going to have the power to define its own system. and i think the system that ian and rory have laid out is certainly worth a lot of very careful consideration. it avoids the difficulties of the points-based system and would allow the u.k. to remain open which i think is vital to talent and skill, from everywhere around the world. i think that's important. >> i just add one more point which is relevance to the refugee issue in relation to the immigration tariff. people who are fleeing countries spend an awful lot of money, they pool resources in order to get out of those hellholes. and the trouble is at the moment that money is going to criminals who then have no compunction of putting them to
sea in leaky boats that would sink and other terrible terrible things any humane person would condemn. an immigration tariff basically takes the sense -- you'll still pay some money, but it will go to the government that you are -- of the country that you want to come to. and almost as a hedge against the possibility that you will use their welfare system. so by our calculations, the immigration tariff would actually provide a benefit to government that they can use to deal with any immigration issues that come up. >> i think we have time unfortunately for only one more question so let's take a question, so let's take a question from the gentleman back here. >> i was just curious if the panel could describe what you think brexit will do to the
political legitimacy of the e.u., particularly as it relates to some country whose have been looking to get into the e.u. for the past 20 or so years. >> that's a very interesting closing question. let's let rory and ian deal with that first. and marian and victoria if you want to weigh in too. >> i think the answer to that will depend on what direction the e.u. takes now. i think marian laid out a very plausible scenario that we've seen peak centralization and perhaps the e.u. might itself become serious about things like be subsidiarity.
if the e.u. had been serious, the brexit vote may never have happened. so what we may see is an e.u. that is more responsive to the demands of its member states and less controlling of them when they enter. again, the former prime minister of the czech republic pointed out that he had spent years repealing all the soviet laws and then when he joined the e.u. he had to start reimposing them. so if subsidiarity is treated seriously, then that isn't as big a problem. at which point i think the e.u. becomes more attractive to new nations than it is at the moment. >> i do agree with that. but i would also note that over the past few days leaders have met off the coast of italy to discuss the future direction of the european union. this cannot be a clique. the european union cannot insulate itself with its three prominent members defining terms for other member states.
they need to learn from their mistakes and actually broaden to take conversation to others on the council. ultimately if they don't they might go the way of the league of nations which effectively had the same scenario with the united kingdom and france looking to exert their power without taking any conversation for the other member states. so the e.u. does have a choice between heightened centralization defined by a clique or indeed cooling giving power back to member states and allowing for states that may still wish, god help them, to join the european union, confidence that actually they're going to be listened to. my question is, where are the
big new ones going to come from? i do not think that negotiations with turkey had been serious. ukraine is probably a very long away from being able to join the european union. yes, there are welcome possibilities, -- there are balkan possibilities, but where is the next big area for the e.u.? i like to end on an optimistic i like to end on an optimistic note. the existence of the euro -- even if the e.u. desires to do such a thing, and there is not evidence. it has the desire to support a greater degree of sovereignty. even if it did the euro is going compellingse a
pressure to clamp down more tightly on the remaining nation-state. i am willing to hope for the best, but i fear for the worst. rian ande ask victoria if they had any closing comments. mr. tupy: i think the eu will still remain a desirable place to be a member of her countries which are very poor. moldova, belarus, ukraine, georgia would love to join. the question is whether the e.u. can retain the prosperous countries, which infuse with a certain level of accountability,
such as it is, or good governance and so on. if denmark goes, holland goes, sweden goes, you are stuck with southern and eastern states and the e.u. becomes something very different. in terms of what will the eu look like, getting out of the eu does not mean you believe in isolationism. the discussion is about supranational against intergovernmental. if you can return to an intergovernmental way of doing things, you gain accountability. because it is a government of sweden assigned to a certain
treaty, they need visa or the public, and if they lose the support, the country withdraws from the treaty. that is different from a sup doing things, of because the e.u. tells you about the way you behave. more intergovernmental listen implies greater democratic accountability. i think this is the way it is going. ms. coates: i think the great challenge to the eu is to define its rationale. i was struck when junker said we should go to the graveyards of world war ii. preventing another massive land war in europe is not our rationale in 2016. if the leaders are still using, keeping the germans out of paris as their prime goal, i think we
have larger problems. that becomes the challenge, to figure out this in a 21st-century context. >> that is a good point to close. let me thank everyone for their wonderful contributions and all of you for joining us. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> this afternoon the director of george washington university's sports management program surest data and perspective on the recently completed 2016 summer olympics in rio. that starts at 2:00 p.m. on c-span3. today c-span through to the white house coverage continues with democratic vice presidential nominee tim kaine. he will speak with supporters at a voter registration drive in tallahassee, florida. later, a panel of designers and thecymakers discusses impact of climate change. what actions can be taken help
communities adapt to environmental changes and challenges. that event is being held at the national building museum in washington. it is live at 5:30 eastern, also on c-span. you canw.c-span.org watch our public affairs and political programming any time at your convenience on your laptop, desktop, or mobile device. here is how. go to our home page and click on the video library search bar. you can put in the name of the speaker, sponsor, or even the event topic. click on the program you would like to watch or refine your search with our many search tools. for our mostoking current programs and don't want to search the video library, our homepage has many current programs ready for a great -- ready for your immediate viewing. www.c-span.org is a public service of your cable or satellite provider. if you are a c-span watcher, check it out at www.c-span.org.
>> today marks women's equality day, a day proclaimed every year to commemorate the rights of women to vote. on this date, august twice 6, 1920, the 19th amendment to the constitution was certified as law. several members of congress have been on twitter today. lucille tweet from roybal-allard, who says, it's women's equality day. equaloud to fight for pay, paid family leave, and many other pro-equality policies. today marks national dog day, with several members tweeting pictures of their favorite pet. new york representative you yvette clarke showing off her chief of staff's dog, brooklyn. pennsylvania congressman keith rothfus meeting with a constituent who helps provide service dogs to veterans. national dog day was founded in 2004 and works to inform the public on recognizing the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year.
on c-span2. here are some featured programs this weekend. saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on "afterwards," the presidential candidacy of donald trump the topic of syndicated columnist ann coulter's latest which"in trump we trust," argues moderates, conservatives, democrats should support him great she's interviewed by the cofounder and editor-in-chief of "the daily caller." >> i think he's a genuine , and he looked around and saw so many things going wrong that he could fix. in that opening speech he said something to the effect of, if we don't stop this now, it's going to be too late. network'sadio washington bureau chief april ryan moderates race in america,
a panel discussion on race in relation to the news, politics, and american culture, including an examination of the rise in racial incidents, their origins, and possible solutions. at 10:00 eastern, antonio martinez, for twitter advisor and facebook product manager, talks about his book, "chaos monkeys to get which gives an insider's perspective on the silicon valley tech world and imagines the future of online marketing and social media. "washington journal -- "the washington post" reports on america's nuclear arsenal. president david roth on the movement to increase workers wages. for theoktv.org complete weekend schedule. campaign 2016, c-span continues on the road to the white house. >> we need serious leadership
great this is not a reality tv show. this is as real as it gets. >> we will make america great again. >> ahead, live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debate on c-span, the c-span radio app, and c-span.org. theay, september 26 is first presidential debate live from hofstra university in new york, and on tuesday, october 4, vice president joe candidates governor mike pence and senator tim kaine debate in farmville, virginia. on sunday, october 9, washington university in st. louis post the second presidential debate. leading up to the third and final debate between hillary clinton and donald trump, taking place at the university of nevada las vegas. live coverage on c-span.org/. c-spanlive on the free radio app or watch any time on demand at c-span.org. author spent 20 years
visiting greenland, observing the lives and cultures of the villagers and hunters there. earlier this year she traveled .o paris she sat down for a conversation about global warning -- warming at the los angeles central library in july. this is about an hour. >> if you have been following writing overh's the years, you will know her from perhaps her stunning collection of open spaces -- , among various awards and honors, she won the inaugural 2010 pen throw award, awarded to writers who demonstrate literary excellence in nature writing. to various places around the world are both physical and philosophical. among her recent books is "facing the wave," an account of
her travels in japan, a country with which she has a deep relationship in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent meltdowns at the nuclear power plant. tonight she's here to talk to us about greenland, climate change, rotten ice. youou think today is hot, are right. if you think this year's hot, you are right. the latest temperature numbers from nasa and the national oceanic and atmospheric administration say the first six months of 2016 were the hottest on record around the planet. ehrlichg in 1993, traveled to the northernmost country in the world in every season. before months of perpetual dark in which the average temperature is 25 degrees below zero, four months of constant daylight, and between,ght in befriending the generous and toilient inuits, listening
their narratives, and observing changes in their traditional hunting. as she reminded us in her essay "letter from greenland," published in harpers, what happens at the top of the world affects all of us. we are deeply honored to welcome gretel back. in conversation with gretel tonight, someone she knows well, her husband. neal conan worked as a correspondent based in new york, london, i washington. he served at various times as editor, producer, and executive producer of "all things considered." i miss him, and you probably do, as a longtime host of "talk of the nation." plucky hawaiian public radio to have him there as a news analyst and macadamia nuts farmer. please welcome gretel ehrlich
and neal conan. [applause] >> when you first went to greenland in 1993, you brought a couple of books with you. what were they? 13 volumes of the canoes rossen's and, who had traveled in the 1920's and 1924 by dogsled from greenland all the way to point hope, alaska. weit wasn't for rasmussen, would know very little about arctic culture. neal: what did we learn from him? gretel: everything. originally came
across the bering land bridge from northeastern siberia, and they have year by year, perhaps 20,000 years ago -- first to alaska, then to the archipelago that we call the northwest passage was really the , andtional passageway east they ended up in greenland roughly 5000 years ago. it's one language with a lot of dialects, one way with some variations, according to where they were and what they needed to do to get food. single culture that spans 6000 miles just peoplethe top, and those -- it wasn't like they said, we are not going to move to santa monica, i don't really like the beach. they didn't know there was anything else except ice. tol: i got to go with you greenland a couple years ago. one of the things i was astonished by, we just went to a
city halfway up the west coast of greenland prayed you think you are pretty far north, but you're not. there is a long way left to go. gretel: and what is called west greenland, it's about halfway down. the island of greenland is huge and long. rasmussen, i began going to the northernmost .illages they are at 77, 78 degrees latitude north. because -- neal: because of rathmussen. gretel: yes, because of rasmussen. there was a young inuit marine hunter there.
he had done the same trip as rasmussen in the 1970's instead of the 1920's. i went there thinking i could have him take me on the trip. and i finally met him and asked him, he said no. that trip was very hard. you don't want to do that. stay here with us. travel with us. meaning his family. neil: if you could bring up slide 11. gretel: that is me. that is my favorite picture of myself ever. it is about 20 below that day. we had been on a long trip. the coldest of which was 59 low zero.
20 below felt really good. we decided to stop and sunbathe. neal: what were the villages like? gretel: they were vibrant. it does not have a lot of villages but they are vibrant. villages of about 20-75 people. maybe a few more. carmack is sort of a town. the dog population was larger than the human population. as you can see, we travel on big sleds. they are about 12 feet long. 12 feet across. they are pulled by 15-20 dogs. in a fan-shaped hitch. these dogs are half wild. they are not taken into the house as they are in alaska.
the canine population was the most -- it was the symphony every night. it was howling every night. they are chained up on long chains. in the old days, they ate a few babies. they were against the big rock wall. the sound of them echoed. it was delicious. it was never something that you try to get away from. it was part of the music of greenland. neal: i was astonished to realize how little of life is on land and how much is at sea. gretel: what most people don't
quite understand is all of the travel is done on sea ice. the davis strait and north of the kennedy channel are relatively narrow. on a clear day you can see the island. nothing grows there. there are no barriers. -- berries. there is nothing. they live on the flesh of marine mammals. they hunt with the odd rusty rifle. neal: where did they get them? gretel: they got them as a present from robert from helping him get near the north hall. -- north pole. they still hunt narwall with harpoons from kayaks. they make everything themselves except the rifles. we wear polar bear pants. seal skin hammocks.
arctic fox fur, they make the harnesses and the sleds. they make their own kayaks. these are industrious villages where there is something going on all the time. neal: this is a conscious decision? they could have snowmobiles. gretel: they banned snowmobiles. they chose to live exactly how they want to. i asked them why, and they said, they work better. we have thrived for 5000 years. why would we change something that works so well? neal: it is a communal culture. the hunters who go out are not hunting for themselves. gretel: they hunt in extended family groups. it is a food sharing society so that everybody is fed. there is no want.
widows, injured hunters, orphans, everybody. the danish schoolteacher. whoever. and anyone else like me who used to come in the spring. we were all given food. it was not sold. it was given. neal: you talk about the culture that unites these peoples across the top of the world. there is a concept i want you to talk about. "sila." gretel: it is the first word in greenlandic i learned. it means both weather. the power of nature. and consciousness. not just human consciousness, but the consciousness of all sentient beings. it goes beyond that.
the souls of animals that appear in the masks that they make for dances. it could be a wolf face with a seal coming out of the mouth where the wolf has eaten the soul of the seal. it is a circular world in which there is no domination of one to the other. you are all there out on the ice together. neal: the first time you went out hunting with them, what was it like? gretel: i was not squeamish. there was a young woman who later became a prime minister of greenland who had grown up in villages and i met her.
she was supposed to come up as my translator. she speaks seven languages. she did not show up. typical. i thought, i have come a long way so i might as well go. i went out with two strange men who do not speak english and i did not speak and still don't speak greenlandic. i asked the owner of the guesthouse house if i would be ok and he said, do you think i would send you out on the ice with people who would not take the absolute best care of you? i said, i'm sorry. i will go. off we went. for a month. the first question is, where does one go to the bathroom? there are pieces of rough ice. get me some rough ice. he knew a few words. he said right here would be good. [laughter]
it was extraordinary. neal: the trip was catered? gretel: of course. boiled seal. that was good. we just had seal. [laughter] one year -- i have been doing this for 20 years with the same group. one year we had an onion. after about the second week, he pulls out this onion. a danish onion, he pulls out this backpack. we all sort of stood around it. it was so exciting.
underneath the fat, it has all the vitamins and minerals that a human being needs. we eat that and eat some meat and off we go. neal: what do the dogs eat? gretel: the same thing. they get fed first. you will not survive without the dogs. they are your transportation. they are taken care of beautifully. neal: you are visiting this thriving society that is largely intact. gretel: hunting traditions. languages intact. neal: when did you realize things were changing? gretel: it was 1996.
there are two islands and some friends of his were out there. everyone was going to join and hunt together. everybody does things as a group. on our way out -- it was spring. usually the dogs can smell that there is water or something but they did not. suddenly, i heard this crashing. crashing like goblets being smashed. suddenly, i saw dogs disappear. 20 dogs start disappearing and try to get away and this hole in front of us -- the other guy jumped off the back. he put it in the back and wrapped the seal sking thong
around it to hold the sled back. -- skin thong around it to hold the sled back. he told me to hang on. i was hanging on like a cowgirl. the sled was inching towards this hole. he put his feet across and with one hand stated pulling dogs out of the water. throwing them. these are strong guys. they are so incredibly brilliant and efficient. you can't believe your eyes. then he got most of them out and stepped off the sled on a piece
of ice that had already broken off and he's a big man and when he stepped on it, that ice started going down like an elevator. i thought, goodbye. then he leapt from that back onto the sled and got the dogs to turn a hard left and yelled at them and off we went. no one ever said a word. later, we traveled for a few hours. so far, so good. i asked him, if we were going to die. he said, maybe. there was a smile at the end. [laughter] i just thought, i am in the presence of these extraordinary people and there is nobody left like them in the whole world.
if i die here after they have done everything they can do to save all their lives, i happily surrender. neal: the ice was weak because warming had started to chronically mean there was less and less ice every year. gretel: that is what we did not understand. the ice was thinning. i just didn't know. after that, i knew something was wrong. they knew it, too. they said, find out what is going on. so i did. i started a long process of educating myself about sea ice and the greenland ice sheet which is another story. and about the feedback systems that create more and more warming.
the cycle is ongoing. it is so exponential. not just sea ice but the entire world is becoming a hot place. neal: there are even days where it is 59 below zero but the waters are stormy so ice is breaking from underneath. gretel: the first incident was 1997. by 2004, it was basically all over in terms of sea ice in greenland. when we took off, we were going off on a month-long walrus hunt. it was 35 below zero. it got colder and colder and colder. for a while the ice was ok. the first camp we made, the ice
was so thin. we were told to walk single file and carefully. during the night, he harpooned a walrus and it was brought back to camp. we were staying in little huts. we were staying in this hut with 58 dogs and eight people. it was dripping blood. i thought of it as a metronome that was marking what i thought of as aboriginal time. this is time without days and schedule. just going between one meal and the next, hoping you will find enough food in the next place you go. it lulled us into a sense of, the ice is bad and it is
breaking up from underneath. maybe it will be ok. then it was not. we went on to a village and we were supposed to go out to an island and we were told there was no ice at all. none. the look on their face, i just knew they understood that it was basically the end of ice and the end of their lives as they had known it for thousands of years. neal: you mentioned the village? gretel: it was small. my friend's wife was the great granddaughter of a schoolteacher.
i asked her how many students she had and she said two. sometimes just one. it is a tiny, vibrant village. should i tell the rest of the story? i can't believe the questions he is asking me. [laughter] this is not how it was supposed to go. neal: we will get to the rest of the story later. you went on this trip with a big group of people. just that one walrus. gretel: that is all the food we got. the rest of the trip, as we were moving down the coast of greenland, everything behind us was breaking up. when we turned around, there was no ice in front and very little
ice in the back. we had to go up and over part of the ice sheet which is really dangerous and exciting. big crevase. we took air going off and then we went down the stream bed. it was frozen. there were these big boulders and the snow breaks on this so they put rope on the runners. he put his knee down to slow the sled down and his foot was hitting boulders. we got to the bottom and we did find a place with the previous -- where the previous hunters had left food on the drying rack. they were so relieved that the dogs would have something to eat. we had consumed the walrus.
we spent the rest of the month just trying to get home. it took weeks. the previous life where you see -- slide where you see me sunbathing, we finally made it out to the islands and made it back to the northernmost village in the world. it was a disaster. the families came down when we got back and they saw that there was no food for them. they are very cool people. there was no outward display of disappointment. just, ok. let's unpack the sleds and everyone went home and it was quiet. neal: what happens to a food sharing culture that is fed by subsistence hunters when there
is no food and the ice that is the transportation system and their world -- when that begins to go away? gretel: the culture dies. in a practical sense, the lesser hunters -- there is a natural hierarchy. the lesser hunters shot the sled dogs because they cannot feed them. they figured it was better to have the best hunters in the village out and try to get food. all the young people, these are young people who have been trained to be hunters. you're a national treasure if you are a great hunter. they were all sent south to vocational school or to learn to be a helicopter pilot or electrician or teacher or whatever. things they had no interest in doing.
little by little, the villages started thinning out. more became consolidated where there was a clinic. the little villages that were so precious came to nothing. almost a shakespearean story. everybody had left except for two hunters. they went out together in a boat in the open ocean. it is hard to hunt seals when it is open and it is dark and you can see the animals. they were out there and a loaded
gun went off and shot and killed one of the men. the other one, so distraught and lonely, a sense of existential solitude, shot himself. he is no more. neal: overtime you've gotten to know more and more about the science behind this. you have gotten to know some other people who work on the ice. the strikingly handsome soundman. [laughter] gretel: he has worked at the university of colorado for years and has gone back to switzerland. he told us an astonishing thing -- that water vapor is now the most prolific greenhouse gas because permafrost around the top of the world, both
terrestrial and the frozen things under the sea. there are 570 sites on the east coast and atlantic ocean releasing methane. it is everywhere. things are melting and it looks -- lifts moisture up into the air. this moisture travels across the top of the world. it changes. it is not all about global warming. it's also about climate chaos. i'm sure those of you who keep up with the news know-how stormy and crazy things have become. you go ahead. you are asking the questions. [laughter] neal: as you have learned more about the science, the effect on
the sea ice has been so dramatic. where it used to be nine months of sea ice, nine months for these hunters to travel to the various hunting grounds. there is now as little as two. gretel: the ice used to come in mid-september and go out mid-june. now sometimes in march or april or may or january. this year was a cold year up there and everyone was excited and they maybe had three or four months of hunting. then i got a tweet from a young glaciologist and he said that
this omega-shaped clump of warm air is heading north up over greenland. then a friend of ours said, yes, on april 8 this mass of warm air came and all the ice melted. it was over. it doesn't really matter if they have one month or six months, they can't depend on it. it would be like if every grocery store in la was closed indefinitely or every once in a while they opened. everything starts coming apart. neal: what does it matter for us here that this fascinating and vibrant culture is dying?
gretel: i just think of the pairing of climate and culture. that cultural diversity has intertwined and is as important as biological diversity. so that having these people, against all odds are living a traditional life but fully cognizant of the modern world. with a language intact. they have a way of knowing themselves and their world with language that not only describes a place but tells you how to behave when you get there. how to behave with the weather. how to make sure the concept of "sila" is alive in everything you do. this awareness of consciousness. there is a sense of respect and
dignity and of action that makes a culture thrive. you lose that. which is, to me, immense. we have mostly killed off all of the indigenous cultures that we came across in the lower latitudes. it makes it even more precious that there are some still alive. in terms of just our weather, i call it bad weather. i'm sick of the words climate change. i just call it bad weather. that the arctic drives the climate of the world. the most important word is albido, which means white.
the reflectivity of the snow and ice all over the world radiate 80% of solar heat back into the space. it is what -- the arctic heat has been keeping our latitudes temperate. it is a natural air-conditioner. it has been functioning for a long time. as things start to melt and sea ice disappears, as the greenland ice sheet collects ash from wildfires and soot from industry in china and algae blooms on top of the ice, it can absorb more heat and deflects less heat. you have all these feedback systems that seem insignificant and fragile but when they start adding up, you get a hotter and hotter world as we are all experiencing. the arctic is important in just about every way you can imagine.
neal: you went back to greenland in 2012. what was it like? gretel: everything had changed. when we used to go out on these hunts, even in 2004, people were still jolly. people were teasing each other and the prospect of getting food for the village and the dogs were great. it was great to be out of the village and living on the ice. in 2012, i went in may, they only had ice for that month. we were all going to this place the ice edge, usually a time of celebration. it is where the life comes. a pod of beluga whales and
walrus and little birds are flying. it is joyous. during winter, it is a frozen sheet where we did not see life. it was not a happy time. there were no jokes. no one was laughing. i traveled with the brother-in-law of my friend, he had a shattered ankle when he went across the ice sheet by himself to hunt musk oxe because there was nothing else to feed the dogs. it took two weeks to get to the hospital. he was not in great shape. we went to the ice edge.
the younger guys, they got a couple of walrus and then, you know, we made camp. during in the night, these other hunters come and camp back of us. that is never done. they were usurping our hunting territory. but greenlanders are cool, they never say anything. the next day i hear all the screaming and the dog howling and this man is beating this dog with a snow shovel. i have never seen any kind of violence like this in greenland. i jumped up and tried to run over. he grabbed my arm and said, no.
the dog survived, but the mood changed and the next morning we left. we were so horrified by what we had seen. on the way back, mamaret was trying to untangle the lines. the dogs go underneath each other all the time and have their own society. he was try to untangle them. the dogs ran ahead and caught his bad leg and he was dragged for a long way. i tried to stop the dogs, but they did not know me so they did not stop. finally they stopped.
it represented the end of ice -- life on the ice, the end their culture. even when things went wrong, it can happen quickly in the arctic. even that was always a joke. oh yeah, we are caught in a blizzard. but they were always happy because they could go out another day. that was gone. it was a sad day. neal: yance once told you something about the ice. gretel: one day we were standing there looking out over the ice. he said, i don't see the ice wanting to come back. the ice is everything we are. without it, it will be a
disaster. without ice, we are nothing at all. neal: in a couple of minutes, we will take questions if you would like to join the conversation. we saw yence and mamaret in paris. we all went for the climate change conference. just after the terrorist incident. they were there. gretel: we were going to do several events and a small film in which we brought a dogsled to paris.
we had a dog trainer training 10 white standard poodles to pull the sled. [laughter] we thought people might find it slightly interesting. yence was going to get off and give a talk about how the arctic drives the climate and what has happened to the culture. -- his culture. it was to raise awareness while having fun. of course, the horrible things happened. we were all staying in the 11th arrondissement and we were a few blocks from the places where people were mowed down. yence and mamaret were terrified. these are courageous people but they said, i don't understand why people who have nothing to
do with each other who came from another country are killing people. i don't understand why they would kill each other. it is hard to explain. we made it into a six bedroom loft and we were told to stay in our neighborhoods which we would anyway. anything else would be a betrayal of the solemnity after this. i ended up cooking for them. i cooked every night for them. the glaciologist came. i was cooking for 5-15 people every night. which is a pleasure in paris because the food is so great.
i always had lots of meat. it was a wonderful exchange given all the sadness with all that was going on in the world. i had been eating walrus and seal for 20 years and now they had to eat my food. they just reminded us that they had been displaced in a way that people already are not only from wars and political oppression, but also from climate. many of us will be climate migrants. we were so astonished at how gracefully they accepted their fate. neal: it is interesting, the people who were the engine of the agreement that was finally reached were marshall islanders
and other islanders in the pacific that said any agreement would come too late for them. even if we shut off the carbon generation right now, there is enough baked into the system that it would be too late for them. is it going to be too late for greenland? gretel: yes. it is too late for all of us, really. we can slow things down. we can work on things. it is not going to be the same world. we have lived in this interglacial paradise. that paradise is now lost. it is going to be a different world. many great things will be lost. many cultures, many cities, many people.
as the head of glaciology at cambridge who i was in a plane with said, it is too late to stop global warming. but now it is to deal with the consequences and work very hard at that and diligently. there will be social justice problems that will go beyond what we have imagined so far. there is a wonderful japanese man who came there following a climber in the early 70's. i went to see him. he is a wonderful man. there only two people left where he is.
i said, how are you going to survive? he said, i don't know. perhaps just on beauty. we live in a different world but it is still beautiful. i will end on that. [applause] neal: i think the staff is going to be coming around with microphones. >> three questions. are there any pictures of the town? i can't imagine what it looks like when you land in a town? any slides? gretel: no.
you can go online. >> are people emigrating in large numbers? gretel: they are just going south. >> neal, can i listen to your show on the internet? it there an app for your station? neal: go on to hawaii public radio. it is especially good if you sleep in late. i am on tuesday, wednesday, and thursday. >> thank you. >> fascinating talk and so good to have both of you. i was wondering if the greenland government is trying to --
obviously they can't change all of global warming but if they tried to say we will try to maintain the town and some of the hunting, sort of supporting it just because it is such a precious and unique culture? gretel: they would not need to because it is the greenlanders themselves who dictate how things are going to be. they rule themselves. they don't have a lot of people like us telling them what to do. yence is in charge of maintaining tradition. you can't do it without ice. it is not there. people like yence and his family will stay until the bitter end. it is the younger people who are leaving. neal: the greenland government is leasing areas to search for oil and there is quite a bit of
extractive industries on land in terms of iron ore. >> the name greenland has always sounded like marketing or a euphemism and now -- i wonder if the inuit refer to the territory by that name or some variant on that name and if it is going to get greener? gretel: it is getting greener. i'm thinking of moving to south greenland and growing hay and raising sheep. the word for greenland means green island -- big island. it is a translation from a viking name. eric was trying to lure people to live there. silly guy. >> thank you very much your time.
i do enjoy it. a question about the happier times 20 years ago. a question about, how is it like being a child and adolescent growing up in the village? gretel: fantastic. it is the childhood anyone would have wanted. there are six months of 24 hour a day light. there are no cars in the village. children can wander anywhere. there is nothing that will hurt them. the odd polar bear might come but they know how to behave. during the summer, there are no restrictions on when they have to go to bed. they are just out and when they get tired they go home.
they get hungry and then go eat. i have never heard a child complain. a five-year-old sitting on yence's lap, one time he was cold. his grandmother was next to me and put the boots over his feet and then he smiled. they were taught how to do everything so by the time they were seven they could handle a whip. it was an auditory signal. they could throw a harpoon or fire a gun. if the fish were caught, they knew how to prepare them to it. -- to eat. they knew how to do everything. >> could you touch on how romance happened or relationships formed?
gretel: it is interesting. they had a house which was just for teenagers. no adults were allowed there. the teenagers could go there any time. they went to school and stuff. on the weekends they would go there and they were allowed to to do whatever they did. it was a wonderful society. you are alone out there so there were not too many bad things that could come in. children and young adults were really respected. >> what do you cook with? how do you cook it? and in what? what do you burn? gretel: these old-fashioned
swedish stoves, camp stoves with a single flame. they carried a spaghetti pot. this is modern. and they brought gas imported from denmark. to get water, the multi-year ice out on top of the new ice, we would buy a piece and we would take off chunks and put them on the sled. then we would cut them up smaller. the first thing you do when you
make camp is put a chunk of ice in the pot to melt. and then you drink because you are very thirsty. and more is put in for cooking. >> what did they do before all of these things? gretel: they ate it raw. two women on the beach and after talking the morning, i saw them butchering a seal and they took out the liver and were holding it up and signaled for me to take a bite, it was still steaming. >> what did they do for water before that? gretel: that is a good question. blubber.