there was a sort of trade-off going like you could cash in your favors only on some of your clients and they really need for a very corrupt system dw there. if you cannot afford an attorney one will be provided for you. kirchen on their right to free representation. tonight at nine on "after words," part of book tv this weekend on c-span2. and now we hear from simon winchester. he presents a history of the atlantic ocean which he describes as the cradle of modern western civilization. this is a little under an hour. >> ibm barbara mead, one of the owners of politics and prose. the first time that i met sign simon winchester was about 12 years ago in 1998 and he had come here to speak about his book "the professor and the
madman," the book about the making -- [applause] of the oxford english dictionary. but i tell you, i was just sold over by listening to his stories. if ever there is anybody that is a natural born storyteller, its sign -- simon. i was determined after that we would have simon back for every box of he could tell us the stories behind every book. [applause] this is the seventh time i've counted that you have come. so i hope that we can have a lifetime of you're telling stories. simon studied geology at oxford, and you can certainly see this in his new book. first of all, he feels the atlantic ocean is so alive that
it is perfectly qualified to have a biography written. he says is much alive, capricious and water and waves and wind of animals and birds of ships and men. i went further and this is a quote from simon. all of the oceans in the world, he says, the atlantic possesses the greatest concentration of marker defense of human history. if, as it seems unarguable, the mediterranean could once fairly be said to have been the classic civilization, then surely the atlantic ocean by virtue of this huge concentration of ideas, events, inventions and development has become an on arguably also the inland sea of
modernization. no other ocean comes close to filling this role, which is why the atlantic rises head and shoulders above its collar, prettier and koln maritime cousins. so here is simon to give more stories about what is going on in the had landed and, simon, i hope that you will include in that the time that you were stranded on the shore in green land waiting for the fishermen to come rescue you. you could tell that quick. [applause] >> it's wonderful to be here although attendance with sadness you know of course of carla's
passing and i'm sorry all of the writers that come here revered this extraordinary couple of women that created thistre and we miss her terribly. i'm very sorry indeed. [applause] about five or six years ago i was driving in chile. the story begins in the pacific ocean. i was driving on the road in southern chile to the tories national park and i dare say that one or two of you may have been there. it is a fairly rough road with very few habitations and it's not a very pleasant road to drive on. it was fairly late in the evening and there was a furious rainstorm, the most appalling dreadful night, and i need a
hotel because clearly i wasn't going to progress much further to the north. and there weren't any villages or anything like that, but i saw on the left side a little wooden sign that said coast area that didn't look very promising but i thought i would give a - any way. so i turned left down this even more dreadful road and was confronted by this enormous scottish looking castle in a huge place with one or two dim lights to be by not on the door and i was greeted by a and the elderly and he said yes we are indeed a hotel. we haven't had a guest for about six months but we are more than happy that you should come and stay the night so he told me a little of the history of a
scotsman that started a sheep farm. they raised i will say llama with a kissing cousin of llamas that they call wonacos. indeed they would cook one for me for dinner that night. i'd never had that but that is indeed what they made. it was wonderful with some good chili or the equivalent and it was a nice evening and a baked bread and felt like king of the world. it was great. then afterwards -- this does have a point. they showed me into the library that had a fireplace and they let the five-year and there was a bottle of whiskey. i couldn't have been happier. and i was confronted by this enormous collection of books, most of which were in the english language. and in the end, i selected one.
i must have to get down from the shelf at about half past ten and i started reading it. i was so fascinated by the story i read that when i stopped reading and finished the book the sun was coming up to buy just read -- it was one of those books that completely captivates you. it was the book that prompted and galvanized me into action to write this book about the atlantic ocean. it is therefore somewhat ironic but not entirely this book was sort of bourn intellectual the if i can use that word without sounding too pretentious in and of the pacific because i had written a book about 20 years ago when i was in hong kong about the pacific ocean. everyone told me that the pacific was the notion of the future, so i drank the kool-aid and okay decided to write a book about it and spent a lot of time traveling to chellie and
australia to alaska and crossing the ocean going to islands in between and a fairly severe commercial failure it wasn't as bad as a book i might have mentioned here before which i write about america in the 1970's which sold only 12 copies. [laughter] it wasn't as bad as that that was pretty bad. the reason i think when we analyzed why is that it might well as venture to say the pacific was the position of the future but what it clearly was not in human terms was the notion of the past. it had little human history. yes there was the polynesian navigation and magellan and people like that but generally speaking was nothing compared to the richness as you mentioned, barbara, of the mediterranean and the atlantic. with that idea at the back of my mind and galvanized by the book
i read in chile that i will tell you about leader i decided what i had done in the 1980's was that the long horse. i chose the wrong solution to write about it if i had chosen the right, i would have a better chance of making a buck the was more readable and as you mentioned i decided to write it as a biography first of all because it has a definable birth which was about 2 million years ago when this great continent that dominated the world surmounted by this enormous sea the water cascaded into the metal and the was the beginning of the atlantic ocean though it didn't assume this configuration that it has today until about 50 million years ago but unless
that is its origin so it could be written about geologically and it is likely when we know it is going to cease to be in about 170 million years there is a fairly keen school of geological feature of the justice basically in texas who they are very clever people that do a lot of modeling and predict how continent are going to move in the future. i want linder on it but basically what is going to have been thinking is that the cape in patagonia that i was talking about will start moving east words and we will describe the path along the bottom end of the atlantic ocean and we will pass south of south africa and the cape hope and continue moving eastward until it gets to sell australia and tasmania and then it will sort of nudge australia to start itself moving and anticlockwise and vindicate will
start moving more towards and eventually collide with singapore. it sounds ridiculous, but when the cape collides and about 170 million years of time, then all of the water would have been squeezed out and will go somewhere else but the atlantic will cease to be and of course it goes without saying humankind wouldn't be anywhere near. i mention this only because i might have mentioned this to you before on a previous occasion, that it was once talking the concept of geological times is difficult for people to grasp and i was talking to a group of ladies in kansas city about the likely eruptions in yellowstone national park which is a fairly titanic event and i said when the volcano finally he erupts all of the great cities of the northwest united states like seattle and portland and san
francisco and self of vancouver, they will be buried under hundreds of feet of ash. don't worry because it will be at least 250 fils and years by time humankind will be totally extinct. everybody was relieved except for this woman in the front row who got sort of red faced and she said even americans will be extinct? [laughter] we will certainly be extinct in 170 million, even americans. [laughter] it has a life span, toole life span of of 4 million, and more or less in the middle of that period where we are now, there is a very slim in geological times a period of 200,000 years when humankind in habits the ocean and that is the period that i concentrate on because that is where the rich stories
come from and of the way that i decided to organize that because hell on earth to try to turn these into some sort of order, it was given to me by shakespeare, a man that never went to sea and was completely unaware of the existence and never went on a boat as far as we know but nonetheless, i had read while crossing the atlantic a copy of david ellen hudna written an anthology of his favorite poetry organized according to the and that is where he gave the title of the anthology the seven ages of man from shakespeare and as you remember from school the seven ages of our infant to schoolwide, lover, the soldier, the justice, the old man and then returned to childhood.
it seems to me that that would provide a framework and to which i could crawl as much as what i could find out about the atlantic and seems this far in its early days in the book not all of the criticism is in yet but this far no one has said how dare you huge stake spear -- shakespeare. i thought i would do because i know there is a time limit and barbuda is very fierce i'm going to keep this relatively short but i thought i would do is to almost just select from these stories three of them to illustrate just short of the tip of the iceberg if you will the kind of things that i discovered when i was doing the research. i will tell you a tiny bit about the book that i read in chile and why it's important.
the three that i've selected is sort of ludicrous and trivial and unimportant. one is unknown or generally speaking little known and is actually quite important, and in that third one is completely ridiculous. as you will see the first one is something that i came across in the north atlantic and that was in the faeroe islands. maybe some of you have been there. it's a group of 18 islands the high latitude is a very rainy and quite cold, the kind of place in english man actually likes. we flourish in places like that. and the long as it were to denmark. but they are the last bastion of the climate. the language as essentially of the vikings, very similar to
what we believe spoke and a reputation of the vikings, very strong, a publishing all the time and unfortunately or fortunately, no one is at war with the faeroe and there are 50,000 come and they are big strapping chaps, no one to fight. so they are absolutely bursting with the super abundance of testosterone and they clearly need to get it out in ways that you cannot imagine. what i am going to describe to you is one of those ways. but don't worry, it's not dirty. i'm so sorry. the island's -- there are 18 of them. they have been tilted from west to east such that on the western side they are enormously tall. the slope down to winning goal of about 55 degrees until the eastern side of the grasslands i
went to an island that is the west of the faeroe islands and sure enough, there is a vast cliff that goes way up into the clouds, black and dripping with occasional patches of green which if you look through not much bigger than this table they are dotted all over the other wise vertical landscape. what happens is the boats arrived at the bottom of the cliff with the young men and if you can imagine the scene. but nonetheless and lay-bon to this vertical cliff because you
realize they've already been doing this for years, there are in fact ropes which have been suspended from the top of the cliff all the way down 2,000 feet come every hundred yards there is a rope and so he chooses this moment to leave out and crashes on to the cliff and holds the road and he is at least secure for a few minutes and then what he does is slightly unusual. he turns around and reaches down into the boat and he has a lamb. you didn't notice at first but he picks it up and puts it around his neck and somehow secures a with a string or something so his little legs -- then hand over hand he starts climbing up this. you can see him go up 100 feet, 200 feet and then he disappears into the nest and then when he
is about 800 or 900 feet up, i mean seriously high level, way above the sea which is down below, he then finds to his left or his right this grass that seems in his mind to be suitable for the lamb he has around his neck and it is lush and beautiful because it is fertilized from the puffiness that live in abundance on the cliffs to read when he found what he deems to be suitable, he then removes the lam from his neck and puts it on the grass but he's holding on with his other hand and his foot so he doesn't fall of himself. so he puts the lamb on the grass and he looks down and thinks this is exactly what i bought into. [laughter] but after a few moments lamb realizes if he doesn't keep his footing he will fall so he
better do whenever he can to make sure that he doesn't and he sort of scrambles and scuffs about and then eventually he reaches the point of equilibrium where he says all the way of the actual conversation takes place, but he essentially says you are going to be okay. and a thumbs-up and he gives a little funds up or whatever the equivalent is and he then descends and goes back and joins them in the boat leaving the lamb for the rest of the year. you will see the vertical cliff and the green patches of grass and a tiny little lamb, very tiny. but then come and i saw what then happens in september, october, he comes back, clearly not having gotten rid of his testosterone in the summer and he reassumed the rope up to
where the lamb was back in april and he's confronted when he gets back to the right place not with a lamb but with enormous sheep because he doesn't have anywhere to run and he just gets really chubby and hanging on. i would like to be doubled to report he got the lamb and around his neck. he pushes the lamb off and tumbles a few seconds later into the sea. and apparently it is enormously dangerous to travel around the foot of the cliffs and the pharaohs of the falling sheep then they take them back and claim this is the finest tasting lamb anywhere in the world. i thought that it was something i will share with you in the ludicrous and of the spectrum.
now you have to wipe the smiles of your face because the next story isn't ludicrous at all. it's quite serious. i was telling this to some people in new york because of the demographics were quite likely to know the story but in fact relatively few of them did and so i am hoping not too terribly many of you. july, 1916, the royal navy was using the battle of the atlantic, one in each of the world war, both of which german submarines would attack vessels coming eastbound from canada and the united states bringing supplies to the british isles and the german submarines in both instances would file torpedoes.
the german submarines fire their torpedoes had to come to the surface. it was relatively easy for the navy if they saw one of these submarines to attack them with naval gunfire. if they couldn't fire with more freedom because we had run out of the court to propellant because we couldn't get enough of the cingular chemical component which is acetone which many of you in this audience will know from no mover exactly that is where the rest of you probably went.
so anyway, that is the background. there wasn't enough because we have brought all of it from the germans including unlikely to be selling mass is a tone when we were at war with them so that is the situation in the summer of 1916. that is the background. in manchester the editor of the guardian who used to work for the guardian and so a very much revered figure of the man that made the remark that comment is free but facts are sacred, he used to have lunch every tuesday in manchester at the club with someone he found it interesting and on this particular tuesday, which was i think in july of 1916, he had lunch with a white russian professor of biology from the university, and during the course of a very long concession, he got very excited
and i've often hunted to do an accent but i won't. he developed a technique for producing a sit-down in very large quantities. now they had no idea what it was, but had remembered this fact. well, the following tuesday he was in london where he was having lunch with david lloyd george who at that time was the minister of munitions in the british war cabinet and he was going on and on about the fact the navy was losing the battle of the atlantic because we had run out and we couldn't make the kortright because we didn't have enough a acetone. he said this is extraordinary. i met a child just last thursday in manchester who claims he is a sensible seemingly by the just to be able to create acetone in large quantities to be he said this is amazing. we should have him down to london so they brought him to london and they discovered that
he wasn't a nut case and said what do you need? he said well, first of all, to do this? a brewery would be lovely or a distillery. they said it is the factory which is in east london that's just gone bankrupt and we have taken control of the site so they said it couldn't have been better. thank you very much. so he was given a factory and what else? he said something with a lot of -- something white maize. they said they come from canada. what about chestnuts. as it happens and some of you may know, each on in britain, school children play a game
where you take colin chestnuts and put a strain through them and suspend them come and another little boy try to hit to see which one breaks first and you get chanting and. it's a very popular game and it still is. he decided to capitalize on this and in the autumn of 1916, the word went for the british government that children could certainly collect, but they can't play the game because they would collect fees and the would be given to someone and brought down to london. so what happened? that september the children collected them as usual and put them in paper bags but then they would turn up with sacks and they would be persuaded to give their copies to be a day would come down to london and so thousands of tons of these what a riot and would go to the gym factory. they would be poured into the
plant, and using the professor b5 magical techniques first of all from the taps at the bottom would become a trickling stream of your acetone that was then taken down to the ordinance factory to endorse it and turn its on to the naval ships and the gums started fighting again. and by the late autumn of 1916, the whole tide of the that magic was reversed and the germans are being sunk again and the prosecution of the war started to turn very much in britain's favor succumb the following year in the spring of 1917 when i was clear that everything had changed in the battle of the atlantic through the complexion had changed in our favor a year it was decided among other things we should give him a medal or something like that and
so the government talked about this and then said because he was a foreigner, the person that should give him this award would be the british foreign secretary commesso are there invited him, they knew each other for of the reasons down to london and said we are terribly grateful. we would like you to be to call yourself sir pete he said that is awfully nice of you. i'm grateful to the fact of the matter is i don't want -- what i do want, however because i am the secretary of the air english league, won the public declaration from your government to say that the magistrates government would look with favor upon the establishment of the homeland for the jewish people in palestine. and so he said i think we can probably do that. so there were discussions through the summer and then on the 17th of november i think it was 1917 the letter was formally
written and was delivered to the president of the world zionist congress with a copy to the professor of biology at the university of manchester that said precisely that, the magistrate government would look with favor on the establishment for the jewish people in palestine. and that of course was the declaration, which led in 1948 to the creation of the state of israel, which was created from chemistry a level known aspect of chemistry, but from my point of view crucial in the middle of the atlantic ocean. so that is the more important story. and then the third one if i have time to tell the story and then there will be time for the book there is an island in the south atlantic which is a british possession and an extremely miserable place, the most
isolated in habited in the world. it's about 1800 miles west of cape town, fairly and dreadful weather dominated by a volcano that erupted spectacularly from time to time that there were 220 people, british citizens, members of only seven families in this great deal which produces all sorts of interesting side effect. and basically all they do is grow potatoes. it's not a very interesting place i have to say. in 1941 for the reasons best known to themselves through the british government, they decided to classify or reclassified this item as a ship they gave it a new name and the caulkett the atlantic i'll and they decided that it was a static shipped from which one could observe how the submarines were operating in
the south atlantic and the appointed six, one officer to go down there and take the command of the ship. the captain was a young kaftan and he was a very literate and sensitive child and he fell in love with one of the women. although from what i can gather from his writing, they never even held hands. it was unbelievable. they barely spoke. but in his writings, he was evidently totally [inaudible] and he hoped that she reciprocated and he wrote about three paragraphs in a book that he published in 54 about his love for emily rogers but as i say, nothing ever happened and he was very sad he had to leave
her behind on the beach and was very effective and there were two beautiful i found very effective. i went in the 1980's i think it was and one of the things i wanted to do is see emily rogers. who was this woman that had enraptured of war but of course 50 years had passed or 40 years and so she was no longer a slip of a girl, she was a 60-year-old levy now married and a grandmother indeed, married to the chief islander, restaurant last -- mr. glass. i walked through the village of the seven seas as there are only about 40 houses to where they lived and there was her husband he's a guy understand you are a
writer and i said yes and he said i imagine you are here to see emily and i said i would like to. he said absolutely not. that story was so embarrassing to me and to her and everyone on the island. he and emily were the only to i ever got to see. so i did all sorts of other things. then i was living at the time and wrote a book. i quoted those paragraphs from the book because they were beautiful it was a very tender piece of writing about a young naval officer and i thought i knew more about. then in the 1990's i was lecturing on the islands like south georgia and the falkland islands and trusten to a group of americans.
and eventually became trusten coming in you see this beautiful volcano ahead of us and we sailed up and start of full-fledged telling them about the history then we dropped anchor or of least we hope to. and then out through the harbor came a little boat with a police ban on board. the police and as many other jobs and quite literally wears different hats. he said is there a mr. winchester on the boat? i am afraid the council has decided you will not be afraid to land. the story that you tell 15 days before about emily, sorry that he was in pluggable. i couldn't. so, it was embarrassing because all of the americans were filing past me saying why on earth and
it sounds as if you know about it. so i had to sort of pay to be complete patient with the captain of the ship and then they all came back three or four hours later saying they are not that interesting and we went off somewhere else. that happened two more times. then i had to go back to research to this book and so i was down there again last year. but now they have an e-mail and so the administrator of the island that is a british colonial law administrator he was a trap that i knew although he isn't at the cutting edge of diplomacy that that is why he is ending his career. iowa email. i have a little bit of history.
by now of course emily rogers is dead, her husband is dead and it's 50, 60 years since david's book, 40 years since my book. you'd think they had been down. not at all. the arlen the council formally decided, and this is quoting david, you will not be allowed to land on this occasion or indeed ever. [laughter] so i stand in for humility having written about this i'm not allowed to travel there. [laughter] so those are the three stories and if i may i'm going to rounded off by going back to the book that i read in chile to read the book that captured me and i think it is out of print but it's the book you should if it's a back in print stock. it's by a man john marshall and it's called skeleton coast and
it's about a shipwreck that occurred in 1942 on the skeleton coast of what was then south coast africa but it's now libya. it's a lot 30350 miles from the border river down towards the day. it's absolutely treacherous up with when the, falcon, disagreeable cold current, and if you do happen to fetch a this coast there is no water and you die basically. it's just no substance all. well, the star that was coming down from liverpool ultimately to go around the cape of 28 in with 60 passengers on board, it did strike something called the all kinds in november of 42 it ran around and send out a distress message, 60 survivors and everyone survived the wreck and they managed to get onto the
shore. the convoy of police vehicles with incredible difficulty it took about two months to get to it that they were rescued and no one died except in the maritime which didn't succeed in number of ships came. one of them was wrecked and the others turned back. the one that was wrecked was a south african harbor called the search high-yield eliot and got relatively close to the record of the start and two young men tried to swim ashore with a rope and the scotsman was called in in this campbell. the american ties body was never found. and i read this story and i
thought i want to go find this wreck because the ships don't decay. they remain there and now there was this incredibly lonely grave. i doubt i would try to get there and in researching this book i did. i managed to find -- i happened to be in k-town to the capitol of namibia and then i got on a little tiny plan which took me to a very remote place in northern part of the coast. no one had seen it and we went off the coast for a number of days and sure enough in the end we founded. there was the wreck of the liverpool registered stock deal with all of its embargo still strewn around on the open what in boxes and he would find.
nonetheless they were still there. and the shelter was there. the canvas was no longer. i wanted to go to the grave and that is about 15 miles south of the site. you come to this point and when you look through the waves every time they go down you can see the tiny pyramids which is all that remains and then a great big pile of rocks and bones planted vertically on a brass plaque most and visited. this was raised in a memorial that briefly attempted to rescue maffei es and in this campbell. i had gotten there after reading this book in chile, but i sort of needed to do something.
i'd taken a tiny bottle that i found in the wreck of the star, sandblasted almost pure it was the sort of thing a woman might have kept. i wrote a note saying thank you for trying, rest in peace and put it into the bottle and a typical message in a bottle and put it under the rocks and left it by the grave. but then i got back -- i thought that was as much as i could do but then i got back to new york and read this book and i was haunted by the fact in this campbell mcintyre was in the land it man born on the island in western scotland, traveled down the atlantic to cape town to another atlantic ocean city and had taken a job on the boat and attempted to rescue in the
atlantic, drowned in the atlantic and his body was swept up into the atlantic never to be found again. in the end i decided the best g to do is to dedicate the book to him so the book is dedicated to in this campbell mcintyre that sums up at least part of the story of our human relationship with this a great mass of water, the atlantic ocean. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, that was wonderful. >> [inaudible] >> i think you can get it online. i know that is a dirty word to use the to confine this again and copies published by
hutcheson i think. >> something that seems to connect all the stories is that they connect to england which is an island nation in the middle of the atlantic and that makes sense. do you have stories about new england which depended very heavily on the atlantic and where people went back and forth to sort of stay in touch to make a living? >> there is a whole heap of stuff about whaling from new bedford and nantucket. i don't want to sound as if i am trying to sell this book but i suppose that is what i am trying to do. there is a lot about everything. in fact i don't know if any of you heard this morning i was on the morning edition program looking at the am i center field looking at the comments which i did on the train coming down to washington this evening. the first comment was an angry
man saying your basis and eurocentric but there was no mention in on npr about the middle passage about slavery that there were heaps in the book about the middle passage and slavery. so there isn't much about the titanic. i decided that story had quite a lot of of the lusitania but of the atlantic and they are in the stockholm and that commission of new york of 1956. but, i try to cover all of the bases and suggest there is a lot and winslow of course there is the chapter about the loved of poetry and music and art and architecture. the day that i was writing about winslow he lived in a place in maine and on the day that i was riding by coincidence you may remember this story, a little girl from new york was standing on a rock and she was swept away while her parents watched in horror. it was dreadful so there is a
lot. thank you. >> you have deluded into it a little bit but to look at the question, your book is a vote a huge event that single event at the point in time it's about a huge subject. what are the logistics writing a book on a limitless subject? you talk about collecting some things but do you select the out line and then research it and then write it? the structure is hugely important for us to teach about writing nonfiction there are three elements. the idea is you have to have a good idea that in the second most important thing is the
structure how exactly you write this idea and this is a classic example the idea could go away a few you could write a 20 volume dissertation. you only have to look at the classic work on the mediterranean. that is to of these 900 page books and at a point in time describing the history as much to become much smaller seen so you have to be disciplined about your structure and there's an awful lot of structure. someone will come along and say this is a monstrous way to organize it and then left their way and i do not mean to dismiss the riding in the order of precedence come idf come structure and writing. it would be nice if all three of
them are given equal marriage. the idea comes first but structure comes second, certainly before writing i think. that is a rather vague answer to your question that it's important to me. >> i was delighted to hear you hadn't gone back to attempt trusten. the was my favorite book of yours, outpost, which they have here. but i was wondering if you had been that any of the other islands in the atlantic that you visited at that time. >> i commend come if you haven't been there, there is a ship that leaves portland every 12 weeks to beat it is inexpensive, wonderful to come a terribly nice staff on the boat. it goes portland to tenerife, which is a place to visit any way, and then goes to a and ireland and then goes to santa leni where it drops you off for a week and you have to stay in
the consulate hotel in this exquisite regency town unchanged for 250 country hundred years called jamestown. the reason you have to stay there is the ship takes contract workers back north woods to the island where they are working on an american base and then picks of the contract workers that are there and brings them back and you go back on to cape town or back to washington. i recommend it. it sounds as if i'm working for the santa leni tourist board there is no airport some you have to go by ship. >> thank you, sir. i was going back to krakatoa. one of the impressions i gleaned from your book is that they were not exactly attentive to the seismic activity and mount merpi in central java is demonstrating seismic activity.
should we be concerned? li a safety valve. it goes of almost every day. the volcano's you need to worry about that don't go off like mount st. helens because eventually when it does go off, it goes off the times. yellowstone, but no, it is a nasty volcano but it's -- it is releasing -- is doing what faeroe people should do more often which is to release its imaging. >> so don't worry. >> if i can ask a question about dictionaries is it true you stopped consulting your dictionaries at home and you look up words in your ipad? >> this is the decision i was in australia when they made this remark he couldn't have the
third edition published in a hard paper format. i got telephone because of the books that i'd written about the subject and i would say quite honestly i don't -- i.e. it saying it in a place like the bookshop in 30 years' time, the volume in the third edition will be published 2037. they say june in 237. and i and by then it will not be extinct. but by then i think the most massive books will be available essentially only online. i would have fought for the purely romantic reasons they will produce a hardback edition but as to what i do now, i have to complete 20 volume but if i want to know a word, for instance, the web site has been launched on december 10th and i've been given a slew of sneak
preview, it is amazing because you can look as i added the other day i want to -- i looked at that time line of the introduction of the words from various languages and the english-language so i wanted to look of the aboriginal words that come into the english language and you can see it's interesting historically because there were an awful lot that came in when we start the colonizing. there is any pride among the aboriginal peoples of words like to embark had been introduced as well. so but using the new tools available, you can find out about all the words that come from the obscure aboriginal languages and find quotations from books that employed them
and if the book that employs them is written by an interesting author you can find his biography it goes on and on and on. you couldn't do that with a hardback so i rarely use those books. the dictionary by almost look at and exclusively. >> we have time for two more questions to be spinning in terms of climate change in the global warming are there any atlantic at risk as they are in the pacific? >> the high lands are not the delta and bangladesh are much more liable to be inundated. there are risks from other things but not so much from the rising sea level.
it's the cities and the periphery in london and new york they are doing remarkable things and one of the things they are doing is and fighting the water. they know and we should know there is no point in fighting the rising sea levels. there were building apartment buildings, department stores that flow. they are not advancing funds to rebuild the barrier which is now going to be over talked fairly soon. and new york of course. they have a huge number of pumps at the moment the fed is the only thing that they can do to
fight the rising sea levels they have to spend a lot of money on more even bigger ones. as a floating rather than fight. >> one last question. >> forgive me because i can't remember the exhort location. there's a geological slipped -- >> it's not going to happen. >> it is the volcano on the west side of the canary islands, and it is this extraordinary story i count in some detail there was a bbc with all invested a sort of dignity and accuracy and reliability there was a documentary that set when the volcano eve up scum and the enormous rock is going to fall off the western side and create
a tsunami which will inundate new york. no geologist in his right mind thinks that is going to happen. certainly tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years and if it does happen in this big chunk of rock almost 70 isn't going to fall and the wave is going to create isn't going to be nearly as large as that. but the interesting thing is that the sponsor, the financial backing for that bbc film was given by a chicago-based real insurance company. [laughter]