Episode for January 13, 2023
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My new book, Up to Heaven and Down to Hell: Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town (Princeton University Press, April 2021), is an intimate, ethnographic account of what happens when one of the most momentous decisions about the well-being of our communities and our planet—whether or not to extract shale gas and oil from the very land beneath our feet—is largely a private choice that millions of ordinary people make without the public’s consent. Based on time I spent living in a rural Pennsylvania community, the book documents the dramatic confrontation between personal sovereignty and the public good that unfolds from the fact that landowners have the right to lease the subsurface of their property for oil and gas development. This “deeply reported” (Publisher’s Weekly) community study reveals “the tradeoffs that follow from America’s liberty-loving ways” (Sarah Smarsh [author of Heartland], the Atlantic). What’s more, it serves as a lens through which to understand the cultural polarization that drives so much of contemporary American politics and stymies efforts to combat climate change.
Click here for a complete list of reviews, events, and media related to the book.
Click here to purchase the book.
CLick here to download and read the introduction for free.
Click here to read an essay from this project published in Slate.
Click here to visit my twin brother’s website. He’s a real scientist.
Lauded as “hilarious, high risk, and an inspiration,” Ophira filmed her comedy special Inside Joke, when she was 8½ months pregnant. The show’s material revolves around how she told everyone that she was never going to have kids, and then unexpectedly found herself expecting at “an advanced maternal age.” Inside Joke can be found on Amazon and iTunes, along with her two other comedy albums, Bangs!and As Is.
She has appeared on Comedy Central, This Week at The Comedy Cellar, Kevin Hart’s LOL Network, HBO’s Girls, Gotham Live, The Late Late Show, The Today Show, and VH-1. The New York Times called her a skilled comedian and storyteller with “bleakly stylish” humor. She was also selected as one of New York Magazine‘s “Top 10 Comics that Funny People Find Funny,” and hailed by Forbes.com as one of the most engaging comics working today.
Ophira is a regular host and teller with The Moth and her stories have been featured on The Moth Radio Hour and in two of The Moth’s best-selling books, including the most recent New York Times Bestseller Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible.
Ophira’s first book, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamyi s a comedic memoir about her experiments in the field as a single woman, traveling from futon to futon and flask-to-flask, gathering data, hoping to put it all together and build her own perfect mate.
She is also sought after as a brilliant interviewer and moderator, and has interviewed dozens of celebrities, writers, and actors.
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ophira graduated with a Cultural Anthropology and Theater degree from McGill University. She now lives in Brooklyn, NY where she is a fixture at New York City’s comedy clubs
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