Anthropologist/author Wade Davis (@authorwadedavis) on optimism, decency, public service and saving America with Skaana (@skaanapod) host Mark Leiren-Young (@leirenyoung). Part two of our special two-part election edition of Skaana featuring National Geographic’s Explorer-in-Residence and author of Magdalena: River of Dreams.

“Whatever happens in November, it won’t mean the end of this incredible schism between the two halves of the American reality.” – Wade Davis

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Wille Thrasher- “Wolves Don’t Live By the Rules”


  • 0:00– Intro
  • 04:29– How Wade Davis maintains hope
  • 05:08– “I’m always optimistic because I think pessimism is an indulgence.”
  • 06:22– Discussing the American military
  • 08:05– Factual divisions in America and the role of media
  • 10:17– “The end of America, the unraveling of America is no time to gloat. It’s no time for celebration. You should always remember that the military and industrial might of America literally saved civilization in the lifetime of my father.”
  • 13:26– Discussing gun control
  • 17:06– “America always swings between the wild extremes of the human heart and soul and spirit.”
  • 19:31– The evolution of how we consume news reports, and the role this plays.
  • 22:05– The fault in American democracy
  • 24:31– “40% of Americans feel so left out of what America’s become and is becoming that they simply don’t believe what is in front of them. The truth has lost all currency
  • 28:23– Discussing Trump and the environment
  • 30:14– “You know, the deeper thing that COVID has shown us is that we’re biological beings on a living planet.”
  • 34:03 – “You don’t vote your grievances, indulging your own indignations. The vote is something more serious than that. It’s a vote as to the destiny of your country.”
  • 35:56– Discussing rivers being granted personhood status and the river Magdalena
  • 40:27– “We need to change the way that we view our place on the planet. We are not apart from nature. We are a part of nature. And if COVID isn’t going to teach us that, COVID is going to teach us nothing.”
  • 42:38– “Wolves Don’t Live by the Rules” by Willie Thrasher


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