Algae, Insects, Molds, Bats, and Responsible Farming:   Hope in an Era of Rapid Climate Change

ABC Radionational (Australia) has many great podcasts, and none better than Phillip Adams' Late Night Live, which has been broadcasting insightful interviews for decades now.  From time to time, the stories featured are on flora and fauna that we don't normally think about, but which have a tremendous impact on our environment and on our lives.  These stories are almost always filled with hope, albeit in a cautious way, indicating paths we may yet take to save ourselves and our planet.

Topic Audiofile Other Material
Algae: the green revolution

From the website:
"What does the word algae conjure up for you? Images of green scum floating on top of your garden pond or toxic blooms wreaking havoc on aquatic life and closing your local beach?  In actual fact, algae are far from being nature’s supervillains. These primitive microorganisms are responsible for sustaining the health of our oceans and providing fifty per cent of the air we breathe. And algae could soon be doing a lot more for the planet. If we learnt how to harness their penchant for prolific growth and their powers of photosynthesis, algae could solve many of our energy, food and climate challenges."
MP3 UTS: Deep Green Biotech Hub
UTS: Climate Change Cluster
Swarm intelligence and insect infrastructure

From the website:
"Despite having brains smaller than a grain of sand, ants manage vast communication networks and operate complex supply chains. Even brainless slime moulds can design transportation networks to rival those built by human engineers. As we grapple with rapidly urbanizing cities, could we look to the insect world to solve our infrastructure woes?"
MP3 Insect Behavior and Ecology Lab, University of Sydney
An agricultural insurgency (regenerative farming)

From the website:
"As drought becomes more common, salinity increases and the effects of climate change take their toll on our agricultural land, there is increasing evidence that a complete rethink of how we farm the land is required. Is it possible to work with the land rather than treat the landscape as a hostile enemy needing to be brought into line. Charles Massey has been gathering stories from farmers around Australia about farmers who are increasing their productivity, ironically often by doing less."
MP3 Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, by Charles Massey
The farmer's son (on more environmentally conscious beef-farming)

From the website:
"As a youth John Connell left Ireland and the family farm to pursue a life as a documentary maker in Australia. A few years later he went back determined to master farming with all its hardships, heartbreak and occasional beauty. His book about cows - and a winter season spent raising them has become a best-seller. "
MP3 The Cow Book: A Story of Life on a Family Farm, by John Connell
Bats: maligned, malicious or misunderstood?

From the website:
"Bats have been misrepresented in art and literature for centuries in the West. Their terrifying image has been entrenched in our collective consciousness through Durer’s engravings, Milton’s poetry, Gothic novels and horror films. With climate change and habitat loss reducing global bat populations at an alarming rate, is it time we tackled chiropterophobia and became more bat-friendly?"
MP3 Bat, by Tessa Laird
Capitalism and the chicken nugget

In this episode, Raj Patel notes that if in the distant future an archeologist examines the remains of our current epoch, what s/he would discover is radioactivity, plastic and chicken bones. Chicken bones? How that could possibly be is discussed in this episode, which delves into the aspects of capitalism that don't get discussed often enough, namely the effects of our markets on the environment, on resources, and on humans
MP3 A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things, by Raj Patel and Jason Moore
Insect Holocaust

Insects make up 75% of animal biomass on the planet, and they are dying at an alarming rate, which may lead to unknown and potentially devastating environmental consequences. In this episode, Tanya Latty of the University of Sydney discusses this with Phillip Adams; in the process she covers pesticides, habitat destruction and climate change. This was a particularly good episode as Dr. Latty explains things very clearly, which complements Phillip's incisive interviewing style.
MP3 Tanya Latty's website

Something more: JASON 1979 report on climate change