The Green Blues Show
In this edition of The Green Blues Show: A food forest in Palestine …
Down in the basement of a big French hospital – fabulous bottles of wine …
And, turning Earth-warming CO2 into rock.
The discovery of a potentially habitable planet eleven light years away is rousing excitement in the astronomy world. The rocky object – discerned entirely from the way it makes its illuminating star wobble – is about the same size as Earth, but denser, therefore with higher gravitation. The little rock is also twenty times closer to its star, around it which it revolves every 9.9 days, than we are to our sun.
That star is a “red dwarf,” therefore cooler than ours. The average surface temperature of this far-off planet is calculated to lie in the minus sixty to plus twenty range. In this temperature sweet spot, water is liquid, and life very likely. The million-dollar question: is there molecular oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere? If there is, living things had to have put there.
It’s nice to think about life on other planets. Not necessarily intelligent life, although that would be remarkable. Just a living world with zero human involvement. Ergo, no plastic. No pollution. No human noise or nuisances. No human economic or political paradigms. Another Experiment of One, far out there, where the current incarnation of the human species will never go.
This past spring, I had the great pleasure of visiting a friend and befriending a few more in the town of Beit Jala, just east of Bethlehem, in occupied Palestine. Vivien Sansour’s seed rescue project in nearby Battir was the subject of a Green Planet Monitor report last year.
These days, Vivien Sansour is growing a Food Forest on the backyard terrace of her family’s home, perched atop Beit Jala. Nazareth native Mohammad Saleh is helping out. Sansour is a farmer, seed saver, artist and entrepreneur in Beit Jala, just east of Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, in occupied Palestine. Saleh runs a permaculture design company called Mostadam. Together, they’re growing a food forest on Vivien’s family terrace.
Strasbourg Civic Hospital is France’s fourth largest medical institution. With a staff of over ten thousand, it really is a small town in the heart of lovely Strasbourg – the Crossroads of Europe.
In the basement of the hospital’s administration building, you’ll find something most hospitals don’t have: a wine cellar. A highly reputed and well stocked wine cellar. Here, the finest wines from France’s Alsace region are available at a reasonable cost. I took a tour of Strasbourg Civic Hospital’s Cave Historique in the company of its director, Thibaut Baldinger.
With atmospheric carbon dioxide now 403 ppm and rising, and CO2-equivalent emissions climbing by over 2 percent a year, authorities are now saying the Paris climate change agreement’s least constraining two-degree target is now probably toast.
As the gravity of the crisis humanity faces becomes clearer, solutions of all sorts are being put forward. Among the most intriguing: mitigating our emissions through geoengineering. Carbon capture and storage is one such approach. (A drop in the bucket, some say).
What intrigues Peter Kelemen, a geochemist at Columbia University, in New York City, is turning CO2 into rock – or helping it to happen. Kelemen is Arthur D. Storke Memorial Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, at Columbia University, New York City.
In today’s edition, music from the Beale Street Sheiks, the Bently Boys, Carolina Rose and Little Sonny Parker