Earth & Atmosphere

Articles


Land & People

Clinging to the walls of a fertile valley beneath the city of Bethlehem, a half dozen kilometers south of Jerusalem, alienated from the holiest of Palestinian towns by walls, barbed wire and a string of mega-colonial settlements, boxed in by settler-only roads and militarized checkpoints, Mazin and Jessie Qumsiyeh and their friends are planting native Palestinian seeds, growing fruits and vegetables, raising chickens, rabbits and fish, and offering up habitat for birds, insects and other wildlife. Rescuing their beloved landscape cruelly scarred by land thieves without true roots.


The Fire Beneath

Living on the edge of inferno. Perfectly normal for the people of Iceland, where volcanoes and ground cracks spew red hot magma. The GPM speaks with an Icelandic Earth scientist. Magma and the rock it turns into can be put to work, pumping carbonated water into it, turning atmospheric CO2 into limestone, for good. We speak about this with a Columbia University geologist.


Geology Futures

The geology of cities — built out of stuff mined from the ground. That’s where all cities will end up, broken down and fossilized. The GPM speaks with a geologist who gazes into the future. Some human-made molecules won’t break down either. Forever chemicals, they’re called, and they’re everywhere. In non-stick cookware, cosmetics and clothing. They last forever, and they’re toxic. On a happier note — the human microbiome. All those bacteria living on us and in us, delivering crucial services. Nothing more amazing than the bacteria in the gut of a pregnant woman, steering healthy fetal development.


Crime of Crimes

Genocide in Gaza — Is Israel guilty of this crime of crimes? One thing is clear: genocidal incitement permeates Israeli society. The GPM speaks with Israeli human rights attorney Michael Sfard. How to stop Israel’s assault? Some call for international intervention. The GPM speaks with Canadian international law expert Ardi Imseis. And, the Anthropocene. A wake-up call from Canadian Earth scientist Martin Head.


Tipping Points

Oceans of clean energy on humanity’s doorstep — wave, tidal, surface heat and, wherever freshwater flows into the sea … salt gradient energy. Tipping points in Earth systems. Unstable states world governments need to prepare for now. And, America’s Passionate Attachment to Israel. Loyalty is a must.


To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Sleeping and dreaming — essential and mysterious. An old Tanzanian friend speaks about torrential rains and village celebrations. And, in the Dutch city of Delft, a big university digs deep for the heat beneath: geothermal energy.



Risky Moves

Risky moves: A Canadian political scientist attends a sanctioned forum in Russia — and asks Vladimir Putin a question. An Italian climate researcher refuses to return to work fast, from the other side of the planet. Slow travel releases less carbon, he tells his bosses. The GPM interviews Radhika Desai and Gianluca Grimalda.


Old Nazis & International Law

A small Canadian lake records humanity’s impact on Planet Earth. On the floor of Canada’s House of Commons, an old Nazi veteran gets a standing ovation. And, when official enemies are to blame, Canada calls for justice. For a beloved ally, Canada calls for justice to be suspended.


Lake Chad Drying Up

Six out of nine planetary systems key to the survival of the human species are under threat. Is Earth still a safe operating space for human beings? And, a mega-engineering project to save an endangered African lake — on the drawing board, and very worrisome.


Planetary Boundaries Breached

Six out of nine planetary systems key to the survival of the human species have been compromised, breaching the estimated boundaries of Earth system stability and resilience and pushing it “well outside of the safe operating space for humanity.” The GPM spoke with Katherine Richardson, lead author of “Earth beyond six of nine planetary boundaries.”


Wanted Man

Kids aren’t the only ones rebelling against extinction. In Ottawa, a sixty-year-old gets arrested for sitting down on a highway. Forget politicians — citizens’ assemblies are the way to go. And, channeling Johnny Cash for adoring fans in France and Germany.


Bosses Old & New

In West Africa, French colonialism officially ended in the 1960s. Six decades later, neocolonialism lives on. These days, America is the world’s preeminent imperial power and NATO its most powerful tool. In Cambodia, French colonists are long gone. Military chiefs and their rich clients rule the roost, much to the detriment of biodiverse ecosystems.



Poisonous Legacies

Uranium mining in Niger: a filthy, toxic business. Fifty years after the end of America’s war on Vietnam, traces of US chemical weapons linger. And, the Anthropocene. A geologist talks about humanity’s transformation of Planet Earth.



Green Planet Monitor Podcast

After years of study, a scientific panel proposes a formal definition of the Anthropocene, naming the spot where humanity’s fingerprints are best observed in the rock record. A Canadian geologist relishes the moment. And, a First Nations elder reflects on the lake of her dreams and memories.


Green Planet Monitor Podcast

Nothing woolly-headed or Utopian about it: A universal, guaranteed basic income. A hundred years later, memories of war that do not fade. And, one of humanity’s great revolutions – the 1950s Great Acceleration has transformed Earth’s surface completely, hurtling our planet into an uncertain future.