Green Planet Monitor Podcast


Cane stalks being cut to size at Steuer music reed factory, Carqueiranne, France

Voices & Stories From a Warm Wet Planet

GPM Podcast # 10

Imagine the wail of a saxophone in your favourite jazz, rock or pop tune – soprano, alto, tenor, baritone or base.

How about that clarinet? Then there’s the bassoon, and its elegant cousin, the oboe.

The unique tones of these instruments are generated by blowing over a reed, manufactured from the stalk of a tall cane plant. Here’s a story about how music reeds get produced. Click on the audio link above, or go here.

Thomas Donati, standing in a forest of Arundo donax (David Kattenburg)

In search of ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions — easily, dramatically and fast — no better place to start than cities and their buildings.

Concrete, steel, glass, plastic and processed wood products take lots of energy to produce, and their production generates massive volumes of greenhouse gases.

To be precise, the supply chains these materials travel down, from supplier to construction site, and the operation of the buildings they end up in, account for about forty percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Skyscrapers tower over Bryant Park, NYC (David Kattenburg)

Put another way, buildings contain lots of embodied carbon. Decarbonizing the building industry is something that interests Tim Coldwell greatly. Coldwell is president of Chandos Construction, based in Toronto.

To hear our conversation, click on the audio link above, or go here.

Demolished Palestinian home in Al-Walaja, south of Jerusalem (David Kattenburg)

Last week, Israeli military forces demolished an elementary school in the Palestinian hamlet of Jubbet al-Dibh, east of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

Forty-five students had been studying in the 5-room school. It didn’t have a permit, and it was unsafe, Israeli military forces said.

The European Union, that funded the school’s construction, said it was “appalled” by the school’s demolition, and called on Israel to “halt all demolitions and evictions, which will only increase the suffering of the Palestinian population and further escalate an already tense environment.”

Demolished Palestinian farming structure in the Jordan Valley (David Kattenburg)

Israel couldn’t care less what the EU thinks or says. It routinely demolishes Palestinian schools, residential and agricultural structures – destroying or confiscating EU-funded solar panels, water equipment and building materials – without apology.

EU-Israeli relations remain rock solid. “Both share the same values of democracy, respect for freedom and rule of law,” the EU says

Palestinian-owned solar panel, not yet destroyed or confiscated by Israel occupation forces (David Kattenburg)

Since January of this year, Israeli forces have demolished over 300 Palestinian structures, displacing hundreds of people, including children, from their schools and homes. And — demolitions are on the rise.

Palestinians resist the demolition of their schools and homes.

Listen to my conversation about this with Lara Kilani, a volunteer with a group called the Good Shepherd Collective. Click on the audio link above, or go here.

Thanks to Dan Weisenberger for his wonderful guitar instrumentals.