Geology Futures


Forever Chemicals

GPM # 47

Remember the closing scene from Planet of the Apes? The first in the franchise? American astronaut George Taylor, played by Charleton Heston, trots on horseback down a lonely beach, accompanied by a female human buddy.

Suddenly, astronaut George spies an awful sight, something terribly familiar, poking out of the sand. This isn’t a far-off planet, it’s Planet Earth, Taylor’s home, long since destroyed by nuclear war, its proud structures now fossilized.

Without a doubt, that’s how all of Earth’s great cities will end up, millions of years from now, nuclear war or not. Mark Williams studies the future geology of Earth’s surface, when humanity in its present incarnation is long gone. Williams is a professor at the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, at the University of Leicester, in the UK.

Listen to our conversation in today’s podcast. Click on the play button above, or go here.

Mark Williams (David Kattenburg)

Their precise scientific name is a mouthful: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. But you don’t want them in your mouth.

Hard to avoid. Forever chemicals are in adhesive tape; non-stick cookware; greasy food wrap; microwave popcorn bags. Lipstick! They don’t break down, they build up in your body, and they’re very bad for your health.

And, most people have them in their blood!

Here’s a bad news story about this. Click on the play button above, or go here.

Chemicals structures of PFOA, PFOS, HFPO-DA, and PFBS.

Of all the things that take place inside a healthy human body, none are more astonishing than pregnancy. Women’s bodies undergo enormous change in the course of nine months of pregnancy, all aimed at promoting fetal growth and development.

Even more astonishing, bacteria in a pregnant woman’s gut help steer the process. Deb Sloboda studies the role a woman’s gut microbiome plays in healthy pregnancy. Sloboda is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, and an associate member of the Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Pediatrics at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario.

Listen to our conversation in today’s podcast. Click on the play button above, or go here.

Marla Gross, Manitoba midwife

Thanks to Dan Weisenberger for his fabulous guitar instrumentals.