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The Compass

Podcast The Compass
Podcast The Compass

The Compass

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  • Life in soil: Tasting the earth in France
    Writer and environmentalist Isabelle Legeron is in France to see how cultivating a healthy soil, teeming with fungi and microbes, can enhance the flavour profile of food and drink - from cheese to coffee to wine. She explores the fundamental role soil plays in the notion of “terroir’ - the conviction that the natural environment in which plants are grown, can be experienced in the taste and texture of the food and drink made from them. Isabelle speaks to a cast of soil microbiologists, land managers and taste experts - Lydia and Claude Bourguignon (France), Anne Biklé (USA), the Le Puy vineyard in Bordeaux, Barry Smith (UK), Darek Trowbridge (USA) and Hans-Peter Schmidt (Switzerland). Presenter: Isabelle Legeron Producer: Sasha Edye-Lindner A Cast Iron Production for BBC World Service (Photo: A vineyard)
    9/28/2022
    27:48
  • LIfe in soil: The death of soil
    Isabelle Legeron travels to Giessen in Germany, to the original laboratory of Justus Von Liebig the brilliant 19th century chemist whose work made way for the 20th century Haber and Bosch process. Liebig joined the spirit of the Industrial Revolution, where technical solutions were set to end starvation; he set out to make the soil more productive, echoed through the 20th century with the Green Revolution. But at what cost to the soil? With Environmentalist, Tony Juniper and Soil Scientists: Margaret Glendining, Aislinn Pearson, Hans-Peter Schmidt, Wogmar Wolters, Gerd Hamscher, Jan Siemens, Christophe Muller and Richard Bardgett. Presenter: Isabelle Legeron Producer: Kate Bland and Anja Krieger A Cast Iron Production for BBC World Service (Photo: Dried, cracked soil in a maize field near Hajduszovat, Hungary. Credit: Zsolt Czegledi/EPA)
    9/21/2022
    27:51
  • Life in soil: The psychology of soil in California
    Isabelle Legeron travels to California, a part of the world whose soil holds a complex history. She meets the indigenous Californians reviving ancestral methods of tending to the land, and the soil scientists exploring the impact of colonisation and agriculture on the soil of the Golden State. With indigenous Californian land steward Redbird (Pomo/Paiute/Wailaki/Wintu), director of the California Indian museum Nicole Lim (Pomo), indigenous ecologist Dr Melissa Nelson (Anishinaabe/Métis/Norwegian), indigenous educator Sara Moncada (Yaqui/Irish), professor Paul Starrs (USA) and soil scientists Suzanne Pierre (India/Haiti/USA), Kenzo Esquivel (Japanese/Mexican/USA) and Yvonne Socolar (USA). Presenter: Isabelle Legeron Producer: Sasha Edye-Lindner/ Kate Bland A Cast Iron production for BBC World Service (Photo: Native crops at Heron Shadow, California. Credit: Sara Moncada)
    9/14/2022
    28:00
  • Green energy: Finance
    How is the world going to get to net zero by 2050 and who is paying the bill? Former governor of the Bank of England, and UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, Mark Carney, recently put the figure we need to spend at 100 trillion dollars at least. Switching to renewable sources of energy, needs the global financial markets to pay for the necessary infrastructure. Costs will come down as the technology improves; take the example of solar panels where the last two decades have seen an astounding 96% drop, from 10 dollars a watt to 25 cents. Allan Little investigates innovate companies investing in green energy; direct air carbon capture technology and a plant producing the greenest aluminium in the world thanks to geothermal power. But the road to net zero is fragile, and vulnerable to geopolitical events. Every solution to global warming has an impact and unintended consequences. What is the real cost of getting to net zero? Presenter: Allan Little Producer: Anna Horsbrugh-Porter Editor: Susan Marling A Just Radio production for BBC World Service (Photo: Solar power plant, in Fujian Province, China. Credit: Getty Images)
    8/31/2022
    27:52
  • Green energy: Iceland
    For over 100 years, Iceland has produced renewable energy from geo-thermal and hydro power to heat its homes and power industry. Iceland harnesses the volcanic hot water under the earth’s crust and the energy from damming its plentiful rivers and waterfalls that run through the island. It produces five times more green energy than its population needs. But decisions Iceland has made in how best to use this surplus energy and the environmental and moral impact on its landscape and population have sparked controversy. There have been protests about the international aluminium companies; heavy users of electricity and the more recent advent of data-processing centres like the bitcoin and crypto-currency companies based there. These companies sell their green credentials to customers while consuming all the country’s excess power. When should Iceland say enough is enough? Presenter: Allan Little Producer: Anna Horsbrugh-Porter Editor: Susan Marling A Just Radio production for BBC World Service (Photo: Allan Little visits a deep drilling project in Iceland. Credit: Anna Horsbrugh-Porter)
    8/24/2022
    27:47

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