#119: How to tackle the global food crisis; rainforest animal orchestra; George Monbiot on humanity’s biggest blight


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By New Scientist. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

We’re in the middle of a global food crisis, brought on by a combination of the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and the war in Ukraine. As food prices rise and the world faces “hunger on an unprecedented scale”, the team looks for solutions.

The health of an ecosystem can be measured through sound alone. The team discusses a new field of study called ecoacoustics which is being used to assess biodiversity, sharing sounds of an ‘animal orchestra’ recorded in the Brazilian rainforest.

Rosie the Rocketeer (a dummy, not a real human!) is heading to the International Space Station in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. The test flight is part of NASA’s commercial spacecraft programme, and the team examines its goals.

Farming is the most destructive human activity ever to have blighted the Earth according to the writer and environmental activist George Monbiot. His new book Regenesis explores his thinking, and explains why we should all be eating microbes instead of animals.

Read these out loud… “Funk fungus”, “gnome bone”, “spam scrotum”. If you have a smirk across your face, you’re not alone. The team finds out why some word pairings are more funny than others.

On the pod are Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet, Jacob Aron and Michael Le Page. To read about these stories and much more, subscribe at newscientist.com/podcasts.

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