Federal unemployment expires; Could COVID variants outpace science?; Plus a report on the sea creatures laying waste to California’s kelp forests

Without predators to keep them in check, urchin populations can explode and begin eating their way through kelp forests, turning them into urchin barrens.
Photo by Kate Davis, UC Santa Barbara.

On today’s show:

0:08 – Mitch Jeserich (@MitchJeserich) joins us to tell the story of where he was on 09/11/2001 and discuss what the nation will do now that the federal unemployment benefits have expired.

0:34 – Dr. John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus of infectious diseases at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health joins us to discuss a new COVID variant, which has captured the attention of the World Health Organization. Listeners call in with their COVID science questions.

1:08 – Scott Baba filed this report on the collapse of kelp forests and the the vast but mostly unseen changes happening in our own underwater backyard.

1:34 – We revisit this 2015 interview with Brian Fagan, professor emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara who discusses his book The Intimate Bond: How Animals Shaped Human History.