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Peter Gomes' Favorite Books
Peter Gomes is an American Baptist minister who has served in The Memorial Church at Harvard University since 1970. Gomes is also the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and is the Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church. Gomes is commonly regarded as one of the most distinguished preachers in America. He was named Clergy of the Year in 1998 by Religion in American Life and offered prayers in the inaugurations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
Educated at Bates College and the Harvard Divinity School, Revered Gomes alsoholds thirty-six honorary degrees. He is the author of numerous books on the Bible, including the national best-sellers TheGood Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Sermons:Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living.
Question: What are your favorite books?
Peter Gomes: Well you are touching on a subject very near and dear to me. When I first came to Harvard, there was a great professor here still prowling the grounds named Walter Jackson …, which may ring true to you. His specialty was the age of Samuel Johnson. And he wrote a great biography of Dr. Johnson which was quite a hit in the early 70s. And in it, he discovered Johnson – that 18th century dictionary man – had a list of three favorite books. And it happened to me that I had read all three of those books and they were my favorite books. So I thought I was in very good company with Dr. Johnson and Professor Walter Jackson … . The three books were Cervantes’s “Don Quixote”, Defoe’s “Robin Crusoe”, and John Bunyon’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”. I had read all three of them. And I loved how Johnson described his capacity to return to these books for new material all the time. I loved the idealism of Don Quixote … the man who could make the most ordinary things appear to be beautiful, for whom windmills represented opportunities for challenge and change – fighting them – and who traveled across with his idealism more or less intact … living in his own world in the middle of a reality that was not supportive of his ideals. I liked that. And then I lovevast quantities of those orange-backed books. I loved biography. And I had a fertile imagination. I could live in the world of other people. And to those substantial books, I added such wonderful treasures as “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Wind in the Willows”, where I always imagined myself to be Mr. Toad putting around in a yellow motorcar. There was a whole world that, in my little town of Plymouth, was not off limits to me because it was the world of books and ideas. And all of those have fed into my imagination, and I think that enriches and stimulates my preaching and my … my teaching. Robinson Crusoe, because I love the notion of shipwreck and improvisation – having you create your own world out of the ruins of another world. That was a wonderfully appealing sort of sense of adventure. And it even had a diversity in it, “my man Friday”. I mean, we’ve all been aided by somebody we least expected. And there’s something very excited about taking that stuff off the old ship and creating a new civilization, and not having to go back to the old world out of which he had come. And then of course, coming from Plymouth, I loved John Bunyon and the “Pilgrim’s Progress” – the man with the book on his back – the great Baptist with the sense of a purposeful journey long before Rick Warren ever came along. I rather enjoyed this notion that we’re not just lost and wandering tourists. We are people with a destination. And we go through the … and we pass through vanity fair, and we deal with all of these terrible struggles, because we are meant for the celestial city. So it was wonderful to see that Dr. Johnson took great comfort from these three books because I always did and continue to do so. So that’s an example of the sort of thing the western Canon, much despised and neglected in these parts, has done for me. It’s given me a vocabulary, a set of images, a world into which I could go. I was an avid reader as a young boy. I read everything I could get my hands on. I had all the little prizes in school for reading the most books in the summer. My name is still on the tablet in the children’s room of the public library because I could consume
Recorded on: 6/12/07
Don Quixote and others.
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Here's why you might eat greenhouse gases in the future.
- The company's protein powder, "Solein," is similar in form and taste to wheat flour.
- Based on a concept developed by NASA, the product has wide potential as a carbon-neutral source of protein.
- The man-made "meat" industry just got even more interesting.
Seriously sustainable<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MDIzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjM4NTMzMX0.BCEfYnn6C3z1zUHIS38xOWjXktgamNBi5iyqklSMYK8/img.png?width=980" id="ea524" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="50533380eeb18eb5833b6b6aa3abec38" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Solar Foods<p>Solar Foods makes Solein by extracting CO₂ from air using <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90356326/we-have-the-tech-to-suck-co2-from-the-air-but-can-it-suck-enough-to-make-a-difference" target="_blank">carbon-capture technology</a>, and then combines it with water, nutrients and vitamins, using 100 percent renewable solar energy from partner <a href="https://www.fortum.com" target="_blank">Fortum</a> to promote a natural fermentation process similar to the one that produces yeast and lactic acid bacteria.</p><p>When the company claims its single-celled protein is "free from agricultural limitations," they're not kidding. Being produced indoors means Solar Foods is not dependent on arable land, water (i.e., rain), or favorable weather.</p><p>The company is already working with the European Space Agency to develop foods for off-planet production and consumption. (The idea for Solein actually began at NASA.) They also see potential in bringing protein production to areas whose climate or ground conditions make conventional agriculture impossible.</p><p>And let's not forget all those <a href="https://www.bk.com/menu-item/impossible-whopper" target="_blank">beef-free burgers</a> based on pea and soy proteins currently gaining popularity. The environmental challenge of scaling up the supply of those plants to meet their high demand may provide an opening for the completely renewable Solein — the company could provide companies that produce animal-free "meats," such as <a href="https://www.beyondmeat.com/products/" target="_blank">Beyond Meat</a> and <a href="https://impossiblefoods.com" target="_blank">Impossible Foods</a>, a way to further reduce their environmental impact.</p>
The larger promise<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MDI0MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjU4MTg2OX0.7dZZYT5WEV_EupBuLVFwHynarTiz8RYR9aJtC6Ts2C4/img.jpg?width=980" id="3415d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2e6eebe06d795f844752f9e9d30040d7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Solar Foods<p>The impact of the beef — and for that matter, poultry, pork, and fish — industries on our planet is widely recognized as one of the main drivers behind climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and antibiotic-resistant illness. From the cutting down of rainforests for cattle-grazing land, to runoff from factory farming of livestock and plants, to the disruption of the marine food chain, to the overuse of antibiotics in food animals, it's been disastrous.</p><p>The advent of a promising source of protein derived from two of the most renewable things we have, CO₂ and sunlight, <a href="https://solarfoods.fi/environmental-impact/" target="_blank">gets us out of the planet-destruction business</a> at the same time as it offers the promise of a stable, long-term solution to one of the world's most fundamental nutritional needs.</p>
Solar Foods' timetable<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xOTk0MTEzMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5OTU1OTMwMn0.wnXh56iO_77x2XKV2uIPf78BKw4AJLUpmiyq_JBVGvo/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=172%2C146%2C62%2C135&height=700" id="0297c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="125c9a98ec818f5c241fa28ef1423e67" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Image source: Lubsan / Shutterstock / Big Think<p>While company plans are always moderated by unforeseen events — including the availability of sufficient funding — Solar Foods plans a global commercial rollout for Solein in 2021 and to be producing two million meals annually, with a revenue of $800 million to $1.2 billion by 2023. By 2050, they hope to be providing sustenance to 9 billion people as part of a $500 billion protein market.</p><p>The project began in 2018, and this year, they anticipate achieving three things: Launching Solein (check), beginning the approval process certifying its safety as a Novel Food in the EU, and publishing plans for a 1,000-metric ton-per-year factory capable of producing 500 million meals annually.</p>
The protein powder Solein. Image source: SOLAR FOODS
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