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Dust: Salvage, Water, and Hope for the Modern World
with Jay Owens

In this episode, Kate sits down with author Jay Owens to talk about her book Dust: The Modern World in a Trillion Particles. Together, they unravel the paradoxes and challenges posed by dust – a small particle that makes a big impact throughout history. Discover how dust connects the Sahara to the Amazon, influences snowmelt, and carries historical significance, embodying both awe and horror. Dust underpins everything – it is, as Jay says, “a boundary crosser, a transgressor” and makes itself known in ice cores, the aftermath of the atomic bomb, in the drying up of bodies of water, and the pollution from our highways. It is the mark of the modern world and our incalculable impact on it. It underlines our interconnectedness and highlights the uncertainty about what happens next. This is also a call to salvage, to look at the externalities, and embrace hope at a local level.


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Find Jay:

Dust: The Modern World in a Trillion Particles

Instagram: @hautepop

X: @hautepop

Other Writing

Resources Mentioned:

Ways of Being by James Bridle

How Infrastructure Works by Deb Chachra 

The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks

Also Check Out These Episodes:

Infrastructure with Deb Chachra

Water with Heather Hansman

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