On Second Thought For Thursday, August 3, 2017

First, as natural predators of insects, bats are extremely important to agriculture. Researchers estimate their value to farmers in the U.S. is roughly $23 billion per year, but these are tough times for bats. A malignant fungus known as "white-nose syndrome" has killed a lot of bats over the past 10 years. We talk about this menace with wildlife pathologist Heather Fenton of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study and Georgia State University microbiologist Chris Cornelison.

Next, Wayne Kramer co-founded the Detroit-band Motor City Five back in 1967. The group, better known as MC5, ultimately disbanded in 1973. But Wayne continued playing and has remained a politically vocal artist. He’ll be in Georgia this week performing at CBGB Athens and 529 in Atlanta, proceeds from both shows will go to homeless veterans in the state. We talk with Wayne Kramer about his life, music, and politics. 

Then, pigs are a huge part of Georgia’s economy. They can also cause a lot of problems. A University of Georgia report last year says feral swine caused nearly $99 million in crop damage and $51 million in non-crop damage in 2014, but that doesn’t mean we should hate these animals. We talk about our complicated relationship with pigs with historian Mark Essig, author  of “Lesser Beasts: A Snout-to-Tail History of the Humble Pig.”

Finally, all this year in our series Georgia Eats, we’re exploring the South’s relationship with food. Elaine Read and Matt Weyandt are the creative force behind Atlanta-based Xocolatl. They describe their quest to learn about chocolate in its purest forms.