Costing the Earth
The little Scottish island of Eigg is teaching the world how remote communities can power themselves with clean, green energy. Tom Heap meets the locals who've built the pioneering system and the international visitors who are eager to learn their...
The Ozone Hole Thirty Years On
In May 1985 Joe Farman, Jonathan Shanklin and Brian Gardiner of the British Antarctic Survey published their paper in the scientific journal Nature. It revealed there was a large and expanding hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic and that the...
Britain's Environment: The Debate
How will the next government tackle Britain's environmental problems? The politics of the environment and our food supply are vital for the future of the planet. Tom Heap hosts a debate asking if this election campaign has raised the issues that need...
China's Water Revolution
China has powered its development with water. When it needed energy for industry it built the largest hydro-electric dams in the world. When the farmland and factories of northern China were threatened with drought an enormous canal was built to pipe...
Tom Heap investigates whether eco-cities are living up to their promise. In years gone by, Costing the Earth has visited two eco-cities, which both promised that rapid urban development could be green, sustainable and profitable. Dongtan in China was...
The bulldozers have already begun work on London's 'cycle superhighways' or 'Crossrail for bikes'. Cycling enthusiasts have declared these segregated lanes to be the infrastructure which London needs to make cycling much more appealing for all. Andrew...
Could the return of the Pine Marten mean the end of the Grey Squirrel takeover? Tom Heap examines emerging evidence that where Pine Marten populations are healthy, Grey Squirrel numbers crash and native Red Squirrels increase. Tom meets the...
Climate Change: Inconvenient Facts?
With arctic sea ice shrinking and Antarctic sea ice growing, Tom Heap asks what is happening to the climate. Despite the consensus of scientists around the world, there are still some anomalies in the computer models of the future climate. Tom Heap is...
The Price of Cheap Oil
In this week's Costing The Earth Tom Heap asks what the falling price of oil means for the environment. First thoughts would be 'not good'. Lower prices mean that people don't need to be so careful how much fuel they use so what will the consequences...
Lava: A Dangerous Game
A report from the United Nations published this week highlights for the first time the international impacts of volcanoes. Previously regarded as a local problem for people in Iceland, Indonesia or Central America the UN now recognises that our...
A Decade of Fracking
After a decade of fracking, communities in Texas are still arguing about the pros and cons of the shale gas industry. With the industry ready to begin production in Lancashire, Tom Heap compares and contrasts the hopes and fears of Texans with those...
Power to the People
There's no doubt that 'People Power' can transform a community, when keen volunteers come together to collectively improve their lot. But what happens when People Power can be measured in watts and volts? Communities up and down the country are taking...
El Nino: Driving the Planet's Weather
Meteorologist, Peter Gibbs investigates the global impact of the weather phenomenon El Nino. Forecasts predict El Nino will occur at the end of this year, creating fear in many communities around the world. Flooding, drought and famine have all been...
When Mosquitoes Attack!
Jheni Osman investigates whether the threat of mosquito-borne disease is moving closer to home in the UK. She joins Public Health England's Medical Entomologist, Jolyon Medlock, hunting for signs of the invasive Asian Tiger Mosquito in the motorway...
Whilst many parts of the United States have suffered drought this summer, for Texas it's been going on for years. Wells and reservoir levels are at a fraction of what they should be and farmers and residents have been forced to face some big changes....
The Diesel Decade
The air quality in our towns and cities has remained stubbornly filthy over the last ten years despite tightening regulations on the poisonous emissions our cars can legally belch out. That means more lung disease and more heart attacks. New research...
Britain's Overseas Wildlife
Britain's Overseas Territories from the Caribbean to the Falkland Islands contain a treasure trove of wildlife. A new report from the RSPB reveals that 94% of unique UK species live beyond our shores. But many of those astonishing creatures are at...
Massive batteries? Compressing or liquefying air? Moving gravel uphill on ski lifts? Tom Heap looks at some of the big ideas proposed for storing energy using science or the landscape and explores which may become a reality if we're to keep the lights...
CostEarth: 06 May 2014: The Future of our Food
Where will our food come from in the future? Tom Heap chairs the debate from the Bristol Food Connections Festival. Produced in Bristol by Martin Poyntz-Roberts
CostEarth: 29 Apr 2014: Chemical Weapons 100 years on
With the end of April being the deadline for Syria to sacrifice its entire arsenal of chemical weapons, Tom Heap finds out the nitty-gritty of how they're going to be disposed of.
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