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Costing the Earth

BBC

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts, questioning accepted truths, challenging those in charge and reporting on progress towards improving the world

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts, questioning accepted truths, challenging those in charge and reporting on progress towards improving the world
More Information

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts, questioning accepted truths, challenging those in charge and reporting on progress towards improving the world

Language:

English


Episodes

Shifting Spring

4/23/2018
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We've just endured a tough winter but some records suggest that Spring now begins on average 26 days earlier than it did 10 years ago. Lindsey Chapman investigates how shifting seasons are affecting our wildlife. Bumblebees in January, daffodils blooming early, 'thuggish-vegetation' thriving as a result of mild winters and damp summers: the seasons appear to be blurring and wildlife is becoming confused. The overall impact is 'quite staggering' according to Matthew Oates, butterfly expert...

Duration:00:27:37

Undiscovered Colombia

4/17/2018
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Colombia is second only to Brazil in the extent of its rich biodiversity but armed conflict over a half century has limited exploration and charting of much of its land. Those researchers who braved it risked kidnap, injury or death. But in 2016 President Santos signed a peace treaty with the FARC guerrilla fighters which has opened the door for collaborations and exploration of previously occupied areas home to potentially thousands of new species of flora and fauna. Costing the Earth...

Duration:00:27:46

Dunes into Bunkers

4/3/2018
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It's a decade since Donald Trump began building his golf resort on the enormous mobile sand dunes of Balmedie in Aberdeenshire. Conservation organisations bitterly protested and the idea of building golf courses on sensitive dune habitats seemed tainted. Today, however, a new course is being proposed for Coul Links on the stunning coastline to the north of Inverness. Peter Gibbs investigates the impact of Trump's development and the increasingly bitter controversy over the new course....

Duration:00:27:38

Superwood

3/28/2018
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Anything made from oil can now be made from trees, so is a new age of wood about to dawn? Tom Heap visits Finland which is pushing for a new industrial revolution based on trees and plants rather than oil and coal. He takes a glimpse into a future where cars, clothes, computers screens, and everything else we buy could begin its life in the forest. And he finds out how the UK is leading the way towards wooden skyscrapers. Producer Sarah Swadling.

Duration:00:27:41

Microfibre Detectives

3/27/2018
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Around two thirds of fibres produced globally are synthetic material - many used in our clothing. It's emerged that plastic microfibres are being shed when we wear and wash these items - which ironically include fleeces and kit worn by 'outdoorsy types' like Tom Heap. With microplastics in the marine environment now high on the agenda, Tom hears how these tiny invisible strands can be a major contributor to the scale of plastics in the oceans. They also pollute land and freshwater and are...

Duration:00:28:13

A Greener Home For All

3/13/2018
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Our homes and their construction have a huge impact on the environment. The construction industry is estimated to contribute to 40% of worldwide energy use and in the UK alone the building sector uses more than 400 million tons of material a year, many of which have an adverse impact on the environment. Added to this is the impact on local air quality and green spaces and the energy used in heating, lighting and even furnishing new homes. The government has set a target of 300,000 new...

Duration:00:27:52

Coral versus Coal

3/7/2018
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The rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef is one of the environmental crises of the decade. But who is to blame? Environmental activists have accused successive Australian governments of underestimating the threats to the reef from agriculture and the shipping industry but their focus is now on a coal mine. India's Adani corporation has government support for the development of one of the world's largest new mines at Carmichael, inland from the Great Barrier Reef. Construction would...

Duration:00:27:35

Defenders of the Reef

2/27/2018
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Marine biologist and film-maker, Ellen Husain studied the Great Barrier Reef for her Masters degree thirteen years ago. Today she's back to dive with her old supervisor. The picture is grim. So much of the life she remembers has gone, wiped out by the great coral bleaching events caused by rising sea temperatures. Some who love the reef are in despair, others who once chose to ignore the signs are finally energised, determined to do what they can to slow or even reverse the decline. Ellen...

Duration:00:27:51

Everything's Gone Green!

2/20/2018
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In the last General Election environmental issues barely merited a mention. Nine months on and the Prime Minister is making keynote speeches on recycling and Michael Gove is issuing a flurry of policy initiatives to get the green-minded voter on-side. Tom Heap sets out to discover why this remarkable transformation has taken place. Is it the Attenborough Effect, the power of the newly-green Daily Mail or a blatant attempt to woo the youth vote? Perhaps senior politicians have actually come...

Duration:00:27:26

Bonn Climate Talks: Where next?

11/14/2017
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Tom Heap is in Bonn for the United Nations annual climate change discussions. It is the first year with Donald Trump in power as president of the United States of America and Tom will be exploring what impact his climate stance will have on the conference talks and any future agreements. Tom's guests are Lou Leonard, senior vice president of climate and energy at WWF US. He leads their climate program in the US and he is in Bonn to represent the 'We Are Still In' movement, referring to...

Duration:00:27:39

America's Climate Resistance

11/7/2017
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It's a year since President Trump was elected. In that time he has appointed a climate sceptic as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, he has insisted that he will bring the coal industry back, and he still has not appointed a science advisor. Roger Harrabin travels to the USA to meet those spearheading the resistance to President Trump's climate policies. In California he meets Governor Jerry Brown. Jerry is determined that California pushes ahead towards a cleaner future. He...

Duration:00:27:47

Tony's Farm

10/31/2017
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When Anna Jones was growing up, the air was clean and the grass was lush. She lived on a farm in Shropshire, and phrases such as 'greenhouse gas emissions' and carbon footprints were associated with towns and cities - factories, cars and aerosols. Not anymore. We now know that 10% of the UK's greenhouse emissions come from farms, and there is a concerted effort to encourage farmers to reduce their carbon footprint. But in a world where the idea of stewardship has only recently taken hold,...

Duration:00:27:27

Fish Farms of the Future

10/26/2017
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A new study suggests farmed fish could be key to feeding a growing global population. Fish are an efficient source of protein and already over half the fish we now eat are farmed. However, this phenomenal growth in the production of salmon and other popular seafood has had a detrimental effect on their wild cousins. Wild salmon numbers have fallen and conservationists blame the fish farms for the spread of disease, sea lice and the pollution of habitats. Most farmed fish also require a...

Duration:00:27:42

Where Does Our Waste Go?

10/17/2017
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Where do the contents of our bins end up? Tom Heap lifts the lid on the recycling industry to find out what happens to our waste beyond the kerbside collection. What does 'recycling' mean? Are bottles and tins and plastic packaging recycled when they're collected from our homes? They might well be taken to the local MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) and separated out into different waste streams, but what happens then? Embarking on a road journey along the recycling chain, Tom Heap tracks...

Duration:00:27:44

The Future of Fashion

10/10/2017
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It may seem odd when an industry that relies on seasonal trends and consumption talks about 'going green'. But Lucy Siegle has had a keen eye to the fashion industry and has been charting efforts to improve things. She heads to La Scala in Milan for the very first Green Carpet Fashion Awards, rubbing shoulders with Gisele, Anna Wintour and Giorgio Armani, where the big names in the industry are gathering to respond to calls for greener fashion. Is this the sign of new era starting from the...

Duration:00:27:57

Dare to Share

10/3/2017
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The ability to share underused resources like holiday homes and car journeys through online sites has disrupted many sectors of the economy. Many people now travel using 'Airbnb' or 'Uber' and being able to deal directly with the owner of the property or the driver of the car has opened up additional revenue streams for some and cheaper travel options for us all. As many more industries are about to be 'disrupted' by sharing technology Tom Heap discovers how the sharing economy might also...

Duration:00:27:52

Guardians of the Environment?

9/29/2017
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Tom Heap asks if the Environment Agency is fit for purpose. After seven years of deep cuts to its staffing and budgets, Tom Heap asks the EA's Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, to respond to her critics. We hear from those who are concerned that the EA is doing too little, too late when it comes to protecting the quality of our rivers and the environment, and that it can appear toothless when dealing with the rising tide of waste crime. Senior Conservative politician, John Gummer, now Lord Deben,...

Duration:00:27:51

Fight the Power

9/20/2017
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Meet Gina Lopez, the radical green activist who suddenly found herself appointed Environment Minister for the Philippines. Rodrigo Duterte was elected President with the promise to cut crime by killing thousands of criminals. He lived up to expectations, initiating a vicious war against suspected drug dealers, ignoring the protests of international human rights groups. But Duterte wasn't just tough on street criminals, he also planned to crack down on the environmental abuses of large...

Duration:00:27:31

Battery Powered Britain

9/12/2017
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New developments in battery technology are changing the way we power Britain. More efficient, higher capacity batteries expand the range of electric vehicles and allow solar and wind power plants to provide smooth, 24 hour electricity. Tom Heap is in Cornwall where power companies and local innovators are developing a new battery-powered economic model that could be rolled out to the rest of the UK. From mining the lithium that makes the batteries to holiday parks producing clean power for...

Duration:00:27:25

Tourist Tide

9/5/2017
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Can beautiful places welcome mass tourism without environmental destruction? Tom Heap reports. There's been a summer of discontent in some of Europe's most popular tourist destinations. In Venice and Barcelona there have been a series of protests over their inundation by visitors. In the capital of the Basque country, San Sebastian, 'tourists go home' graffiti has appeared. Dubrovnik is capping the number of visitors allowed in the old city. Even the Isle of Skye told people not to come...

Duration:00:27:37

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