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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

The Future of the British countryside

5/29/2018
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What do we want from our countryside and how much are we willing to pay for it? Tom Heap chairs a debate in response to the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan focusing on "Public Money for Public Goods " and asks what are public goods? Is food a public good? Should public money be used to support food production or conservation and the environment? How can environmental enhancement be measured? What will the landscape of the future look like? Producer: Sarah Blunt.

Duration:00:27:59

Disappearing Alps

5/22/2018
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The permafrost is thawing, the mountains are crumbling and the glaciers retreating. What will be left of the Alps? Peter Hadfield reports from Switzerland. Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Duration:00:27:56

Run Rabbit

5/16/2018
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When was the last time you saw a rabbit - dead or alive? Despite its reputation, a BTO survey suggests European rabbit numbers in the UK have declined by around 60 per cent over the last 20 years. In turn, other species from birds to invertebrates are also suffering as a result. Tom Heap tracks down the story. Myxomatosis wiped out the majority of the population in the 50s and 60s and can still affect the young but now scientists are concerned about Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease. Ironically...

Duration:00:26:30

Antarctic Assault

5/11/2018
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The whales, penguins and other seabirds and marine mammals of the Southern Ocean depend upon a reliable supply of the tiny shrimp-like krill. New developments in fishing and freezing technology mean that we can now join in the feast, popping krill pills for their high Omega 3 content. The writer and chef, Gerard Baker has been working on fishing boats and cruise ships in the Antarctic for twenty years. He's worried that there may not be enough krill to go around, particularly in the...

Duration:00:27:31

Outback Outrage

5/8/2018
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In the Australian Outback survival is tough for plants, animals and people. Food and water are always in short supply. If anyone, or anything, takes too much it can spell disaster. Peter Hadfield travels into the red heart of the continent on the trail of a surprising threat to the delicate balance- wild camels. Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Duration:00:27:52

Demolishing Dams

4/24/2018
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Large hydro-electric dams continue to be planned and built in Africa, Asia and South America. In Western Europe and the US they're tearing them down. Peter Gibbs wants to know why. These wonders of engineering are a symbol of our ability to harness nature to produce renewable energy. The trouble is that many dams radically alter the natural life of rivers and harm their ecosystems. The majority of rivers in Europe and the US have dams on them, many of which are aging and no longer serve...

Duration:00:27:51

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