Earth Focus is a television and web news magazine that combines investigative and feature reports on critical environmental issues facing our world today. Earth Focus aims to help the public better understand a complex and rapidly changing environment and the increasing pressures on our planet’s finite resources. We have 26 minute programs on a variety of issues, shorter clips and blogs by leading environmental journalists. Please feel free to share them. Here is our body of work from 2007-2015.
An original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK’s Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. From toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste that experts fear can contaminate water supplies in major population centers including New York City, are the health consequences worth the economic gains?
“We are Marsifying Earth,” says marine biologist Dr. Sylvia Earle. “We are increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere… We are undermining the integrity of systems that yield what we need to live.” She explains why the ocean is a life support system for the planet — but it’s becoming more acidic. “Most of the oxygen that we breathe comes from the ocean,” she says. So we should take care of it as if our lives depend on it.”
Rear Admiral (Ret.) David W. Titley speaks to Earth Focus on how climate change impacts national security. He served as Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy. Dr. Titley led the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change. He is presently Director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University.
It may be considered a heresy for a Republican member of Congress to say climate change is real and that we should do something about it. But that’s what Bob Ingliss (R-SC) did. He was a member of the House Science Committee and a Ranking Member of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee. Since leaving Congress in 2011, he devoted himself to convincing conservatives to support a revenue neutral carbon tax.
In Nicaragua, commercial diving for lobster has lead to the death of hundreds of indigenous Miskito Indian divers while thousands have become paralyzed from decompression sickness, a diving-related condition known as “the bends.” The film My Village, My Lobster tells their story. With few educational opportunities and almost no alternative sources of employment, Miskito Indians turn to commercial diving in order to support their families.
Over 1,000 rhino were killed for their horn in 2013. Poachers have killed nearly 500 rhino in South Africa in 2014 alone. Plans for an open cast coal mine on the border of South Africa’s Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park are controversial. The park is home to the largest population of the white rhino in the world. For some, it’s about jobs. But mine opponents fear worsening air and water quality and increased poaching and crime. Jeff Barbee reports from South Africa.
In 2007 and 2012, Greenpeace spearheaded expeditions to the Zhemchug and Pribilof Canyons — the largest underwater canyons in the world. These expeditions have not only discovered new species of marine life but are providing scientific data that may help protect these unique and valuable ecological systems.
Thea Mercouffer’s film Rock the Boat follows a controversial kayaking expedition down the partially cemented Los Angeles River, an act of civil disobedience led by satirical writer George Wolfe. Wolfe wanted to show the river was navigable so it could be protected under the Clean Water Act. Produced in collaboration with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.
In Colorado, firefighters are repeatedly putting their lives on the line responding to record-breaking wildfires. Human caused climate changes are transforming the state’s fire environment, bringing higher temperatures, drier fuels and diseases to forests creating a volatile situation for fire fighters and communities. The Story Group takes an inside look at what it’s like to battle some of the biggest wildfires we have ever faced. < ?p>
The reinsurance industry insures insurance companies to help reduce risk associated with underwritten policies. Insurance rates have risen in areas with extreme weather events. Frank Nutter, President of Reinsurance Association of America, says climate change will have a significant impact on the economy going forward and should be factored in both public and private insurance.
Drilling for oil and gas releases chemicals into the air, chemicals that in low concentrations (parts per trillion) can affect how babies develop in the womb. Many of these chemicals are not monitored or measured despite the fact that they may also cause cancer, neurological, or immunological problems. The late Dr. Theo Colborn, who headed The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, looks at the health consequences of drilling for fossil fuels.
Cosmetics and personal care products are among the least regulated consumer products on the market today. Of the 12,000 chemicals used in the cosmetics industry today, some 80 percent have never been assessed for safety. Mia Davis of Beautycounter takes a candid look at look at cosmetic safety and what consumers need to know.
Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of The Xerces Society, on how neonicotinoid pesticides impact the environment. They are now found in stream and well samples across the United States, are not only affecting pollinators like bees and butterflies but killing insects — the underpinning of the food chain.
Climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann on ice melt, rising seas and why the findings of the 2013 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) falls short. Mann says if we continue with business as usual fossil fuel emissions, global sea level will rise by as much as two meters (six feet) by the end of this century — almost twice as high as the IPCC currently projects. A six foot sea rise is a catastrophic prospect for many coastal areas including the East Coast and Gulf Coasts of the United States as well as for small island nations around the world, many of which will be submerged. He argues that the IPCC is more conservative and reticent in what they are willing to conclude given the body of existing evidence.