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.
(Earth Focus: Episode 34) Human Rights Watch on allegations of gang rape and other abuses at the Pogera Mine in Papua New Guinea, operated by the Canadian firm Barrick Gold. The Tsilhqo’tin and Xeni Gwet’in people of British Columbia, Canada struggle to sop the construction of Prosperity Mine, a gold and copper mine proposed by Taseko Mines Ltd., which would destroy Fish Lake (Teztan Biny), a scared body of water.
(Earth Focus: Episode 33) Rhett Turner and Jonathan Wickham explore water challenges facing the states of Georgia, Florida and Alabama in their film Chattahoochee: From Water War to Water Vision. Filmmaker Stephen Sapienza on providing clean water and sewage services to urban slum dwellers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Water purification packets by Proctor and Gamble provide clean water for millions. Filmmaker Mike Shubbuck on the impact of acid mine drainage in Pennsylvania.
(Earth Focus: Episode 32) The untold stories behind the nuclear disasters. Local residents say radiation from Three Mile Island caused death and disease. Radioactivity from Chernobyl may be linked to diminished intelligence even 30 years after the disaster. After Fukushima, the Japanese government moved the goal posts on what is considered safe radiation exposure for children and nuclear workers.
(Earth Focus: Episode 30) “Energy and the Environment” was the theme of the 2011 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. This episode features clips from the films White Lion and A Community of Gardeners, and takes an in-depth look at three energy films — Houston We Have a Problem, Windfall, and The Pipe through the eyes of their directors: Nicole Torre, Laura Israel, and Risteard O’Domnhaill.
(Earth Focus: Episode 31) Our life depends on the oceans and they’re under threat. The Atlas of Coasts and Oceans shows why. Seafood fraud. One out of three fish sold in the US may be mislabeled. The film Bag It looks at how plastic kills marine life. And why vegetarian fish may be the future of seafood—a look at research into plant based fish feed.
(Earth Focus: Episode 29) With soaring food prices, a growing population and a changing climate, how will we feed the world? We look at both low and high tech solutions – from treadle pumps and urban farming, to genetically modified animals and mega farms. In the developing world, simple solutions help farmers grow and sell more food thereby helping reduce hunger and poverty. In the industrialized world, high tech solutions are often controversial and raise ethical concerns.
Geothermal energy maybe an answer to Africa’s energy needs. Jeff Barbee travels to Hells Gate National Park in Kenya to explore this rapidly advancing energy source. Cast against a backdrop of zebra and giraffes, US based Ormat technologies is revolutionizing Kenya’s energy future and the local job market.
Journalist John Hamilton interviews Bill McKibben, founder of the climate action group 350.org and author of many books including “Eaarth.” McKibben speaks about the proposed controversial Keystone Pipeline, Alberta Tar Sands, and the climate action movement.
Three Mile Island is the worse nuclear accident in US history. Officials say the amount of radiation released from the plant during the 1979 disaster was small — the maximum anyone could have received was equivalent to a chest X-Ray. But medical evidence proves otherwise. Dr. Steven Wing of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, says cancers in local residents were elevated under the path of the radioactive plume that escaped from the plant. Symptoms of radiation exposure were severe and there were chromosomal abnormalities reported in people even 15 years after the event.
If the FDA approves AquaAdvantage salmon, it could be the first genetically modified animal product you eat. Aquabounty Technologies, the Massachusetts based company behind the transgenic salmon says the fish can grow to market size twice as fast as regular salmon. But environmentalists are concerned about the lack of conclusive evidence that the salmon is safe and the lack of guarantees that that if transgenic fish escape they would undermine the population wild salmon.
Danielle Nierenberg, of the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project, travelled to 25 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to find out what really works in hel meeting the food needs of the poor. She explores farming initiatives in urban slums and looks at simple solutions to prevent waste and spoilage of food. Sithembile Ndeme of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network shows how theater empowers women farmers Edward Mukiibi of Uganda’s Project DISC shows how promoting school gardens helps nurture a new generation of African farmers.
The film Houston We Have a Problem steps inside the US oil industry to look at how many of today’s oilmen are becoming the “new wildcatters” – for renewable energy. Director Nicole Torre explains why the 21st century will be about energy independence and why addiction to cheap oil is a drug that can lead to national downfall.