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.

Episodes

Chesapeake: Can Oysters Save the Bay?

(Earth Focus: Episode 65) After centuries of over harvesting and bouts of disease, oyster numbers in the Chesapeake Bay fell along with profits for the oyster industry. Culture and ecology clash as watermen, who depend on harvesting oysters for income, are at odds with scientists and conservationists who want to restore oyster populations. Filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown looks at oysters and the people behind them in her new film Spat! Bringing Oysters Back to the Bay.

America’s Dirty Secret: Coal Ash

(Earth Focus: Episode 64) People in three adjacent Pennsylvania communities suffer from a rare blood cancer. In Juliette, Georgia, where radioactive water flows from the tap, people are also getting sick. What else do these communities have in common? Coal ash. Some 130 million tons of it is generated in the US each year. It contains toxins like lead, arsenic and mercury and it gets into ground water from unlined pond and pit storage sites. The government says it’s non-hazardous. Regulation is left to state governments where the coal industry has great influence. It’s always people who suffer the consequences. 

Killing Dolphins, Dying for Lobsters

(Earth Focus: Episode 63) Thousands of dolphins are killed solely for shark bait each year off the coast of Peru. Jim Wickens of the London-based Ecologist Film Unit documents this illegal practice in an original undercover investigation. Filmmakers Brad Allgood and Josh Wolff document the epidemic of decompression disease or bends suffered by Miskito Indians involved in commercial lobster diving off Nicaragua’s coast.

The Politics of Climate: Conversation with Michael Mann

(Earth Focus: Episode 62) Debate over climate change is polarized. Efforts to discredit the science of climate change by fossil fuel interests are a large part of the reason why says Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University. “If there was a huge industry that would stand to profit greatly if the theory of gravity were wrong you would see the theory of gravity being contested in our US Senate,” he tells Earth Focus correspondent Miles Benson in an exclusive interview. Mann on the politics of climate change and the impact it has had on both science and policy.

Young Voices for the Planet

(Earth Focus: Episode 61) Author and illustrator Lynne Cherry on Young Voices for the Planet, her film series about young people making positive environmental change. Featured are: a nine year old boy from Germany who helped plant more than a billion trees around the world; Florida middle school students who saved more than $53,000 through environmentally actions; an 11 year old girl raised more than $200,000 for bird rescue efforts after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; and students in a Massachusetts high school who changed their cafeteria fare to locally grown food.

Climate Science in Action

(Earth Focus: Episode 60) From researching the pace of Alaskan glacier melt to how changes in Arctic sea ice affect our weather, climate scientists go to some of the most remote areas on Earth to help us understand our environment. Jeff Barbee reports from the 2013 Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) expedition. Julienne Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Data Center looks at the impact changes in Arctic sea ice may have on weather patterns. Climate scientist Michael Mann on rising sea levels.

Shorts

Inside Illicit Ivory and Rhino Horn

African elephants and rhinos are on the verge of extinction. –Criminal syndicates and terrorists are increasingly behind the slaughter of these iconic species. A candid look at illicit wildlife trade and how it funds transnational criminals and insurgents with Professor Louise Shelley, author of Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime and Terrorism and Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center at George Mason University.

Energy Solutions: Solar Power in Ethiopia

Solar power is replacing kerosene in rural Ethiopia with benefits for health, education and small business development.

Nanobiotechnology: Future of Possibilities

Nanobiotechnology pioneer Dr. Anita Goel, MD, PhD and Founder and CEO of Nanobiosym Inc. on the new developments in nanotechnology including portable ways to diagnose disease and how they can transform our world.

Green City of the Future: Stockholm’s Royal Seaport

Stockholm, Sweden’s is transforming the Royal Seaport, an old 236 hectare industrial zone, into a model world class sustainable green city. The Royal Seaport, when completed, will use climate smart and efficient infrastructure to connect 10,000 homes and 30,000 workspaces.

Searching for Sacred Mountain

Filmmakers Gary Marcuse and Shi Lihong capture a surprising trend in China in their new film Searching for Sacred Mountain. China is beginning to draw on its religious heritage — including Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism and other traditions to address the country’s growing environmental challenges. An abridged version of the film with commentary by Gary Marcuse. Produced in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, Face to Face Media and Wild China Film.

Energy Solutions: Solar Greenhouses in the Himalayas

Solar greenhouses are helping to improve health and generate income in Ladakh, India.

Commentary

fracking sign

Fracking Hell? How Poland’s Dash for Gas Turned Sour

Watch the full episode Fracking Goes Global Poland is about to open its doors to an unprecedented gas boom. But with multinational energy companies circling and controversial hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking -- about to begin, people and the environment are in the firing line. Andrew Wasley reports from Gdansk, ...
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fracking future

Fracking Our Future: The Corrosive Influence of Extreme Energy

Watch the full episode Fracking Goes Global. Following in the wake of shale gas and coal-bed methane (CBM) extraction is the spectre of underground coal gasification (UCG). But if we adopt these wholesale we could close off any hope of stepping back from the climate change brink, says UK campaign ...
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Fracking Youngstown

Here in Youngstown: The Promise and Curse of Shale Gas

Watch the full episode Fracking Goes Global There was a saying in Youngstown that the day you didn't have to sweep soot off your porch was the day that spelled trouble. That was more than thirty-five years ago, when the city, nestled in Ohio's Mahoning Valley, was one of the ...
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chemicals

Our Unbalanced Chemical Burden

Watch the full episode Unsafe: The Truth Behind Everyday Chemicals The year 2014 started with a claxon blare of emergency warnings: 300,000 West Virginians were given urgent instructions not to drink or even touch their own tap water. But 300 million other Americans could also hear the alarm's sound as ...
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wolf hunting

Shades of Gray: Living with Wolves

Watch the full episode Shades of Gray Living With Wolves Reviled by ranchers and fawned over by conservationists, the gray wolf has cut a controversial wake in the American landscape ever since it was reintroduced from Canada in 1995. UK investigative journalist Jim Wickens journeys into the heart of the ...
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coal ash

Coal Ash: Both Beneficial and Poisonous?

Watch the full episode America’s Dirty Secret Coal Ash In big cities, during the first half of the 20th Century, shoveling coal in winter months was a familiar part of middle class life. As a kid growing up in a residential borough of New York City, I'd see the coal ...
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