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Content

Energy


Energy



SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: DEFORESTATION ISSUES

Thanks to sustainable rainforest management projects and government regulations, the deforestation rates in the Brazilian rainforest have declined over the past 10 years. However, 20% of the world's CO2 emissions are still caused by deforestation in Indonesia, Brazil and Congo. Kenya and Ivory coast are rapidly destroying thousand year-old jungles, affecting much more than just the local ecosystem. Overgrazing and urbanization are causing the loss of fertile land to deserts in Mongolia and China.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: ECONOMIC ISSUES

The benefits of carbon emission reduction go beyond environmental considerations. They affect future economies, agriculture, sustainability and energy security. Each country is entering sustainability economics with its own history of environmental problems. Local business startups around the world are responding to the demand for sustainable products and provide much needed employment. But, despite being the least responsible for carbon emissions, sub-Saharan Africa remains the most unprepared to face the challenges of climate change.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: FOOD PRODUCTION

The prospect of using farmlands to grow fuel crops is expected to lead to an increase in food shortages and rises in food prices. The scientific community along with government agencies is searching for economic and regulatory incentives for sustainable farming. Genetically modified crops offer a smart but controversial solution to the threats of famine and malnutrition. In Kenya, people cook as a community, while in the Philippines, urbanites turn to subsistence farming.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: GLOBAL WARMING ISSUES

Global climate change is characterized by increased extreme fluctuations in local weather patterns and an overall global warming. An experiment conducted at a biolab in the Rocky Mountains demonstrates how just a few degrees of warming completely change the local ecosystem. Lack of winter ice in the Disko Bay has affected the livelihoods of the locals. Scotland is working toward its record plan of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by the year 2050.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: GREENHOUSE GAS ISSUES

Greenhouse gases have led to a steady increase in global temperatures. Local weather patterns are becoming more and more extreme. The receding and melting of polar ice caps provide easily observable evidence of global warming. Glaciologists measure the changes in the mountain ice, while the CryoSat Project records the changes in the polar ice masses from a satellite. Reduction of dependence of fossil fuels is central to the efforts to stop the greenhouse gas effect.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: LANDFILLS AND WASTE ISSUES

Industrialized societies accumulate tons of waste, and the rising need for electronic devices only exacerbates the issue. The Sierra Club is pushing for standardization of electronic waste recycling, but so far it remains a limited market in the West. Recycling of electronics outsourced to India is done under terrible conditions, exposing workers to an array of toxic materials. Separation of organic and inorganic waste with subsequent recycling of everything from shoes to plastics into construction material is the base of an exemplary waste management program in the Philippines.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: POLLUTION ISSUES

From cardiac and respiratory disease to climate change, the effects of air pollution pose significant health risks to individuals, society and the biosphere. The problem of waste management has transformed the landscapes of poor countries into a tragic view of rivers and drinking water sources, which are littered with unimaginable amounts of trash. See how governments and private organizations struggle to reduce the amount of pollutants from industrial and day-to-day activity.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: SUSTAINABLE LIVING

Throughout the world, innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs are transforming their communities, making the dream of sustainable living a reality. The United Kingdom's push for sustainable housing developments raises awareness of energy efficiency and promotes eco-friendly home design. Cement alternatives developed in Australia reduce the carbon footprint for concrete production by 60%. Two industrial designers from Colombia are creating fashion items from recycled tires. In the Philippines, the inventor of coconut fiber nets shows how his company helps prevent devastating mudslides in the region and provides employment to locals.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: THE CARBON ISSUES

Electricity, transportation, industrial, commercial and residential activities produce six recognized types of greenhouse gases, collectively known as carbon emissions. This episode profiles the approaches different countries are taking to reduce those carbon emissions. The city of Vaxjo, Sweden has pledged to become free of fossil fuels by 2030. There is a push to create an international court for environmental law. In the meantime, an emerging market is growing, with new technologies being implemented: from thermography and LED lights for the homeowners to solar fields and wind farms for whole regions.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: THE ENERGY ISSUES

Worldwide fossil fuel consumption is depleting the natural resources and polluting the environment. The need for alternative fuel sources is growing. Photovoltaic power plants, geysers, small wind turbines and even grasses provide an opportunity for the development of cleaner fuel industry essential for sustainable economy.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: THE WATER ISSUES

While some regions of the world enjoy an abundance of water, one billion people live in areas struggling with drought and drinking water contamination. By 2025, two-thirds of the world's population is expected to face a water shortage. This episode profiles water purification and conservation projects throughout the world, which aim to reduce the environmental and economic threats of a future where water is a scarce commodity.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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SUSTAINABLE FUTURES: TRANSPORT POLLUTION

Pollutants from automotive transport are a major source of greenhouse gases. Government organizations, volunteer and business startups throughout the world are taking steps to reduce emissions of particulate and gas emissions from cars, scooters, buses and commercial aircrafts.

DVD / 2011 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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INNOVATION NATION: BIOFUEL

Will we be able to grow all of our fuel in the future? Along with exploring bold new ways of harvesting energy from biomass, Innovation Nation uncovers an amazing biofuel jet truck, a record breaking flying machine, and a unique car made almost entirely of organic matter.

DVD / 2010 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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INNOVATION NATION: C02

Can we stop, or even reverse global warming? Innovation Nation follows the work of a Nobel Prize winning scientist on the Canadian prairies, an inventor in New York who has designed a unique synthetic tree, and a mega-project in Europe where CO2 instead of being sent skyward, is stored far out of harm's way deep beneath the sea bed.

DVD / 2010 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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INNOVATION NATION: WIND POWER

Can the wind provide us with all of our power? Along with cutting-edge wind farms and new turbine designs, Innovation Nation meets renegade inventor Doug Selsam as he builds the world's first flying turbine, a device that may just change our world.

DVD / 2010 / (Senior High, College) / 24 minutes

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PROMETHEUS PRINCIPLE, THE: PART 2 - WIND ENERGY: THE UNSEEN FORCE

This industry quite literally goes whichever way the wind blows. Of all the renewable energy sources, moving air is the most volatile. Sometimes, the turbines have to make do with a gentle breeze and, at other times, fight against a raging gale. And wind energy scatters opinions like no other. Politicians, energy producers, environmentalists and ordinary citizens all have differing views. In Germany, wind energy was until recently of minor significance, while huge wind parks appeared in the U.S.A. and Denmark. But the climate changed abruptly with the passing of the electricity feed act. Within a few years, Germany had sailed into the lead as a wind-driven resource nation. But the industry quickly ran into a stiff headwind, both from initiatives of citizens who did not want to live near wind parks and from the major power suppliers who wanted to see the electricity feed act repealed. The wind energy business is now moving at a nice clip in many countries around the world. Much depends on the political and social conditions especially in the emerging economies. Whether by land or by sea, wind energy has a great deal of potential.

DVD / 2001 / (Senior High, College) / 25 minutes

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PROMETHEUS PRINCIPLE, THE: PART 3 - NUCLEAR ENERGY: THE POWER OF THE ATOM

In 1945, American planes wiped Hiroshima and Nagasaki off the face of the earth with two atomic bombs, killing over 200,000 people literally in a flash. It was a traumatic awakening for the world.

German researchers had discovered nuclear fission in 1938, demonstrating to the world that untold quantities of energy were locked inside the atom. No other discovery in history has promised such blessings and yet been such a curse. Its potential was first tapped by the military, then, in the 1950s, by the civilian sector, as well. The new technology inspired high-flying visions as the worlds major powers jumped into its development and expansion in, among other things, nuclear power plants. The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 brought a rude awakening of another kind: it showed the world that the safety hazards inherent in this method of energy production had long been underestimated. Also the problems of safely disposing of nuclear waste are still far from being solved. Different views of the future of nuclear power are taken in different parts of the world.


DVD / 2001 / (Senior High, College) / 25 minutes

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PROMETHEUS PRINCIPLE, THE: PART 4 - HYDROELECTRIC POWER: THE ETERNAL CYCLE

Of the renewable energy resources currently being tapped in Germany, hydroelectric power takes the lead with an 85 percent share. That may be because it provides the greatest degree of efficiency, with up to 96 percent of its potential being converted to electricity - and that with no harmful emissions. Nature renews this energy resource through the water cycle all by itself. Even so, this method of energy production is not completely harmless. The power stations turbines often pose a mortal danger to river fauna. And the major reservoir projects often run into bitter opposition as they can mean the devastation of vast stretches of countryside and the forced resettlement of entire communities. But hydroelectric power is still often seen as the best solution- especially in the emerging countries of Asia, Africa and South America, where it can play an important part in satisfying rising energy needs in the coming century.

DVD / 2001 / (Senior High, College) / 25 minutes

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PROMETHEUS PRINCIPLE, THE: PART 5 - BIOMASS: THE STRATEGY OF RENEWABILITY

A fitting description of the continually self-regenerating energy and raw materials resource generally known as biomass might well be solidified solar energy. As a key link in the carbon cycle, tremendous amounts of vegetable material with concentrated reservoirs of energy locked inside are being manufactured round the clock by that greatest of dynamos, the sun. The sheer quantities of material are as enormous as the potential uses for biomass are diverse. Examples taken from various European countries show how effectively energy can be extracted from vegetable materials using a wide variety of methods all determined by specific regional and economic conditions, and yet all highly efficient and all friendly to the environment. The self-regenerating resource called biomass is an ideal example of the harmonization of economy and ecology.

DVD / 2001 / (Senior High, College) / 25 minutes

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PROMETHEUS PRINCIPLE, THE: PART 6 - SOLAR ENERGY: AN INEXHAUSTIBLE RESOURCE

The voracious appetite of the worlds six billion people for energy has given rise to a fast-food system of power supply and consumption. But there is only one source which can truly satisfy this hunger forever: the sun. Like many other visions of the future, the long-touted revolution of solar energy failed to materialize by the end of the millennium. But in the tradition of Prometheus, the pioneers are thinking ahead and, at the same time, blazing a trail for the world to follow, from the photo-voltaic roofers of Austria, to the cottage energy industry of Switzerland, to the architects of a solar village in Sweden; from the grass-roots solar revolutionaries of Germany to the energy entrepreneur with the competitive edge in the U.S.A. the spectrum runs from visionaries to pragmatists who have all put their faith in the only inexhaustible resource. But its only the beginning of a long, long road from shortsighted, fast-food energy consumption to a solar world energy order. The means and the end are a new technology of light.

DVD / 2001 / (Senior High, College) / 25 minutes

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PROMETHEUS PRINCIPLE, THE: PART 7 - ENERGY FOR THE FUTURE: THE GRAND VISION

The rise in the number and severity of weather phenomena and natural disasters over the past years furnishes ominous proof that the earths climate is changing. Yet at the same time, the global demand for energy is mushrooming - an increase of 300 percent has been predicted for the next fifty years. It is also predicted that fossil fuels the primary cause of the climate changes will have forfeited their status as the leading sources of energy production within a few decades. Earth-shaking visions and endeavors are needed to rethink, redefine and reshape the use of energy and its sources for the future. For inventors and economists both, the race is on to find the most efficient and sustainable exploitation of resources and energy. In addition to the opportunities for cutting costs, the real strength of alternative energy technologies lies in the great diversity of ideas and the flexibility of their application. The choice of an energy source - whether solar, wind, biomass, nuclear or hydroelectric energy is of prime importance. Crucial to the future of both energy systems and the world climate will be how quickly ways to capture and store the energy of the sun can be developed and refined. This is the ultimate source of all forms of commercially viable energy on earth and an inexhaustible one. It was the source of the gift of Prometheus the Titan - he who thinks ahead.

DVD / 2001 / (Senior High, College) / 25 minutes

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