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Content

Environmental Issues


Environmental Issues



DESERTS: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTS

Deserts occupy more area of the surface of our planet than any other type of landscape. They occur in all climatic zones including the hottest and coldest locations on Earth. This program examines deserts around the world, explaining why they exist and the different climate drivers at work in their formation and physical characteristics. It also covers human life in deserts and the various ways in which people adapt to living in a dry environment, and their impact on fragile desert ecosystems. It features a range of imagery of different deserts around the world, and uses graphics to clearly explain the natural processes at work.

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DVD / 2012 / 18 minutes

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DROUGHT IN AUSTRALIA: NATURAL HAZARDS

Australia is the driest continent on the planet. In many parts of this nation drought is a fact of life, and at just about any point in time, somewhere in Australia will be experiencing one. This program examines the effects of drought, with emphasis on its effects on society, the economy and the agricultural sector. Featuring interviews with environmental scientist Dr Terry Walshe, together with vegetable farmer Peter Schreur and Mildura-based farmers Bob McCarthy and Neil Bennett, it explores the nature of drought, the climatic causes of drought, the environmental effects and strategies to manage it. This is an excellent resource for students of Geography, Environmental and Agricultural Sciences.

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DVD / 2012 / 19 minutes

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DROUGHT

Areas such as the Horn of Africa are suffering severe droughts brought on by seasonal changes, climate change, political troubles and population increases. Those worst affected by droughts are reduced to eating boiled flowers. The effects of famine are felt for generations.

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 24 minutes

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EARTHQUAKES

Earthquakes are sudden, unpredictable movements of the Earth's crust. Certain parts of the world are especially susceptible to these types of catastrophic events. Vulnerable countries are working toward developing reliable early warning systems so that they can better prepare their people and cities for impending disaster.

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 24 minutes

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EXTINCTION

Our planet's untouched natural environments are shrinking, due to pressure from human populations. As these areas decline, the creatures adapted to live in them face a decline in numbers, and sometimes even extinction altogether. Many biologists believe that if we don't act quickly, half the world's species will be gone in 100 years.

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 24 minutes

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FLOOD

With average temperatures rising globally, floods are becoming more frequent and prolonged. This episode reviews the effects of floods, and discusses the measures being taken to prevent or combat these effects in Italy, Argentina, Bangladesh and The Netherlands

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 24 minutes

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GLACIER

The world's glaciers are breaking away and melting at a rate that cannot be replenished. We travel to France, Greenland, Bolivia and Argentina with glaciologists and students, taking core samples and establishing what needs to be done to minimize the devastating effects of glacial melting. This episode also follows four extreme kayakers.

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 24 minutes

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ICE

The bulk of the earth's fresh water is locked away in polar ice caps, and 90% of the world's ice can be found in Antarctica. Ice dwelling animals are affected by glacial melts around the planet. Glaciologists are researching the effect carbon dioxide emissions are having on the planet's decreasing ice supplies.

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 24 minutes

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REEF

Coral reefs are incredibly bio-diverse areas formed in nutrient-poor water. Over millions of years the cumulative work of tiny coral polyps has built vast formations that support coral, plants and other species. This episode reviews some of the most remarkable coral reefs on the planet, and examines the effects tourism and fishing are having on these delicate ecosystems

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 24 minutes

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STORMS

Storms manifest as Hurricanes, Cyclones, Sandstorms, Sea Storms and Tornadoes. Some geographic locations are more susceptible to cyclogenesis and the resulting devastation. Sailors participating in the Sydney to Hobart Race are often at the mercy of severe storms, and parts of America and India have been seriously affected by Hurricanes in the last decade.

DVD / 2012 / (Senior High - College) / 24 minutes

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EXPLORING CORAL REEFS: REPRODUCTION AND SURVIVAL

Enter the fantastic undersea world of corals to learn about the variety of reproductive strategies these tiny animals use to ensure their survival. Despite their limited distribution, coral reefs are vital to the health of the world's oceans and to people living near by.

Join host Dr. Kiki Sanford as she explores the amazing life of corals with Dr. Peter Harrison, one of the world's foremost authorities on corals and their reproduction. Learn how corals utilize different reproductive means like budding, internal and external fertilization, and the remarkable phenomenon of mass spawning to enhance genetic diversity and survival. Dr. Harrison shows how a suite of reproductive techniques may help corals overcome their current decline due to human abuse and global warming.

Enhanced by high definition underwater cinematography and animated sequences, the five instructional modules provide a clear introduction to coral reproduction and coral ecology. Viewers will also learn what a coral scientist does and what it takes to become one.

The DVD includes:

Five Video Modules
  • The work of a coral reef scientist (6:00)
  • Coral reef reproduction (7:00)
  • Coral reef mass spawning (8:00)
  • Coral repair mechanisms (6:15)
  • Coral survival (6:30)

    Review
  • "The videos are amazingly intimate and the animated graphics do a fine job of explaining the life of the corals. The excellent underwater photography makes this program useful for the study of coral reefs and environmental science. The future of coral reefs is bleak, but the video encourages students to become involved and to consider joining the scientific forces attempting to slow or even reverse the degradation." - School Library Journal

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2011 / (Grades 6 - Adult) / 36 minutes

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    POLAR EXPLORER, THE

    As this hard-hitting film reports, we're currently at a vital threshold. Previously inaccessible areas at both poles are opening up due to climate change and melting ice.

    Today modern-day polar explorers are racing to understand the drastically changing ecosystems at both ends of the Earth X the Arctic and Antarctica. As this hard-hitting film reports, we're currently at a vital threshold. Previously inaccessible areas at both poles are opening up due to climate change and melting ice. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, we're able to explore Earth's last frontiers and unearth new discoveries that could affect the course of all life on our planet. This film and its findings were so significant, the United Nations invited filmmaker Mark Terry to screen it at the Climate Change Conference in Cancun in December 2010. Did the film influence policy-makers and result in a new resolution being adopted? Find out in the film's dramatic conclusion.

    Awards
  • Winner of Audience Choice Award - American Conservation Film Festival 2011
  • Winner of Gemini Humanitarian Award - Gemini Awards 2011
  • Winner for Best Experimental Film - Alaska International Film Festival 2011
  • Winner of Silver Ace Award - Las Vegas International Film Festival 2011
  • Winner for Best Documentary Feature, Best Cinematography and Best Narration - Los Angeles Movie Awards 2011
  • Winner for Featured Film Environment Category - The Arctic Film Festival Grand Marais, Minnesota 2011

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2011 / (Grades 9-12, Adult Education, Post Secondary) / Approx. 45 minutes

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    TOXIC TEARS

    By Tom Deiters & Hilbert Kamphuisen

    Toxic Tears looks at the little-known darker side of the "Green Revolution" in India that transformed agriculture, but has negatively impacted thousands of farmers in the country.

    The Green Revolution of the mid 20th Century was aimed at greatly reducing starvation in the Third World. But the high-yielding seeds and mono-crops central to its success required heavy use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and water, with a higher cost than the traditional, more natural methods that were abandoned. While the Green Revolution did increase yields of grains and initially benefited farmers, the price paid proved very high in India, leading to heavy indebtedness, disharmony, environmental degradation, and thousands of suicides among farmers.

    Toxic Tears features farmers, local merchants, and moneylenders in the Southern Punjab region who tell their stories. Two older farmers in one village describe how farming in the past was different from today, and how their sons were forced to take more loans from banks and local moneylenders. Heavily in debt, they took their lives by drinking pesticides, and were among the 25 farmers who committed suicide in recent years in their village. One villager who continued to farm organically describes how the use of pesticides is like a drug addiction, making both farmers and the land dependent upon them, and at great cost.

    Reviews
  • "Toxic Tears takes a hard look at the alleged perversions of the system...(and) highlights an undeniable problem..." - Radio Netherlands Worldwide

  • "Toxic Tears profiles the heart-broken men and women in Punjab's villages who lost their sons to faulty farming practices. - The Times of India

    DVD (English and Hindi, Closed Captioned, With English subtitles) / 2011 / (Grades 9 - Adult) / 25 minutes

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    WAKING THE GREEN TIGER

    By Gary Marcuse and Betsy Carson

    Waking the Green Tiger tells the dramatic story of the rise of the first major grassroots environmental movement in China, a significant development that could reshape the country. Seen through the eyes of farmers, journalists, activists and a former government insider, the film traces the historical evolution of the movement and highlights an extraordinary campaign to stop a huge dam project slated for the Upper Yangtze River in southern China.

    Featuring archival footage never seen outside China, and interviews with insiders and witnesses, the documentary also portrays the earlier history of Chairman Mao's campaigns to conquer nature in the name of progress. Mao mobilized millions of people in campaigns that reshaped China's landscape, destroyed lakes, forests and grasslands, and unleashed dust storms. Despite the evident consequences, critics of this approach were silenced for decades.

    The green movement emerged when a new environmental impact law was passed in 2004. For the first time in China's history, ordinary citizens gained the right to speak out and take part in government decisions. Green activism grew into a larger movement as local villagers and urban activists joined forces to oppose a massive new dam at Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Upper Yangtze that would have displaced 100,000 people. Their extraordinary campaign is a primary focus of the film.

    Reviews
  • "Gary Marcuse's stirring documentary celebrates the brave souls at the forefront of China's new revolution." - Vancouver International Film Festival

  • "Stirring... this engaging documentary shakes up a lot of assumptions we may have about China and opens our eyes to a revolution that brings on public debate." - Toronto Star

  • "Waking the Green Tiger is wonderful, an amazing story that opens an unexpected window onto China." - Ronald Wright, author, A Short History of Progress

    Awards
  • Best Canadian Documentary, Planet in Focus Film Festival, Toronto
  • Winner, Top 10 Canadian Films, Vancouver International Film Festival

    DVD (English and Mandarin, Closed Captioned, With English Subtitles) / 2011 / (Grades 9 - Adult) / 78 minutes

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    PLAYING GOD WITH PLANET EARTH

    It may sound like a sci-fi movie - scientists mimic the effects of a volcanic explosion in a desperate bid to reverse global warming - but it's really happening. As this Doc Zone program reveals, scientists are experimenting with radical schemes to cool the planet. Could these remedies be a form of technological suicide?

    Salting the ocean with iron dust to trigger plankton blooms, shooting salt crystals into clouds to make them brighter, genetically-engineering "robo trees" to hoover carbon from the air - these are just a few of the big ideas under consideration. But the one form of "solar radiation management" likely to work fastest in a climate emergency would be to mimic the effects of a huge volcano by spraying clouds of sulphuric acid into the stratosphere. Jet drones or high-altitude balloons could do the job. Quick and cheap compared to breaking our addiction to carbon and retooling the industrial revolution.

    The problem? We might cause unintended consequences by reducing rainfall, causing drought and mass starvation. Will geoengineering save the day - or trigger disaster on a planetary scale?


    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2010 / (Grades 8-12, Adult Education, Post Secondary) / Approx. 43 minutes

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    TERRA ANTARCTICA: REDISCOVERING THE SEVENTH CONTINENT

    By Jon Bowermaster,

    Filmmaker, author and adventurer Jon Bowermaster provides a unique, up-close introduction to the stark beauty, fragility and importance of the remote continent of Antarctica. For six weeks Bowermaster and his team explored the Antarctic by sailboat, sea kayak, foot and small plane -- observing first-hand the fast -changing evolution of the continent.

    The earth is a complex system with Antarctica its heart. The annual expanding and shrinking of the ice sheet, which holds about 70% of the earth's fresh water, affects the entire planet's weather and oceans. Today, the continent is increasingly impacted by human activities: global warming is causing the ice to melt at a greater pace and endangering wildlife, nations are fighting over Antarctica's natural resources, and the area has become a major tourist destination.

    Bowermaster's film mixes footage of stunning scenery with factual information in an engaging and entertaining way. We witness the rarely seen collapse of a massive ice arch, hike through massive snow mountains, visit with biologists tracking declining penguin populations, and scientists monitoring the ozone layer from the site where the hole in the ozone was first discovered.

    Jon Bowermaster has traveled around the world for the last decade to study, film and write about the human impact on the world's oceans.

    Awards
  • Winner, Best Ocean Issues, Blue Ocean Film Festival
  • Winner, Best of Festival, Vancouver Int'l Mountain Film Fest

    DVD / 2010 / (Grades 8-Adult) / 48 minutes

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    BATTLE OF THE BAG

    Plastic bags. Canadians alone use about six billion of the handy throwaway items every year. They take hundreds of years to biodegrade and have sparked heated debates in cities from San Francisco to Mumbai. This documentary gets a handle on the bag battle. From the big oil employees who brought the bag to America, to the Nobel laureate fighting for a bag ban, to the retired German schoolteacher who holds the world's record for the most plastic bags, the film takes stock of this icon of convenience culture.

    Award
  • Gemini Award (2008): Best Science, Technology, Nature, Environment or Adventure Documentary Program

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2007 / (Grades 10-12, Adult Education, Post Secondary) / 44 minutes

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    ARCTIC RUSH

    The white blanket encircling the North Pole is receding. As the ice melts, Arctic Rush focuses on the last greatest land grab in human history with grave consequences for the world's economy, the environment and for the millions who live in the region. Against a stunning Arctic backdrop, local Inuit leaders and reindeer herders, polar scientists, environmental leaders and big thinkers present their concerns for the land and its people. With the probable evolution of a new ocean among other things to consider, the arctic is a land of high stakes and fascinating possibilities.

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2006 / (Grades 7-12, Adult Education, Post Secondary) / 46 minutes

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    WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE POLAR BEARS OF HUDSON BAY?

    What happens when a creature perfectly adapted for life and snow finds its habitat melting away? Global warming has forced the polar bears of Canada's Hudson Bay to confront this reality and the possible threat of extinction. Experts from the Canadian Wildlife Service track and monitor the polar bears and show how their shrinking environment leads to less food, starvation and in many cases, death of the polar bears. The far reaching consequences of global warming is clearly illustrated in this enlightening documentary.

    DVD / 1999 / (Grade 7-12, Post Secondary, Adult Education) / Approx. 16 minutes

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    FIELD OF GENES

    Technology has quietly slipped into the food chain, shifting genes from one life form to another. But are these high tech foods safe for us and for the environment? What are the long term consequences for the farming industry and even the "independent" researchers as they become increasingly dependent on corporations that fund research? This documentary deals with the reality that more and more bio-engineered food is arriving in stores daily and consumers don't know what's been genetically altered and what's not. The issue of control is a key factor for all parties concerned. The National also takes a look at the current state of the organic farming industry.

    DVD / 1997 / (Grades 7-12, Post Secondary, Adult Education) / 45 minutes

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    NATURAL DISASTERS

    Daily Planet takes a look at some of the world's biggest disasters. From the Asian tsunami to the prospect of a sinking Shanghai, not to mention New Orleans and the plan to save Venice from a similar fate.

    DVD / (Grade 9 or above) / 45 minutes

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