Earth Focus

Fueling Change: Two Neighboring Towns Pit the Legacy of Oil Against a Renewable Future

California is famous for implementing policies to protect the environment, yet it has also been one of the biggest crude oil producers in the country since the mid-19th century. Kern County supplies more than 60 percent of the state’s high demand for oil but reserves are running out, leaving only crude that is accessible through fracking methods. 

The mayors of the neighboring towns of Taft and Arvin face off on stark differences in their administrations’ priorities. While Taft mayor Dave Noerr promotes the economic benefits and practical realities of a society demanding petroleum, Arvin mayor Jose Gurrola advocates for the health of residents and their right to clean air and water.

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Full Episodes
Season
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Episode
26:40
Earth Focus

Vanishing Coral

“Vanishing Coral” presents the personal story of scientists and naturalists who are working with local communities to protect coral reefs that are being destroyed by warming seas, pollution, and destructive fishing practices.
Episode 74
Can Religion Save the Environment?
Episode
25:02
Earth Focus

Can Religion Save The Environment?

Led by Buddhist monks, Cambodia's indigenous Chong people protest the construction of a hydroelectric dam. The dam, to be built by the Chinese company Sinohydro, would displace the Chong and destroy their ancestral forest home. Kalyanne Mam documents their plight in her film "Fight For Areng Valley." China is beginning to draw on its religious traditions — Tibetan Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism — to help address serious environmental challenges as profiled in Gary Marcuse and Shi Lihong's film "Searching for Sacred Mountain."
Episode 72
Elephants
Episode
26:40
Earth Focus

Illicit Ivory

Elephants have lived in the savannas and forests of Africa for more than two million years. They are the largest land animals on Earth – and one of the most intelligent. They feel emotions like grief and joy. Can they even survive in the wild anymore?
Episode 71
Climate Change: Rising Cost
Episode
26:40
Earth Focus

Climate Change: The Rising Cost

The cost of climate change is rising and its consequences are increasingly threatening our national security.
Episode 70
Bees
Episode
26:44
Earth Focus

Neonicotinoids: The New DDT?

Neonicotinoids, the most widely used insecticides in the world, have been linked to the decline of honeybees, which pollinate many food crops.
Episode 69
Earth Focus: Food Heroes
Episode
26:37
Earth Focus

Food Heroes

"Earth Focus" visits sites of healthy food innovation in America.
Episode 68
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Episode
26:40
Earth Focus

Mining Battles: Uranium, Coal and Gold

An impoverished former mining community in Colorado, endangered rhinos' new threat, and gold mining in Ecuador.
Episode 67
Earth Focus: Tackling Ocean Challenges
Episode
26:40
Earth Focus

Tackling Ocean Challenges

Oceans support life, yet they are overfished, polluted, and, with global climate change, are becoming increasingly acidic.
Episode 66
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Episode
26:40
Earth Focus

Chesapeake: Can Oysters Save the Bay?

After centuries of over-harvesting and bouts of disease, oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay plummeted along with profits for the oyster industry and the health of the Bay.
Episode 65
Coal loaded on a train
Episode
26:41
Earth Focus

America’s Dirty Secret: Coal Ash

Though it's known to contain carcinogens, coal ash is often dumped in unlined ponds where it leaches into groundwater.
Episode 64
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