Alexandra Villaseñor takes in the damage of a wildfire in Paradise, California. | Thomson Reuters Foundation/Nicky Milne

Lighting A Path: Embracing Solar Power In California and Zanzibar

Solar power is changing lives in unexpected places. At the Barefoot College in Zanzibar, Muslim women who have traditionally been marginalized in the workforce are learning solar installation and bringing it back to their villages, which are primarily powered by candles and paraffin lamps. In East Los Angeles, formerly incarcerated individuals are finding green job opportunities as they transition underserved communities into solar power.

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Coal Mining in South Africa

South Africa faces a stark reality as the continent’s largest greenhouse gas emitter. More than 80% of power generation comes from coal, with 11 coal power plants turning the province of Mpumalanga into one of the most polluted areas of the world. As the world moves away from fossil fuels and major global investors pull out, renewable energy fights to forge the future. The tension is palpable among the government, coal producers, workers, and the environment in a post-apartheid South Africa facing pressing developmental challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

The Price of Gold in Peru

When Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra came to power in 2018, one of his first priorities was to gain control over the devastating outbreak of illegal gold mining operations. In February 2019, the government launched Operation Mercury, a decisive action to shut down an entire town built around an illegal gold mine.

The New West and the Politics of the Environment

A quiet, little-known revolution is taking place in American environmental politics in a most surprising place—Nevada. In this feature-length documentary, Earth Focus tells the story of Harry Reid, a politician who grew up in an Old West mining town, saw the possibility of a New West emerging in Nevada, and rode that change to power. Reid used power in new ways to settle water wars with respect for Native Americans, protect endangered species and wilderness, and usher in a just transition to renewable energy. Could this western green new deal set an example for the nation?