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

S3 E2: Coal Mining in South Africa (Preview)

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.

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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?

Sea Level Rising: Living With Water

Louisiana still is learning from Hurricane Katrina. Forecasts are dire for Louisiana to experience the second-highest sea level rise in the world. There is a big movement brewing in New Orleans to build adaptive "resilience zones." In Southeast Louisiana, the native peoples of the Isle de Jean Charles have become the first U.S citizens moving within their homeland displaced by climate change.

  • 2020-10-05T00:30:00-07:00
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The Youth Climate Movement Around the World

In 2019, 16 children from across the world including Greta Thunberg filed a historical, global lawsuit petitioning the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to hold five of the world’s leading economic powers accountable for inaction on the climate crisis. All 16 young people are alarmed by the changes they see in their homelands.

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.

Fueling Change: Oil Extraction in Alaska and California

The global demand for oil and gas has long-lasting impacts on the communities that supply it. In Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, powerful native communities are at odds over an oil exploration and drilling plan that will boost their economy but have long-term consequences on native species and their environment. In California’s Kern County, the mayors of two neighboring towns face off on the economic benefits and health risks of oil production and their vastly different visions for the most sustainable path to the future.