Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments

19990801
19990801

Antibiotics have saved millions of lives this century but the race to find new, stronger drugs has become critical as strains of resistant bacteria develop.

This is partly due to the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture to promote growth in farm animals.

This programme asks why farmers use antibiotics and whether they can stop.

19971126

A nine-part environmental series.

In the second of two programmes on global climate change, Jeremy Cherfas looks at the factors shaping the political consensus around this issue.

There is a clearly identified enemy - greenhouse gases - and a consensus that something must be done.

Why, then, are we in danger of wasting the opportunity?

19971130

A nine-part environmental series.

In the second of two programmes on global climatic change, Jeremy Cherfas looks at the factors shaping the political consensus on this issue.

There is a clearly identified enemy - greenhouse gases - and agreement that something must be done.

Why, then, are we in danger of wasting the opportunity?

19971230
1997123119980118
19980104

Roger Harrabin takes a personal journey through the Philippines, looking at the main environmental issues facing the country.

19980107

A look at the environmental consequences of choices we make every day of our lives - from the coffee we drink and the jeans we wear to our journey to work.

With Jeremy Cherfas.

19980111
19980114

Water is essential for life and, while we may take it for granted, many countries are prepared to go to war for a safe, clean water supply.

So what is the real price of water? And is it the environment that is paying?

19980121

The last in the current series.

19980125

A look behind the news at the environment.

19990607

British Gulf War veterans have tested positive for uranium poisoning and the civilian cancer rate in Iraq is increasing.

Yet both the Ministry of Defence and the UNITED STATES military have denied that depleted uranium has any detrimental effects.

The US has recently admitted using it in Kosovo.

This programme investigates the truth about depleted uranium.

19990614

Forty percent of antibiotics used in the world are used in agriculture, not to fight disease but to promote growth in farm animals.

Strains of resistant bacteria are overpowering our current range of drugs.

This programme investigates the use of antibiotics in farming.

20020926

Series exploring environmental issues.

Tom Feilden asks what garden pesticide use is doing to our wildlife.

20021003
20021010

Series exploring environmental issues.

Tom Feilden asks why we are using ever-increasing amounts of pesticide in our gardens.

20030410

Eco Island: Will Mallorca's new environmental tax on tourists turn lager louts into bird watchers? Miriam O'reilly investigates.

20030424

The Energy Gap: Our NUCLEAR industry is being phased out, our gas supplies are running out and the coal mines have closed.

So how will Britain be powered in 20 years time?

20030508

The Peace Dividend? Could Northern IRELAND's wildlife be the big loser in the peace process? Alex Kirby reports.

2003082120030828

Tom Feilden investigates the effect of antibiotics on the environment.

20040506

Last Jewl in the Med: The Croatian island of Vis is the last Mediterranean island to be unaffected by tourism. This programme looks at the World Wildlife Fund's efforts to preserve its status.

2006050520060512

What happened to John Prescott's ten-year transport vision? Launched in a blaze of publicity in 2000, Mr Prescott promised to spearhead a huge investment programme in Britain's road and rail systems. But six years on, is Britain on its way to waving goodbye to polluted roads and cancelled trains?

Tom Heap and Miriam O'Reilly travel the country by road and rail to get the real story of life in the slow lane.

2006072820060804

Guerrilla Gardeners: Can the Guerrilla Gardeners transform Britain's inner cities into green oases? Tom Heap joins them on a mission. [Rpt of Fri 9.00pm]

2006080320060805

Guerrilla Gardeners: Can the Guerrilla Gardeners transform Britain's inner cities into green oases? Tom Heap joins them on a mission. [Rptd Sat 3.00pm]

2007042620070427

Tom Heap explores the impact of professional football on the environment. With travel and litter as well as lighting and water demands, just one match can have a huge impact.

Goalkeeper David James has seen how other countries have taken measures to improve sustainability and believes that more clubs in the UK could play their part. Tom assesses measures currently in place and visits the team claiming to have the UK's first sustainable stadium.

Tom Heap explores the impact of professional football on the environment.

With travel and litter as well as lighting and water demands, just one match can have a huge impact.

Goalkeeper David James has seen how other countries have taken measures to improve sustainability, and believes that more clubs in the UK could play their part.

Tom assesses measures currently in place and visits the team claiming to have the UK's first sustainable stadium.

2007050320070504

Perth, the most isolated city in the world, has been forecast to become a future ghost metropolis by environmentalist Tim Flannery. The city is highly vulnerable to climate change, and although plans exist for prolonged drought conditions the local ecology remains extremely fragile.

Perth, the most isolated city in the world, has been forecast to become a future ghost metropolis by environmentalist Tim Flannery.

The city is highly vulnerable to climate change, and although plans exist for prolonged drought conditions the local ecology remains extremely fragile.

2007051020070511

Drought is set to be a permanent way of life in Australia even after the summer ends. How is the driest country on the driest continent in the world going to manage its water supplies to ensure that its growing population has enough?

Drought is set to be a permanent way of life in Australia even after the summer ends.

How is the driest country on the driest continent in the world going to manage its water supplies to ensure that its growing population has enough?

2007090620070907

As the changing weather patterns show increased rainfall and a greater threat of flooding in the UK, Charlotte Smith asks whether agricultural practices could or should play a greater role in flood prevention.

2007091320070914

Miriam O'Reilly looks at attempts to manage the UK's fish stocks through the Common Fisheries Policy and their apparent failure. She visits Iceland, long hailed as a good example of sustainable fishing, to hear how politicians have just slashed cod quotas. She asks whether European politics works against the UK when it comes to rebuilding our stocks and whether scientists are taken seriously enough.

Miriam O'reilly looks at attempts to manage the UK's fish stocks through the Common Fisheries Policy and their apparent failure.

She visits Iceland, long hailed as a good example of sustainable fishing, to hear how politicians have just slashed cod quotas.

She asks whether European politics works against the UK when it comes to rebuilding our stocks and whether scientists are taken seriously enough.

2007092720070928

The world's population predicted to grow to 9 billion people by 2050. Tom Heap asks whether this is the one environmental issue we should be concentrating on above all others, yet shying away from because of its controversial nature.

The world's population predicted to grow to 9 billion people by 2050.

Tom Heap asks whether this is the one environmental issue we should be concentrating on above all others, yet shying away from because of its controversial nature.

2007100420071005

One of the key arguments against biofuels is the potential for food shortages as more land is given over to growing energy crops. So can we feed ourselves as well as produce renewable fuels? Tom Heap investigates.

One of the key arguments against biofuels is the potential for food shortages as more land is given over to growing energy crops.

So can we feed ourselves as well as produce renewable fuels? Tom Heap investigates.

20080606
20080822
20080829
20080905
20080912
2008091820080919

The environmental series looks at the politics of famine.

At a time of heightened food insecurity, are the food aid policies of many UK-based aid agencies actually contributing to the problem?

20080926
2009101220091015

Who really makes the biggest difference on climate change - those living on the edge or those working firmly within the system? Tell us about your experience of environmental campaigning via the Costing the Earth Facebook site (link below).

A recent Christian Aid survey found that 93 per cent of people think everyone in the UK should have the right to peaceful protest, 50 per cent think the police are too heavy handed, and 18 per cent are put off protesting in the future due to heavy-handed policing.

Costing the Earth finds out about those who continue to campaign on the planet's behalf; is it really getting harder for them to make an impact on how we and our governments behave?

Mark Carter has been on hunger strike for over 46 days to highlight the plight of the seal.

Some might see his actions as mad, but for Mark this is the only way to affect the government's proposed marine bills.

During the last 10 years the common seal population has declined by a third but they are still being killed and for Mark, at least, the only solution is a ban on these culls.

What effect will 500 signatures have against the interests of the fishing industry, and, whatever the results, how will he react?

Jonathan Porritt recently resigned his post at the Forum for the Future with the dire warning that, 'A combination of political paralysis, corporate vested interest and our conservative-co-opted media' alongside 'basic entitlements protecting the rights of dissenting voices being eroded' mean tough times for green activists.

The recent G20 protests saw some of the most draconian police tactics for some time.

Using laws intended to prevent terrorists in the wake of 9/11 like Stop and Search, green activists have often found themselves at the front line of human rights issues.

At the same time, the government's recent moves to change planning laws and rush through proposals for wind farms and nuclear plants via the Infrastructure Planning Commission quango could mean that contentious plans go ahead before activists have time to launch protests.

Is it really getting harder for people like Tim, a regular at Climate Camp who has been informed that his photo and details are on police file, to affect change?

Equally important is whether the long-used methods of mass camps, extreme acts and even advertising really have the impact that changing policy and people's behaviour requires.

A recent report from the World Wildlife Fund suggests not.

Could Whitehall workers or investment bankers be making a bigger difference without even trying, and if these methods haven't worked, what next?

We follow Mark and Tim's stories to find out what one individual's efforts can achieve and look at the big protests of recent years to find out what the future of green activism might hold.

Tom Heap finds out if eco-activists are facing their toughest challenges yet.

2010040720100408

Do we need to set a price on the environment to get policy makers, business and individuals to really take it seriously? Alkborough Flats on the Humber Estuary is a haven for birdlife but has also offered £400,000 worth of flood protection a year.

The carbon storage in its sediment is valued at a further £14,500 plus there's additional revenue from recreation and tourism.

Bees are another example.

Their services to farming are estimated at £200 million a year with the retail value of what they pollinate closer to £1 billion.

Upland farming is already heavily subsidized but should they be paid not to farm (which can cause costly contamination in drinking water for example) and instead be paid to maintain water quality, guard against flooding and maintain wildlife habitats? If real monetary reward is to be gained could there be many more people keen to hear the environment message.

Or is this an over simplification of the value of our natural resources.

After all we are already dealing with the fallout of what some see as a failed reliance on capitalist economics.

What was a theoretical issue is becoming reality.

Right now the National Ecosystem Assessment is taking place.

Government-sponsored inspectors are actually pricing up the services provided by our environment with a view to embedding them in policy.

Tom Heap meets the economists and leading figures from the world of banking and accounting who could be the unlikely answer to safeguarding biodiversity.

Tom Heap finds out if it's really possible, or desirable, to put a price on nature.

2010092920100930

The UK's carbon capture and storage (CCS) sector could sustain 100,000 jobs by 2030 and generate up to £6.5bn a year.

The Energy Act 2010 made law plans to raise a levy on power users to establish four CCS projects in Britain and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), says Britain is now at the forefront of this new technology.

But could this also put Britain at the forefront of an expensive mistake?

Christene Ehlig-Economides, professor of energy engineering at Texas A&M, and Michael Economides, professor of chemical engineering at University of Houston recently published a report looking at the need to store CO2 in an enclosed space.

Their calculations suggest that the volume of CO2 to be disposed cannot exceed more than about 1% of pore space.

This will require from 5 to 20 times more underground reservoir volume than has been envisioned by many, and it renders geologic sequestration of CO2 a non-starter.

"It is like putting a bicycle pump up against a wall.

It would be hard to inject CO2 into a closed system without eventually producing so much pressure that it fractured the rock and allowed the carbon to migrate to other zones and possibly escape to the surface," Economides said.

Their findings have been disputed but in another blow to CCS The Mongstad project in Norway, developed by oil firm Statoil, which was seen as one of the first to start full-scale operation has been set back.

The current government cannot commit to the money needed to keep the project on track so it will be put on hold until at least 2014.

But does this mean the idea should be given up by our own new government? At the University of Nottingham Mineral carbonation is a promising technology which captures CO2 by reacting it with magnesium or calcium rich minerals, producing valuable carbonates and doing away with the need for vast underground storage.

If it works it could provide a much needed solution with less inherent risk.

The big question remains how much we are willing to pay for the fix.

Tom Heap investigates.

Tom Heap asks if Carbon Capture and Storage could be a magic bullet for climate change.

The UK's carbon capture and storage (CCS) sector could sustain 100,000 jobs by 2030 and generate up to £6.5bn a year. The Energy Act 2010 made law plans to raise a levy on power users to establish four CCS projects in Britain and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association (CCSA), says Britain is now at the forefront of this new technology. But could this also put Britain at the forefront of an expensive mistake?

Christene Ehlig-Economides, professor of energy engineering at Texas A&M, and Michael Economides, professor of chemical engineering at University of Houston recently published a report looking at the need to store CO2 in an enclosed space. Their calculations suggest that the volume of CO2 to be disposed cannot exceed more than about 1% of pore space. This will require from 5 to 20 times more underground reservoir volume than has been envisioned by many, and it renders geologic sequestration of CO2 a non-starter.

"It is like putting a bicycle pump up against a wall. It would be hard to inject CO2 into a closed system without eventually producing so much pressure that it fractured the rock and allowed the carbon to migrate to other zones and possibly escape to the surface," Economides said.

Their findings have been disputed but in another blow to CCS The Mongstad project in Norway, developed by oil firm Statoil, which was seen as one of the first to start full-scale operation has been set back. The current government cannot commit to the money needed to keep the project on track so it will be put on hold until at least 2014.

But does this mean the idea should be given up by our own new government? At the University of Nottingham Mineral carbonation is a promising technology which captures CO2 by reacting it with magnesium or calcium rich minerals, producing valuable carbonates and doing away with the need for vast underground storage. If it works it could provide a much needed solution with less inherent risk. The big question remains how much we are willing to pay for the fix. Tom Heap investigates.

20120221

Environmental investigation series.

* *2009051120090514

Tom Heap examines the carbon footprint of older people.

This age group are said to be heavy consumers, but they could also play an important part in preparing for climate change in an ageing society.

06/10/2010
06/10/201020101007

Dr Alice Roberts investigates the growing problem of plastic floating in the sea.

07/04/201020100408

Tom Heap finds out if it's really possible, or desirable, to put a price on nature.

07/09/201120110908
11/05/200920090514

Tom Heap examines the carbon footprint of older people.

12/01/200920090115
12/10/200920091015

Tom Heap finds out if eco-activists are facing their toughest challenges yet.

29/09/2010
29/09/201020100930

Tom Heap asks if Carbon Capture and Storage could be a magic bullet for climate change.

A Burning Solution20090416
A Burning Solution * *2009041320090416

Sales of wood burning stoves have rocketed over recent months.

So much so that producers have struggled to meet demands.

But could the latest 'must have' accessory for the style-concious householder be part of the solution in meeting our renewables targets?

Burning woodchip - or biomass - can provide both heat and electricity.

It is environmentally friendly since the carbon has already been captured by the tree as it has grown and it is a renewable resource, so has wood's time come?

In this week's Costing The Earth we look at the range of biomass heating schemes in the UK – from small-scale wood-burning stoves that can effectively heat a home, to huge projects that are on the horizon: a massive biomass power station is planned at Port Talbot in South Wales.

On the way we meet a bona fide environmental maverick in Barnsley where government renewable targets have been reached decades in advance.

We find out what the government is doing, if it really is green, and whether vast swathes of woodland would be chopped down to make an impact on our renewables target.

And with the Port Talbot plant set to import a lot of the biomass from Canada, how sustainable is that project?

A Decade Of Fracking2014093020141001

Tom Heap visits communities living with the shale gas industry, from Texas to Lancashire.

After a decade of fracking, communities in Texas are still arguing about the pros and cons of the shale gas industry. With the industry ready to begin production in Lancashire, Tom Heap compares and contrasts the hopes and fears of Texans with those of the villagers of the Fylde coast.

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

A Fire In Provence20031113

This summer southern FRANCE suffered its worst forest fires for decades.

Hundreds of thousands of hectares of prime wildlife habitat have been destroyed.

Miriam O'reilly takes a rare opportunity to visit the still-smouldering ruins of these great forests and find out what the destruction means for the wildlife and the people of the region.

What does fire do to nature, how quickly does it recover? How does the species balance change? What arguments ensue over the devastated land and are developers keen to take on the blasted heaths or will new trees be planted?

A Green Utopia?20020912

Series exploring environmental issues.

`A Green Utopia?' Alex Kirby asks if the next generation of new towns can avoid the mistakes of the past.

A Greener Home For All
A Greener Home For All20180313

The UK needs 300,000 new homes a year, Tom Heap asks if building big can also be green.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

Our homes and their construction have a huge impact on the environment. The construction industry is estimated to contribute to 40% of worldwide energy use and in the UK alone the building sector uses more than 400 million tons of material a year, many of which have an adverse impact on the environment. Added to this is the impact on local air quality and green spaces and the energy used in heating, lighting and even furnishing new homes.

The government has set a target of 300,000 new homes a year to help solve the growing housing crisis but this figure is nearly double the current rate of building. So is there anyway we can solve the housing crisis without nearly doubling our emissions? Tom Heap sets out to find out where, what and how we could build affordable and green homes for all.

A Greener Way To Go2014022520140226

Do you try to lead a greener life? Tom Heap investigates how to have the greenest death.

Many of us are trying to lead a greener life, but how many of us will continue the trend to its logical conclusion... into death? On this week's Costing the Earth, Tom Heap takes to the ocean waves, the forest floor, and the lab, to try and suss out the 'greenest way to go'.

Over 70% of us here in the UK choose to be cremated, and the majority of the rest are buried - '6 feet under' - in traditional cemeteries. But for those who might worry about the fossil fuel cost of being burned, or the toxic embalming fluids commonly used in burial, there are other options on the table.

We take a blustery boat trip just off the Isle of Wight with one of the UK's only 'Marine Funeral Directors', to hear about the specially designed coffins that help you sink to your final resting place beneath the waves. And if you don't fancy sleeping with the fishes, how about sleeping beneath the shade of a mighty oak? Tom heads to the picturesque Downs of East Hampshire to hear how your final resting place could go hand in hand with an ambitious reforestation project. And he takes a glance into the future of the industry too, with two methods which could be out of a science fiction novel. How would you like your mortal remains to be chemically dissolved in high pressure alkali solution? Or perhaps freeze-dried and frozen, then shattered into an organic powder? And will these 'futuristic' new methods of getting our 'Ashes to Ashes', ever become available on our own shores?

Produced in Bristol by Emily Knight.

A Resilient World?2014040120140402

A panel of climate experts debates how we will have to adapt in the face of climate change

Following the publication of the latest report from the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change, a panel of climate experts debates how nations and populations around the world will have to adapt and prepare for the effects of climate change in the coming decades.

Recent extreme weather events suggest that the effects of climate change are beginning to show and so what can be done to mitigate the impact of major climate event?

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

A Toilet For The 21st Century2014021120140212

2.5 billion people on the planet have no sanitation so how do we give toilets to everyone?

There are 2.5 billion people living on the planet without access to basic sanitation.

As a result hundreds of children die from diseases such as diarrhoea every day, and women and children risk personal safety when they perform the simplest of human functions.

In this week's Costing The Earth Dr Kat Arney looks at ways to allow everyone to have access to safe, clean, environmentally friendly toilets.

She visits a toilet festival in London to find out about toilet designs that can be applied to every environmental condition across the globe: toilets that require no water, toilets that can turn waste into an asset in the form of fertiliser and toilets filled with waste-eating worms in a quest to design a toilet for the 21st Century.

Presenter: Dr Kat Arney

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

A Very Large Hole In The Sahara2011092120110922

Scientists are looking at novel ways to halt sea-level rise and reverse global warming.

Miranda Krestovnikoff investigates which futuristic geoengineering concepts could become a reality.

Miranda Krestovnikoff discovers ways that scientists could use to halt sea level rise.

Scientists are looking at novel ways to halt sea-level rise and reverse global warming. Miranda Krestovnikoff investigates which futuristic geoengineering concepts could become a reality.

A Very Large Hole In The Sahara20110922

Miranda Krestovnikoff discovers ways that scientists could use to halt sea level rise.

Acoustic Ecology2016030120160302 (R4)

Peter Gibbs asks whether sound could become a vital tool in conservation, helping us understand far more about how wildlife interacts and how it is affected by changes in the environment. Technological advances in recording mean that we can now record huge amounts of data in remote locations. By using algorithms scientists hope to break down complex interactions between animals and their environment and be able to predict change or protect species. This is the emerging science of soundscape ecology. Scientists are hoping to apply big data solutions learnt from fields such as genetics to re-imagine conservation and asking all of us to listen and imagine what a world without natural sounds such as birdsong might be like.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Can the sound of the Amazon help to save it? Peter Gibbs reports.

Adapting Insects2012020720120208

In the battle to protect crops and eradicate disease, scientists are turning to ever more ingenious ways to defeat the old enemy - insects. Instead of just going for the kill, they're finding ways of changing behaviour, of recruiting the predator's enemies as our friends. They're using genetic modification and other breeding techniques to ensure that insects breed, but the young don't survive long enough to do any damage. So can we make insects do our bidding and create a world without pesticides? Professor Alice Roberts investigates for 'Costing the Earth'.

Producer: Steve Peacock.

Can we adapt disease-carrying insects to become friends not foes? Alice Roberts reports.

Adapting Insects20120208

Can we adapt disease-carrying insects to become friends not foes? Alice Roberts reports.

After Chernobyl2016042620160427 (R4)

When radioactive particles from the Chernobyl disaster landed in Germany's Black Forest one woman decided to change her country's relationship with nuclear energy forever.

Julian Rush meets Ursula Sladek, founder of EWS Energy and prime mover in Germany's abandonment of nuclear energy.

Following the story from the first detection of radioactive particles, through the persistent impact of radioactive caesium in the soil to the rapid development of renewable energy after the Fukushima disaster of 2011, Julian tells the story of the transformation that's known in Germany as the Energiewende. With Ursula's son, Sebastian he discusses the future for renewable energy in a nuclear-free nation and considers the influence Germany may have on the rest of Europe.

Produced by Alasdair Cross and Melanie Brown.

How the fallout from Chernobyl changed Germany forever. Julian Rush reports.

Alien Invaders2011033020110331

The threat to wildlife from invasive species is now one of the greatest across the world and it is growing.

Killer shrimp are the latest non-native species to be found in a formerly quiet and respectable area of Cambridgeshire.

In the UK we have endlessly debated the problem of the grey squirrel and Japanese knotweed but in Spain the invaders are being driven out permanently.

Can their plan work and would eradication return native species to abundance or simply create new problems in our ecosystems?

Recent studies suggest the rise in invasive species stems from international trade.

Global warming has also contributed to species migration and survival in the wild.

The Spanish authorities have drawn up a list of 168 offending species including the raccoon and mink, zebra mussels, and one of the worse offenders the ruddy duck.

In New Zealand rats are driving the yellowhead bird to extinction and the chrytrid fungi is causing a worldwide decline in amphibians but can species really recover after competition is successfully eradicated? It seems that in some cases they can.

The near extinct black vented shearwater is recovering on a Mexican island after the eradication of cats, goats and sheep.

The wallaby is also recovering after red fox were taken out in Australia.

However, there are also a growing number of scientists who argue that to eradicate invasives is costly, cruel and ultimately unnecessary.

In Puerto Rico invasive species have been the only plant and wildlife able to survive in eroded soils.

Their encroachment has returned lifeless areas to thriving jungles, eventually providing a more encouraging environment for native species to return.

If we can't beat them then it may even be time to learn from these ecological survivors.

Producer Helen Lennard

Repeated on 31:03:2011 13:31:00.

Invasive species are a growing problem.

Tom Heap asks if we can really live without them.

The threat to wildlife from invasive species is now one of the greatest across the world and it is growing. Killer shrimp are the latest non-native species to be found in a formerly quiet and respectable area of Cambridgeshire. In the UK we have endlessly debated the problem of the grey squirrel and Japanese knotweed but in Spain the invaders are being driven out permanently. Can their plan work and would eradication return native species to abundance or simply create new problems in our ecosystems?

Recent studies suggest the rise in invasive species stems from international trade. Global warming has also contributed to species migration and survival in the wild. The Spanish authorities have drawn up a list of 168 offending species including the raccoon and mink, zebra mussels, and one of the worse offenders the ruddy duck.

In New Zealand rats are driving the yellowhead bird to extinction and the chrytrid fungi is causing a worldwide decline in amphibians but can species really recover after competition is successfully eradicated? It seems that in some cases they can. The near extinct black vented shearwater is recovering on a Mexican island after the eradication of cats, goats and sheep. The wallaby is also recovering after red fox were taken out in Australia.

However, there are also a growing number of scientists who argue that to eradicate invasives is costly, cruel and ultimately unnecessary. In Puerto Rico invasive species have been the only plant and wildlife able to survive in eroded soils. Their encroachment has returned lifeless areas to thriving jungles, eventually providing a more encouraging environment for native species to return.

Invasive species are a growing problem. Tom Heap asks if we can really live without them.

America - The Villain?20020905

As the JOHANNESBURG earth summit draws to a close, Tom Feilden asks whether the UNITED STATES is really the environment's arch-enemy.

America's Climate Resistance20171107

Roger Harrabin travels to the USA to meet America's climate resistance.

It's a year since President Trump was elected.

In that time he has appointed a climate sceptic as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, he has insisted that he will bring the coal industry back, and he still has not appointed a science advisor.

Roger Harrabin travels to the USA to meet those spearheading the resistance to President Trump's climate policies.

In California he meets Governor Jerry Brown. Jerry is determined that California pushes ahead towards a cleaner future. He visits the world's largest battery storage plant near San Diego, and travels to the San Gorgonio Pass, the site of one of the world's largest wind farms.

Heading east from California to Ohio, and coal country, Roger meets Bob Murray, head of the Murray Energy Corp. Bob is determined to see coal jobs protected, but even he believes that coal's heyday has passed, but he remains bullish.

Roger also meets form science advisor to President Obama, Dr John Holdren. John thinks that economics should ensure that the USA remains on a path to cleaner energy.

Producer Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

America's Energy Independence2016112220161123 (R4)

What does the election of Donald Trump as president of the USA mean for the environment?

New President elect of the USA Donald Trump is a climate change denier, and so what does his rise to power mean for the environment?

Among his early pledges he states: "The Trump Administration will make America energy independent. We will end the war on coal, and rescind the coal mining lease moratorium, the excessive Interior Department stream rule, and conduct a top-down review of all anti-coal regulations issued by the Obama Administration. "

He promises to rip up climate deals and get the USA mining and burning fossil fuels again, giving jobs back to areas that need them.

Costing The Earth will take each sector and try to predict what the next four years will hold for each energy generator. Is there any good news for the environment or will Trump's election usher in a return to dirty, polluting, fossil fuel-burning days that we were pulling away from?

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Amphibian Extinction2013043020130501

Tom Heap asks what's being done to save the 40% of amphibian species at risk of extinction

Frogs, toads and newts are becoming a less frequent sight in our ponds and gardens. Globally 40% of amphibians - almost 2000 species - are threatened with extinction according to the IUCN red list. Some scientists even say we're on the verge of the 6th mass extinction. Yet with things at such an alarming state Tom Heap asks what's being done to save these creatures and if it's too little too late?

Amphibians are a key part of the food chain but not only do they control less favoured bugs, they have also been described as 'hopping pharmacies' carrying important chemical compounds on their skin which have been used for medicines. If they disappear so does that link.

Tom hears about the different factors which are impacting on numbers - including habitat loss, climate change and diseases such as chytrid fungus and ranavirus. Andrew Blaustein at the University of Oregon is currently doing research to find out why some species are more vulnerable to chytrid than others but has also found parasites causing mutations in frogs nearby - including some with up to 15 limbs.

Meanwhile, of the UK's seven native amphibian species, one- the pool frog - has already died out. Tom travels to the secret location where they've been reintroduced from Sweden to find out how well they're doing and what can be learnt from this near-miss. Tom also gets his hands dirty on toad patrol, helping them cross busy roads as they come out of hibernation and return to their ponds for breeding. As he asks motorists to apply their brakes he also asks just how much this will do to halt their decline.

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Antarctic Assault2018050120180502 (R4)

The penguins of the Antarctic rely on krill. What happens when we get a taste for it?

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

The whales, penguins and other seabirds and marine mammals of the Southern Ocean depend upon a reliable supply of the tiny shrimp-like krill. New developments in fishing and freezing technology mean that we can now join in the feast, popping krill pills for their high Omega 3 content.

The writer and chef, Gerard Baker has been working on fishing boats and cruise ships in the Antarctic for twenty years. He's worried that there may not be enough krill to go around, particularly in the crucial regions where breeding penguins rely on an easily accessible source of food.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Antarctic Treaty2009040620090409

Tom Heap reports on the Antarctic Treaty, a unique but little-known beacon of global co-operation which has kept the soldiers at bay and the scientists in harness on the continent for the last 50 years.

It has survived Cold War tension, the Falklands war and rapacious fishing to emerge as a textbook study of how diplomacy can avoid conflict.

But can it rebuff the pressures of the next 50 years, with tourists, bio-prospectors and energy companies all scouring the planet for scarce resources?

Antarctic Treaty20090409
Antipasto Agony2015102720151028 (R4)

Bad news for lovers of tapenade and pesto. Olive trees are succumbing to a new disease. Tom Heap reports from Puglia on the ultimate foodie nightmare.

The heel of Italy is currently gripped by an outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa, a voracious tree disease that is systematically devastating olive groves in the main areas of production for olive oil.

95% of the world's olive trees are in the Mediterranean, and Italy is the world's second largest exporter of oil, behind Spain.

Rural communities risk being torn apart as the disease threatens the livelihoods of farming families that have grown olives in the region for centuries. The whole environment is set to change as trees die, leaving the landscape totally bare.

Tom meets the scientists about to wage war on the bacteria: Professor Giovanni Martelli and Dr Donato Boscia from the University of Bari. They are working to find a way of stopping the disease from spreading. If they are unsuccessful, olive production in the whole of the Mediterranean basin could be at risk.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Bad news for lovers of tapenade and pesto - olive trees are succumbing to a new disease.

Apocalypse Then And Now2012092620121023

During the Vietnam War two million tons of American bombs were dropped on the tiny nation of Laos, more than the combined weight dropped on Japan and Germany during World War Two. The environmental impact was horrific, destroying forests, killing endangered wildlife and poisoning water supplies. For forty years the people of rural Laos have had to live with the constant fear of stepping on one of the thousands of unexploded bombs that litter the countryside.

Bomb clearance has been partial and sporadic but the sudden influx of mining companies coupled with the building of new roads and hydro-electric dams is speeding things up. Farmland which has been unusable for decades is being bought up, cleared of bombs and sold on to developers. In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap and Georgia Catt hear how the tough work of the bomb clearance teams is altering the environment of Laos. Local people may be glad to see the back of the American bombs but the roads and mines that replace them are changing the face of the country forever.

Producer: Alasdair Cross

Aquatic Plastic20101013

Could courts of law be the first refuge for victims of climate change? Tom Heap finds out.

Aquatic Plastic20101014
Aquatic Plastic - Can Lawers Save The Earth?2010101320101014
Arctic Dreams2011020920110210
20110210 (R4)

The melting of the Arctic is sparking a goldrush, bringing energy and mineral companies north in search of oil, gas and minerals.

To the people of the north it's a confusing time.

New business and industry can offer jobs and money but they threaten the pristine environment and seem certain to further dilute the native culture.

In this second programme on the future of the melting north Tom Heap visits Arctic Canada to find out more about the impact of development on flora, fauna and the native people.

He hears how the Inuit have taken up semi-western lifestyles only in the last fifty years.

They were persuaded by the Canadian government to leave behind a life of small family groups following the seasonal movements of caribou, seal and whale in return for subsidised lives in new settlements scattered across the north.

Their children were taken away from their parents to residential schools hundreds of miles away.

The separation and inevitable abuse destroyed families and turned a proud, independent culture into one of dependence.

Communities are still dealing with the fall-out, suffering the worst rates of suicide, alcoholism, violence and premature death in Canada.

In recent years the Inuit have gradually come to take more control over their own destiny.

Today they have the power to say 'yes' or 'no' to miners and oil prospectors.

A new generation of native leaders is determined that any money to be made from the natural resources will go toward turning around their communities.

Tom Heap meets local people to find out how they want development to proceed and hears from politicians and academics how the native people fit into the international picture.

Will the Inuit really have a voice when the US, Russia and Canada begin squabbling over the region's resources?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

How the melting Arctic is changing the lives of the people of the north.

The melting of the Arctic is sparking a goldrush, bringing energy and mineral companies north in search of oil, gas and minerals. To the people of the north it's a confusing time. New business and industry can offer jobs and money but they threaten the pristine environment and seem certain to further dilute the native culture.

He hears how the Inuit have taken up semi-western lifestyles only in the last fifty years. They were persuaded by the Canadian government to leave behind a life of small family groups following the seasonal movements of caribou, seal and whale in return for subsidised lives in new settlements scattered across the north. Their children were taken away from their parents to residential schools hundreds of miles away. The separation and inevitable abuse destroyed families and turned a proud, independent culture into one of dependence. Communities are still dealing with the fall-out, suffering the worst rates of suicide, alcoholism, violence and premature death in Canada.

In recent years the Inuit have gradually come to take more control over their own destiny. Today they have the power to say 'yes' or 'no' to miners and oil prospectors. A new generation of native leaders is determined that any money to be made from the natural resources will go toward turning around their communities.

Tom Heap meets local people to find out how they want development to proceed and hears from politicians and academics how the native people fit into the international picture. Will the Inuit really have a voice when the US, Russia and Canada begin squabbling over the region's resources?

Arctic Dreams20110210

How the melting Arctic is changing the lives of the people of the north.

Arctic Future2014110420141105 (R4)

The melting sea ice of the Arctic creates opportunities and threats. Tom Heap reports.

The melting sea ice of the Arctic creates opportunities and threats. Tom Heap meets the leaders of the Arctic nations in Reykjavik as they try to shape a profitable future for the region.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Bambi Bites Back2012021420120215

Bambi has never had it so good. Changes in farming fashion now provide deer with delicious things to eat and warm places to sleep all winter long. The result is a big increase in numbers and a rapid geographical spread, taking our native and introduced species into the most urbanised parts of our islands.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap investigates the causes of the deer boom and some of the unexpected impacts. Deer take a heavy toll on young trees, enraging foresters and ruining the prospects for ground-nesting birds like nightingales. They're also meeting increasingly grisly ends, killed by on-coming cars or targeted by poachers armed with crossbows or air guns.

So should we wring our hands or celebrate the success of our largest land mammals? Should we cull and control or aim to make a profit from nature's bounty? Tom joins a team of specialists from Scottish Natural Heritage for a late night deer count through urban Scotland and meets a stalker who is offering wealthy Germans the chance to bag a lowland stag.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Deer numbers are rising fast. Tom Heap asks what this means for the rural landscape.

Bambi Bites Back20120215

Deer numbers are rising fast. Tom Heap asks what this means for the rural landscape.

Battery Powered Britain20170912

New developments in battery technology are changing the way Britain is powered.

New developments in battery technology are changing the way we power Britain. More efficient, higher capacity batteries expand the range of electric vehicles and allow solar and wind power plants to provide smooth, 24 hour electricity.

Tom Heap is in Cornwall where power companies and local innovators are developing a new battery-powered economic model that could be rolled out to the rest of the UK.

From mining the lithium that makes the batteries to holiday parks producing clean power for the grid Cornwall is leading the way.

Producer: Alasdair Cross

Photo: Nicholas Davies.

Beasts Of The Border2016032920160330 (R4)

Tom Heap examines the wildlife impact of Europe's new borders.

As gates close against migrants entering Europe Tom Heap is in Croatia to examine the wildlife impact of the continent's new borders.

Red deer have been found dying on the razor wire and the vulnerable local population of lynx is now split between Slovenia and Croatia. With a shrunken gene pool the lynx could soon be lost from the region.

From the Austrian Alps, south through the Balkans to Greece the mountains provide a vital habitat for large carnivores like bear and wolf. As new fences rise across the region Europe's peak predators face a bleak future.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Beasts Of The East2003080720030814

How will Poland's wealth of wildlife fare when the country joins the European Union? Alex Kirby investigates.

Berlin's Big Gamble2013012920130130

Can Germany produce all its power from green energy? Tom Heap investigates.

It's an environmental experiment on an unprecedented scale. Germany's political parties have agreed to close the country's nuclear power stations and slash its use of coal, oil and gas. But can the industrial powerhouse of Europe really continue to churn out the BMWs and Mercedes on a meagre diet of wind and solar energy?

In the first of a new series of 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap travels to Berlin to meet the politicians of right and left who share a vision for a green Germany and the industrialists who fear that blind optimism has replaced logic at the heart of government.

Tom visits Feldheim, a tiny village that produces enough wind power to run a city and talks to the activists who plan to take over the entire electricity grid of Berlin and run the capital on alternative energy. Their enthusiasm is infectious but could the reality be power cuts and the departure of the industrial giants to the US and the Far East?

The stakes are high. If the plan they've christened the Energiewende, or energy transformation, succeeds, then Germany will have created a low-carbon model for the UK and the rest of the industrialised world. If it fails Germany could lose its place as an economic superpower.

Better Living Through Chemistry?2009010520090108

Tom Heap investigates how being exposed to a cocktail of pesticides could potentially damage our health.

A High Court ruling in November 2008 found in favour of a woman who claimed that prolonged exposure to pesticides sprayed in the fields surrounding her home had made her ill.

In the light of this, the EU has proposed that several pesticides be banned, but how might crop yields and food prices be affected should a ban be implemented?

How being exposed to a cocktail of pesticides could potentially damage our health.

Big Oil Big Trouble2016090620160907 (R4)

The big oil companies are the pantomime villains of the global warming debate. They've been accused of everything from climate change denial to commercial incompetence in a rapidly changing world. Campaigners attack their boardroom practices and push pension funds and universities to withdraw their investments.

Tom Heap examines the reactions of the likes of Exxon, Shell, BP and Total to the mounting evidence of man-made climate change. How much did they know? How much did they lobby against meaningful action? He meets Lord Browne, the former head of BP who famously rebranded his company as 'Beyond Petroleum' to find out why the rest of the industry failed to join his campaign to cut emissions and invest in renewable energy.

Tom and Lord Browne also discuss the changing rhetoric since the signing of the 2015 Paris climate change agreement. With fresh commitments to alternative fuels could the oil companies finally turn themselves from the villain to the principal boy, using their engineering expertise to halt the planet's changing climate?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Can the big oil companies re-invent themselves as climate saviours? Tom Heap reports.

Biofuels2007051720070518

A look at the new generation of green fuels and how the technology can best be utilised in this country.

Are we going down the American road of heady enthusiasm for green fuels, or is a more cautious approach necessary?

Biofuels

A look at the new generation of green fuels and how the technology can best be utilised in this country. Are we going down the American road of heady enthusiasm for green fuels, or is a more cautious approach necessary?

Black Gold In Paradise2017022120170222 (R4)

Yasuni National Park in Ecuador is widely recognised as the most biodiverse place on earth. Around 10% of all known life forms can be found within a few hundred acres of this part of the Amazon rainforest. Yet the forest sits on top of thousands of barrels of crude oil and the Ecuadorian government has now given the go-ahead for drilling. Tom Heap finds out what is at stake and asks why the Ecuadorian government which has one of the greenest constitutions in the world has decided to exploit the reserves.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Oil exploration has begun in the most biodiverse place on earth. Tom Heap investigates.

Black Gold In The Arctic20031127
Black Monday, Green Tuesday?2009011220090115

Tom Heap considers how the recession is likely to affect attitudes towards the environment.

If the current financial and environmental problems are rooted in our taste for consumption, surely an economic slowdown is a painful but necessary step in the right direction towards a greener planet? Fewer cars on the roads, fewer flights in the air and an enforced prudence when it comes to personal spending will mean less energy use and less waste.

But as the government advocates spending our way out of recession, some environmentalists fear that there will be a rush to develop a more environmentally-damaging infrastructure in order to keep the economy buoyant.

Others say that we are on the threshold of a new green world where workers in traditionally polluting industries such as car manufacturing will be able to switch to new green jobs.

Black Monday, Green Tuesday?20090115
Blackpool: The New Dallas?2010090820100909

The Deepwater Horizon disaster proved the dangers of searching for our oil and gas in ever more challenging environments.

Oil companies that had been keen to explore in deeper, colder and more isolated waters have been forced to take a step back and reconsider their options.

Their response has been to launch an extraordinary land grab, buying up the rights to explore vast tracts of the US and Europe in search of unconventional oil and gas.

From Lancashire to Gdansk and New York to the Rockies enormous reserves of shale gas lurk temptingly close to the centres of population.

Recent advances in extraction techniques have launched an industry in the US and persuaded the major oil companies to begin prospecting expeditions throughout Europe.

The advantages are obvious, removing our dependence on the Middle East, cutting back on the costs of transport and transmission.

The disadvantages are less obvious but could be fatally insurmountable.

In the US shale gas producers are blamed for poisoning water courses and even causing earthquakes.

Exploratory drilling is already happening within sight of the Blackpool Tower so the need to consider the pitfalls and potentially enormous prizes of land-based oil and gas in the UK is urgent.

Deepwater drilling for oil and gas is dangerous.

Can we find our supplies closer to home?

The Deepwater Horizon disaster proved the dangers of searching for our oil and gas in ever more challenging environments. Oil companies that had been keen to explore in deeper, colder and more isolated waters have been forced to take a step back and reconsider their options.

Their response has been to launch an extraordinary land grab, buying up the rights to explore vast tracts of the US and Europe in search of unconventional oil and gas. From Lancashire to Gdansk and New York to the Rockies enormous reserves of shale gas lurk temptingly close to the centres of population. Recent advances in extraction techniques have launched an industry in the US and persuaded the major oil companies to begin prospecting expeditions throughout Europe.

The advantages are obvious, removing our dependence on the Middle East, cutting back on the costs of transport and transmission. The disadvantages are less obvious but could be fatally insurmountable. In the US shale gas producers are blamed for poisoning water courses and even causing earthquakes.

Deepwater drilling for oil and gas is dangerous. Can we find our supplies closer to home?

Blackpool: The New Dallas?20100909

Deepwater drilling for oil and gas is dangerous. Can we find our supplies closer to home?

Bonn Climate Talks: Where Next?20171114

Tom Heap reports from the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn.

Tom Heap is in Bonn for the United Nations annual climate change discussions.

It is the first year with Donald Trump in power as president of the United States of America and Tom will be exploring what impact his climate stance will have on the conference talks and any future agreements.

Tom's guests are Lou Leonard, senior vice president of climate and energy at WWF US. He leads their climate program in the US and he is in Bonn to represent the 'We Are Still In' movement, referring to President Trump's desire to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Rachel Kyte is Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. Oliver Maurice is Director of The International National Trusts Organisation: the organisation that oversees all of the national trust organisations around the world, and Mark Pershin. Mark fronts an organisation called 'Less Meat, Less Heat' and he tells Tom about something called the 'Climatarian' diet.

Tom will be taking stock of some of the topics disucssed in this series of Costing The Earth and asks how our attempts to combat climate change are proceeding and will proceed in the future. Will public responsibility and engagement with the problems that are now being faced galvanise more of the world's population into action?

Presenter: Tom Heap
Producer Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Bottle Bank Wars2012013120120201

Since goldrush days San Francisco has been a magnet for those on the make. But the latest moneymakers aren't interested in striking gold, they're in search of cans and bottles. The city's efforts to boost recycling rates have been so successful that the value of rubbish has spiralled, leading to battles between official, unofficial and downright criminal garbage collectors.

San Francisco now recycles 78% of it's trash: paper, bottles, cans, plastics and even food gets recycled or composted. This is partly due to the California Bottle Bill of 1987 that introduced legislation to ensure a deposit was repaid on bottles and cans that were sold in the state. The amount recyclers get depends on the package they return.

The city has also made it extremely easy for residents to recycle. They now have three bins. A brown bin for food waste, a black bin for general waste and a blue bin for recycling.

It's these now iconic blue bins that scavengers target, pillaging the bottles and cans before Recology, the city's official garbage collectors, can get to them. They then take the booty to recycling centers and collect a few bucks.

The fear is that now small time pilfering by a handful of scavengers is becoming more organised with criminal gangs getting in on the act.

Tom Heap hits the streets of San Francisco to meet those making cash from trash.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

In San Francisco, recycling is so profitable that they're fighting over the trash.

Bottle Bank Wars20120201

In San Francisco, recycling is so profitable that they're fighting over the trash.

Bristol: Green Capital?2015022420150225 (R4)

Bristol is Europe's Green Capital for 2015. Tom Heap finds out what that means.

Bristol has been named as Europe's Green Capital for 2015. Tom Heap finds out if local people will see real improvements in their city.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Britain Disconnected2016020920160210 (R4)

Extreme weather this winter has cut off large areas of Britain from the outside world. Does our Victorian infrastructure need an urgent update?

With parts of Cumbria cut-off since early December, bridges down in Yorkshire, hundreds of ferry cancellations and the West Coast train line out of action until March it's increasingly clear that Britain can't cope with the strong winds and floods that are becoming the new norm.

Should we embark on a new transport revolution, pouring concrete and laying steel to future-proof our roads and railways or should we accept a disconnected Britain?

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Sarah Swadling.

Extreme weather over the past few years has cut off large chunks of rural Britain from the outside world. Does our Victorian infrastructure need an urgent update? Tom Heap reports.

Britain From 2060: The Land2012081420120815

What will Britain's landscape look like in 2060? Tom Heap on our changing climate.

According to the latest predictions on global warming Britain from the 2060s could begin to look rather like Madeira. In the first of a two-part investigation into the impact of climate change Tom Heap visits the island 350 miles from the coast of Morocco to find out how we might be living in the second half of the 21st century.

With a climate dominated by the Atlantic, a wet, mountainous north and a warm, dry, over-populated south Madeira already resembles Britain in miniature. The settlers who arrived from Portugal in the 15th century developed a complex farming system that found a niche for dozens of crops, from olives and oranges to wheat and sweet potatoes. Could British farmers prepare for a less predictable climate by studying the delicate agricultural arts of the Madeirans?

Irrigation systems bring water from the wet north of Madeira to the parched south where 90 percent of the population live and most of the tourists visit. Should Britain accept the inevitable and invest in the water pipes that could keep the South-East of England hydrated with Scottish and Northumbrian water?

Tom will also be studying the island's wildlife. Can Britain expect semi-tropical insects and reptiles to invade the south as our mountain hares and ptarmigan die out in the north? Or does Madeira's broad range of species offer hope of something subtly different but just as fascinating from the 2060s?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Britain In 2060: The Land2012081420120815

What will Britain's landscape look like in 2060? Tom Heap on our changing climate.

According to the latest predictions on global warming, Britain in 2060 is going to look very much like Madeira. In the first of a two-part investigation into the impact of climate change Tom Heap visits the island 350 miles from the coast of Morrocco to find out how we might be living in fifty years.

With a climate dominated by the Atlantic, a wet, mountainous north and a warm, dry, over-populated south, Madeira already resembles Britain in minature. The settlers who arrived from Portugal in the 15th century developed a complex farming system that found a niche for dozens of crops, from olives and oranges to wheat and sweet potatoes. Should British farmers prepare for a less predictable climate by studying the delicate agricultural arts of the Madeirans?

Irrigation systems bring water from the wet north of Madeira to the parched south where 90% of the population live and most tourists visit. Should Britain accept the inevitable and invest in the water pipes that could keep the South-East of England hydrated with Scottish and Northumbrian water?

Tom will also be studying the island's wildlife. Can Britain expect semi-tropical insects and reptiles to invade the south as our mountain hares and ptarmigan die out in the north? Or does Madeira's broad range of species offer hope of something subtly different but just as fascinating for 2060?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Britain In 2060: The Seas2012082120120822

What fish can we expect in our seas in 2060? Tom Heap investigates climate change Britain.

Rising sea temperatures are already bringing new species to our shores. Sunfish, sea turtles and basking sharks are common sights. But what can we expect to see in the fishing nets by 2060?

The key to the species that visit these shores is the plankton on which they feed. Species of plankton more usually found in areas of the southern Atlantic ocean are now turning up on our shores, and so are the fish and mammals that feed on them.

So will tropical species replace the cod and haddock in Britain's fish and chip shops? Will great white sharks patrol our beaches? Tom Heap takes to the water to predict the state of our seas in fifty years.

Will we all be eating Boarfish and chips? Red Mullet Goujons? Tom Heap asks whether the waters around the UK are set to become home to exotic whales and dolphins such as these pictured below.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

All photos courtesy of the Sea Watch Foundation library.

Britain In Flames2012041720120418

Last spring huge swathes of the British countryside, from Dorset to the West Highlands erupted in flames. In the wake of a dry winter and drought orders across the south there's a real risk of another year of serious wildfires.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap investigates the causes of forest and moorland fire and the innovative ideas that could help us predict them, and fight them.

At Crowthorne Forest in Berkshire, site of the most destructive of 2011's fires he meets the young families evacuated from their homes who are now planting saplings that should prove to be more fire-resistant than their charred predecessors. In Northumbria he joins the local fire and rescue service for an exercise designed to test their speed and efficiency in the face of fire. And in the forests of South Wales he finds out why the region is the arson capital of the UK.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Is the UK ready for a new season of wildfires? Tom Heap investigates.

Britain In Flames20120418
Britain Rules The Waves2015091520150916 (R4)

Can Britain save the oceans by protecting its overseas territories? Tom Heap reports.

Britain still owns islands large and small across the globe, from Pitcairn to South Georgia and Bermuda to Ascension. Could we use the waters around these territories to protect vast swathes of the oceans from overfishing and development? Tom Heap meets the islanders and the conservationists eager to see if Britain really can lead the way.

He takes to the water to see how Gibraltar is using its spawning grounds to restore the health of the Mediterranean and finds out what the enormous new no-fishing zone around Pitcairn could mean for the Pacific.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Britain Under Water2014021820140219

The fight back against the flood waters starts here. Tom Heap reports.

It's time to fight back against nature. For two months great swathes of Britain have been paralysed by torrential rain, storms and flooding. Tom Heap has had enough. In a special edition of 'Costing the Earth' he'll be eschewing the moaning and buck-passing in favour of a search for a long-term solution to Britain's vulnerability.

With the help of experts from the Met Office and the National Trust, water engineers and economists Tom will discuss the challenges in an era of climate change and the best solutions that science can offer.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Britain's Environment: The Debate2015050520150506 (R4)

How will the next government tackle Britain's environmental problems? Tom Heap reports.

How will the next government tackle Britain's environmental problems?

The politics of the environment and our food supply are vital for the future of the planet.

Tom Heap hosts a debate asking if this election campaign has raised the issues that need addressing.

What specific commitments have the political parties made on nature? Where are the big ideas to tackle climate change? How can we secure our food supplies without wrecking the planet?

Tom Heap will put these challenging issues to a panel that features philosopher, Roger Scruton, former Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper, Chief Executive of the Soil Association, Helen Browning, Director of Forum for the Future, Jonathon Porritt and Heather Hancock, lead author of the independent review of the BBC's coverage of rural affairs.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Britain's Green Capital 20152014032520140326

In 2015 Bristol will be European Green Capital. We discover exactly what that means.

In 2015 Bristol will be European Green Capital. We discover exactly what the title means to the city and what makes Bristol so environmentally friendly.

The 'Green Capital' award is new. It's been going for the last five years and next year Bristol will become the sixth. Miranda Krestovnikoff discovers why Bristol was successful in it's bid and what makes the city stand out from the rest of the country for it's environmental credentials.

Miranda visits last year's winning city, Nantes to find out what makes a city European Green capital and what the legacy is for future generations living in Nantes. She discovers how the Green Capital award is spreading the environmental message across Europe and what Bristol can learn from previous winners.

In this week's Costing The Earth Miranda Krestovnikoff talks to the team behind the bid to find out what big plans they have in store for Bristol as they prepare to become European Green Capital for 2015 and meets Bristol's flamboyant and eco-thinking mayor, George Ferguson, as he sets out the green agenda for the years to come.

Presenter: Miranda Krestovnikoff

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Britain's Nuclear Future20110323

Britain is running out of power.

Ten new nuclear reactors were supposed to provide the solution.

In this week's 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks if the events in Japan have dealt a fatal blow to the future of the industry.

Tom will be examining the changes in safety regimes that may be provoked by the ongoing disaster.

He'll also be asking if the economic case for nuclear has changed and looking ahead to the future supply of uranium.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

What next for the British nuclear industry? Tom Heap reports on the future of fission.

Britain is running out of power. Ten new nuclear reactors were supposed to provide the solution. In this week's 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks if the events in Japan have dealt a fatal blow to the future of the industry.

Tom will be examining the changes in safety regimes that may be provoked by the ongoing disaster. He'll also be asking if the economic case for nuclear has changed and looking ahead to the future supply of uranium.

Britain's Overseas Wildlife2014052020140521

Britain's Overseas Territories are a treasure trove of wildlife. Tom Heap reports.

Britain's Overseas Territories from the Caribbean to the Falkland Islands contain a treasure trove of wildlife. A new report from the RSPB reveals that 94% of unique UK species live beyond our shores. But many of those astonishing creatures are at great threat from tourist development and invasive species.

To discover whether we are doing enough to protect our secret garden of species Tom Heap visits the Turks and Caicos Islands, 150 miles to the east of Cuba.

Britain's Wilderness2012082820120829

The first attempt in England to turn a landscape back into a wilderness is 10 years old.

The first attempt in England to turn a landscape back into a wilderness is 10 years old this year.

In this week's Costing The Earth, Miranda Krestovnikoff visits Ennerdale Valley, on the Western edge of the Lake District, to find out how the scheme is progressing.

Rewilding, as the scheme has become known, allows natural processes to take place, in order to return the habitat to as natural an environment as possible. The landscape has been managed in such a way that natural flora and fauna have been encouraged back to the valley. Miranda meets those involved in returning the valley to a wilderness.

In order for the project to be be a success, the major land owners in the valley: the National Trust, the Forestry Commission, Natural England and United Utilities have all been working together.

Miranda discovers how successful the rewilding project has been and whether or not schemes of this type are worth attempting elsewhere in the UK: a country that has very little wilderness that has been untouched by human hands. She also finds out the vital role visitors to the area play in keeping the landscape alive.

Presenter: Miranda Krestovnikoff

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Bug Eats Bug2003072420030731

Tom Feilden finds out if predators could save the British countryside from insect invasion.

Bug Mac And Flies2011090720110908
Building A Better City2003073120030807

Britain's cities are being rebuilt on a scale unprecedented since 1945.

Miriam O'reilly asks if we are getting it right this time.

Buildings

Buildings20090914
Buildings20090917

Tom Heap asks if we are looking in the wrong place for solutions to climate change.

Buildings * *2009091420090917

The places where we live and work account for well over a third of the energy the world uses - our homes, offices, cinemas and sports centres are a much bigger problem for the planet than cars, lorries, planes and ships.

Does that mean we can fly as much as we like as long as we sort out the problems on the ground? Tom Heap investigates.

A recent report backed by some of the world's leading corporations identified buildings as major contributors to problems of climate change.

The even worse news is that most of the homes, offices and public buildings that will be standing in the middle of the century have already been built, so they will have to be expensively adapted if they are to be made green enough to meet even modest energy-saving targets.

The business leaders behind the report have said that although the work is expensive, it will pay for itself in reduced energy bills in a surprisingly short time.

But they also say that it simply won't get done until governments make it compulsory.

Have the politicians got the bottle? Do the numbers really work? Tom Heap visits homes, offices and experts to ask whether payback time has arrived, who is footing the bill, and how much disruption it will mean at home, at work and at play.

Tom Heap asks if we are looking in the wrong place for solutions to climate change.

Burn That Fat!20130925

Fighting the fat can be a difficult issue - and not just for our waistlines. Old cooking oil from our takeaways and roast dinners can cause major problems - from polluting watercourses to blocking sewers and causing flooding if not disposed of carefully. But rising commodity prices and surprising new uses have turned it from waste product to wonder in some people's eyes.

Tom Heap slides his way to a fat recycling plant where everything from large scale tubs of mayonnaise to tiny butter sachets and even pork scratchings are seen as a golden resource which can be treated and turned into fuels. Out of date or overcooked foods can still find a purpose - even 'frier sludges' are valued here.

So how far would Tom go in pursuit of useful waste fat? A trip beneath the streets of London to the sewers sees him in search of 'fatbergs' - created by the build up of grease thrown down our sinks. Some as large as double-decker buses have been found which have to be blasted out to ensure they don't block the system and cause sewage to flood people's homes. Now instead of being sent to landfill they're being put to good use - despite being once of the most degraded fats on the spectrum.

Meanwhile the University of Wolverhampton has been using oil from the local chippy and canteen for its lab experiments. They've been able to make a bioplastic - something so pure from something so dirty - that it will be used inside the human body to aid healing.

Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.

California Gasping2011051820110519

California has a rapidly expanding population, one of the world's most important agricultural zones and a chronic lack of water.

That contradiction has led to 70 years of wrangling punctuated by outbursts of violence and corruption.

A new plan is being drawn up which is intended to resolve the outstanding problems once and for all, finding a balance between the needs of farmers, consumers and the environment.

Travelling from one of the primary sources of the state's water in the far north to the threatened landscape of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Tom Heap hears the voices of those who've spent their lives in these stunning landscapes, feeling themselves at the mercy of those in power.

Is California's desperate search for water at an end? Tom Heap reports.

California has a rapidly expanding population, one of the world's most important agricultural zones and a chronic lack of water. That contradiction has led to 70 years of wrangling punctuated by outbursts of violence and corruption.

California Gasping20110519

Is California's desperate search for water at an end? Tom Heap reports.

Carbon Labelling2008012420080125

A new label on supermarket food will reveal how much carbon was emitted during its manufacture. This is all part of the government's effort to get us to reduce our carbon footprints, but how can it be presented to the customer in a way that makes sense? And while labelling may be a good selling point for the environmentally conscious shopper, it leaves a lot of questions about our food unanswered. Tom Heap tries to make sense of some of the possible dilemmas.

Carbon Trading2011031620110317

It sounded like the perfect answer.

Carbon trading could halt global warming, boost 'green' investment in the developing world and make money for city traders.

Four years on and Europe's complex system to cut emissions from our factories has comprehensively failed.

Despite vast amounts of money and effort being thrown at the scheme the current phase of carbon trading has, according to one report, cut emissions by a third of one per cent.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks if capitalism's big idea has a future or just a murky past.

Back in the 1990s, in a desperate attempt to get the United States to sign up to binding reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases the concept of carbon trading was developed.

The idea was that polluting industries would be forced to buy the right to pollute in the form of carbon credits.

If they wanted to pollute more they'd have to pay.

If they polluted less then they could make a profit by offering their surplus credits to other businesses.

Over time the number of credits would be reduced, bringing worldwide carbon emissions tumbling in a relatively pain-free way.

The truth, as Tom discovers, is very different.

The US has refused to take part, Japan and Korea have shelved plans to join in and the issue splits the Australian government.

Only in the European Union has a system been developed and even here corruption, theft and a vast surplus of credits have combined to damage the policy's reputation and blunt its effectiveness.

Despite doubts about the system it's influence is spreading fast.

Many businesses are using a system of voluntary carbon off-setting to ease the conscience of their customers.

Buy a flight or a 4 x 4 and you'll often be asked to pay a little extra to fund carbon-reduction schemes in the developing world.

Closer to home the idea of habitat banking is gaining ground.

This could give developers the chance to build on a wildlife-rich area as long as they pay to create the equivalent habitat elsewhere.

It's a concept that's popular within the coalition government and supporters expect it to become a major part of conservation policy in England within the decade.

Should we worry about this commodification of our environment or embrace the arrival of money and markets into the campaign to save our planet and improve the green space on our doorstep?

Why has capitalism's answer to climate change failed? Tom Heap investigates.

It sounded like the perfect answer. Carbon trading could halt global warming, boost 'green' investment in the developing world and make money for city traders. Four years on and Europe's complex system to cut emissions from our factories has comprehensively failed. Despite vast amounts of money and effort being thrown at the scheme the current phase of carbon trading has, according to one report, cut emissions by a third of one per cent. In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks if capitalism's big idea has a future or just a murky past.

Back in the 1990s, in a desperate attempt to get the United States to sign up to binding reductions in the emission of greenhouse gases the concept of carbon trading was developed. The idea was that polluting industries would be forced to buy the right to pollute in the form of carbon credits. If they wanted to pollute more they'd have to pay. If they polluted less then they could make a profit by offering their surplus credits to other businesses. Over time the number of credits would be reduced, bringing worldwide carbon emissions tumbling in a relatively pain-free way.

The truth, as Tom discovers, is very different. The US has refused to take part, Japan and Korea have shelved plans to join in and the issue splits the Australian government. Only in the European Union has a system been developed and even here corruption, theft and a vast surplus of credits have combined to damage the policy's reputation and blunt its effectiveness.

Despite doubts about the system it's influence is spreading fast. Many businesses are using a system of voluntary carbon off-setting to ease the conscience of their customers. Buy a flight or a 4 x 4 and you'll often be asked to pay a little extra to fund carbon-reduction schemes in the developing world. Closer to home the idea of habitat banking is gaining ground. This could give developers the chance to build on a wildlife-rich area as long as they pay to create the equivalent habitat elsewhere. It's a concept that's popular within the coalition government and supporters expect it to become a major part of conservation policy in England within the decade.

Carbon Trading20110317

Why has capitalism's answer to climate change failed? Tom Heap investigates.

Cave Carnage2011083120110901

Deep beneath southern Europe there stretches a 500 kilometre long subterranean world.

Underground rivers and vast caverns are home to unique and unusual species like the blind salamander and the freshwater sponge.

Barely explored, the caves of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Albania are facing up to a rash of environmental threats.

In Costing the Earth Tom Heap will be joining caver and Whitley Award-winning biologist, Jana Bedek to explore the caves, spot the wildlife and witness the destruction.

Waste dumping and agricultural pollution are damaging waterways all through the cave system but it's in Croatia that some of the toughest challenges exist.

Preparing for European Union membership the country is pushing ahead with the development of highways and hydro-electric plants.

The construction is threatening some of the most valuable wildlife sites on the continent but the damage is invisible to most local people and all but the most adventurous of visitors.

Is damage unavoidable in the rush to join the EU or does Croatia risk losing its natural foundations?

Europe's strangest species are under threat of extinction.

Tom Heap investigates.

Deep beneath southern Europe there stretches a 500 kilometre long subterranean world. Underground rivers and vast caverns are home to unique and unusual species like the blind salamander and the freshwater sponge. Barely explored, the caves of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Albania are facing up to a rash of environmental threats.

In Costing the Earth Tom Heap will be joining caver and Whitley Award-winning biologist, Jana Bedek to explore the caves, spot the wildlife and witness the destruction. Waste dumping and agricultural pollution are damaging waterways all through the cave system but it's in Croatia that some of the toughest challenges exist. Preparing for European Union membership the country is pushing ahead with the development of highways and hydro-electric plants. The construction is threatening some of the most valuable wildlife sites on the continent but the damage is invisible to most local people and all but the most adventurous of visitors.

Europe's strangest species are under threat of extinction. Tom Heap investigates.

Cave Carnage20110901

Europe's strangest species are under threat of extinction. Tom Heap investigates.

Cerrado

Cerrado20100505

With 5% of the world's flora and fauna Brazil's enormous Cerrado region is a rich mosaic of grass and woodland that is being destroyed at twice the speed of the Amazon rainforest.

Taking up one quarter of Brazil's land mass the Cerrado lacks the high profile of the Amazon or its celebrity supporters, making it easier for the fast expanding sugarcane and soya industries to take bigger bites out of the savannah.

That can mean the loss of unique species and the destruction of traditional ways of life in the region.

For 'Costing the Earth' Tim Hirsch visits the Cerrado to hear from local people who are trying to save their land by making it pay.

Ice creams flavoured with unusual Cerrado fruits and bird-watching holidays for British tourists may not be able to compete with large-scale farming but locals hope they'll give the area the publicity it needs for real protection.

Brazil's Cerrado is one of the world's richest eco-systems.

Can it be saved?

Chemical Weapons: 100 Years On2014042920140430

Tom Heap finds out how Syria's chemical weapons are going to be disposed of.

With the end of April being the deadline for Syria's President Assad to sacrifice his entire arsenal of chemical weapons, Tom Heap finds out the nitty-gritty of how they're going to be disposed of. This involves previously untried methods such as neutralising the most dangerous chemicals on board an American vessel, the MV Cape Ray. This, as we'll hear, presents its own problems. Other Syrian chemicals will be destroyed in Port Ellesmere in Cheshire, as well as in the United States, Germany and Finland.

Tom puts these efforts of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) into a historical perspective, exactly 99 years after the first recorded use of chemical weapons in Ypres during the First World War.

Producer: Mark Smalley.

Chernobyl19990627

When Chernobyl and its NUCLEAR legacy erupted into our lives 13 years ago, the world woke up to the global implications of the NUCLEAR industry.

The programme investigates why we are still waiting for all of the reactors on the Chernobyl site to be closed down.

China's Water Revolution2015042820150429 (R4)

China needs more water urgently. Isabel Hilton examines the nation's options.

China has powered its development with water. When it needed energy for industry it built the largest hydro-electric dams in the world. When the farmland and factories of northern China were threatened with drought an enormous canal was built to pipe supplies from the south. China has the engineering skill, the capital and the will to challenge the limits that nature sets on development. But the exploitation of China's water resources has come at a great cost, forcing millions from their homes, polluting natural lakes and rivers and pushing rare animal species to the brink of extinction.

Isabel Hilton, editor of the China Dialogue website, assesses the progress of China's water revolution and asks where its water will come from in the future. Can large-scale engineering continue to provide the answers or must government teach industry and the public to live within their means?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Chinese Salmon2012091120120912

In January 2011 the Scottish Government announced a new deal to supply salmon to China. If only 1% of its population chose to eat it the Scottish industry would have to double in size. The target set is to increase the industry by 50% by 2020. Conor Woodman asks how this can be done without impacting on the environment.

Concerns about salmon farming include the spread of sea lice, escapes, pollution of the sea bed and the impact of sea lice treatment on other sea life. However it provides jobs, both directly and indirectly in areas often with fragile economies.

Conor visits the island of Gometra in the Inner Hebrides where a new fish farm is being proposed. The island has no electricity and only a few residents but is classed as 'very sensitive countryside'. It's one of five new fish farm sites applied for in the last 6 months. While the residents there oppose it, many of those on neighbouring Ulva hope the jobs will attract more young people to the area.

Conor speaks to the Scottish Association for Marine Science about how the industry is dealing with the environmental issues. He also hears about the new direction some of the industry is taking - Marine Harvest is moving out of traditional lochs to open sea locations which it hopes will lead to larger farms being permitted. He also speaks to a British company looking to introduce 'closed containment' systems by farming tanks of fish on land. Is this the new image of salmon farming in the UK and will these methods face issues of their own?

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Conor Woodman asks how farmed Scottish salmon production can increase by 50% sustainably.

Cities Without Cars2016091320160914 (R4)

The battle in big cities continues: how do you keep cars out to cut congestion and reduce pollution? Chris Ledgard visits Paris and Barcelona to explore two different approaches. In Paris, the mayor's office wants to ban the most polluting cars, and coloured stickers are being introduced to help the authorities determine which vehicles can enter the city centre. Meanwhile, more and more Paris residents are turning to the electric car-sharing scheme, Autolib. We hear how it works. In Barcelona, urban ecologists are adapting the famous grid system designed by Ildefons Cerda to create 'superblocks' - large traffic-free spaces across the city where the sound of traffic is only distantly heard. Chris talks to the scheme's inventor, Salvador Rueda, and hears about his vision for Spain's second biggest city.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

Keeping cars out of the city: Chris Ledgard explores new plans in Paris and Barcelona.

Cleaning Up The Ganges2010052620100527

The Ganges, above all is the river of India, which has held India's heart captive and drawn uncounted millions to her banks since the dawn of history.

The story of the Ganges, from her source to the sea, from old times to new, is the story of India's civilization and culture, of the rise and fall of empires, of great and proud cities, of adventures of man".

So said India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Ganges holds a sacred place in the Hindu religion.

It is a requirement for the 830 million Hindus in the world today to bathe in its waters at least once in their lifetime.

Today the Ganges is a filthy shadow of its former majesty but all that is about to change.

The World Bank is lending the Indian government $1.5 billion to help clean the river, but it is 10 times the length of the Thames and many argue that its distance from the sea, its proximity to so many fast-growing cities, as well as India's lack of a sewage system mean that it is an impossible task.

Efforts to clean-up the Ganges tributary, the Yamuna, have failed and scientists argue that more money is needed to expand treatment plants in Lucknow, Allahabad and Kanpur but sewage first needs to reach these plants.

Some argue that water management is the source of the problem and that this is where money should be spent.

Climate change and dam building are drying up the river at its source and they argue the only way to clean it is to increase the flow of clean supply.

Tom Heap travels the banks of the river to find out if the Holy Ganges can be saved.

Producer: Helen Lennard."

Cleaning Up The Ganges20100527

Tom Heap visits the holy Ganges river to discover if India's life source can ever be clean

Climate Change: Inconvenient Facts?2015033120150401 (R4)

With arctic sea ice shrinking and Antarctic sea ice growing, Tom Heap asks what is happening to the climate.

Despite the consensus of scientists around the world, there are still some anomalies in the computer models of the future climate. Tom Heap is joined by a panel of experts to tackle some of the difficult questions that lead to uncertainties in our understanding of the changing climate.

The perceived wisdom in the scientific community is that the climate is warming but evidence shows that even though Arctic sea ice is melting, there has actually been a growth in Antarctic sea ice. That, along with a documented slow down in the warming of the climate since 1998, has been a 'stone in the shoe' of the climate change story. So what is happening?

Tom is joined by BBC and Met office weather presenter John Hammond to put these 'difficult' climate scenarios to a team of experts: Mark Lynas is an author and environmental campaigner, Mike Hulme is professor of Climate and Culture at Kings College London and Dr Helen Czerski is a broadcaster and 'bubble physicist' at UCL.

With the help of this panel, Costing The Earth discusses how best to communicate anomalies that don't appear in climate models and make the science sometimes hard to comprehend.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

With Antarctic sea ice growing, Tom Heap asks what is happening to the climate.

Coast: 50 Years Of Change2015102020151021 (R4)

A new report reveals how the UK's coast has changed over the last 50 years.

A new report from the National Trust reveals how how our coast has changed over the last 50 years. Tom Heap asks if we've become better or worse at protecting the nation's prime asset.

He joins John Whittow who led a team of students to survey the coast in 1965 and compares his findings with a brand new study from Leicester University. Has the rapid urbanisation of the 1960s continued or has the tide been turned? What new threats are on the horizon?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Cocoa Loco2011042720110428

It used to be a treat but now a chocolate bar is one of the cheapest ways to fill up.

Chocolate is the unlikely substance at the heart of commodity wars.

Cocoa has been reported to be more valuable than gold but will this mean the end of the nation's coffee break.

Over-farming has caused problems in chocolate producing countries in Africa and South America.

The pressure to produce cheap cocoa has meant farmers have failed to replant and replenish.

Soil has become unusable and mature trees are now reaching the end of their life cycle.

Fair trade has been forced on even the biggest producers like Nestle as the only means to get the raw product.

But, is it too little too late and is this late interest a real commitment to fair deals for farmers and their land?

There is concern that speculation by financial traders has helped to push up food prices worldwide, creating an unsustainable bubble that makes it even harder for many in the developing world to afford to eat.

Workers in the UK have also felt the impact - Burton's Foods blamed higher cocoa and wheat prices for the closure of its Wirral factory - where Wagon Wheels and Jammie Dodgers are made - with the loss of over 400 jobs.

Palm oil is another growing problem.

Cheap, easy to grow and lucrative, many cocoa farmers have switched to this crop and turned their land over to monoculture.

Costing the Earth investigates the efforts to keep our favourite treat going and asks if this is the first commodity of many to succumb to over-production and unrealistically cheap market prices.

Cocoa costs have soared recently.

Tom Heap asks if costly chocolate might be good for all.

It used to be a treat but now a chocolate bar is one of the cheapest ways to fill up. Chocolate is the unlikely substance at the heart of commodity wars. Cocoa has been reported to be more valuable than gold but will this mean the end of the nation's coffee break.

Over-farming has caused problems in chocolate producing countries in Africa and South America. The pressure to produce cheap cocoa has meant farmers have failed to replant and replenish. Soil has become unusable and mature trees are now reaching the end of their life cycle. Fair trade has been forced on even the biggest producers like Nestle as the only means to get the raw product. But, is it too little too late and is this late interest a real commitment to fair deals for farmers and their land?

There is concern that speculation by financial traders has helped to push up food prices worldwide, creating an unsustainable bubble that makes it even harder for many in the developing world to afford to eat. Workers in the UK have also felt the impact - Burton's Foods blamed higher cocoa and wheat prices for the closure of its Wirral factory - where Wagon Wheels and Jammie Dodgers are made - with the loss of over 400 jobs.

Palm oil is another growing problem. Cheap, easy to grow and lucrative, many cocoa farmers have switched to this crop and turned their land over to monoculture. Costing the Earth investigates the efforts to keep our favourite treat going and asks if this is the first commodity of many to succumb to over-production and unrealistically cheap market prices.

Cocoa costs have soared recently. Tom Heap asks if costly chocolate might be good for all.

Cocoa Loco20110428

Cocoa costs have soared recently. Tom Heap asks if costly chocolate might be good for all.

Coral Versus Coal
Coral Versus Coal2018030620180307 (R4)

Why has Australia failed to arrest the decline of the Great Barrier Reef?

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

The rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef is one of the environmental crises of the decade. But who is to blame?

Environmental activists have accused successive Australian governments of underestimating the threats to the reef from agriculture and the shipping industry but their focus is now on a coal mine.

India's Adani corporation has government support for the development of one of the world's largest new mines at Carmichael, inland from the Great Barrier Reef. Construction would increase shipping traffic around the reef but the real concern is the extra carbon dioxide that the burning of millions of tonnes of coal would send into the atmosphere. This could increase the speed of climate change and lead to yet warmer waters around Australia, potentially killing even more of the coral of the Great Barrier Reef.

Marine biologist and film-maker, Ellen Husain meets both sides of the debate to find out if new jobs from the mine could outweigh the damage to the reef and the jobs that reef tourism supports.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Costing The Earth

Countdown To Copenhagen

Countdown To Copenhagen20091026
Countdown To Copenhagen20091029

Tom Heap on the prospects for the United Nations' crucial climate change conference.

Countdown To Copenhagen * *2009102620091029

Tom Heap looks behind the jargon and political scene-shifting to ask whether or not a definitive new deal on climate change will come out of the talks at Copenhagen in December 2009.

Politicians from around the world will attempt to thrash out a deal in Denmark's capital city to limit the damage that the changing climate on the planet.

Most now accept that this means drastic cuts in the use of oil, coal and gas.

Getting agreement on how that should be achieved among 192 nations seems impossible.

Tom seeks to find out how to interpret the codes of official statements and off-the-record briefings.

He also hears from some of the people who will have to live with the consequences and ask how their voices are working their way into the Copenhagen process.

These include the President of the Maldives, who warns that his fight against the encroaching seas is our fight too.

Children in Sri Lanka who have been exchanging experiences with English counterparts by the sea in Essex, and a group of children working under the banner Generation Green struggle to produce an action plan for Downing Street.

And in case anyone thinks the Jeremy Clarkson worldview has withered in the face of this upsurge of youthful greenery, Tom joins a group of boy and girl racers in Cheltenham for a petrol-fuelled conversation about living now and paying later.

Tom Heap on the prospects for the United Nations' crucial climate change conference.

Crisis, What Crisis?2009020920090212

Miriam O'reilly investigates whether the crash in prices for old newspaper and plastic bottles has made recycling a waste of time.

Crisis, What Crisis?20090212

Miriam O'Reilly investigates whether a crash in prices has made recycling a waste of time.

Cruel Harvest2012091920121016

The disastrous global harvest of 2012 has slashed food supplies from the parched Mid-West of the USA to the dusty plains of Ukraine. In this time of crisis many farmers are asking if they should continue to grow crops to be turned into fuel for cars and power stations when they could be feeding more people.

Costing the Earth visits the American corn-belt of Missouri and the rape fields of Bedfordshire to investigate the international impact of the tightening food supplies and ask if we need to get used to more extreme weather patterns over the coming decades. Can scientists help farmers grow crops that are more resistant to drought and flood or should we accept that all of our fertile land should be turned over to food production?

Producer: Steve Peacock.

Cruise Ships And Creeks2012042420120425

It is the third-largest natural harbour in the world but even so, it isn't deep enough for modern ships. Falmouth in Cornwall wants to invest £100 million to modernise its ship-repairing docks and facilities for cruise liners.

The project would create hundreds of jobs, protect existing businesses and bring cash-laden tourists into the surrounding area. It depends on being able to dredge the channel into the harbour and that's where the problem lies - to do so would mean digging up rare calcified seaweed called maerl which is protected by law and lies in a special conservation area.

It's a classic stand-off between economic development and protecting the natural environment- now specialist marine scientists have been called in to see whether both sides can be satisfied. Tom Heap gets to grips with rare seaweed and big bucks in Cornwall for 'Costing The Earth'.

Producer: Steve Peacock.

Falmouth's plans to attract cruise ships could damage the environment. Tom Heap reports.

Cruise Ships And Creeks20120425

Falmouth's plans to attract cruise ships could damage the environment. Tom Heap reports.

Cruising: A Dirty Secret2016111520161116 (R4)

Tom Heap investigates the link between cruise ships and poor air quality.

A new cruise ship terminal is planned for Greenwich. Enderby Wharf will bring holiday makers right into the heart of the UK's capital city.

Greenwich is an existing pollution hotspot. Heavy traffic from nearby Trafalgar Road and the Blackwall Tunnel mean that air quality limits are frequently breached. Bringing a cruise ship into the area will further exacerbate the problem, increasing traffic bringing goods and services to the terminal.

Residents have raised concerns that visiting ships would burn 700 litres of diesel an hour whilst in dock. That's the equivalent of over 650 HGV lorries idling in an already polluted part of the city. At least 9000 Londoners already die prematurely each year as a result of breathing dirty air.

Southampton is a city built around its docks and so Tom Heap visits the Solent to find out how bad air pollution from cruise ships can be and asks what can be done by the industry to cut down on harmful emissions when the ships are in berth.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Csi Landfill2013100820131009

Tom Heap discovers landfill mining: finding value in what's been thrown away.

Tom Heap discovers landfill mining: finding value in what's been thrown away. He visits Belgium to meet the first prospectors digging for treasure in trash.

For years rubbish has been thrown away and sent to landfill sites, but now there are moves to look at what's been discarded as a resource.

Metals, plastics, ceramics and minerals are all buried under ground. As waste in landfill decomposes it emits gases. All are rich pickings and valuable to those looking to recycle and reuse the waste we've thrown away as scientists and engineers look to close the circle of waste.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Csi Rhino2013040920130410

Tom Heap finds out how DNA analysis can help prevent illegal trade in Rhino horn.

Tom Heap finds an unlikely battle line in the fight to protect remaining wild rhino populations being fought here in the UK. Rhino horn is now worth twice as much as gold because of its perceived value in Asian medicine. New markets in Vietnam have increased the pressure from poaching on wild populations but also on horn found in museums and zoos in the UK. Museums are now warned not to display real rhino horn and zoos like Colchester have had to increase security measures to protect their live rhino. To help prevent illegally obtained horn from leaving the country and encouraging the market for rhino horn scientists in the UK are setting up a DNA database of all the horn kept here in museums, private collections and on the heads of living rhino in zoos.

Tom discovers that these highly threatened animals can be surprisingly gentle given their size and that thefts from UK museums have become increasingly common. The criminal gangs looking to profit from horn theft are highly organised and DNA forensics could be vital in achieving convictions.

It is hoped that less illegal horn feeding the market will help put an end to the demand but there are also new arguments for a legal trade to sate the demand using farmed rhino whose horns could be regularly shaved. The debate around legalisation remains live but most people agree that a worldwide DNA database would be the only way to regulate and prevent poached rhino horn being traded legally. Wildlife crime officers say that DNA forensics could be vital in helping protect rhinos and many other endangered species in the future.

Current Concerns20020425

Series exploring environmental issues.

`Current Concerns'.

Alex Kirby discovers that some miscarriages can be caused by household appliances.

Cycle City2015041420150415 (R4)

The bulldozers have already begun work on London's 'cycle superhighways' or 'Crossrail for bikes'. Cycling enthusiasts have declared these segregated lanes to be the infrastructure which London needs to make cycling much more appealing for all. Andrew Gilligan, the Mayor's Cycling Commissioner says if Transport for London can get the engineering right then cycling in the capital will become safer and far more people might make the switch from cars, buses and trains to carbon free pedal power. The potential carbon and congestion savings are huge, up to 25% of transport emissions if we can reach the levels of cycling now seen in Copenhagen, and those who cycle are also healthier. However, to replicate Dutch or Danish bike culture cycling's appeal must move beyond the lycra-clad males to become the first choice for women, children and older people too.

Tom Heap finds out if these cycle superhighways can really deliver for the capital and if the huge amounts of money being spent here and elsewhere across the country can ensure a cycling revolution for all of Britain's would-be bikers.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Tom Heap saddles up to find out if Britain is really about to become a nation of cyclists.

Dare To Share20171003

Could the sharing economy save the planet? Tom Heap finds out.

The ability to share underused resources like holiday homes and car journeys through online sites has disrupted many sectors of the economy. Many people now travel using 'Airbnb' or 'Uber' and being able to deal directly with the owner of the property or the driver of the car has opened up additional revenue streams for some and cheaper travel options for us all. As many more industries are about to be 'disrupted' by sharing technology Tom Heap discovers how the sharing economy might also be good for the planet.

New apps like Olio and Fat Llama or the Library of Things are designed to allow people to share everything from leftover food to lawnmowers. In a world where space is at a premium and less people will own their own home many of us may no longer want to store so much 'stuff'. The solution is to borrow what we need when we need it and many statistics suggest we have already reached a point of 'peak stuff'. Buying less manufactured goods may be bad for the economy but it could be good news for the planet. Tom finds out just how far the sharing economy can provide for his needs and asks if this shift in how and what we consume can really save energy and emissions.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Dash For Ash2013021920130220

UK landfills are full. Should we create energy from our waste? Tom Heap investigates.

By 2020 the UK must significantly reduce its landfill habit. A recent government report warned that we would run out of landfill space by 2018 and a European Directive means we must reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill from 48% to 35% or face big fines. Next year landfill tax will hit £80 per tonne. Unsurprisingly there has been a huge rise in planning applications for incinerators. 91 are proposed to add to the 30 currently in operation. Waste is big business. Tom Heap visits existing sites where our rubbish is currently being shipped abroad to create energy and heat in Europe and asks whether it is time we followed suit.

New technologies such as gasification are currently being developed which will provide even more heat and power from our residual waste and they promise to be far cleaner than the mass burn incinerators on the continent, yet opposition remains strong. 'Costing the Earth' hears from local residents who fear the health implications if dioxins formed in the high temperatures are released. Environmental campaigners argue that even if the health risks can be addressed this solution only creates more carbon dioxide emissions when what we really need is more recycling and less initial waste. In his film 'Trashed' actor Jeremy Irons looks at how our waste affects our health and that of the planet. Tom follows him as he asks if it's time for a national strategy on what goes into our bins and where our rubbish ends up.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

By 2020 the UK must significantly reduce its landfill habit. A recent government report warned that we would run out of landfill space by 2018 and a European Directive means we must reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill from 48% to 35% or face big fines. Next year landfill tax will hit £80 per tonne. Unsurprisingly there has been a huge rise in planning applications for incinerators. 90 are proposed to add to the 30 currently in operation. Waste is big business. Tom Heap visits existing sites where our rubbish is currently being shipped abroad to create energy and heat in Europe and asks whether it is time we followed suit.

New technologies such as gasification are currently being developed which will provide even more heat and power from our residual waste and they promise to be far cleaner than the mass burn incinerators on the continent, yet opposition remains strong. 'Costing the Earth' hears from local residents who fear the health implications if dioxins formed in the high temperatures are released. Environmental campaigners argue that even if the health risks can be addressed this solution only creates more carbon dioxide emissions when what we really need is more recycling and less initial waste. In his film 'Trashed' actor Jeremy Irons looks at how our waste affects our health and that of the planet. Tom asks if it's time for a national strategy on what goes into our bins and where our rubbish ends up.

David Attenborough On Climate Change20151117

David Attenborough and a panel of fellow experts on the natural world join Tom Heap to preview this month's Climate Summit in Paris. Can the world's leaders come to an agreement on the warming planet?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Deep Sea Treasure

Deep Sea Treasure20100414

Our explorations of the deep oceans have so far given us only tantalising glimpses of weird and wonderful species.

A team from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton is currently sailing through the Caribbean and the Southern Ocean on a mission to provide us with much more than a few fuzzy photos of a giant worm or an upside down prawn.

They want to tie-up the loose ends, telling us just how the many islands of life in the deep actually interact.

They hope their mission will greatly aid conservation efforts and make the exploitation of the ocean's resources fairer and more sustainable.

'Costing the Earth' joins the expedition as it sails from southern Chile and launches Isis, a remote-controlled submarine armed, for the first time, with high definition cameras.

The crew of the RRS James Cook explore the depths of the ocean in search of new life.

Deepwater Horizon - The Real Damage2011041320110414

President Obama described Deepwater Horizon as America's worst environmental disaster.

If that was true why have fish numbers in the Gulf massively increased since the blow-out?

One year on from the disaster Tom Heap travels through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in search of the true economic and environmental impact of the spill.

Did the political and media reaction cause more damage to the region than the accident itself?

He'll also be asking what effect the reaction to the disaster could have on Britain's plans for deep water drilling.

President Obama described Deepwater Horizon as America's worst environmental disaster. If that was true why have fish numbers in the Gulf massively increased since the blow-out?

One year on from the disaster Tom Heap travels through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana in search of the true economic and environmental impact of the spill. Did the political and media reaction cause more damage to the region than the accident itself?

Tom Heap looks at the environmental impact of Deepwater Horizon one year on.

Deepwater Horizon - The Real Damage20110414

Tom Heap looks at the environmental impact of Deepwater Horizon one year on.

Defenders Of The Reef
Defenders Of The Reef20180227

Marine biologist and film-maker, Ellen Husain studied the Great Barrier Reef for her Masters degree thirteen years ago. Today she's back to dive with her old supervisor. The picture is grim. So much of the life she remembers has gone, wiped out by the great coral bleaching events caused by rising sea temperatures.

Some who love the reef are in despair, others who once chose to ignore the signs are finally energised, determined to do what they can to slow or even reverse the decline. Ellen meets the people of the reef- tour operators, aboriginal Sea Rangers and coral scientists- to discover if one of the great natural wonders of the world really can be saved.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Meet the people fighting to save the natural wonder of the world, the Great Barrier Reef.

Delivering Clean Air2017030720170308 (R4)

More delivery trucks means more air pollution in our cities. Tom Heap looks for an answer.

Internet shopping continues to rise worldwide. That means a lot more delivery vans on the streets of our towns and cities. Those vans and trucks, often powered by dirty diesel engines, are contributing to air pollution problems that can cause significant increases in premature death and great discomfort for people suffering from heart and lung conditions.

As part of the BBC's 'So I Can Breathe' season Tom Heap sets out to find innovative solutions. Could drones or robots be the answer? Could we cut out the middle man and use 3D printers to create everything we want at home? Perhaps it's simply a matter of converting all those vans to electric or gas power or even carrying out the majority of home deliveries by bike.

With the promise of ever-quicker delivery times the search for a solution becomes ever more urgent if we're to prevent our consumer addiction becoming an air pollution crisis on every doorstep.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Demolishing Dams2018042420180425 (R4)

Why dismantle a dam that produces low-carbon electricity? Peter Gibbs investigates.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

Large hydro-electric dams continue to be planned and built in Africa, Asia and South America. In Western Europe and the US they're tearing them down. Peter Gibbs wants to know why.

These wonders of engineering are a symbol of our ability to harness nature to produce renewable energy. The trouble is that many dams radically alter the natural life of rivers and harm their ecosystems. The majority of rivers in Europe and the US have dams on them, many of which are aging and are no longer serving any useful purpose. Gradually the conversation is changing and communities are realising that dams don't have to be forever. Now there's a growing movement to remove the worst offenders and restore rivers to their natural state.

France is currently embarking on the biggest dam removal in Europe. Two large hydro-electric dams will soon be demolished on the River Sélune in Normandy. Here a choice had to be made between energy production and biodiversity. Peter Gibbs meets the different groups involved in the project to find out how they are planning for the removals. Will the opening up of wild salmon migration routes and improvements in water quality make up for the loss of low-carbon energy?

Producer: Sophie Anton.

Digging Britain2011021620110217 (R4)

The Staffordshire and Frome Hoards are just two of the most exciting archaeological finds in recent years. Both were found by amateur treasure hunters in the UK using metal detectors. A good news story in these tough times but what is the real affect of legions of unqualified diggers on Britain's heritage and landscape?

The growing popularity of metal detectors has meant big finds in the past few years but a new detector has been produced which triples the depth at which small objects can be detected. So far detecting has been tolerated in Britain on the basis that it only digs up land to plough depth and therefore doesn't exacerbate disturbance of historically significant sites.

This new development adds fuel to what is already a heated debate. Archaeologists feel that treasure hunters take valuable finds from sites which should be excavated properly, archaeology is all about context they argue and once artefacts are removed our heritage is lost. The Countryside Alliance is warning landowners not to allow metal detectors on their land in order to avoid disputes but many detectors have signed up to a voluntary code designed to minimise their impact on farmland.

The detectors argues that without their valuable help today's agrochemicals will destroy a base metal object within a few years of it being in the ground. Coins have been destroyed in the last 50 years which have been in the ground for millennia. Stone implements are also broken with today's modern mechanical ploughs.

There are 30,000 metal detectorists today. They started detecting landmines after the war but will they continue to offer a service to the landscape and its heritage or simply take what it has to offer.

Dr Alice Roberts examines the impact of metal detecting on our heritage and landscape.

Digging Climate Change2016041220160413 (R4)

Professor Alice Roberts asks if archaeology can help us understand climate change.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Digging Up Britain2011021620110217

The Staffordshire and Frome Hoards are just two of the most exciting archaeological finds in recent years.

Both were found by amateur treasure hunters in the UK using metal detectors.

A good news story in these tough times but what is the real affect of legions of unqualified diggers on Britain's heritage and landscape?

The growing popularity of metal detectors has meant big finds in the past few years but a new detector has been produced which triples the depth at which small objects can be detected.

So far detecting has been tolerated in Britain on the basis that it only digs up land to plough depth and therefore doesn't exacerbate disturbance of historically significant sites.

This new development adds fuel to what is already a heated debate.

Archaeologists feel that treasure hunters take valuable finds from sites which should be excavated properly, archaeology is all about context they argue and once artefacts are removed our heritage is lost.

The Countryside Alliance is warning landowners not to allow metal detectors on their land in order to avoid disputes but many detectors have signed up to a voluntary code designed to minimise their impact on farmland.

The detectors argues that without their valuable help today's agrochemicals will destroy a base metal object within a few years of it being in the ground.

Coins have been destroyed in the last 50 years which have been in the ground for millennia.

Stone implements are also broken with today's modern mechanical ploughs.

There are 30,000 metal detectorists today.

They started detecting landmines after the war but will they continue to offer a service to the landscape and its heritage or simply take what it has to offer.

Dr Alice Roberts examines the impact of metal detecting on our heritage and landscape.

The Staffordshire and Frome Hoards are just two of the most exciting archaeological finds in recent years. Both were found by amateur treasure hunters in the UK using metal detectors. A good news story in these tough times but what is the real affect of legions of unqualified diggers on Britain's heritage and landscape?

The growing popularity of metal detectors has meant big finds in the past few years but a new detector has been produced which triples the depth at which small objects can be detected. So far detecting has been tolerated in Britain on the basis that it only digs up land to plough depth and therefore doesn't exacerbate disturbance of historically significant sites.

This new development adds fuel to what is already a heated debate. Archaeologists feel that treasure hunters take valuable finds from sites which should be excavated properly, archaeology is all about context they argue and once artefacts are removed our heritage is lost. The Countryside Alliance is warning landowners not to allow metal detectors on their land in order to avoid disputes but many detectors have signed up to a voluntary code designed to minimise their impact on farmland.

The detectors argues that without their valuable help today's agrochemicals will destroy a base metal object within a few years of it being in the ground. Coins have been destroyed in the last 50 years which have been in the ground for millennia. Stone implements are also broken with today's modern mechanical ploughs.

There are 30,000 metal detectorists today. They started detecting landmines after the war but will they continue to offer a service to the landscape and its heritage or simply take what it has to offer.

Digging Up Britain20110217

Dr Alice Roberts examines the impact of metal detecting on our heritage and landscape.

Disappearing Alps2018052220180523 (R4)

The permafrost is thawing, and the glaciers retreating. What will be left of the Alps?

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

The permafrost is thawing, and the glaciers retreating. What will be left of the Alps?

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

The permafrost is thawing, and the glaciers retreating. What will be left of the Alps?

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

The permafrost is thawing, and the glaciers retreating. What will be left of the Alps?

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

The permafrost is thawing, and the glaciers retreating. What will be left of the Alps?

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

Dunes Into Bunkers2018040320180404 (R4)

Should we build golf courses on sensitive sand dunes? Peter Gibbs investigates.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

It's a decade since Donald Trump began building his golf resort on the enormous mobile sand dunes of Balmedie in Aberdeenshire. Conservation organisations bitterly protested and the idea of building golf courses on sensitive dune habitats seemed tainted. Today, however, a new course is being proposed for Coul Links on the stunning coastline to the north of Inverness. Peter Gibbs investigates the impact of Trump's development and the increasingly bitter controversy over the new course.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Eco-cities2015042120150422 (R4)

Tom Heap investigates whether eco-cities are living up to their promise.

In years gone by, Costing the Earth has visited two eco-cities, which both promised that rapid urban development could be green, sustainable and profitable. Dongtan in China was meant to be part of "the quest to create a new world", according to British designers Arup. Masdar in the Arabian Gulf was to have "changed the world", according to British architect Norman Foster. But Dongtan never got built, thanks to Chinese political machinations and corruption, while Masdar has stalled, a victim of the world economic crisis.

China is still pressing ahead with over 100 new eco-cities. But does the idea of the eco-city make sense anyway? Critics say that some very ordinary new cities are being branded as "eco" in an attempt to give them a green marketing gloss, and that promoting the idea of the virtuous self-contained eco-city can mask a failure to build sustainably in the rest of the economy.

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins.

Eco-city Limits

Eco-city Limits20100329
Eco-city Limits20100401

Tom Heap tests the limits of an eco-city being built in a desert.

Eco-city Limits * *2010032920100401

Eco-cities.

Architects, developers and visionaries have been promising them for the past decade.

Dongtan was supposed to be the green Shanghai, the Thames corridor was supposed to be a linear eco-city, Florida's building a car-free city for 100,000, eco towns were to spread around the UK.

But time and time again economic reality intrudes, plans are shelved or diluted and another commuter suburb is thrown up with a token wind turbine.

The answers might be found at the World Future Energy Summit in the extraordinary setting of Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.

$20bn has been committed by the government to ensure this city is the first zero carbon conurbation.

With the money made supplying the world's fossil fuel the Abu Dhabi emirate has employed Norman Foster to create the anti-Dubai- a car and skyscraper-free city powered by the sun.

If anyone can do it then the cash-rich, democracy-free, hugely ambitious rulers of Abu Dhabi are the men to back.

Progress is rapid with students already attending the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology with its focus on renewable energy and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) making its home as the first international agency to be located in the Middle East.

With the great and good of the sustainability movement gathered together in Masdar City in early 2010 it's a perfect opportunity to test the concept- a real model for the cities of the future or a green smokescreen for the oil states' carbon- hungry habits.

Tom Heap tests the limits of an eco-city being built in a desert.

El Nino: Driving The Planet's Weather2014091620140917

Weatherman Peter Gibbs investigates the global impact of the weather phenomenon El Nino.

Meteorologist, Peter Gibbs investigates the global impact of the weather phenomenon El Nino. Forecasts predict El Nino will occur at the end of this year, creating fear in many communities around the world.

Flooding, drought and famine have all been caused by the phenomenon in the past. Peruvian fishermen are often the first to notice as warmer waters change the behaviour of coastal fish stocks. Peter hears what they've already noticed and finds out how these changes could have ripple effects around the world. The anchovies in Peruvian waters are caught to feed farmed salmon but they're also an important food source for seabirds. The warm waters could also cause an imbalance in marine life and weather changes that will impact on global crop yields.

Peter Gibbs looks into the possible impacts of El Nino, how long it would take to recover and what's being done to prepare.

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Electric Cars Recharged2013082720130828

Tom Heap asks if a new breed of electric car may finally bring them to the mainstream.

It has been the Next Big Thing for longer than most people can remember but there are signs that the much-derided electric car may finally be poised for it's moment in the sun.

For Costing the Earth, Tom Heap visits the factory where a major European car maker's latest electric supermini takes it's place on the same production line as it's petrol and diesel cousins.

And he discovers that experts believe that success will come this time thanks to a combination of improved technology, commercial imperatives and a hefty dose of EU legislation.

Electric Dreams2018100220181003 (R4)

Is it time to buy an electric car? Peter Gibbs takes the plunge.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Electric Island2015051920150520 (R4)

Tom Heap visits the Scottish island that can power itself.

The tiny Scottish island of Eigg is teaching the world how remote communities can power themselves. Tom Heap meets the locals and the visitors who are eager to learn their secrets.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Electrifying Africa: The Power Beneath2013022620130227

A geothermal revolution is set to electrify Africa. Tom Heap visits Kenya's Rift Valley.

A geothermal revolution is set to electrify Africa. Tom Heap visits the Rift Valley in Kenya, a potential source of abundant energy to find out if promises to light up even the remotest parts of the continent are going to come true.

Tom enters Hell's Gate National Park to meet the engineers harnessing the power of hot steam trapped beneath the crust, and heads north to the Menengai Crater to find geologists prospecting for power.

Back in Nairobi Tom meets businessmen and shopkeepers held back by a lack of readily available electricity and visits the poor neighbourhood of Kibera to find out how power and light can transform the lives of all Africans living with limited electricity.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Ending The Plastic Age20180919

Solving the plastic problem. Four experts join Tom Heap to offer fresh answers.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

How do we solve the plastic crisis? Tom Heap is joined by an expert panel to find fresh ways to cut down on plastic waste.

It's become the environmental crisis that's caught the imagination. Since Blue Planet 2 broadcast heart-rending images of albatross and turtles tangled in plastic waste enormous pressure has been exerted on government and retailers to reduce the flow of plastic into landfill and the oceans. But what's the best way to dispose of plastic? How do we reduce our consumption of such an incredibly versatile material? Are there future plastics that will degrade and disappear without a cost to the planet?

Lucy Siegle, BBC 'One Show' reporter and author of a new book, 'Turning the Tide on Plastic' joins Tom alongside Richard Walker, MD of Iceland supermarkets who has pledged to remove plastic packaging from own-label goods by 2023. Bath University's Janet Scott discusses plant-based alternatives to plastic and Dustin Benton of the Green Alliance explains how campaigners are keeping up the pressure on government to improve the treatment and recycling of waste.

Recorded at Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.

Energy Storage2014051320140514

Tom Heap explores the innovative ways to store energy rather than let it go to waste.

Massive batteries? Compressing or liquefying air? Moving gravel uphill on ski lifts? Tom Heap looks at some of the big ideas proposed for storing energy using science or the landscape and explores which may become a reality if we're to keep the lights on.

Huge investment is being made in renewable energy but as solar and wind fluctuate and are intermittent often energy goes to waste because the points at which they generate isn't when the demand occurs. So why not use that energy and store it in another form to be used when it's required? Many companies are proposing ideas to do that - from extending traditional pumped hydro to compressing or liquefying air, electrolysing water or shifting heavy materials up mountains. Or will a revolution in batteries - making them cheaper and from different materials - help the cause?

Tom Heap takes a look at some of the bold ideas to see how far they'll go to keeping the lights switched on, what they'll cost financially and aesthetically and if there's any sign of committing to any of them at all.

Energy Use High2009012620090129

Miriam O'reilly investigates the government's school building programme.

She hears that unneccessarily complicated 'green features' are being built into some new schools, hampering teachers from getting on with the job of teaching and in some cases causing schools to use up to three times more energy than ones that were built ten, 20 and even 100 years ago.

Energy Use High20090129

Miriam O'Reilly investigates the government's school building programme.

Everything's Gone Green!
Everything's Gone Green!20180220

In the last General Election environmental issues barely merited a mention. Nine months on and the Prime Minister is making keynote speeches on recycling and Michael Gove is issuing a flurry of policy initiatives to get the green-minded voter on-side.

Tom Heap sets out to discover why this remarkable transformation has taken place. Is it the Attenborough Effect, the power of the newly-green Daily Mail or a blatant attempt to woo the youth vote? Perhaps senior politicians have actually come to accept the gravity of Earth's predicament.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Exploding Penguins20170509

Peter Gibbs meets the Penguins of the Falkland Islands.

Fake Plastic Sea2010100620101007

What's happening in the Gulf of Mexico is quite literally a drop in the ocean compared to the growing plastic pollution further out in the Pacific and now found closer to home in the North Atlantic.

Thirteen years after the world woke up to the threat from plastic polluting our seas and CTE's award-winning expose of the potential threat to our food, we reveal how far from winning the war on plastic pollution it's actually getting worse.

Along British beaches UFO's - unidentified floating objects are appearing in larger quantities than ever before.

The Marine Conservation Society recently reported that the amount of plastic on our beaches has more than doubled in the last 15 years and more and more of it ends up inside or wrapped around our wildlife.

Nobody knows what these oddly shaped bits of plastic are or where they have come from but there are increasingly urgent attempts to find out how much of it might be out there and what we can do to stop it.

The Pacific Gyre, a vortex of floating plastic already twice the size of France, is well documented but Gyres in the North and South Atlantic, The Indian Ocean and a further Pacific patch whilst long suspected have only just been discovered.

Anna Cumming of the 5 Gyres Project discovered the North Atlantic Gyre in February and the Project is about to sail for the Southern Atlantic.

High profile campaigners like David de Rothschild, who sailed to the Pacific Gyre on a boat made of plastic bottles called The Plastiki, have told us about the sheer horror and size of the rubbish patch, now Costing the Earth looks at what can be done about it.

The Plastiki boat has been made using a revolutionary new plastic which is completely recyclable, a new plant in Ireland plans to turn plastic waste into fuel and there is even a new plastic being made from algae.

The University of Sheffield are also researching the use of microbes to break down the plastics already in the sea.

Prevention would be the key but with the gyres themselves only the tip of the problem and 70% of the plastic we allow into the sea sinking to the sea-bed a solution to disperse these giant rubbish islands is essential.

Dr Alice Roberts investigates the growing problem of plastic floating in the sea.

What's happening in the Gulf of Mexico is quite literally a drop in the ocean compared to the growing plastic pollution further out in the Pacific and now found closer to home in the North Atlantic. Thirteen years after the world woke up to the threat from plastic polluting our seas and CTE's award-winning expose of the potential threat to our food, we reveal how far from winning the war on plastic pollution it's actually getting worse.

Along British beaches UFO's - unidentified floating objects are appearing in larger quantities than ever before. The Marine Conservation Society recently reported that the amount of plastic on our beaches has more than doubled in the last 15 years and more and more of it ends up inside or wrapped around our wildlife. Nobody knows what these oddly shaped bits of plastic are or where they have come from but there are increasingly urgent attempts to find out how much of it might be out there and what we can do to stop it.

The Pacific Gyre, a vortex of floating plastic already twice the size of France, is well documented but Gyres in the North and South Atlantic, The Indian Ocean and a further Pacific patch whilst long suspected have only just been discovered. Anna Cumming of the 5 Gyres Project discovered the North Atlantic Gyre in February and the Project is about to sail for the Southern Atlantic.

High profile campaigners like David de Rothschild, who sailed to the Pacific Gyre on a boat made of plastic bottles called The Plastiki, have told us about the sheer horror and size of the rubbish patch, now Costing the Earth looks at what can be done about it. The Plastiki boat has been made using a revolutionary new plastic which is completely recyclable, a new plant in Ireland plans to turn plastic waste into fuel and there is even a new plastic being made from algae.

The University of Sheffield are also researching the use of microbes to break down the plastics already in the sea. Prevention would be the key but with the gyres themselves only the tip of the problem and 70% of the plastic we allow into the sea sinking to the sea-bed a solution to disperse these giant rubbish islands is essential.

Feeding The Crops Of The Future2014031820140319

Tom Heap investigates whether we're running out of phosphorus, an element vital for life.

Tom Heap looks at whether we're running out of phosphorus. It's an essential element in fertiliser and all life on earth depends on it. Nowadays we get it from mining phosphate rock, which is a finite resource. Some scientists have predicted that we could run out within decades.

Britain has no phosphate rock reserves of its own, and with 80 per cent of known rock under the control of one country, Morocco, should we be taking future supplies more seriously, as a matter of national security?

Tom investigates whether there are alternatives to phosphate rock, such as extracting phosphorus from sewage. He learns about a nineteenth century gold rush in East Anglia, where fortunes were made from extracting phosphate from fossilised dinosaur bones and droppings. In an emergency, could we go back to this old method?

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins.

Fertility and the Environment20180925

Jheni Osman asks what environmental factors may be affecting human and animal fertility.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Fertility and the Environment2018092520180926 (R4)

Jheni Osman asks what environmental factors may be affecting human and animal fertility.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Fertility And The Environment2018092520180926 (R4)

Jheni Osman asks what environmental factors may be affecting human and animal fertility.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Jheni Osman asks what environmental factors may be affecting human and animal fertility.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Environmental investigation series.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Fields Paved With Gold2011040620110407

Birmingham City Council is already fitting solar to 10,000 homes and farmers with more than 35 acres had hoped to earn as much as £50,000 a year harvesting solar energy.

But, the government now seems to be backtracking on its promise of large subsidies.

Spain's solar industry recently crumbled due to the false economics of government funding and they have a lot more sunshine than the UK.

Germany too, which has the world's largest market for solar, has recently had to dramatically decrease promised feed in tariffs in order to prevent an unsustainable bubble.

Detractors of solar argue that even if we covered the country in panels we would only produce the energy of a handful of power plants.

Nevertheless the limited FIT offer is heralding a 'goldrush' in parts of the South West who hope to revive the local economy.

Once the offer ends the industry must be able to sustain itself but in the UK is the latest renewable hot ticket worth the gamble? Even in sunny Cornwall five figure planning application fees have put off many investors and new uncertainty over feed in tariffs has stalled planned projects.

There are those who believe covering the roofs of some of our most loved National Trust Institutions like Dunster Castle with panels will be an expensive mistake.

Others believe that any government or public body influence will only falsely inflate and then ultimately suppress the real value of solar.

As ever the industry relies on growing take up making technology cheaper and increased funding for research increasing efficiency even in Britain's darkest parts.

Low cost organic solar cells being developed at Cambridge University could be the answer but can we afford to wait for them to come online.

Tom Heap asks whether the UK is ready for a solar goldrush.

Birmingham City Council is already fitting solar to 10,000 homes and farmers with more than 35 acres had hoped to earn as much as £50,000 a year harvesting solar energy. But, the government now seems to be backtracking on its promise of large subsidies. Spain's solar industry recently crumbled due to the false economics of government funding and they have a lot more sunshine than the UK. Germany too, which has the world's largest market for solar, has recently had to dramatically decrease promised feed in tariffs in order to prevent an unsustainable bubble.

Detractors of solar argue that even if we covered the country in panels we would only produce the energy of a handful of power plants. Nevertheless the limited FIT offer is heralding a 'goldrush' in parts of the South West who hope to revive the local economy. Once the offer ends the industry must be able to sustain itself but in the UK is the latest renewable hot ticket worth the gamble? Even in sunny Cornwall five figure planning application fees have put off many investors and new uncertainty over feed in tariffs has stalled planned projects.

There are those who believe covering the roofs of some of our most loved National Trust Institutions like Dunster Castle with panels will be an expensive mistake. Others believe that any government or public body influence will only falsely inflate and then ultimately suppress the real value of solar.

Fields Paved With Gold20110407

Tom Heap asks whether the UK is ready for a solar goldrush.

Fight The Power20170920

How to become the world's most powerful environmentalist without really trying.

Meet Gina Lopez, the radical green activist who suddenly found herself appointed Environment Minister for the Philippines. Rodrigo Duterte was elected President with the promise to cut crime by killing thousands of criminals. He lived up to expectations, initiating a vicious war against suspected drug dealers, ignoring the protests of international human rights groups.

But Duterte wasn't just tough on street criminals, he also planned to crack down on the environmental abuses of large corporations perceived to have exploited the people and landscape of the islands. To achieve those ends he offered radical green activist, Gina Lopez the office of Environment Minister. Flushed with sudden and unexpected power Lopez removed licences from mining companies she suspected of abusing the environment. Peter Hadfield tells the story of what happened next.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Fighting Fire2017020720170208 (R4)

When wildfires engulfed the Canadian city of Fort McMurray last May 90,000 people were displaced and well over £2bn of damage was caused, making it one of the costliest natural disasters of all time.

That fire proved to be just the start of a summer of flames that ripped through California, Greece and France. An area the size of India now burns every year and climate change is blamed for an increase in the length of the fire season across the boreal forests of North America.

Tom Heap visits Fort McMurray to find out how a city could be so easily engulfed by fire and to meet the local scientists and firefighters working out fresh strategies to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Fish - The Next Fight2013042320130424

Tom Heap meets the activists hoping to bring an end to illegal fishing.

Tom Heap meets the activists hoping to bring an end to illegal fishing by tackling the problem head on: by getting in the way of pirate fishermen.

Tom also meets campaigners who believe that the only way for fish stocks to recover is for a ten year moratorium to be imposed, allowing species of fish to become plentiful once more.

Fish Farms Of The Future20171024

Tom Heap finds out if fish farming can really feed the planet without trashing our oceans.

A new study suggests farmed fish could be key to feeding a growing global population. Fish are an efficient source of protein and already over half the fish we now eat are farmed. However, this phenomenal growth in the production of salmon and other popular seafood has had a detrimental effect on their wild cousins. Wild salmon numbers have fallen and conservationists blame the fish farms for the spread of disease, sea lice and the pollution of habitats. Most farmed fish also require a diet which includes smaller wild fish in order to help them create Omega-3 which has well documented health benefits for us all. This too has an impact on the wild fish stocks with many key species now under pressure.

Tom Heap investigates the dramatic and novel approaches which the industry may need to adopt in order to keep up with our appetite for fish suppers and it seems the best solution for the health of our oceans might be to take the fish we eat and the food we need to feed them out of the sea altogether.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Fishing Future2017040420170405 (R4)

The British fishing industry suffered decades of sharp decline during our membership of the European Union. The European Common Fisheries Policy has long been regarded by many as a disaster, both for fishermen and for fish stocks. So will Brexit bring a bright new dawn? Will fishing boats from other nations be forced from our waters, could new 200 mile limits provide our fleet with copious fish to catch? Or will our Brexit negotiators focus on maintaining markets for big businesses like finance and the car industry, offering our fish stocks as sacrificial pawns?

Tom Heap visits fishing communities in Peterhead, Hastings and Brixham to gauge the mood and meets the conservationists hoping that new measures could revive our fish stocks.

Producer: Sarah Swadling.

Can Brexit save the British fishing industry? Tom Heap investigates.

Flight From Disaster2014040820140409

Can nature heal itself? Julian Rush reports on the aftermath of an environmental disaster.

When millions of litres of poisonous sludge poured out of a zinc mine in Andalucia in 1998 wildlife was devastated for miles around. As the tidal wave of filth headed for the marshlands of Donana National Park it became a disaster for Europe as well as Spain. The prime route for birds migrating between Africa and Northern Europe seemed certain to be poisoned for decades to come.

Sixteen years on from Spain's worst environmental disaster Julian Rush returns to the region to discover how nature, with a little help, has reclaimed much of the devastated area. The birds have returned and flocks of British birdwatchers are enthusiastically following the Imperial Eagles, Griffon Vultures and millions of birds on their spring migration back to the UK. Laurence Rose of the RSPB shares his memories of the disaster and shows Julian the path of the pollution which has become a lush, green feeding ground for resting birds.

The idyll, however, may be short-lived. Illegal boreholes dug to water enormous strawberry farms that export their produce to Northern Europe are sucking the life out of the marshes. Tourism is impinging on the wilderness and there are even advanced plans to resume mining at the site of the accident. With Andalucia desperate for jobs and foreign currency the local government is anxious to boost the region's industrial sector. Finding the best balance between industry and nature is vital for the future prosperity of this stunning area and for the exhausted birds that make their way across the Sahara to Britain's shores.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Forests Of The Orangutan2016102520161026 (R4)

Some of the last refuges of the orangutan are under threat. Peter Hadfield reports.

Some of the last refuges of the Orangutan are under threat. As food manufacturers demand more palm oil for their processed products so the pressure grows on the forests of Indonesia which contain some the last of the Orangutan and some of the world's densest reserves of carbon capturing peat. Peter Hadfield travels to Indonesia to witness the forest being cleared and the peat being burnt.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Four Menus To Save The Planet2016050320160504 (R4)

How should we eat to reduce our carbon footprint? Four experts debate very different ideas

How should we eat to reduce our carbon footprint and save the planet? Should we all give up meat? Or eat only meat that's reared on grassland which couldn't be used for anything else? Or maybe eat intensively-reared meat that grows so fast that it has no time to emit a lot of methane before it's slaughtered?

Aside from meat, how important are food miles? Some argue that food grown in hot countries and transported here by boat has a lower overall carbon footprint than

food grown in Britain.

Tom Heap chairs a debate from the Bristol Food Connections festival with four experts who have very different views, and present their own menus for low-carbon eating: Jasmijn de Boo, Chief Executive of the Vegan Society, Simon Fairlie, author of "Meat - A Benign Extravagance", Mark Lynas, environmental author, and Sean Rickard, agricultural economist.

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins.

From Iceland With Love2016040520160406 (R4)

Tom Heap finds out how Iceland could solve Britain's energy crisis.

The Ice Link interconnector would link Iceland's cheap and carbon free electricity from hydro and geothermal to the UK. It could provide the equivalent power of a medium sized power plant through a copper cable laid under the sea between the two countries. Crucially the power would be reliable and available when other renewable sources such as wind and solar are not. However, as Tom Heap discovers when he visits the land of fire and ice, environmental campaigners like Bjork fear that this green solution for UK homes could create a need to develop into the pristine wilderness of Iceland's Highlands. Should we pursue our global climate goals even if it has the potential to affect untouched and fragile landscape elsewhere? Tough decisions for Iceland and for us all.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Frozen Fish2012040320120404

The seas around the Antarctic contain some of our last healthy fish stocks. Tight regulation and vicious weather conditions have kept most trawlers out of the southern waters but the global demand for protein could push more fishermen to sail to the frozen south.

For 'Costing the Earth' the chef Gerard Baker travels to South Georgia to hear how scientists hope to maintain the health of the southern oceans in the face of overwhelming odds. Could their experience help the rest of the world secure the future of fish?

Is it too late to save the healthy fish stocks of the Antarctic? Gerard Baker reports.

Frozen Fish20120404

Is it too late to save the healthy fish stocks of the Antarctic? Gerard Baker reports.

Fruits Of The Forest20160921

Can the growing of fashionable super fruits save the Amazon rain forest? Peter Hadfield meets the native farmers finding ways to profit from the forest without chopping it down.

In the dark days of the 1980s vast tracts of the Amazon disappeared every year, the trees sold for furniture production and the naked land converted into cattle pasture. International campaigns and the brave struggle of local activists eventually led to reserves being set up in which native people could harvest forest nuts, herbs and fruits without cutting down the trees.

The fruits of the forest such as acai berries, cacao and passion fruit have proven such a hit with healthy eating enthusiasts that the business is booming, attracting the attention of big international food companies. Could the reserves turn out to be a victim of their own success? Could the forest's natural bounty be over-exploited? Peter Hadfield travels along the Amazon to meet the local people trying to balance their livelihood with the health of the forest.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Fur Or Faux?2011030920110310

One of the most controversial clothing trends in Britain is the fashion revival of fur.

In this week's 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap investigates the claims by the British Fur Trade Association that fur is natural, renewable and a sustainable resource that's kind to the environment.He visits a fur a farm in Copenhagen where farmer Knud takes Tom around his farm that can house up to 24,000 mink.

Tom sees for himself the conditions in which the animals are kept, how they're killed and how their pelts are used.

But how does Knud, and the wider industry, respond to recordings of animal cruelty and neglect from other European fur farms? And what about charities like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) who back in the 1990s ran a very successful campaign that vilified the wearing of fur? What do they make of the 'green' credentials of fur and its come back in the fashion world.

Campaigners for fur claim it's natural, renewable and sustainable.

Tom Heap investigates.

One of the most controversial clothing trends in Britain is the fashion revival of fur. In this week's 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap investigates the claims by the British Fur Trade Association that fur is natural, renewable and a sustainable resource that's kind to the environment.He visits a fur a farm in Copenhagen where farmer Knud takes Tom around his farm that can house up to 24,000 mink. Tom sees for himself the conditions in which the animals are kept, how they're killed and how their pelts are used.

Campaigners for fur claim it's natural, renewable and sustainable. Tom Heap investigates.

Fur Or Faux?20110310

One of the most controversial clothing trends in Britain is the fashion revival of fur. In this week's 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap investigates the claims by the British Fur Trade Association that fur is natural, renewable and a sustainable resource that's kind to the environment.He visits a fur a farm in Copenhagen where farmer Knud takes Tom around his farm that can house up to 24,000 mink. Tom sees for himself the conditions in which the animals are kept, how they're killed and how their pelts are used.

But how does Knud, and the wider industry, respond to recordings of animal cruelty and neglect from other European fur farms? And what about charities like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) who back in the 1990s ran a very successful campaign that vilified the wearing of fur? What do they make of the 'green' credentials of fur and its come back in the fashion world.

Campaigners for fur claim it's natural, renewable and sustainable. Tom Heap investigates.

Fusion Future

Fusion Future2010030820100311

For 50 years nuclear fusion has been touted as the safe, cheap, limitless fuel of the future.

In 2010 the future may finally arrive.

The Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in the United States is expected this year to fire a laser which will demonstrate, for the first time, more energy coming out of a fusion reaction than has been put in.

For many scientists it will be the public proof that all their work has been worthwhile, that the future really does belong to fusion energy.

Tom Heap meets the world's top fusion scientists and, from a safe distance, witnesses a fusion reaction taking place.

He asks what the enormous recent advances in fusion research really mean.

Can we expect a fusion power station to be boiling our kettle in 10, 20 or 100 years? Is there enough fuel available to move from experimentation to real-world energy production? How safe is the whole process? It may produce much less radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power stations, but the fuel used is the raw material for hydrogen bombs.

Does the future belong to fusion?

Tom Heap investigates the real potential of fusion power.

Fusion Future20100311

Tom Heap investigates the real potential of fusion power.

Future Forests2012121320121215

Is the crisis in the UK's ash forests a vision of the future? Tom Heap reports.

The crisis in Britain's ash forests came as a shock to public and politicians. But is it a vision of the future for our woodlands? Stressed by climate change and vulnerable to pests and diseases crossing the English Channel the prospects seem grim.

In a special edition of Costing the Earth Tom Heap asks what our forests will look like in the future. Is there anything we can do to stem the flow of disease, can our native trees be made more resilient or should we consider planting a wider range of trees? Tom visits Lithuania where ash dieback disease first came to attention in Europe to find out how they've come to terms with new threats to their forests and meets the experts and enthusiasts with a fresh approach to protecting our forests.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Future Forests20170523

Can Britain revive its forests and provide our own wood to build homes? Tom Heap finds out

Can Britain revive its forests and grow the wood we need for a greener economy? Tom Heap investigates as we approach the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of The Forest. Tree planting in England has hit a forty five year low which is alarming both the timber industry and environmentalists. Tom visits a new woodland in Central Scotland combining conifers with native tree species to offer wildlife habitats, flood prevention, and public access as well as timber. Foresters hope this new generation of mixed woodland will overcome resistance to tree planting, from those who fear a dark monoculture of conifers. Meanwhile, Ella McSweeney reports on a conifer planting boom in Ireland which, it's claimed, could damage the environment and price small farmers off the land. Back in the UK, Tom discusses how producing hardwood timber from broadleaved woodlands might give them a more secure future.

Producer: Sarah Swadling.

Future-proofing Forests2014031120140312

Julian Rush asks what is being done to protect UK forests from diseases like ash dieback.

Ash dieback was discovered in the UK in late 2012 and since then has been killing many of the UK's ash trees. But it's not the only threat - many pests and diseases are attacking different species which make up our forests and ancient woodlands. Julian Rush asks if our trees are simply vulnerable victims, susceptible to diseases, or if they have the strength to fight back.

He visits Wentwood in South Wales where phytopthora ramorum (PR) has infected larch trees causing the clear felling of over 70 acres, with more anticipated. He asks if this is the only solution and how the loss of the trees will also affect the animals and insects.

As ash dieback also spreads across the UK, Julian visits the scientists working to trace a natural resistance in trees and breed a new stronger generation of trees. The urgency of the situation has forced them to share their findings sooner, open sourcing information and enlisting the help of the public which has already led to new findings and chance developments which might not otherwise have been discovered. He asks if enough is being done soon enough and if the scientists or the diseases are winning the race. With a swathe of other diseases also threatening he asks if we have to learn to live with disease and accept that change in our forests is inevitable.

Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.

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The first of eight programmes exploring the environment. This week Teresa Gorman , MP, and Jonathon Porritt battle for the planet, while presenter Roger Harrabin offers zoological immortality and reporter Dylan Winter dons his green wellies. Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920229]

Unknown: Teresa Gorman

Unknown: Jonathon Porritt

Presenter: Roger Harrabin

Reporter: Dylan Winter

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

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A new series exploring the environment.

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Exploring the environment, with Roger Harrabin. Producer Jeffrey Olstead

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Unknown: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

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The Environmental magazine

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920314]

Richard Sanders asks why this country is spending billions of pounds taking nitrates out of the drinking water, when those extracted are then turned into fertiliser and sold back to farmers.

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

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Unknown: Richard Sanders

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920318]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19920321]

Robin Page reports from

Kenya on exploitation and the environment. And are catalytic converters for cars a political con trick? Producer Jeffrey Olstead

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Unknown: Robin Page

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

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Genome: [r4 Bd=19920328]

Environmental current affairs with wit, clarity and imagination. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920328]

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920401]
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The pros and cons of the greener global life. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Producer Jeffrey Olstead. Stereo

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920404]

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920408]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19920411]

The pros and cons of the greener global life. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Producer Jeffrey Oistead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920411]

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Jeffrey Oistead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920415]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19920418]

The last in the present series on the pros and cons of the greener global life. With Roger Harrabin. Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920418]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19920422]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19920704]

Back with a second series, presenter

Roger Harrabin investigates the long, hot environmental summer just a case of Rock 'n' Rio? And does a new survey show that children are being brainwashed by the Greens?

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920704]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920708]

Roger Harrabin investigates the long, hot environmental summer - just a case of Rock 'n' Rio? And does a new survey show that children are being brainwashed by the Greens?

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920708]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920711]

Roger Harrabin challenges Michael Heseltine on the greening of industry. Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920711]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Unknown: Michael Heseltine

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920715]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19920718]

Live from the Whole Earth Show in Dorset: the first completely natural programme - thanks to wind power, solar panels and oxen.

Editor Tim Finney

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920718]

Editor: Tim Finney

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

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Twenty years ago the Blueprint For Survival was published. Roger Harrabin asks its editor, Edward Goldsmith , if he thinks anything has really changed since then. And Dylan Winter finds out whether there is environmental friendliness after death.

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920725]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Editor: Edward Goldsmith

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920729]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19920801]

5: Can fashion ever be environmentally friendly? Plus: a look at the proposal to blast 600 million tons of rock from the Hebrides. Producer Jeffrey Oistead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920801]

Producer: Jeffrey Oistead

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Genome: [r4 Bd=19920808]

Dylan Winter meets the winner of the WWF song contest while

Ted Harrison puts to sea with the whalers in Norway. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Editor Tim Finney

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920808]

Unknown: Ted Harrison

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Editor: Tim Finney

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920812]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19920815]

Live from UK Environment

City, Middlesbrough - where old £1 notes are turned to compost. Producer Jeffrey Oistead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920815]
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with Roger Harrabin.

In the final programme of the present series the winner of the programme's eco-villain competition is announced, and there's a visit to the house that's powered by chip fat. Producer Jeffrey Oistead Editor Tim Finney

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920822]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Jeffrey Oistead

Editor: Tim Finney

Genome: [r4 Bd=19920826]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19921107]

Roger Harrabin returns with the environment magazine.

An investigation into how Japan is poised to lead the world into what it believes is a cleaner and safer future - based on plutonium. Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921107]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19921111]

with Roger Harrabin.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921111]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921114]

with Roger Harrabin.

In the USA militant misers are saving the planet and money too. Hamish Mykura reports on the runaway success of the Tight Wad Gazette. In the studio, Ian Hislop reveals those who are economical with the environmental truth. And Vaughan Purvis asks: why worry about Sellafield when everybody has a nuclear waste dump in their own home?

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921114]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin.

Unknown: Hamish Mykura

Unknown: Ian Hislop

Unknown: Vaughan Purvis

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921118]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19921118]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19921121]

with Roger Harrabin. Polar explorer Robert Swan explains how getting sunburnt at the South Pole set him off on the road to becoming a UN commissioner for the environment. Meanwhile, Vaughan Purvis and his geiger counter sniff out more radiation, and ask why 26,000 Trimphones were dumped in a South Wales car park.

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921121]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin.

Unknown: Robert Swan

Unknown: Vaughan Purvis

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921125]
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Gill Powell reports from Germany where even environmentalists are alarmed at the recycling laws which threaten to bury the country under mountains of rubbish. In the studio

Frances Caimcross , environment editor of The Economist, looks at the cost of putting the eco into economics. Producer Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921128]

Unknown: Gill Powell

Unknown: Frances CaimcRoss

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921205]

with Roger Harrabin.

From the Cornish home of James Lovelock , the former space scientist, inventor of the microwave and creator of the Gaia theory.

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

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Unknown: Roger Harrabin.

Unknown: James Lovelock

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

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Stereo

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921212]

This week's programme finds Roger Harrabin lurking in the grotto of a Green Santa, while

Simon Parkes looks at how-consumers are conned by "green hype".

Producer Jeffrey Olstead

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Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Unknown: Simon Parkes

Producer: Jeffrey Olstead

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In the last programme of the series Rufus Bellamy searches for an eco-friendly Christmas tree and ends up in flames; the Bishop of Durham burns with indignation; and Botswana unleashes a broadside on the Rio backsliders.

Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Editor Tim Finney

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921219]

Unknown: Rufus Bellamy

Presented By: Roger Harrabin

Editor: Tim Finney

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In the last programme of the series Rufus Bellamy searches for an ecofriendly Christmas tree and ends up in flames; the Bishop of Durham burns with indignation, and Botswana unleashes a broadside on the Rio backsliders. Presented by Roger Harrabin. Stereo

Genome: [r4 Bd=19921223]

Unknown: Rufus Bellamy

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930227]

In the first of a new series, the environmental programme goes on the beat with LA's finest. California has draconian anti-pollution laws, and a special police force to enforce them.

Vaughan Purvis joins the officers as they lock up top executives and stalk illegal waste dumpers. Presenter Roger Harrabin. Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930227]

Unknown: Vaughan Purvis

Presenter: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930303]

Radio 4's environmental programme reports from California.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930306]

Biotechnology is a dirty word in the Green movement - enemy of nature, the environment and third-world farmers.

But now the Chinese have thrown a spanner in the works by claiming that their biotechnology has great potential for those impoverished farmers the Green movement champions.

Roger Harrabin asks

Jonathon Porritt if environmentalists will have to think again. Producer Marie Helly

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Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Unknown: Jonathon Porritt

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930310]
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On the eve of the Budget, Roger Harrabin asks: is being green and mean the way to find riches? Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930313]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930317]
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The environmental programme which looks at anything from environmental loos to whether the whale needs saving.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930320]

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930324]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19930324]
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The environmental programme which looks at anything from environmental loos to whether the whale needs saving.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930403]

Leicester might seem an unlikely centre of environmental excellence, but for years the council has run "Environment

City", encompassing many facets of urban life from roads to eco-homes. This week, the winners of the latest competition get an environmental audit of their home, and other

Leicester families pilot a city-wide energy-saving scheme.

Producer Marie Helly

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Genome: [r4 Bd=19930407]

With a report from Leicester on the "Environment City" initiative and a city -wide energy-saving scheme.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930410]

This spring the Norwegian whaling boats will resume commercial hunting, with the rancour of world opinion ringing in their ears. Environmental groups are up in arms and governments are threatening boycotts - but does the whale need saving? Roger Harrabin investigates in the last programme of the series. Producer Marie Helly

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nThe series which deals with all things environmental returns with a look at the problem of population growth. The convention has been to seek to control population growth in the Third World, but with the average American consuming up to 50 times the resources of a Bengali or African, Roger Harrabin asks whether the problem lies in our own backyard.

Producer Marie Helly

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First in a new series of the environmental magazine.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930710]

American David Holden suspects there is more biodiversity in his new garden in north London than in the fields of the home counties. And at the Royal Show, Roger Harrabin questions whether the English countryside is worth paying for. Producer Marie Helly

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Roger Harrabin calculates how many miles a British dinner travels before it arrives on the plate ; asks whether trade is compatible with a green planet; and wonders what a sustainable lifestyle might be for the year 2010. Producer Marie Helly

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Secretary and Shadow Secretary for the Environment John Gummer and Chris Smith hammer out Britain's future. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Producer Marie Helly

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Unknown: John Gummer

Unknown: Chris Smith

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Marie Helly

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John Gummer and Chris Smith hammer out Britain's environmental future.

Presented by Roger Harrabin.

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Unknown: John Gummer

Unknown: Chris Smith

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930731]

Roger Harrabin looks at Britain's waste disposal record, and the effects of the surge in recycling.

Producer Marie Helly

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Roger Harrabin investigates how much dirt is left behind by the green laundry.

Producer Marie Helly

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Presented by Roger Harrabin. This week's programme looks at how gambling, medicines and skin creams are being used to save biodiversity in the Americas. producer Mane Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19930814]

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Mane Helly

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In the last programme of the series, Roger Harrabin visits The Centre for Alternative Technology in Mid-Wales.

Producer Mane Helly

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Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Producer: Mane Helly

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Roger Harrabin visits the Centre for Alternative Technology in mid-Wales.

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With demand for timber set to double over the next 10 years, the first of the new series goes to bioeria, Papua New Guinea and the Amazon to see how greed, corruption and spiralling demand is killing the world's last great forests. Peter Harrabin reports.

Producer Marie Helly

SEE THIS WEEK page 18

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931106]

Unknown: Peter Harrabin

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931110]
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Cathy MacCormack is a single parent living in a damp house on a large rundown Glasgow estate. She and her fellow tenants are trying to persuade politicians to make the same links that they have - poor housing means already poor families spending millions of pounds on energy to heat the sky over the Easterhouse estate. She wants money spent on energy-efficient housing- good for health, jobs, people and the planet. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Producer Marie Helly

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Unknown: Cathy MacCormacK

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931117]

Cathy MacCormack is a single parent living in a damp house on a large rundown Glasgow estate. She and herfellow tenants are trying to persuade politicians to make the same links that they have - poor housing means already poor families spending millions of pounds on energy to heat the sky over the Easterhouse estate. She wants money spent on energy-efficient housing-good for health, jobs, people and the planet. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931117]

Unknown: Cathy MacCormacK

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

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Roger Harrabin and David Holden meet the greenest people in Europe. The Dutch have some of the most environmentally friendly policies around, funding armies of academics and institutions, energy efficiency schemes and pollution clean-ups But they are also major consumers. Can they make the huge changes in lifestyle advocated by their politicians?

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931120]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Unknown: David Holden

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931124]

Roger Harrabin and David Holden investigate whether the Dutch are the greenest people in Europe.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931124]

Unknown: Roger Harrabin

Unknown: David Holden

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931127]

Information and entertainment from the programme which investigates all things green. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931127]

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931201]

Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931201]

Presented By: Roger Harrabin.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931204]

Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931204]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19931208]

Information and entertainment from the programme which investigates all things green. Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931208]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19931211]

Presented by Roger Harrabin.

Producer Mane Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931211]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19931215]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19931215]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19931218]

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931218]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19931222]

Roger Harrabin asks whether any of the world's religions have green thoughts in their hearts.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19931222]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940330]

In the first of the new series, Mark Whittaker questions the greenness of Britain's woodland policy. Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940330]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940403]

NEW ln the first of the new series,

Mark Whittaker questions the greenness of Britain's woodland policy.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940403]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940406]

Cars bad, buses good. It's official. But how can the bus compete with the glamour of the car, and who dares leave the safe, secure car for the streets?

Mark Whittaker reports on whether there is any going back to public transport for anyone with enough money to avoid it.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940406]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940410]

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940413]

Green, clean industry means big profits - say government, the CBI and environmentalists. Mark Whittaker asks whether massive manufacturing concerns can really act in harmony with nature. Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940413]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940417]

Presented by Mark Whittaker.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940417]

Presented By: Mark Whittaker.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940420]

Presented by Mark Whittaker. Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940420]

Presented By: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940424]

with Mark Whittaker.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940424]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940427]

How much power do local authorities have to change people's behaviour? Mark Whittaker goes to Leicester- Britain's first Environment City - to find out how communities can be motivated to act for the good of the planet.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940427]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940501]

Mark Whittaker goes to Leicester to find out how communities can be motivated to act for the good of the planet.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940501]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940504]

Drainage and diversion have been the mainstay offenland farming but the cost is high - within a hundred years over 16 feet of soil has been lost to the winds.

Mark Whittaker asks whether the forces of water can ever be subjugated, be it in the low-tech flood plains of the Mekong or the pumped fields of East Anglia.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940504]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940508]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940508]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940511]

This week's programme asks if science can ever be a pure thing or are politicians and campaigners selective about the things they believe in to further the cause? Presented by Mark Whittaker. Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940511]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940515]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940518]

Presented by Mark Whittaker.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940518]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940522]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940720]

As the sound of timber hitting the ground rises in a crescendo across the world, Mark Whittaker looks at new methods of forestry. The paper industry claims that "clear-cutting" only mimics nature's fires. Can the pulpers and saw mills now say that your milk comes in green packaging?

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940720]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940724]

Mark Whittaker looks at new - methods of forestry.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940724]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940727]

This week's programme investigates the new Labour leadership. Has the new team considered how plans for boosting manufacturing will contaminate the planet? Are they still peddling the dream of increased consumption and more material wealth or is there a radical agenda? Mark Whittaker reports.

Producer Mane Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940727]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Producer: Mane Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940731]

Mark Whittaker asks if the new Labour leadership has considered how plans for manufacturing will contaminate the planet?

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940731]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940803]

This week's programme treads cautiously into the murky mudlands of New Jersey. legacy of the once mighty heavy industry. Mark Whittaker meets the poor, the black and the powerless who frequently share their neighbourhoods with toxic soils and rivers, and asks why so much is being spent on legalistic buck passing and so little on the necessary clean up.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940803]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940807]

The murky mudlands of New Jersey.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940810]

If planners listened to what people want, this week's programme would be a stroll through the streets of two jewels in the environmental crown - where flowers bloom and trees bow heavy and green. From Hulme in Manchesterto Moscow's medieval cousin, MarkWhittaker looks at what makes a city sustainable.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940810]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940814]

From Hulme, Manchester, to Suzdal in Russia, Mark Whittaker takes a look at what makes a city sustainable.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940814]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940817]

The programme which investigates all things green. With Mark Whittaker.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940817]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940821]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940824]

Information and entertainment from the programme which investigates all things green. Presented by Mark Whittaker.

Producer Mane Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940824]

Presented By: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Mane Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940828]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940831]

Last in the series with Mark Whittaker.

Producer Marie Helly

Genome: [r4 Bd=19940831]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19940904]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19941102]

Mark Whittaker looks at Britain's degraded rivers - many are little more than concreted, straightened sewers devoid of wildlife and inaccessible to people. Will they ever be restored? Producer Jessica Mitchell

Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941102]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Producer: Jessica Mitchell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941106]

A look at Britain's degraded rivers. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941109]

This week Mark Whittaker goes in search of Seed Savers - the unsung heroes who struggle to protect the genetic diversity of our crop plants against global seed breeders.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sunday9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941109]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Producer: Jessica Mitchell.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941113]

A report on the Seed Savers. Repeated fom Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941116]

What's the point of parks? In the past they were paragons for promenaders or pit stops forthe urban poor. Currently, the proper use of these public spaces is under question. This week

Mark Whittaker pursues those with a stake in posting out the parks of the future. Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rpted Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941116]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19941120]

A look at the parks of the future. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941123]

Presented by Mark Whittaker.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sunday9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941123]

Presented By: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Jessica Mitchell.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941127]

Presented by Mark Whittaker. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941127]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19941130]

What should children be taught about the environment?

Presented by Mark Whittaker.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941130]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19941204]

What should children be taught about the environment? Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941207]

This week, Mark Whittaker looks at the impact of environmental destruction on our spirits and psyches, In the Hebrides, a Canadian Indian chief has come to make common cause with the islanders against a superquarry, And in California, eco-psychologists offer therapy for those traumatised by environmental loss.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941207]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19941211]

A look at the impact of environmental destruction on our spirits and psyches. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941214]

Mark Whittaker presents reports from Malaysia, Malawi and India.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941214]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19941218]

Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941221]

Presented by Mark Whittaker. Producer Jessica Mitchell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19941221]

Presented By: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Jessica Mitchell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950329]

The environmental programme returns with Mark Whittaker looking at attempts by local communities in Britain and the USA to turn the buzz words of "sustainable development" into reality.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950329]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950402]

Mark Whittaker looks at the buzz words of "sustainable development". Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950402]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950405]

Mark Whittaker explores the relationship between unemployment and the environment.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950405]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950409]

A look at the relationship between employment and the environment. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950412]

Mark Whittaker reports on energy efficiency schemes in South Africa, Thailand and Bristol.

Producer Jessica Mitchell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950412]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950416]

Mark Whittaker reports on energy-efficiency schemes.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950416]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950419]

Mark Whittaker asks how nations can share the environment more peacefully. Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950419]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950423]

Mark Whittaker asks how nations can share the environment more peacefully. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950423]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950426]

The environmental series asks who are the best guardians of the most fundamental of all resources - land.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950426]

Producer: Jessica Mitchell.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950430]

Who are the best guardians of the most fundamental of all resources - land?

Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950503]

Mark Whittaker presents a special programme on the North Sea. What does the future hold for the most studied sea in the world, surrounded by some of the most polluting nations and vociferous environmentalists?

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950503]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950507]

Mark Whittaker presents a special programme on the North Sea. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950507]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950510]

Mark Whittaker takes a look at cost benefit analysis, as it is applied to everything from global climate change to a small marshland in Kent.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950510]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950514]

Mark Whittaker takes a look at cost benefit analysis. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950514]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950517]

In the last of the series,

Mark Whittaker looks at the environmental challenges that have arisen following the end of the Cold War and Nicola Baird runs a computer-simulated tropical island for a day.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950517]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Unknown: Nicola Baird

Producer: Jessica Mitchell.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950521]

In the last of the series, Mark Whittaker looks at the environmental challenges that have arisen following the end of the Cold War. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950521]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950712]

Mark Whittaker presents a new series of the environmental magazine. With Britain's flora, fauna and people all clamouring for space, something's got to give. Today's programme visits two battlesites - Britain's only turlough or limestone lake and the New Forest

- to see how the needs of animals, people and plants might be reconciled. Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950712]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950716]

Mark Whittaker examines how the conflicting demands of people, plants and animals are being reconciled on Britain's protected land. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950716]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950719]

How does art affect the way we think about the environment? This week

Mark Whittaker visits a community art project on the Thames and talks to deep ecology poet Gary Snyder.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950719]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Unknown: Gary Snyder.

Producer: Jessica Mitchell.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950723]

Investigating how art affects the way we think about the environment. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950726]

With no overall coastal planning policy linking sea and land, Mark Whittaker asks whether the current voluntary management schemes will be enough to protect Britain's coasts.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950726]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950730]

Will voluntary schemes be enough to protect Britain's coastline? Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950802]

Mark Whittaker looks at the pressure on poorer countries to build new roads in the name of free trade - but to the detriment of the environment. Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950802]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950806]

Mark Whittaker looks at how poorer countries are building new roads to the detriment of the environment.

Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950806]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950809]

This week - how the boffins calculate nuclear risk. With reports on Sellafield and the new environmental bugbear - biotechnology. With Mark Whittaker. Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950809]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Jessica Mitchell.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950813]

How scientists calculate risk. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950816]

Presented by Mark Whittaker.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950816]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950820]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950820]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950823]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950823]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950827]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950827]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950830]

In the last of the series, Mark Whittaker looks at environmental awareness in China as it enters the world market.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19950830]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19950903]

In the last of the series, a report on environmental awareness in China. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951101]

The environmental magazine returns for an eight-part series with Mark Whittaker investigating stories ranging from Indian land rights in Argentina, to pollution in Tibet and ecovillages in the UK.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951101]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951105]

The environmental magazine returns for an eight-part series. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951108]

Mark Whittaker looks at new ways of adapting business and the economy to meet the environmental agenda.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951108]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951112]

Mark Whittaker looks at new ways to meet the environmental agenda. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951112]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951115]

Mark Whittaker asks whether developing countries can protect their oceans from the plunder and pollution of richer nations.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951115]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951119]

Can developing countries protect their oceans from pollution? Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951122]

Mark Whittaker presents the environmental magazine programme. Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951122]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951126]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951126]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951129]

This week Mark Whittaker looks at environmentalism as a catalyst for democratic change around the world. Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951129]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951203]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951203]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951206]

Mark Whittaker goes in search of tranquillity - can it be found on this crowded island?

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951206]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951210]

Mark Whittaker seeks tranquillity. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951210]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951213]

Mark Whittaker discovers some of the initiatives young people are taking to control and improve their environment. Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951213]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951217]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951217]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19951220]

Mark Whittaker presents the last in the series of the environmental magazine. Producer Jessica Mitchell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19951220]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960313]

Mark Whittaker coolly explores the hottest environmental issues in a new series of the green magazine.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960313]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960317]

Presented by Mark Whittaker , Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960317]

Presented By: Mark Whittaker

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960320]

The environmental programme looks at the growing problem of congested cities, like Bangkok, with its car toilets and motorcycle midwives.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960320]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960324]

The problem of congested cities. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960327]

Flash floods and scalpings on the trail of the elusive Jururei Amazon Indians.

Mark Whittaker looks at the precarious rights of indigenous peoples.

Producer Jessica Mitchell. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960327]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960331]

Mark Whittaker looks at the precarious rights of indigenous peoples. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960331]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960403]

Reports from Canada and Russia on the protection of the Arctic's unique habitat. Producer Jessica Mitchell

Repeated Easter Day 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960403]

Producer: Jessica Mitchell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960407]

The protection and exploitation of the Arctic's unique habitat. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960410]

A place of bleak beauty and fragile ecology? Mark Whittaker looks at what man has made of the Durham

Dales.

Producer Marie Helly. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960410]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Producer: Marie Helly.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960414]

Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960417]

A look at the ambiguous relationship between Greens and technology. Presented by Mark Whittaker.

Producer Marie Helly. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960417]

Presented By: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Marie Helly.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960421]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960424]

Absentee landlords, sporting estates and the shadow of history are all creating a Scottish desert, according to environmentalists who want to repopulate the Scottish Highlands with the rural Scot. Mark Whittaker asks whether a larger rural population would transform Scotland.

Producer Marie Helly. Rptd Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960424]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960428]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960501]

In the last of the series of the environmental magazine,

Mark Whittaker examines the facts behind green scares, myths and hype.

Producer Marie Helly. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960501]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960505]

In the last of the series, Mark Whittaker examines the facts behind the green scares, myths and hype. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960505]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960703]

The environmental magazine returns for an eight-part series, presented by Mark Whittaker.

1: Recent scares about baby milk mark increasing concern over the serious effects that chemical additives may have on humans. The programme asks who can we turn to for accurate information.

Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960703]

Presented By: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Sera Lefroy-Owen

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960707]

Mark Whittaker presents the environmental magazine. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960707]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960710]

Mark Whittaker presents the environmental magazine.

Mountains. A look at human influence on mountain ecology, in the run-up to a UN conference on mountains.

Producer Sera LefroyOwen. Rptd Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960710]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Producer: Sera Lefroyowen.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960714]

Mark Whittaker presents the environmental magazine which today explores the human influence on mountain ecology. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960714]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960717]

The focus for environmental activism has radically shifted. It is no longer in the corridors of Whitehall that the environmental cause is championed, but in the boardrooms of multinational companies. Mark Whittaker charts this shift from ministers to producers.

Producer Sera LefroyOwen. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960717]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960721]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960721]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960724]

Mark Whittaker reports from Australia and America on the ability of indigenous people to understand how fire can be used to manage the natural world. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960724]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960728]

The human impact on mountain ecology. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960731]

In tonight's programme,

Mark Whittaker charts the shift of focus in environmental activismfrom the corridors of Whitehall to the boardrooms of multinational companies. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960731]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960804]

Mark Whittaker charts the shift in environmental activism. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960804]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960807]

Although gold has long been an emblem of affluence and success, it is also a source of effluence and degradation. Mark Whittaker looks at goldmining.

Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960807]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960811]

Mark Whittaker looks at gold mining. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960811]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960814]

How does Britain's water scarcity fit into the global picture of water management? Mark Whittaker looks at the potential for water wars in the Middle East and lessons for the future in California. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960814]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19960818]

Water management around the world. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960821]

Last of the series of the environmental magazine, with Mark Whittaker.

Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen. Rptd Sun 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960821]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker.

Producer: Sera Lefroy-Owen

Genome: [r4 Bd=19960825]

Last of the series of the environmental magazine, presented by MarkWhittaker. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961023]

Mark Whittaker kicks off the new series of the environmental documentary programme by taking a look at how green issues are reported in the media. Producer Sara Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961023]

Unknown: Mark Whittaker

Producer: Sara Lefroy-Owen

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961027]

Mark Whittaker takes a look at how green issues are reported in the media. Revised repeat from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961027]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961030]

Mark Whittaker explores the controversial issues surrounding prawn and shrimp farming in South East Asia. Producer Sara Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961030]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961103]

Mark Whittaker explores prawn and shrimp farming in South East Asia. Revised repeat from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961103]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961106]

Mark Whittaker looks at the question of balance in nature and asks whether one species should be culled in order to ensure the survival of another. Producer Sara Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961106]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961110]

Mark Whittaker asks whether one species should be culled in order to ensure the survival of another. Revised repeat from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961110]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961113]

In the first of two programmes on the environmental effects of refugees, Mark Whittaker reports from a Rwandan settlement in Tanzania. Producer Sara Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961113]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961117]

Mark Whittaker reports from a Rwandan settlement in Tanzania.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961117]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961120]

In the second of two programmes,

Mark Whittaker looks at the growing problem of the environment acting as a "push factor", forcing population movements from areas where the natural world has been degraded. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961120]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961124]

With Mark Whittaker.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961124]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961127]

With Mark Whittaker.

Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961127]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961201]

With Mark Whittaker. Revised

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961201]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961204]

Mark Whittaker examines the progress of Local Agenda 21 since the Earth Summit in 1992. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961204]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961208]

Revised

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961211]

Mark Whittaker presents the last in the current series of environmental magazines.

Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Sunday at 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19961211]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19961215]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970326]

An eight-part environmental series. 1: CFC Smuggling. After crack cocaine, CFCs are the most valuable commodity smuggled through Miami.

Mark Whittaker reports from Russia, the suspected source of many contraband CFCs, and Miami, where a recent crackdown by US Customs has seen the first imprisonments for this type of environmental crime. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen

Repeated Easter Day 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970330]

An eight-part environmental series. 1: CFC Smuggling

Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970402]

An eight-part environmental series. 2: Packaging. A look at the new packaging regulations to be introduced this month and their implications for producers, consumers and the environment. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970406]

An eight-part environmental series. 2: Packaging Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970409]

An eight-part environmental series. 3: Northern Ireland. Mark Whittaker reports from the Province. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970409]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970413]

An eight-part environmental series. 3: Northern Ireland. Mark Whittaker reports from the province in a special programme looking at environmental issues in Northern Ireland. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970413]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970416]

An eight-part environmental series.

4: Patenting. With urgent and growing concern over the patenting of genetic forms, Mark Whittaker looks at the minefield of patenting laws and the struggle to create an equitable protective framework. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970416]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970420]

An eight-part environmental series. 4: Patenting Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970423]

An eight-part environmental series. 5:

Election. Mark Whittaker looks at the Europeanisation of environmental policy and whether it is seen as a threat to national autonomy or as a response to the challenges of an increasingly global society.

Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970427]

An eight-part environmental series. 5: ElectionRepeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970430]

An eight-part environmental series. 6: The Aral Sea. The shrinking Aral

Sea in Central Asia is seen as one of the worst legacies of Soviet rule. Can the west provide the right expertise and finance to treat the problem? Presented by Jeremy Cherfas. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970430]

Presented By: Jeremy Cherfas.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970504]

An eight-part environmental series. 6: The Aral Sea. Jeremy Cherfas asks what western help is needed to prevent ecological devastation around the shrinking Aral Sea in Central Asia. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970504]

Unknown: Jeremy Cherfas

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970507]

The seventh in an eight-part environmental series. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970511]

The seventh in an eight-part environmental series. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970514]

In the last in an eight-part environmental series, Mark Whittaker visits Hong Kong.

Producer Sera LefroyOwen. Rptd Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970514]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970518]

The last in an eight-part environmental series visits Hong Kong. Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970723]

An eight-part environmental series. 1: Forestry. Eighty per cent of the world's old growth forests have now been destroyed or degraded. In the aftermath of Earth Summit II, this programme asks what can be done to protect the remainder. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970727]

Jeremy Cherfas presents the eight-part environmental series. 1: ForestryRepeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970727]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970730]

Jeremy Cherfas presents an eight-part environmental series.

2: Green Architecture. This programme looks at why so much of the housing in Britain is so energy-inefficient, and asks how a sustainable future can realistically be achieved. Producer Sera Lefroy-Owen Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970730]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970803]

Jeremy Cherfas presents the eight-part environmental series. 2: Green ArchitectureRepeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970803]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970806]

Jeremy Cherfas presents an eight-part series on the environment.

3:Integrated Transport. This week

Jeremy Cherfas asks if people should be weaned from their dependency on the car for the sake of the planet. Producer Hugh O'Donnell Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970806]

Unknown: Jeremy Cherfas

Producer: Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970810]

Jeremy Cherfas presents an eight-part series on the environment. 3:Integrated TransportRepeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970810]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970813]

An eight-part series on the environment. 4: Environmental Protest. From the Rainbow Warriorto tunnelling in Manchester, active protest seems synonymous with the environmental movement. Jeremy Cherfas asks whether it achieves anything, and whether a move into the boardroom might be more effective. Producer Hugh O'Donnell Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970813]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970817]

Jeremy Cherfas presents the series on the environment. 4: Environmental ProtestRepeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970817]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970820]

An eight-part series on the environment.

5: Fishing. Jeremy Cherfas talks to fishermen and politicians in Canada and Scotland, and asks how we can preserve communities which have relied on fishing the seas for generations while, at the same time, sustaining fish stocks. Producer Hugh O'Donnell Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970820]

Talks: Jeremy Cherfas

Producer: Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970824]

Jeremy Cherfas presents an eight-part series on the environment. 5: FishingRepeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970824]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970827]

An eight-part series on the environment. 6: Aid. The promise by the British government to decouple aid payments from tied business deals was widely welcomed by all environmental organisations. Jeremy Cherfas looks at the power of the World Bank, the future of British Aid and the environmental consequences of misdirected money. Producer Hugh O'Donnell Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970827]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970831]

Jeremy Cherfas presents an eight-part series on the environment. 6: Aid Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970831]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970903]

Eight-part series on the environment. 7: A look at the problems of nuclear waste, and an innovative way to encourage people to recycle. Presented by Jeremy Cherfas.

Producer Hugh O'Donnell. Rptd Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970903]

Presented By: Jeremy Cherfas.

Producer: Hugh O'Donnell.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970907]

Jeremy Cherfas presents an eight-part series on the environment.

7: Nuclear Waste and Recycling Repeated from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970907]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970910]

Utilities. In the last of an eight-part environmental series, Jeremy Cherfas calls the utilities industry to account and asks whether it is mortgaging our future in its rush for profits. Producer Hugh O'Donnell Repeated Sunday 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970910]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19970914]

Utilities. Jeremy Cherfas with the last of an eight-part environmental series. Revised

Genome: [r4 Bd=19970914]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19971119]

A nine-part environmental series. 1: In the first of two programmes,

Jeremy Cherfas looks at the effects of global climate changes on nature, the economy and society. Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971119]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19971123]

A nine-part environmental series. The first of two programmes on global climate change. With Jeremy Cherfas. Revised repeat from Wednesday

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971123]

Unknown: Jeremy Cherfas.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971126]

A nine-part environmental series. In the second of two programmes on global climate change, Jeremy Cherfas looks at the factors shaping the political consensus around this issue.

Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971126]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19971130]

A nine-part environmental series. The second of two programmes on global climate change with Jeremy Cherfas.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971130]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19971203]

A nine-part environmental series. 3: A look at the management of water supplies - is the environment paying the real price? Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971203]

Producer: Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971207]

Water supply management.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971210]

A nine-part environmental series. 4: City life is becoming more of a strain - not oniy on people, but on the environment as well. The programme takes New York as its case study. Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971210]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19971214]

A nine-part environmental series. 4: City life is becoming more and more of a strain on the environment. Revised

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971217]

A nine-part environmental series.

5: A look at the environmental cost of industrial agriculture. Is the drive to produce more food destroying the very land it depends on? Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Revised 9.30pm

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971217]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19971221]

5: A look at the environmental cost of industrial agriculture.

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971228]

A look at the power of the World Bank, the future of British aid and the environmental consequences of misdirected money. With Jeremy Cherfas. Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971228]

Unknown: Jeremy Cherfas.

Producer: Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19971230]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19971230]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19981202]

Five years ago, Britain and other nations surrounding the North Sea were shamed by a report describing how they were polluting their own back yard. But Brussels - the city which is pointing the finger - turns out to be another of the worst offenders.

Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19981202]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19981209]

Oceans. As the 1998 Year of the Ocean draws to a close, this programme considers the environmental implications of exploiting the oceans for solutions to man's problems. Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19981209]
Genome: [r4 Bd=19981216]

Malaria continues to be a global menace. Three million people die from it every year, and it is mainly a disease of the developing world. Yet lobbyists are succeeding in enforcing a worldwide ban on a pesticide that is the most effective weapon against it-namely DDT. This programme investigates that dilemma and the power of the environmental lobby. Producer Hugh O'Donnell

Genome: [r4 Bd=19981216]
Gold Of The Conquistadors2011101220111013

Five hundred years ago the Spanish Conquistadors enslaved the population of South America in their desperate efforts to squeeze more gold and silver from the mines of Peru, Chile and Mexico.

Today the industry is booming again, driven by the global demand for copper and the rising price of precious metals.

New technology has made the industry safer for workers but the sensitive environment of the Andes is under threat from the rapacious water demands of the mining process.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks if the modern mining companies are helping to end poverty in Central and South America or acting like modern-day conquistadors.

Mining is booming in South America.

That's bad news for the environment.

Five hundred years ago the Spanish Conquistadors enslaved the population of South America in their desperate efforts to squeeze more gold and silver from the mines of Peru and Chile.

Tom Heap investigates the mining boom in South and Central America.

Today the industry is booming again, driven by the global demand for copper and the rising price of precious metals. New technology has made the industry safer for workers but the sensitive environment of the Andes is under threat from the rapacious water demands of the mining process.

Mining is booming in South America. That's bad news for the environment.

Gold Of The Conquistadors20111013

Five hundred years ago the Spanish Conquistadors enslaved the population of South America in their desperate efforts to squeeze more gold and silver from the mines of Peru and Chile.

Today the industry is booming again, driven by the global demand for copper and the rising price of precious metals. New technology has made the industry safer for workers but the sensitive environment of the Andes is under threat from the rapacious water demands of the mining process.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks if the modern mining companies are helping to end poverty in Central and South America or acting like modern-day conquistadors

Tom Heap investigates the mining boom in South and Central America.

Grapes Of Wrath
Grapes Of Wrath2010102020101021

Wine drinkers face an uncertain future.

A decade of great vintages, plentiful supplies and cheap prices could be about to come to a shuddering halt.

In the classic wine regions of Europe there are huge concerns over climate change and land use.

Burgundy's greatness is based upon the relatively low temperatures that allow its chardonnay and pinot noir grapes to ripen slowly.

Gradually rising temperatures in the region are ripening the grapes more quickly, increasing sugar and therefore alcohol levels.

The subtle flavours are threatened and, given the strict geographical rules of the French system, the very existence of Burgundy wine could be under threat.

Meanwhile, in Germany's Mosel Valley construction has already started on a motorway and spectacularly ugly bridge that will cut across the vineyards.

Local winemakers fear that the delicate geology of the region will be shattered forever, altering the conditions that create the world's finest riesling.

The New World doesn't escape the environmental problems facing the industry.

In Australia decades of over-abstraction and drought have denuded vital water supplies whilst climate change could make many of the wine-making regions inhospitable to all but the hardiest grapes.

Tom Heap considers the threats to the world's wine and asks what can be done to protect our best vineyards from environmental change.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Is the golden age of wine coming to an end? Tom Heap reports from the Mosel Valley.

Wine drinkers face an uncertain future. A decade of great vintages, plentiful supplies and cheap prices could be about to come to a shuddering halt.

In the classic wine regions of Europe there are huge concerns over climate change and land use. Burgundy's greatness is based upon the relatively low temperatures that allow its chardonnay and pinot noir grapes to ripen slowly. Gradually rising temperatures in the region are ripening the grapes more quickly, increasing sugar and therefore alcohol levels. The subtle flavours are threatened and, given the strict geographical rules of the French system, the very existence of Burgundy wine could be under threat.

Meanwhile, in Germany's Mosel Valley construction has already started on a motorway and spectacularly ugly bridge that will cut across the vineyards. Local winemakers fear that the delicate geology of the region will be shattered forever, altering the conditions that create the world's finest riesling.

The New World doesn't escape the environmental problems facing the industry. In Australia decades of over-abstraction and drought have denuded vital water supplies whilst climate change could make many of the wine-making regions inhospitable to all but the hardiest grapes.

Grapes Of Wrath20101021

Is the golden age of wine coming to an end? Tom Heap reports from the Mosel Valley.

Grapes Of Wrath20101028

Wine drinkers face an uncertain future.

A decade of great vintages, plentiful supplies and cheap prices could be about to come to a shuddering halt.

In the classic wine regions of Europe there are huge concerns over climate change and land use.

Burgundy's greatness is based upon the relatively low temperatures that allow its chardonnay and pinot noir grapes to ripen slowly.

Gradually rising temperatures in the region are ripening the grapes more quickly, increasing sugar and therefore alcohol levels.

The subtle flavours are threatened and, given the strict geographical rules of the French system, the very existence of Burgundy wine could be under threat.

Meanwhile, in Germany's Mosel Valley construction has already started on a motorway and bridge that will cut across the vineyards.

Local winemakers fear that the delicate geology of the region will be shattered forever, altering the conditions that create the world's finest riesling.

The New World doesn't escape the environmental problems facing the industry.

In Australia decades of over-abstraction and drought have denuded vital water supplies whilst climate change could make many of the wine-making regions inhospitable to all but the hardiest grapes.

Tom Heap considers the threats to the world's wine and asks what can be done to protect our best vineyards from environmental change.

Is the golden age of wine coming to an end? Tom Heap reports from the Mosel Valley.

Wine drinkers face an uncertain future. A decade of great vintages, plentiful supplies and cheap prices could be about to come to a shuddering halt.

In the classic wine regions of Europe there are huge concerns over climate change and land use. Burgundy's greatness is based upon the relatively low temperatures that allow its chardonnay and pinot noir grapes to ripen slowly. Gradually rising temperatures in the region are ripening the grapes more quickly, increasing sugar and therefore alcohol levels. The subtle flavours are threatened and, given the strict geographical rules of the French system, the very existence of Burgundy wine could be under threat.

Meanwhile, in Germany's Mosel Valley construction has already started on a motorway and bridge that will cut across the vineyards. Local winemakers fear that the delicate geology of the region will be shattered forever, altering the conditions that create the world's finest riesling.

The New World doesn't escape the environmental problems facing the industry. In Australia decades of over-abstraction and drought have denuded vital water supplies whilst climate change could make many of the wine-making regions inhospitable to all but the hardiest grapes.

Green Cities2007053120070601

The urban environment has not been traditionally associated with wildlife, but experts are finding that the city can provide a remarkable diversity of flora and fauna.

Conservationists fear that many of our most precious species could be lost in the rush to build more houses.

But as Tom Heap discovers, this is not just a case of environmentalists against planners.

Wildlife and green spaces are becoming increasingly important in today's towns and cities.

Green Cities

The urban environment has not been traditionally associated with wildlife, but experts are finding that the city can provide a remarkable diversity of flora and fauna. Conservationists fear that many of our most precious species could be lost in the rush to build more houses. But as Tom Heap discovers, this is not just a case of environmentalists against planners. Wildlife and green spaces are becoming increasingly important in today's towns and cities.

Green Dream Homes2003081420030821

How easy is it to build your own eco-friendly house? Miriam O'reilly investigates.

Green On Green *2008082820080829

With the urgent need for alternative sources of energy, there are some difficult choices to be made between power generation and the environment.

It has been suggested that influential pressure groups such as the RSPB, WWF and Greenpeace need to decide where they stand on green energy and should possibly be prepared to make sacrifices for the greater good of the planet.

Gulls: Code Red

Seagulls are breeding rapidly, thriving and getting bigger. With the decline of fishing in coastal waters, they have been moving inland to more benign conditions in towns and cities, especially where there are landfill sites. Experts fear trouble if urban gulls are allowed to go on breeding unchecked, but measures to control their population are proving ineffective.

Greening Fido

Greening Fido20100222
Greening Fido20100225

Could it be time to put an end to our pets? Alice Roberts asks if Fido can ever be green.

Greening Fido *2010022220100225

The average cat emits half a tonne of CO2 and a dog 1.75 tonnes per year.

Using calculations based on how much land is needed to produce the food they need, a New Zealand couple have found that a large dog has a bigger carbon footprint than a 4 x 4 Toyota Landcruiser.

Few people even know what goes into their pets' food and then there's the wider impact of our pets: the feline killer instinct towards wildlife, the never-ending cycle of poo which needs bagging and binning and the toys and bedding, shipped from other parts of the world to keep them happy.

Curbing global warming could also be vital to your pet's future.

Scientists have warned that the small heartworm that kills dogs, cats and foxes is already on the rise in the UK with more cases appearing in the north of the country because of warmer, wetter summers.

Furthermore, because of the increased numbers of pets coming into the country from abroad without quarantine, there is a greater threat of exotic diseases that can become established in warmer temperatures and may even pose a threat to humans.

To find out what can be done, Alice Roberts takes her own pets to boot camp.

One good dog goes on a vegan diet, while her other pampered pooch lives it up on meat-rich foods.

The results are suprising.

So should we be giving up the age-old bond between man and dog or do the studies which claim your bundles of fur are essential to your wellbeing mean their CO2 emissions are worthwhile? Could we even put them to good use? There are the methane digesters in San Francisco using their by-products to produce gas and electricity, the innovative student who has set up a hamster wheel generator for his mobile phone or the increasingly trendy option of having a pet that you can eat.

Get a hen and save on food miles for your breakfast.

Could it be time to put an end to our pets? Alice Roberts asks if Fido can ever be green.

Greening The Green Belt2015031020150311 (R4)

Tom Heap asks if the green belt surrounding UK cities is really green or pleasant.

The UK's housing crisis is acute. We need to build but where? Many critics point to the ample green space which surrounds some of our most overcrowded cities and towns. The green belt celebrates 60 years since it became part of National Policy but its history stretches back far further. The idea of a stretch of land which separates the urban from the rural has been commended as the defining planning policy of the nation. This legislation is at the core of our notion of what it is to live in a 'green and pleasant land'. But is it fit for purpose in the 21st Century? Many critics feel that it is now time to reassess the lines upon which these boundaries were drawn and make a strategic plan for how we want people to live and commute in the near future. The green belt protects many environmental assets closest to our cities but Tom Heap asks whether we are making the most of this vital natural asset.

Greening The Teens2011050420110505

Take your average teenagers, Trudy (13, loves sports and Twilight), Liam (16, loves computer games) and Craig (19, loves cars).

So much of what they enjoy seems to be energy intensive, but does this demographic really use more power? How do you get them to care about the environment they are going to inherit?

That's the experiment Birmingham University is about to undertake.

Can computer games, mobile alerts and social media create a generation of greens or are they already ahead of the curve? Farmworld is the most popular application on Facebook but could a real world equivalent to keeping and trading your animals online really help to change attitudes? Nestle have committed themselves to making the palm oil they use more eco-friendly after a Greenpeace spoof KitKat advert went viral, but can teenagers pre-occupation with all things online always produce such results?

And should the kids really have to shoulder the responsibility? After all it was probably their gas-guzzling, gadget-consuming baby boomer parents and grandparents that created the problem.

The UK Youth Climate Coalition is launching a long-term campaign, which will see all 650 Members of Parliament in the UK 'adopted' by a young person in their constituency in an attempt to keep climate change at the top of their agenda.

How successful will their campaign be, even if the kids are alright can they really affect change at the top?

Costing the Earth finds out if teenagers can really learn to turn the lights out.

Take your average teenagers, Trudy (13, loves sports and Twilight), Liam (16, loves computer games) and Craig (19, loves cars). So much of what they enjoy seems to be energy intensive, but does this demographic really use more power? How do you get them to care about the environment they are going to inherit?

That's the experiment Birmingham University is about to undertake. Can computer games, mobile alerts and social media create a generation of greens or are they already ahead of the curve? Farmworld is the most popular application on Facebook but could a real world equivalent to keeping and trading your animals online really help to change attitudes? Nestle have committed themselves to making the palm oil they use more eco-friendly after a Greenpeace spoof KitKat advert went viral, but can teenagers pre-occupation with all things online always produce such results?

And should the kids really have to shoulder the responsibility? After all it was probably their gas-guzzling, gadget-consuming baby boomer parents and grandparents that created the problem. The UK Youth Climate Coalition is launching a long-term campaign, which will see all 650 Members of Parliament in the UK 'adopted' by a young person in their constituency in an attempt to keep climate change at the top of their agenda. How successful will their campaign be, even if the kids are alright can they really affect change at the top?

Greening The Teens20110505

Costing the Earth finds out if teenagers can really learn to turn the lights out.

Guardians Of The Environment?20170926

Tom Heap asks if the Environment Agency is fit for purpose.

Tom Heap asks if the Environment Agency is fit for purpose. After seven years of deep cuts to its staffing and budgets, Tom Heap asks the EA's Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, to respond to her critics. We hear from those who are concerned that the EA is doing too little, too late when it comes to protecting the quality of our rivers and the environment, and that it can appear toothless when dealing with the rising tide of waste crime.

Senior Conservative politician, John Gummer, now Lord Deben, created the Environment Agency in 1995. He tells us that the organisation has become too cosy to government and has lost its independence. Emma Howard Boyd responds to these and other concerns, such as the EA's shedding of one third of its frontline enforcement officers over the last five years. Can it still safeguard our environment?

Producer: Mark Smalley.

Guilt-free Flying

Guilt-free Flying20091019
Guilt-free Flying20091022

Can technology remove the guilt from flight? Tom Heap and Bruce Dickinson investigate.

Guilt-free Flying *2009101920091022

Can technology turn aviation green? A new report suggests that flying has a 4.9 per cent share of the overall contribution to climate change.

That is a figure that seems certain to rise once the dampening effects of recession disappear.

Tom Heap asks if this means that the era of cheap flights is over, or can man's infinite capacity for invention keep the industry alive? Tom explores the options with Iron Maiden singer, professional pilot and keen enthusiast for 'green aviation', Bruce Dickinson.

They examine the use of lighter materials for aircraft, changes in air traffic control to cut down time spent in the air and more radical solutions, from biofuels to the rebirth of the airship.

Can technology remove the guilt from flight? Tom Heap and Bruce Dickinson investigate.

Gulls: Code Red * *2008090420080905

Seagulls are breeding rapidly, thriving and getting bigger.

With the decline of fishing in coastal waters, they have been moving inland to more benign conditions in towns and cities, especially where there are landfill sites.

Experts fear trouble if urban gulls are allowed to go on breeding unchecked, but measures to control their population are proving ineffective.

Green on Green

With the urgent need for alternative sources of energy, there are some difficult choices to be made between power generation and the environment. It has been suggested that influential pressure groups such as the RSPB, WWF and Greenpeace need to decide where they stand on green energy and should possibly be prepared to make sacrifices for the greater good of the planet.

Helen Czerski's Arctic Expedition20181009

After six weeks at the North Pole Helen Czerski has new insights into the climate change

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Helen Czerski's Arctic Expedition2018100920181010 (R4)

After six weeks at the North Pole Helen Czerski has new insights into the climate change

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

After a month at the North Pole Helen Czerski has fresh insights into climate change

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. That's certain to impact on the weather we experience in Britain. Physicist Helen Czerski and a boatload of international scientists have just spent a month at the North Pole conducting experiments to find out much more about the impacts of this extraordinary change to our planet.

Join Helen on the Arctic ice floes for the very latest research on the rapid changes to the far north.

Producer: Alasdair Cross

Helen Czerski's Arctic Expedition2018100920181010 (R4)

After six weeks at the North Pole Helen Czerski has new insights into the climate change

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Helen Czerski's Arctic Expedition20181009

After six weeks at the North Pole, Helen Czerski has new insights into climate change.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Helen Czerski's Arctic Expedition2018100920181010 (R4)

After six weeks at the North Pole, Helen Czerski has new insights into climate change.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Heroines Of The Rainforest2017031420170315 (R4)

Two remarkable women have found a formula to save the last of the Indonesian rainforest.

The Indonesian rainforest has suffered enormous damage over the last few decades. Logged for timber and cleared for palm oil production, the habitat of remarkable creatures has declined at an extraordinary rate, leaving the region's iconic Orangutan critically endangered.

Peter Hadfield has travelled across Borneo to meet two remarkable women who have found a formula to reverse the decline. Dentist, Hotlin Ompusunggu and doctor, Kinari Webb set up a clinic which offered cheap healthcare to villages that agree to stop logging in their neighbourhood. The clinic also teaches low intensity farming practices, providing local people with fresh vegetables and a new income stream, bringing the traditional slash and burn agricultural techniques to an end.

Hotlin has been awarded one of the Oscars of the conservation world- a Whitley Gold Award- and the hope is that the formula can be rolled out to other regions of the world threatened by deforestation.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

High Speed Hell?2011100520111006

What you hear is not necessarily what you're getting.

We all have our pet noise hates, but experts tell us that the nuisance caused by noise depends on a number of factors and certainly not just volume.

For this week's Costing The Earth, Tom Heap consults the experts and discovers that our response to noise is not only subjective, it is easily influenced by context and even what we can see.

Tom also looks at the environmental impact of major construction projects and asks what more could be done to limit the damage.

Money, politics and diligent campaigning all have a part to play in ensuring that the latest technology is brought into play.

Throw enough money at the problem and major projects like the High Speed rail line between London and Birmingham be significantly quieter and less disruptive than campaigners fear.

How much disruption will a new high speed rail line really cause? Tom Heap reports.

The high speed rail line between London and Birmingham has already provoked plenty of anger along the length of its proposed route.

But what's the truth about the level of noise and disruption that a development like this will really cause?

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap enlists a team of experts in noise, smell and psychology to test the impact of Britain's first high speed line to the Channel Tunnel and to gauge the likely impact of High Speed 2.

He'll also be talking to railway historian Christian Wolmar to find out how rural Britain reacted to the sight of steam locomotives powering past the hay ricks and pitchfork-wielding peasants.

Producer: Steve Peacock.

The high speed rail line between London and Birmingham has already provoked plenty of anger along the length of its proposed route. But what's the truth about the level of noise and disruption that a development like this will really cause?

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap enlists a team of experts in noise, smell and psychology to test the impact of Britain's first high speed line to the Channel Tunnel and to gauge the likely impact of High Speed 2. He'll also be talking to railway historian Christian Wolmar to find out how rural Britain reacted to the sight of steam locomotives powering past the hay ricks and pitchfork-wielding peasants.

High Speed Hell?20111006

What you hear is not necessarily what you're getting. We all have our pet noise hates, but experts tell us that the nuisance caused by noise depends on a number of factors and certainly not just volume. For this week's Costing The Earth, Tom Heap consults the experts and discovers that our response to noise is not only subjective, it is easily influenced by context and even what we can see.

Tom also looks at the environmental impact of major construction projects and asks what more could be done to limit the damage. Money, politics and diligent campaigning all have a part to play in ensuring that the latest technology is brought into play. Throw enough money at the problem and major projects like the High Speed rail line between London and Birmingham be significantly quieter and less disruptive than campaigners fear.

How much disruption will a new high speed rail line really cause? Tom Heap reports.

Home Power20020411

Series exploring environmental issues.

`Home Power'.

Alex Kirby discovers how to turn one's home into a power station.

Hot In The City2013102920131030

Heatwaves are killing thousands. Tom Heap asks how we can change our cities to survive.

Heatwaves and rising temperatures are killing thousands of people each year and that's expected to increase dramatically in the future. Tom Heap asks if our cities are becoming uninhabitable and goes in search of the innovative design changes we migh have to incorporate into our homes, offices and cities to survive.

The'urban heat island effect' has shown how temperatures can reach their highest in cities compared to the surrounding countryside. Rising Summer temperatures for prolonged periods, coupled with the intensity of thousands of people living, working and travelling in a confined area while blasting air conditioning to keep cool can mean the heat is held in our cities fails to ease overnight. This can lead to more than just getting hot under the collar - increased pollution, poor health and even death.

Tom Heap sweats it out in New York and London to find out how we'll have to change to cope. Streets and building design can help to keep things cool so should we demolish Paris and start again? Building materials are being created to absorb and hold water and reflect the sun's rays but is that enough? Will concrete be done away with altogether? Trees and rivers could become the city's superheroes so should we be demolishing roads to prioritise them?

Tom also heads to Milan to see a radical new housing design where trees and plants don't simply decorate but help form a 'vertical forest' to cool and shield the residents from scorching heat and pollution. Will this urban jungle become the forerunner of things to come?

Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.

Hunting The Beefalo2015030320150304 (R4)

Tom Heap goes in search of the hybrid beefalo, which is damaging the Grand Canyon.

A failed breeding experiment has led to a hybrid creature running riot in the Grand Canyon. The Beefalo is now growing in number rapidly and causing damage to the landscape, threatening the environment and eco-system and trashing ancient monuments of Native Americans. Yet with a hunting ban in the National Park how can they be controlled? Tom Heap goes in search of the legendary creature and the answers.

The iconic bison is on the emblem on the National Parks yet in 1906 its numbers in America were falling so low 'Buffalo Jones' tried a cross-breeding programme with cattle to create the hardy 'beefalo' hybrid. The state eventually took over the herd and kept numbers down through limited hunting. But the beefalo is wise it seems and has learnt it can escape that threat inside the Grand Canyon National Park.

An estimated population of around 600, and growing by up to 50% a year, is causing huge damage to the park. Its herds concentrate the damage in sensitive areas - drinking dry water holes, polluting them, over grazing and leaving bare soil, their success is damaging the landscape and eco-system. Now they're also kicking down ancient monuments of Native American tribes for whom the canyon is a spiritual home. Meanwhile tourists hoping to catch sight of the creatures have found their cars attacked.

So how do you solve a problem like the beefalo? A massive consultation has begun to look at the lethal and non-lethal options and consider if a cull is a viable option despite the sensitivities in the park. Tom Heap goes tracking the beefalo and asks how much damage will be done before a solution is found.

Presented by Tom Heap and produced in Arizona by Anne-Marie Bullock.

Hurrah For The Eco Car *2008092520080926

Politicians tell us that the future of motoring is electric, and several of the major car companies are launching a new generation of greener vehicles using hydrogen fuel technology.

All are being trumpeted as the salvation of the motor car in a world without oil.

But despite being promised green cars as long ago as the 90s, very few have yet to materialise on our roads.

Tom Heap investigates

Hurrah for the Eco Car

Politicians tell us that the future of motoring is electric, and several of the major car companies are launching a new generation of greener vehicles using hydrogen fuel technology. All are being trumpeted as the salvation of the motor car in a world without oil. But despite being promised green cars as long ago as the 90s, very few have yet to materialise on our roads. Tom Heap investigates

In Cod We Trust2003082820030904

Alex Kirby investigates the social and environmental consequences of the impending extinction of North Sea cod.

In Conversation With David Attenborough2015111720151118 (R4)

David Attenborough and fellow experts join Tom Heap to preview the Paris Climate Summit.

David Attenborough and a panel of influential thinkers on the natural world join Tom Heap to preview this month's Climate Summit in Paris. Can the world's leaders come to an agreement to save a warming planet?

The director of Titanic, Avatar and Terminator, James Cameron tells Tom that a vegan diet can slash our carbon emissions. Former Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd recalls what went wrong at the last climate summit in Copenhagen and explains why he's so much more hopeful of real commitments on carbon emissions from the Paris meeting.

David MacKay, the government's chief scientific advisor on energy policy until 2014, tells Tom that Europe's renewable energy policy is unfit for purpose and David Attenborough raises the thorny issue of our rising population.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Insulation For The Nation2017042520170426 (R4)

Tom Heaps asks if UK homes can be retrofitted to cut carbon emissions.

Tom Heaps asks if insulation and power-saving gadgets can cut carbon emissions from homes.

Our homes are responsible for 25% of our carbon emissions in the UK. Tom Heap asks if we can retrofit our homes to fight climate change.

An Englishman's home is his castle, but most homes are not well defended against cold air and high fuel bills and if we are going to hit our 2050 carbon dioxide emissions targets we need to start a retrofit revolution from our front doors.

Tom visits the house of his producer, Martin, to take stock of his 'typical' Edwardian terrace. Pre-1920s housing makes up a big proportion of UK homes and what Tom and a team of eco-house experts discover in Martin's house is not uncommon: draughty doorways, patches of damp, hot-spots and cold spots.

Martin's home has room for improvement and so Tom then makes a whistle-stop tour of homes that are part of the SuperHomes network. SuperHomes is an organisation of determined householders who have made big changes to their dwellings to improve energy efficiency, cut bills and reduce emissions. They show that small changes can make a big difference.

However, in order to tackle our ageing housing stock, a lot of skilled workers are needed. Energy consultant Peter Rickaby, and Gavin Killip from the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University explain that we simply do not have the skilled workforce to carry out the necessary retrofit renovations. The problem will be, according to Professor Linda Clarke from the Westminster Business School, exacerbated by Brexit.

Meanwhile, at his 'power station' in Notting Hill, Michael Liebreich, director of New Energy Finance at Bloomberg thinks we should think big: renovating all our homes could mean that we don't need big new power stations like Hinkley.

Presenter: Tom Heap
Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Our homes are responsible for 25% of our carbon emissions in the UK. Tom Heap asks if we can retrofit our homes to fight climate change.

Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change2013100120131002

Tom Heap reports on the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

He's joined by a panel of top scientists and thinkers to pick over the report and discover what the indications are for the global climate over the next few decades. The panel includes:

Professor Julia Slingo, Met Office Chief Scientist

Sir Mark Walport, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, Author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist"

Professor Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate and Culture, King's College London

Mark Lynas, Author and environmentalist

Tony Grayling, Head of Climate Change and Communities, Environment Agency

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Into The Arctic2011020220110203
20110203 (R4)

In 2010 the Canadian Arctic experienced its warmest year on record.

Suddenly the area's resources- oil, gas, iron ore, uranium, even diamonds- seem accessible.

From Siberia through Greenland to Canada and Alaska energy and mining companies are descending on the north, eager for a slice of the profits they believe to be waiting for them in the gathering slush.

In the first of two programmes Tom Heap is in Arctic Canada to find out more about the new goldrush and to ask if the scramble for resources could reignite the great Cold War rivalries.

The Arctic has held a fascination for Europeans for centuries.

Vikings, fishermen and whalers plundered for short summer seasons and in 1576 Sir Martin Frobisher sailed around Baffin Island in search of the North-West passage to the riches of the east, a search that would obsess sailors for the next 350 years.

Today the passage is clearing and shipping lines are examining the possibility of a high speed route between Western Europe and China.

The clearing of the ice is also making oil exploration easier and allowing mining companies to access the mineral wealth of the north.

That wealth is also attracting the attention of the national governments that claim a share of the Arctic.

It's three years since the explorer, Artur Chilingarov piloted his submarine to the seabed beneath the North Pole, planted a flag and claimed it for Russia.

The diplomatic repercussions of that dramatic act are still being felt around the Arctic today.

Does that make economic, diplomatic or even military conflict inevitable or can the Arctic states share out the spoils without further damaging one of the most fragile environments on earth?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

The Arctic is melting.

The battle over its resources is just beginning.

Tom Heap reports.

The Arctic is melting. The battle over its resources is just beginning. Tom Heap reports.

In 2010 the Canadian Arctic experienced its warmest year on record. Suddenly the area's resources- oil, gas, iron ore, uranium, even diamonds- seem accessible. From Siberia through Greenland to Canada and Alaska energy and mining companies are descending on the north, eager for a slice of the profits they believe to be waiting for them in the gathering slush.

The Arctic has held a fascination for Europeans for centuries. Vikings, fishermen and whalers plundered for short summer seasons and in 1576 Sir Martin Frobisher sailed around Baffin Island in search of the North-West passage to the riches of the east, a search that would obsess sailors for the next 350 years.

Today the passage is clearing and shipping lines are examining the possibility of a high speed route between Western Europe and China. The clearing of the ice is also making oil exploration easier and allowing mining companies to access the mineral wealth of the north.

That wealth is also attracting the attention of the national governments that claim a share of the Arctic. It's three years since the explorer, Artur Chilingarov piloted his submarine to the seabed beneath the North Pole, planted a flag and claimed it for Russia. The diplomatic repercussions of that dramatic act are still being felt around the Arctic today.

Into The Arctic20110203

The Arctic is melting. The battle over its resources is just beginning. Tom Heap reports.

James Wong On The World's Toughest Plants20170530

How much is UK food security threatened by climate change? Botanist James Wong finds out.

Between 20 and 33% of the world's plant species are currently at risk of global extinction. That's the estimation of recently published studies. So how much will climate change impact on the variety, availability and price of the food on our plates? Botanist James Wong investigates the links between global warming and the rate at which crops are able to adapt and evolve to rapidly changing conditions.

Speaking to farmers, plant breeders and scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and elsewhere he hears about the plant world's likely 'winners' and 'losers'. Having deeper roots and more efficient water-use strategies is a clear bonus, and one that's being addressed by British plant scientists who are developing more drought-resistant wheat varieties by breeding them with ancient antecedents of one of the world's most important crops. That's in the UK, but elsewhere around the world, James Wong learns that many plants are facing extinction before they have been recognised as being at risk, and perhaps in some cases even before they have been discovered.

Producer: Mark Smalley.

Jellyfish Invasion!2012052220120523

Jellyfish are taking over the world's oceans, eating baby fish and driving marine ecosystems back to the primitive Cambrian era. Or are they? Although incidents of human-jellyfish interaction are on the increase, it's hard to be sure that the jellies are really increasing in number over the long term. But then again, if we wait till we are sure, won't it be too late? Miranda Krestovnikoff investigates.

Producer: Jolyon Jenkins

Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster

Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster2010090120100902

Bad weather shouldn't cause more than 1800 deaths in the world's richest country.

Five years on from Hurricane Katrina Tom Heap investigates the real reasons for the New Orleans death toll.

It may be classified as a natural disaster but the famously fractious locals agree on one thing- nature had nothing to do with it.

They suggest corruption, complacency and the nagging suspicion that a dirt poor, predominantly black city could never expect much help from Washington's power brokers.

In the first of a new series of 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap returns to the city to dig a little deeper, identify the villains and gauge the city's chance of surviving the next big storm.

Should the oil industry shoulder the blame? Decades of oil extraction from the Louisiana coast has lowered the land, leaving it more vulnerable to flood and to the depredations of the industry's offshore drilling.

How about the US Army? They were charged with building hard defences against a once in 250 year hurricane yet the levees failed throughout the city.

Today the same organisation is re-building the defences, this time with a promise to defend the city against a once in a hundred year flood.

How can a city rebuild with a promise like that? And what of the wetlands and barrier islands that experts had warned were disappearing fast, leaving the coastline unprotected? How many of the $14bn that's flowed through the city are actually being used to rebuild long-term, natural protection for the city?

Tom Heap helps the people of New Orleans in their search for answers.

Five years after the devastation of Katrina, is New Orleans safe from hurricane and flood?

Bad weather shouldn't cause more than 1800 deaths in the world's richest country. Five years on from Hurricane Katrina Tom Heap investigates the real reasons for the New Orleans death toll.

It may be classified as a natural disaster but the famously fractious locals agree on one thing- nature had nothing to do with it. They suggest corruption, complacency and the nagging suspicion that a dirt poor, predominantly black city could never expect much help from Washington's power brokers.

Should the oil industry shoulder the blame? Decades of oil extraction from the Louisiana coast has lowered the land, leaving it more vulnerable to flood and to the depredations of the industry's offshore drilling. How about the US Army? They were charged with building hard defences against a once in 250 year hurricane yet the levees failed throughout the city. Today the same organisation is re-building the defences, this time with a promise to defend the city against a once in a hundred year flood. How can a city rebuild with a promise like that? And what of the wetlands and barrier islands that experts had warned were disappearing fast, leaving the coastline unprotected? How many of the $14bn that's flowed through the city are actually being used to rebuild long-term, natural protection for the city?

Katrina: An Unnatural Disaster20100902

Five years after the devastation of Katrina, is New Orleans safe from hurricane and flood?

Keep On Trucking

Keep On Trucking20100208
Keep On Trucking20100211

Our goods need to be delivered, but at what cost? Tom Heap goes trucking to find out.

Keep On Trucking *2010020820100211

While aviation is often seen as the climate change villain, the transport of freight by road and ship is often ignored.

Shipping is a far bigger polluter and seems unlikely to benefit from the investment in technology which airlines have planned.

Could there be a way to cut down emissions from freight transport? Tom Heap finds out just how much pollution is being shifted needlessly around the place by hitching a lift with a 25-year-old Londoner, who was named the UK's Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2009.

His business, Shiply.com, is a bit like eBay, but for shipping your stuff.

The business has been going for just over a year and has already saved over 1.6 million kg of CO2 by making use of spare capacities.

On a larger scale Eddie Stobart's is Britain's best known haulier.

The company recently made moves into rail freight but questions remain on how many of our deliveries can be made by rail and if the freight industry as a whole is really facing up to the question of how to decarbonise transport.

Our goods need to be delivered, but at what cost? Tom Heap goes trucking to find out.

Lava: A Dangerous Game2015031720150318 (R4)

Tom Heap meets the scientists trying to lessen the impact of volcanic eruptions.

A report from the United Nations published this week highlights for the first time the international impacts of volcanoes. Previously regarded as a local problem for people in Iceland, Indonesia or Central America the UN now recognises that our interconnected world can be split asunder by relatively small eruptions.

The 2010 eruptions in Iceland disrupted air travel for weeks, costing the global economy an estimated $4.9bn. In response enormous improvements are being made in the technology used to detect imminent volcanic eruptions. But is the technology enough on its own? Do changes need to be made in the way that vulnerable communities in the developing world are taught about the dangers on their doorstep? Can more be done to communicate risk without inducing panic?

From Nicaragua to Iceland, Montserrat to Santorini, Tom Heap hears from the scientists on the frontline, men and women enchanted by the stunning beauty of volcanoes but well aware of their potential to destroy communities and change our climate.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Let It Snow!2011102620111027

With planes grounded, airports shut and chaos on the roads, last winter was the harshest in a century.

Temperatures plummeted to minus 22 degrees in Scotland and the whole of the UK was covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice for weeks.

Britain was brought to a standstill.

It is estimated that the cold weather cost the economy around £700 million; energy demand rocketed with demand for gas breaking all records; 60,000 miles of roads were gritted; thousands of schools were shut.

Weather forecasters are unsure if the last two winters are the shape of things to come, or whether the country suffered freak conditions.

With winter 2011 approaching, Tom Heap finds out what preparations are being made to ensure the country's transport infrastructure, power stations, emergency services and food retailers are ready for another big freeze.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Tom Heap investigates ways to keep Britain moving if we have another harsh winter.

Temperatures plummeted to minus 22 degrees in Scotland and the whole of the UK was covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice for weeks. Britain was brought to a standstill.

Let It Snow!20111027

Tom Heap investigates ways to keep Britain moving if we have another harsh winter.

Litter2016032220160323 (R4)

The government in Westminster has promised England a new, national anti-litter strategy. But how do you persuade a throwaway society to use a bin? Chris Ledgard reports on anti-littering campaigns, from the litter ambassadors in the Swiss mountains, to litter enforcement officers in Wolverhampton. And he meets David Sedaris, a man dedicated to cleaning up the streets where he lives.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

How do you persuade a throwaway society to use a bin? Chris Ledgard on litter campaigns.

Living It Small2014041520140416

Tom Heap squeezes into micro-homes to see if living compactly has environmental answers.

Did you have a tree house or a den as a child and think you could happily live there? What is the smallest space you could live in without being driven doolally? As the demand for houses and the cost to buy and run them shoots upwards, it seems more of us may be thinking small and bijou is cosy and obtainable...and the environment could be benefitting by default.

Tom Heap (6 foot 2 inches tall) explores the world of the micro-home - compact spaces often skimming minimum space standards. Some offering a cheaper way for people who work in expensive areas to live nearby or others boasting their green credentials or amazing design.

But is space in the eye of the beholder? Designers claim use of light, storage and some clever little tricks and twists can make a home feel bigger than it is and possibly even make it more desirable for the cool kids. Let's face it, the modern TVs and music and reading collections all require far less space. Using movable walls or mezzanine levels can mean we re-use space, don't waste heat and light and saving on expensive land could mean it's a solution for those priced out of the countryside as well as the city.

As our expectation of space has grown over the last century Tom asks if an Englishman's (or anyone else's) home is still his castle. Do the cool kids with clever design have the green answer to housing crisis or are they simple buying into overcrowding?

Presented by Tom Heap.

Produced in Bristol by Anne-Marie Bullock.

Lungs, Lies And Automobiles2015100620151007 (R4)

Have we been lied to about the quality of the air we breathe? Do car manufacturers, regulators and farmers have some explaining to do about their emissions to the atmosphere? Tom Heap investigates.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Have we been lied to about air pollution? Tom Heap investigates.

Made To Last?20170502

How long do you expect your electronic gadgets and clothes to last? Time to fight back.

How long do you reasonably expect your electronic gadgets and clothes to last? Has the cheapening of products meant we're too ready to let them go when they break and buy new? Jheni Osman is sick of things breaking and the energy and resources that went to making them going to waste. She meets those who are fighting back and lengthening the lifecycle of their goods. Around the country those who lack the skills or know-how to fix things are learning how in community parties and online. But some products are now being built so they're difficult or costly to repair. She meets the campaigners who are calling for companies to be upfront about the life expectation of a product alongside the price tag and learns how some companies are offering a 'lifetime product' with repairs and replacements offered if the items break. Is this the way more companies will go or is it commercial suicide?
Can the fulfilment of fixing a laptop or amp transfer to clothing? We hear why we'll only go a certain way to 'make do and mend' but how even retailers, who've been part of the fast fashion fad, are pioneering new techniques to reuse clothes, find new fabrics and make them last longer. Can the new frock feelgood factor translate to making clothes last longer.
Presented by Jheni Osman and Produced by Anne-Marie Bullock.

Making A Splash2014102120141022 (R4)

Tom Heap meets Darren Reynolds, a health and environment professor, who has developed a mini treatment plant that can turn dirty water into clean drinkable water.

The technology could be transported around the globe and put to use in places where clean water is scarce, such as in areas where there is a humanitarian crisis.

Costing The Earth discovers how the machine works and looks at other technology that could improve the water supplies of millions of people around the world.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Tom Heap meets a man who can turn dirty water into clean, drinkable water.

Man vs Woman vs Planet20181016

Lucy Siegle and Tom Heap ask which gender is worse for the environment and why it matters.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Man vs Woman vs Planet2018101620181017 (R4)

Lucy Siegle and Tom Heap ask which gender is worse for the environment and why it matters.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Man Vs Woman Vs Planet2018101620181017 (R4)

Lucy Siegle and Tom Heap ask which gender is worse for the environment and why it matters.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

March Of The Pylons2011101920111020

Britain's electricity grid needs replacing.

Our old power network is approaching obsolesence.

That means that there's a real threat of a new army of pylons spreading out across some of our most beautiful landscapes.

Since the advent of electricity, power cables have spread out from large, centrally-located coal-fired power stations.

In the future we're going to be extracting our power from small sources dotted around the periphery of the country- wind, wave and hydro-electric stations far from the big power users of the major cities.

To cope with this change a new national grid will have to be constructed.

The shape of that grid and the method for transferring power is already provoking controversy.

How acceptable are large pylons in our National Parks? How much more expensive is an underground cable? Are new wireless power transfer technologies up to the job?

Tom Heap investigates the options.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Does that mean a new invasion of the pylons?

Britain's electricity grid needs replacing. Our old power network is approaching obsolesence. That means that there's a real threat of a new army of pylons spreading out across some of our most beautiful landscapes.

Since the advent of electricity, power cables have spread out from large, centrally-located coal-fired power stations. In the future we're going to be extracting our power from small sources dotted around the periphery of the country- wind, wave and hydro-electric stations far from the big power users of the major cities. To cope with this change a new national grid will have to be constructed. The shape of that grid and the method for transferring power is already provoking controversy. How acceptable are large pylons in our National Parks? How much more expensive is an underground cable? Are new wireless power transfer technologies up to the job?

Britain's electricity grid needs replacing. Does that mean a new invasion of the pylons?

March Of The Pylons20111020

Britain's electricity grid needs replacing. Does that mean a new invasion of the pylons?

March of the Wet Wipes20181113

Our sewerage system is grinding to a halt. The culprits are wet wipes.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

March of the Wet Wipes2018111320181114 (R4)

Our sewerage system is grinding to a halt. The culprits are wet wipes.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Mekong Delta Blues20170516

Enormous new dams threaten life on one of south east Asia's most vital rivers.

New dams threaten life on South-East Asia's most vital river, a river that provides food and water to 70 million people. The government of Laos is determined to develop the nation by building hydroelectric dams for electricity. Many people in the downstream countries of Cambodia and Vietnam are worried that the flow of the life-giving waters of the Mekong will be much reduced and fish life devastated. Peter Hadfield reports from the banks of the Mekong.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Mind The Gap2013101520131016

Is Britain heading for an energy crisis? Tom Heap asks how do we keep UK lights on.

Our energy needs are growing as our energy supply dwindles. Renewables have not come online quickly enough and we are increasingly reliant on expensive imported gas or cheap but dirty coal. Last year the UK burnt 50% more coal than in previous years but this helped reverse years of steadily declining carbon dioxide emissions. By 2015 6 coal fired power stations will close and the cost of burning coal will increase hugely due to the introduction of the carbon price floor. Shale gas and biomass have been suggested as quick and easy solutions but are they really sustainable, or cheap?

Carbon Capture and Storage could make coal or gas cleaner and a new study suggests that with CCS bio energy could even decrease global warming. Yet CCS has stalled in the UK and the rest of Europe and the debate about the green credentials of biomass is intensifying. So what is really the best answer to Britain's energy needs? Tom Heap investigates.

Murder In Cambodia2015111020151111 (R4)

Peter Hadfield travels to Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam to investigate the illegal trade in Siamese Rosewood.

Rosewood is a hard wood that is highly prized because it can be carved into ornate items of furniture, but the appetite for the wood is so voracious that Siamese Rosewood is now becoming critically endangered.

The wood is traded on the black market and now the Siamese Rosewood tree is close to being totally eradicated. Not only that, those responsible for the smuggling are leaving a trail of death and environmental destruction in their wake.

Peter Hadfield goes in search of the tree.

He's on the trail of the smugglers and discovers the measures being taken to try and safeguard the surviving trees.

Presenter: Peter Hadfield

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Peter Hadfield investigates the illegal trade in Siamese rosewood.

Nature Fights Back20030417

Was last year's oil spill off the coast of Galicia the disaster it seemed? How quickly can nature recover from the mistakes of man?

Nature's Medicine Cabinet2011052520110526

Take the venom from a scorpion, the suckers from a starfish and the sting from a bee.

You won't create a spell to turn a prince into a frog but you might just find a new anti-asthma spray, a way to prevent the failure of heart by-passes or the answer to drug-resistant bacteria

Rapid advances in genetic research are throwing open the medical treasure chest of the natural world.

Chemicals that perform a clear function for a plant or animal can be isolated, studied and, in some cases, applied to complex medical problems.

This is obviously good news for patients but could it also be good news for endangered wildlife? Could we soon be concentrating our limited conservation resources on saving the plants and animals that offer up something to humanity?

Dr.

Alice Roberts and medical writer John Naish explore nature's medicine cabinet and consider the ethical dilemmas.

Can plants and animals inspire a new generation of medicine? Alice Roberts reports.

Take the venom from a scorpion, the suckers from a starfish and the sting from a bee. You won't create a spell to turn a prince into a frog but you might just find a new anti-asthma spray, a way to prevent the failure of heart by-passes or the answer to drug-resistant bacteria

Rapid advances in genetic research are throwing open the medical treasure chest of the natural world. Chemicals that perform a clear function for a plant or animal can be isolated, studied and, in some cases, applied to complex medical problems.

Dr. Alice Roberts and medical writer John Naish explore nature's medicine cabinet and consider the ethical dilemmas.

Nature's Medicine Cabinet20110526

Can plants and animals inspire a new generation of medicine? Alice Roberts reports.

New York's Big Green Clean2016030820160309 (R4)

Tom Heap visits New York to find out how the city is cleaning up its dirty waterways.

Tom Heap visits New York to find out how the city is cleaning up its dirty waterways and bringing back oysters to the harbour.

New York is highly populated. The 8 and a half million inhabitants of the five boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island use a lot of water and create a lot of waste. As a result the myriad of waterways, streams and creeks that all flow around the city, the network of 'sewersheds' that meander below the sidewalks, not to mention the vast rivers: the Hudson and the East River have all, over several centuries become increasingly dirty, polluted with litter, oil and worst of all raw sewage. Each time rainfall exceeds around half an inch, the aged Combined Sewage Overflow systems discharge into the rivers.

But in light of 'Super Storm' events such as Sandy and Irene, New York has begun to tackle the problem.

The city's Department of Environmental Protection has embarked on on a 'Green Infrastructure Plan'. Over the next 15 or so years $2.4 billion dollars will be spent on rebuilding the city to help it deal with high rainfall. There are 'green roof' projects, tree-planting programmes, and 'bioswales' are being constructed: all measures to try and reduce the impact of a storm of a similar ferocity wreaking such havoc in the future.

Meanwhile a group of plucky scientists are attempting to bring oysters back to New York harbour: once home to the largest oyster beds in the world, New York produced more oysters than the rest of the world combined. New Yorkers rich and poor alike dined on the shellfish. The waters of the harbour became so polluted that they no longer thrive there, but scientists from the Billion Oyster Project aim to have a billion oysters living in the harbour by 2030, so convinced are they that the water quality will have improved sufficiently by then.

Recent storms in the UK have shown that basic infrastructure struggles to cope when facing a deluge of heavy rain and strong winds, and so when a major storm event hits a major urban centre the results can be devastating.

Tom Heap discovers what knowledge could be gained from the New York project and whether similar sorts of measures could be taken in towns and cities in the UK.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Norfolk Under Water20031120

Global warming will affect the Norfolk Broads sooner than any other area of the UK.

Tom Feilden investigates what is being done to protect the National Park.

Nuclear Futures2016110120161102 (R4)

Our nuclear power stations are being pushed to run well past their planned life-span. Matthew Hill asks if this is putting us all in danger.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Britain's nuclear power stations are being pushed to run well past their planned lifespan.

Nuclear Power Without The Nasties2012022820120229

The Fukushima disaster in Japan brought the nuclear revival to a juddering halt. But what if there was a cheaper, safer way to create nuclear energy?

Thorium is an abundant radioactive element that offers the prospect of producing power without the danger of reactor meltdowns or the enormous amounts of long-lived waste left behind by conventional nuclear power plants. The Chinese and Indian governments have advanced plans for thorium reactors whilst French and British scientists are already developing the technology that can turn the theory into commercial reality.

In 'Costing the Earth' Julian Rush investigates the prospects for a new wave of 'safe' nuclear energy.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Could there be a cheaper, safer way to create nuclear energy? Julian Rush investigates.

Nuclear Power Without The Nasties20120229

The Fukushima disaster in Japan brought the nuclear revival to a juddering halt. But what if there was a cheaper, safer way to create nuclear energy?

Thorium is an abundant radioactive element that offers the prospect of producing power without the danger of reactor meltdowns or the enormous amounts of long-lived waste left behind by conventional nuclear power plants. The Chinese and Indian governments have advanced plans for thorium reactors whilst French and British scientists are already developing the technology that can turn the theory into commercial reality.

In 'Costing the Earth' Julian Rush investigates the prospects for a new wave of 'safe' nuclear energy.

Could there be a cheaper, safer way to create nuclear energy? Julian Rush investigates.

Nuclear Waste's Final Destination2014030420140305

Nuclear power is back on the UK's agenda, but radioactive waste remains the problem.

Nuclear power is back on the UK's agenda, but what to do with the long-lasting radioactive waste remains the problem.

Costing The Earth investigates the best ways to dispose of the waste produced by the generation of nuclear power.

Rob Broomby travels to France where more than 75% of electricity is generated by nuclear power stations. He visits Aube where they are taking care of low and intermediate level waste. It is being stored in concrete and then will be grassed over and monitored for the next 350 years.

Rob also visits a planned site for future disposal of high level waste: deep below the surface in the Champagne-Ardennes region where they intend to bury the waste locked up in clay.

Back in the UK the debate continues as we strive to find a final destination for radioactive waste.

Presenter: Rob Broomby

Producer: martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Obama's Green Dream20090427
Obama's Green Dream20090430

Will political and vested interests shatter President Obama's plans for a greener future?

Obama's Green Dream20090507
Obama's Green Dream *2009042720090430

Tom Heap asks whether political and vested interests will shatter President Obama's dream of leading the United States and the world towards a greener future.

Obama campaigned for a low-carbon economy and as soon as he came to power he set about laying the foundations for one.

He wants to create green jobs in traditional industries like car making - electric cars of course - and construction, making American homes and offices more energy efficient.

His biggest challenge will be to wean the country off its dependence on fossil fuels and make 'clean' energy profitable.

For that he needs to bring in a system called carbon cap and trade and needs the support of senators and members of congress to do so.

However, even members of his own party are reluctant to back what they see as a vote-losing policy and energy companies with investments in coal, gas and oil are lobbying hard against it.

Can the President prevail?

Obama's Green Dream *20090507

Tom Heap asks whether political and vested interests will shatter President Obama's dream of leading the United States and the world towards a greener future.

Obama campaigned for a low-carbon economy and as soon as he came to power he set about laying the foundations for one.

He wants to create green jobs in traditional industries like car making - electric cars of course - and construction, making American homes and offices more energy efficient.

His biggest challenge will be to wean the country off its dependence on fossil fuels and make 'clean' energy profitable.

For that he needs to bring in a system called carbon cap and trade and needs the support of senators and members of congress to do so.

However, even members of his own party are reluctant to back what they see as a vote-losing policy and energy companies with investments in coal, gas and oil are lobbying hard against it.

Can the President prevail?

Will political and vested interests shatter President Obama's plans for a greener future?

Ocean Revival20020404

Series exploring environmental issues.

`Ocean Revival'.

Can science bring back our fish? Tom Feilden reports.

Oceans Of Acid20150923

As the oceans absorb manmade carbon emissions a chemical reaction takes place which is making sea water more acidic. This subtle shift in pH level is having a profound effect on the sea animals which use calcium carbonate to form their shells and skeletons and Marine Biologists are now discovering that this could have implications across the world's oceans. Already shellfish industries in America are being adversely affected and scientists are working hard to predict how the world's fisheries might respond in the future. Professor Alice Roberts discovers there are surprising lessons to be learnt from the past and hears why immediate action is needed to prevent further threats to biodiversity.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Ok Coral2011030220110303

90% of the world's coral is under threat, but could this frontline ecosystem also offer signs of hope?

Ocean acidification is one of the biggest threats to coral but in Egypt tourism also contributes.

Much of the coastal resorts waste is pumped directly into the sea and plastic bags litter the sea bed.

Step forward eco divers.

Volunteers who clean up reefs on their holidays and not just in the Red Sea.

Neptunes Army of Rubbish Cleaners dive in Wales to keep the Pembrokeshire marine environment free from litter but can this army of volunteers across the planet really make a difference.

As well as litter coral has also been found to be threatened by noise pollution.

Young coral find their way home by listening to the noise of animals on the reef and increasing marine noise threatens their ability to do so.

Climate change is also a factor in ocean acidification but it may not be all bad news.

A recent report in Australia suggests that ancient coral which drowned could return to life with warming seas.

Further research at the University of Essex suggests that often coral bleaching does not always equate to coral death.

More promising still is research at the University of Exeter where scientists have discovered that some coral in the Arabic Sea, where waters have warmed most quickly so far, has been able to adapt to rising temperatures.

What these fragile structures need most is time and space to recover.

Marine conservation zones have worked well on the Great Barrier Reef and in the UK's own territorial waters of Chagos but closer to home in Barra the pressures of conservation versus fishermen's livelihood have become all too apparent.

Could coral provide answers as to how our environment adapts or fails? Tom Heap finds out.

Ocean acidification is one of the biggest threats to coral but in Egypt tourism also contributes. Much of the coastal resorts waste is pumped directly into the sea and plastic bags litter the sea bed. Step forward eco divers. Volunteers who clean up reefs on their holidays and not just in the Red Sea. Neptunes Army of Rubbish Cleaners dive in Wales to keep the Pembrokeshire marine environment free from litter but can this army of volunteers across the planet really make a difference.

As well as litter coral has also been found to be threatened by noise pollution. Young coral find their way home by listening to the noise of animals on the reef and increasing marine noise threatens their ability to do so.

Climate change is also a factor in ocean acidification but it may not be all bad news. A recent report in Australia suggests that ancient coral which drowned could return to life with warming seas. Further research at the University of Essex suggests that often coral bleaching does not always equate to coral death.

What these fragile structures need most is time and space to recover. Marine conservation zones have worked well on the Great Barrier Reef and in the UK's own territorial waters of Chagos but closer to home in Barra the pressures of conservation versus fishermen's livelihood have become all too apparent.

Ok Coral20110303

Could coral provide answers as to how our environment adapts or fails? Tom Heap finds out.

Old Bricks, New Tricks2008091120080912

Miriam O'reilly explores possible solutions to housing problems.

According to the government, eco-towns could not only alleviate housing shortages for young families and first-time buyers but also provide the means to cut carbon emissions.

But some housing experts suggest that recycling derelict buildings and contaminated land could provide an even better answer.

Old Bricks, New Tricks

Miriam O'Reilly explores possible solutions to housing problems. According to the government, eco-towns could not only alleviate housing shortages for young families and first-time buyers but also provide the means to cut carbon emissions. But some housing experts suggest that recycling derelict buildings and contaminated land could provide an even better answer.

Our Neighbours Are Elephants!2013102220131023

Globally cities continue to grow. Can wildlife and humans live together as cities spread?

Urban sprawl is now impacting on the habitats of wildlife in countries around the world, so how can wildlife and city dwellers live together?

Reports from cities around the world ask what should be done if your new next door neighbours turn out to be wild animals: Bob Walker reports from Malaysia on the Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants project that Nottingham University are working on to find out what is being done there to maintain a harmonius balance between humans and huge beasts that can cause a lot of damage.

Julian Rush discovers if animals and humans can live harmoniously as cities spread across their habitats.

Presenter: Julian Rush

Producer: Steve Peacock.

Outback Outrage20180508
Outback Outrage2018050820180509 (R4)

The Australian outback is under attack from a surprising enemy - the camel.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

In the Australian Outback survival is tough for plants, animals and people. Food and water are always in short supply. If anyone, or anything, takes too much it can spell disaster.

Peter Hadfield travels into the red heart of the continent on the trail of a surprising threat to the delicate balance- wild camels.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

The Australian outback is under attack from a surprising enemy - the camel.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

In the Australian Outback survival is tough for plants, animals and people. Food and water are always in short supply. If anyone, or anything, takes too much it can spell disaster.

Peter Hadfield travels into the red heart of the continent on the trail of a surprising threat to the delicate balance- wild camels.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Outbreak2012032020120321

The outbreak of Schmallenberg disease amongst sheep and cattle on British farms has provided a powerful reminder of how novel infections can develop, spread and kill before the authorities have a chance to react.

Intensive farming, international travel and climate change are all playing a role in changing the diseases we encounter. In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks what epidemics we should expect in the future and examines the readiness of government, the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Where will the next pandemic come from and how can it be stopped? Tom Heap investigates.

Outbreak20120321

Where will the next pandemic come from and how can it be stopped? Tom Heap investigates.

Overheating Butterflies20020502

Tom Feilden reports on how British wildlife is reacting to global warming.

Paying For Our Parks2015101320151014 (R4)

The National Parks are exploring new commercial opportunities. How far should they go?

Our National Parks are getting less money from central government - some have seen their grant cut by 40% in the past 5 years. To make up the shortfall, they're exploring new commercial opportunities.

As well as coming up with individual fund-raising plans, the 15 National Parks in England, Wales and Scotland have formed a joint body, called National Parks Partnerships. It's exploring new ways of selling their collective logo: "Britain's Breathing Spaces". The idea is modeled on a similar organisation in the USA, which has done million dollar deals with companies like Disney and Coca-Cola.

So, how far should our parks go down the commercial route? Tom Heap investigates.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

Peak Leak2011042020110421

From the atolls of the Pacific to the Thames Estuary shipwrecks of World War Two litter the oceans of the world.

After seventy years rust is starting to take its toll, breaching steel hulls and sending cargoes of munitions, chemicals and oil into the environment.

For decades governments have turned a blind eye to the risk, anxious to avoid responsibility for ships sunk in foreign waters.

However, as the number of pollution incidents increase it's becoming vital for expertise in underwater imaging and salvage to be pooled in a worldwide effort to identify and remediate the most dangerous wrecks.

Tom Heap investigates the latest salvage techniques and asks if the abolition of rescue tugs around the coastline of Britain could add to the risk of future wrecks.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Wartime shipwrecks could soon release their cargo onto our beaches.

Tom Heap reports.

From the atolls of the Pacific to the Thames Estuary shipwrecks of World War Two litter the oceans of the world. After seventy years rust is starting to take its toll, breaching steel hulls and sending cargoes of munitions, chemicals and oil into the environment.

For decades governments have turned a blind eye to the risk, anxious to avoid responsibility for ships sunk in foreign waters. However, as the number of pollution incidents increase it's becoming vital for expertise in underwater imaging and salvage to be pooled in a worldwide effort to identify and remediate the most dangerous wrecks.

Wartime shipwrecks could soon release their cargo onto our beaches. Tom Heap reports.

Peak Leak20110421

Wartime shipwrecks could soon release their cargo onto our beaches. Tom Heap reports.

People Power2012090420120905

Tom Heap finds out how people can use their own energy to power gadgets and lighting.

In the UK thousands of people spend many hours - and pounds - looking to burn off energy at gyms and while playing sports. Could that energy be harnessed and used to power some of our gadgets and devices? Tom Heap puts on his trainers and breaks a sweat to find out.

Trevor Baylis's wind-up radio revolutionised access to information in Africa by using human power rather than expensive batteries. The inventor also demonstrated his piezoelectric phone-charging shoes by walking across the Namib desert and he says there's far more potential for inventions that use our heat or movement to power the devices we use - saving on the mountain of batteries we throw away and replace each year. It also makes lighting and phone charging easier for countries not on the electric grid.

It's possible you've even had some of your energy captured without realising. Tom sees the floor tiles storing energy from commuters', shoppers' and schoolchildren's footsteps to help power lighting. He learns about ink patterns on clothing that use energy from our movement to monitor our health and hears about futuristic implantable devices which could be powered by the body's internal movements.

The experts say we won't be going off-grid to power our homes with exercise bikes but even tiny devices could be major players in helping our energy demands.

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Pits And Pyres20020418

Series exploring environmental issues.

`Pits and Pyres'.

Tom Feilden reports on the environmental legacy of the foot-and-mouth epidemic.

Plants To Pills

Plants To Pills2010031520100318

Tom Heap witnesses the international police operation against the trade in endangered species.

Interpol's Operation Tram has been busy across Europe, seizing traditional medicines suspected of containing endangered species.

Tom follows the raids in the UK, uncovering the effects the trade has on the world's plants and animals.

Tom Heap witnesses the worldwide police operation against the trade in endangered species.

Plants To Pills20100318

Tom Heap witnesses the worldwide police operation against the trade in endangered species.

Plasticphobia20181023

Tom Heap asks if going plastic-free risks harming the environment.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Plasticphobia2018102320181024 (R4)

Tom Heap asks if going plastic-free risks harming the environment.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Plasticphobia2018102320181024 (R4)

Tom Heap asks if going plastic-free risks harming the environment.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

Power Of Scotland2014042220140423

Scotland is the principal source of Britain's renewable energy as well as its oil and gas. What would independence mean for the UK energy market? Would England struggle to source clean energy? Could Scotland continue to subsidise its wind turbines and tidal energy schemes? What would a split mean for energy prices in Scotland and in the rest of the UK?

Tom Heap reports from Edinburgh on an energetic debate that's certain to heat up as the Scottish independence referendum approaches.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Power To The People20140924

There's no doubt that 'People Power' can transform a community, when keen volunteers come together to collectively improve their lot.

But what happens when People Power can be measured in watts and volts?

Communities up and down the country are taking the power back - literally - from the Big 6, and starting a variety of schemes to generate their own energy. They're reducing their bills, strengthening community spirit - and helping the UK towards its renewable energy targets at the same time. And in January of this year, the government got fully on board with the movement too, publishing the first ever UK Community Energy Strategy.

But just how easy is it to do? Can philanthropic locals really compete with the might of the UK Energy industry? And how does the money stack up? Tom Heap investigates.

Produced in Bristol by Emily Knight.

Preserving The Past20031211

Acid rain, car fumes and climate change.

They're gradually eating away at the world's greatest monuments.

Alex Kirby finds out if science can help preserve our heritage.

Programme Catalogue - Details: Repeat19950903

Producer: MITCHELL, J

Next in series: 05 November 1995

Previous in series: 27 August 1995

Broadcast history

03 Sep 1995 21:30-21:59 (RADIO 4)

Recorded on 1995-09-01.

Programme Catalogue - Station

Radio 4

Progress And Pelicans20020509

Series exploring environmental issues.

`Progress and Pelicans'.

Alex Kirby investigates how the injection of western capital is endangering the bird life of eastern Europe.

Protecting The Past

Protecting The Past20100215
Protecting The Past20100218

Alice Roberts investigates the threats posed to our great historic sites by climate change

Protecting The Past * *2010021520100218

Alice Roberts investigates the threats posed to our great historic sites by climate change.

Is there anything we can do to save the most vulnerable properties from extreme weather and regular flooding?

All over the world conservators and policy makers are pondering the implications of global warming for our most important heritage sites.

Alice visits three sites to investigate possible responses to the problem.

In Ireland she visits Newgrange, the stunning centrepiece of a Neolithic landscape which finds itself assaulted by regular flooding of the nearby River Boyne and ever more extreme rainstorms.

Europe's greatest collection of Megalithic art is being eroded faster than ever and undiscovered archaeology is being ploughed into the ground as local farmers turn from farming cattle and sheep to the arable farming that suits the changing climate.

At Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh the laser-scanners from Historic Scotland are part way through their ambitious attempt to record 3-D models of the pick of the World Heritage Sites.

They have already fired lasers at the presidents' heads on Mount Rushmore and are set to visit Machu Picchu and Orkney's Skara Brae, an ancient village at imminent risk of destruction from rising sea levels and more frequent storms.

Is all we can do really to record, scan, photograph and despair, or can our historic landscapes be saved with enough time, vision and money? On Exmoor the National Trust is devising a plan to manage an entire river from source to sea.

The aim is to avoid another Boscastle-style disaster where sudden, unprecedented rainfall overwhelms a river and the historic sites on the coast below.

Pushing Water2012051520120516
Putting The Fizz Back Into Planet Earth2016110820161109 (R4)

Can we find a use for all that pesky climate-changing carbon dioxide? Tom Heap reports.

Can we find a use for all that pesky climate-changing carbon dioxide? If we can turn excess CO2 into something useful we might just be able to slow down the rate of global warming. It's a dream shared by lots of scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs.

At the ACI Carbon Utilisation conference in Lyon, Tom meets the Germans turning CO2 into a fuel and the French researchers aiming to mimic nature's photosynthesis process. In Oxford he talks to a company making fertiliser from waste and a chemist creating innovative plastics whilst in Avonmouth he sees CO2 transformed into concrete blocks that are already being used in house building around the country.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Raising A Stink20090504
Raising A Stink *20090504

Tom Heap investigates the potential savings available by harnessing the power of sewage through anaerobic digestion and the fertilisation of farms using human waste.

Some experts believe that millions of pounds could be saved if we could overcome fecophobia, a fear of human waste.

Each flush of the toilet chain sends upto 13 litres of purified drinking water racing down the u-bend into the vast, largely Victorian sewage system that comprises of 300,000km of sewers that serve 9,000 wastewater treatment plants that receive 10 billion litres of sewage every single day.

With the UK producing approximately 25 million tonnes of wet sewage sludge each year, Dr Stephen Smith, director of the Centre for Environmental Control and Waste Management at Imperial College, London, estimates that the nitrogen and phosphorus content of digested sewage sludge could be worth 20 million pounds in terms of the artificial farm fertilisers it would replace.

Rare Earth Metals

Rare Earth Metals2010051920100520

Most of us may never have heard of Rare Earth Elements but these precious metals such as terbium, lanthanum and neodymium are vital to the electronics we rely on and increasingly to the green technologies we hope to utilise in the future.

The automobile industry uses tens of thousands of tons of rare earth elements each year, and advanced military technology depends on these elements, too.

Lots of green" technologies depend on them, including wind turbines, low-energy light bulbs and hybrid car batteries.

97% of these elements are mined in China and as demand has skyrocketed over the last decade from 40,000 tons to 120,000 tons China has started reserving supplies for its own economic expansion.

Now, it only exports about 30,000 tons a year - only a quarter of the supply the world needs now and far less than the demands of the green technologies needed for a carbon free future.

The elements themselves are abundant in the Earth's crust.

New sources have been found in Greenland and Utah but extraction is difficult and demand seems certain to outstrip supply.

Tom Heap searches for solutions to the looming crisis.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

Tom Heap finds out if the supply of metals vital to electronics could be exhausted by 2012"

Rare Earth Metals20100520

Tom Heap finds out if the supply of metals vital to electronics could be exhausted by 2012

Reasons To Be Cheerful?2017041120170412 (R4)

The Skoll World Forum was set up by eBay founder, Jeff Skoll to pursue his optimistic vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. But can the world's most pressing problems be solved by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and innovators?

This year the forum will be attended by key speakers such as Bono, Atul Gawunde, Michael Porter and Don Henley. Tom Heap will be reporting from Oxford to ask whether there are reasons for optimism in poverty, health and conservation as we face fresh challenges from climate change and political uncertainty.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

The Skoll World Forum aims to help entrepreneurs solve global problems. Tom Heap reports.

Rebel Without A Car20120306

The car was once the symbol of youthful cool. From James Dean through Steve McQueen to Ayrton Senna the car was a symbol of freedom, daring and sexual allure. Today the young of the western world have turned their back on the car. Half of American 17-year-olds have a driver's licence today compared with three-quarters in 1998 and in Europe car sales are down whilst public transport use is up.

Is it simply that insurance costs have rocketed for young drivers? Is it because the young remain in education for longer? Are our youth becoming more environmentally aware or is it because cars have become safe, reliable and downright dull?

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap takes to the road from the Streets of San Francisco to the inner ring roads of the West Midlands to find out if the age of the car is coming to an end. He meets the marketing men, the manufacturers and the innovators struggling to retain a place in our affections for the motor car.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Young people are turning their back on the car. Tom Heap asks if it has a future.

Rebel Without A Car20120307

Young people are turning their back on the car. Tom Heap asks if it has a future.

Reds Return2015040720150408 (R4)

Could the revival of the pine marten be bad news for grey squirrels and good for the reds?

Could the return of the Pine Marten mean the end of the Grey Squirrel takeover?

Tom Heap examines emerging evidence that where Pine Marten populations are healthy, Grey Squirrel numbers crash and native Red Squirrels increase.

Tom meets the researchers who found the connection in Ireland, and who are now investigating whether it's also happening in Scotland.

The Pine Marten is itself recovering from years of persecution and is still only found in tiny pockets of England and Wales. If the Pine Marten really is the saviour of the Red Squirrel there could be an added incentive for its reintroduction.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Sarah Swadling.

Requiem For A King2016021620160217 (R4)

Tom Heap tells the story of coal from the Industrial Revolution to its apparent demise.

Tom Heap tells the story of coal from Industrial Revolution to its apparent demise.

As the world begins to fall out of love with coal, is it too early to write its obituary?

Coal drove the Industrial Revolution in this country. It could be argued that it helped to put the 'Great' into Great Britain.

Now, at least in Britain, we're turning our back on the sooty black stuff. The last deep pit, Kellingley Colliery, closed in December 2015 and all of the coal-fired power stations in the UK are set to close in the next decade. Coal is on its knees.

But what about the rest of the world? China and the US have had an enormous appetite for coal and while both will continue to mine and burn the stuff for the coming decades, it is possible that we may have already reached 'peak coal' - the point at which coal demand will plateau, before declining.

Coal will continue to lift developing countries through the various economic growth. It is expected that areas of South Asia will continue to depend on coal to generate power but even in those places they are hoping to implement new, cleaner ways of burning coal. The fuel could be facing a 'long sunset'.

But is there a glimmer of hope?

Carbon Capture and Storage has often been hailed as a potential cure-all for Carbon Dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, so could it step in now to save coal before it is confined to the annals of history?

It may be too early to say. However in Canada there is one commercially operating plant. Many experts believe that we need CCS if we are going to seriously tackle our global CO2 emissions because, at least in the short term, coal will remain on his dusty throne for the coming decades.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Rethinking Climate Change

Rethinking Climate Change2010051220100513

Could there be a better way to fight climate change? A group of top scientists has become exasperated with fighting what they see as a losing battle against carbon dioxide emissions.

They want to open an entirely new front.

2009 was a depressing year for anyone who felt a sense of urgency in tackling climate change.

The failure of the Copenhagen summit to agree international action was bookended by a series of scandals which seemed to undermine the credibility of some of the associated science.

For many of the scientists intimately involved with climate analysis the events of 2009 were the ultimate stamp of failure on a long process that had done little to convince public or politicians of the need to act and nothing to actually turn back global warming.

These scientists, authors of a new report to be published on the 11th of May, believe that they need to start afresh if we are to have any hope of success.

They point out the obvious failure to reach multi-national agreements on curbing emissions.

Future strategy should be led by individual groups, governments and temporary alliances.

Efforts should focus on practical solutions that bring other benefits alongside emission-control.

If a strategy brings about poverty reduction or economic renewal then it is much more likely to attract widespread support than any programme labelled as 'anti-climate change'.

The group also believes that the focus on carbon dioxide has been mis-guided from the start.

Around half of the greenhouse effect can be attributed to emissions other than CO2 from oil, gas and coal, and most of those emissions are easier to reduce.

We should tackle black soot, reactive nitrogen and methane before we make the kind of tough decisions needed to fight carbon dioxide.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap conducts a thorough examination of the new approach, asking if it's right to abandon all the efforts made over the last decade.

Can we really save the planet without every major nation signed up to the same plan?

The battle against climate change needs a radical rethink.

Tom Heap reports.

Rethinking Climate Change20100513

The battle against climate change needs a radical rethink. Tom Heap reports.

Return Of The King2012050820120509

Coal is the dirtiest fuel, but consumption is rising. Tom Heap investigates.

In the rush to come up with new, clean ways to produce electricity many people assumed that dirty old coal was a fuel of the past, a relic of the Industrial Revolution. However, coal's dominance of the market in electricity generation is actually increasing. China is building many new coal-fired power stations. The booming economies of Poland, Australia and South Africa are almost exclusively reliant on coal whilst even the Germans have turned back to the black stuff as they abandon nuclear power.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap investigates the dramatic revival of Old King Coal and asks if there are any realistic ways to turn our cheapest, most abundant fuel into a clean source of energy.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Return Of The King20120509

Coal is the dirtiest fuel, but consumption is rising. Tom Heap investigates.

Rig Retirement2017021420170215 (R4)

As many of the oil and gas platforms in the North Sea come to the end of their useful life, they're due to be decommissioned - sealed off, cleaned up and taken apart. The cost of this has been estimated to around £50bn and much of this will be footed by the taxpayer due to the tax breaks offered. But are there alternative solutions which might benefit the environment more?

Tom Heap has exclusive access to an onshore decommissioning facility in Norway to which an oil platform has just been transported whole in a 'single lift'. He investigates the clean up process and asks how easily the sea floor can be returned to its natural state. He investigates if the alternatives are worth considering - could cleaning them up and leaving them in place actually form a sanctuary for marine and wildlife and allow the billions saved to be invested into environmental issues instead?

Produced by Anne-Marie Bullock.

River Quality2015110320151104 (R4)

Tom Heap investigates claims England's rivers are under threat from 'insidious' pollution.

Campaigners claim England's river life is under threat from 'insidious' pollution, yet the Environment Agency says rivers are at their healthiest in 20 years. Tom Heap visits the River Itchen, in Hampshire, and the River Thames to discover where the truth might lie. This is an important moment for rivers, the next five year plan for improving them is about to be published. The Government Minister for the Natural Environment, Rory Stewart, tells Tom what his priorities will be.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Sarah Swadling.

Robot Farmers2013020520130206

How satellite technology and advances in robotics may revolutionise the future of farming.

Satellite technology and advances in robotics are set to revolutionise the future of farming.

Out go the heavy, soil destroying combines and tractors, in come a light army of mini robots which weed, spray and pick crops at the optimum time. Expert agronomists will advise thousands of farmers at a time. Using real data, farmers will be able to maximise the yield and quality of the crops as they leave the field.

Sarah Cruddas meets the scientists engineering the robotic shepherds of the future, and hops into the cab of a self-driving tractor to experience labour and fuel saving precision farming.

She also hears from Science Minister, David Willetts who believes that the UK can become Europe's centre of satellite technology. The data provided will, in the coming years, become more and more detailed enabling farmers to have a greater understanding of their land and allow them to produce yield maps and farm more efficiently than ever before.

Costing The Earth ask if farms of the future will be run by a fleet of robots: from crop-picking automatons to swarms of electronic bees, and whether the farmer of the future be found in a control centre rather than out in a muddy field.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Run Rabbit2018051520180516 (R4)

Britain's rabbits are in sharp decline. Tom Heap asks if we should be worried.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

When was the last time you saw a rabbit - dead or alive? Despite its reputation, a BTO survey suggests European rabbit numbers in the UK have declined by around 60 per cent over the last 20 years. In turn, other species from birds to invertebrates are also suffering as a result.

Tom Heap tracks down the story. Myxomatosis wiped out the majority of the population in the 50s and 60s and can still affect the young but now scientists are concerned about Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease. Ironically this is deliberately released in some countries as a deliberate way to control the population but is thought to be behind large-scale declines in the UK through spreading naturally. He visits areas which have seen numbers disappear, to hear what they're doing about it and concerns it may pass on to other species. Now groups are asking walkers and cyclists to log rabbit sightings to get a broader picture of numbers but should we really be working on an antidote?

http://www.mammal.org.uk/volunteering/mammal-mapper/

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Britain's rabbits are in sharp decline. Tom Heap asks if we should be worried.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

When was the last time you saw a rabbit - dead or alive? Despite its reputation, a BTO survey suggests European rabbit numbers in the UK have declined by around 60 per cent over the last 20 years. In turn, other species from birds to invertebrates are also suffering as a result.

Tom Heap tracks down the story. Myxomatosis wiped out the majority of the population in the 50s and 60s and can still affect the young but now scientists are concerned about Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease. Ironically this is deliberately released in some countries as a deliberate way to control the population but is thought to be behind large-scale declines in the UK through spreading naturally. He visits areas which have seen numbers disappear, to hear what they're doing about it and concerns it may pass on to other species. Now groups are asking walkers and cyclists to log rabbit sightings to get a broader picture of numbers but should we really be working on an antidote?

http://www.mammal.org.uk/volunteering/mammal-mapper/

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Britain's rabbits are in sharp decline. Tom Heap asks if we should be worried.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

When was the last time you saw a rabbit - dead or alive? Despite its reputation, a BTO survey suggests European rabbit numbers in the UK have declined by around 60 per cent over the last 20 years. In turn, other species from birds to invertebrates are also suffering as a result.

Tom Heap tracks down the story. Myxomatosis wiped out the majority of the population in the 50s and 60s and can still affect the young but now scientists are concerned about Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease. Ironically this is deliberately released in some countries as a deliberate way to control the population but is thought to be behind large-scale declines in the UK through spreading naturally. He visits areas which have seen numbers disappear, to hear what they're doing about it and concerns it may pass on to other species. Now groups are asking walkers and cyclists to log rabbit sightings to get a broader picture of numbers but should we really be working on an antidote?

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Britain's rabbits are in sharp decline. Tom Heap asks if we should be worried.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

When was the last time you saw a rabbit - dead or alive? Despite its reputation, a BTO survey suggests European rabbit numbers in the UK have declined by around 60 per cent over the last 20 years. In turn, other species from birds to invertebrates are also suffering as a result.

Tom Heap tracks down the story. Myxomatosis wiped out the majority of the population in the 50s and 60s and can still affect the young but now scientists are concerned about Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease. Ironically this is deliberately released in some countries as a deliberate way to control the population but is thought to be behind large-scale declines in the UK through spreading naturally. He visits areas which have seen numbers disappear, to hear what they're doing about it and concerns it may pass on to other species. Now groups are asking walkers and cyclists to log rabbit sightings to get a broader picture of numbers but should we really be working on an antidote?

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Britain's rabbits are in sharp decline. Tom Heap asks if we should be worried.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

When was the last time you saw a rabbit - dead or alive? Despite its reputation, a BTO survey suggests European rabbit numbers in the UK have declined by around 60 per cent over the last 20 years. In turn, other species from birds to invertebrates are also suffering as a result.

Tom Heap tracks down the story. Myxomatosis wiped out the majority of the population in the 50s and 60s and can still affect the young but now scientists are concerned about Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease. Ironically this is deliberately released in some countries as a deliberate way to control the population but is thought to be behind large-scale declines in the UK through spreading naturally. He visits areas which have seen numbers disappear, to hear what they're doing about it and concerns it may pass on to other species. Now groups are asking walkers and cyclists to log rabbit sightings to get a broader picture of numbers but should we really be working on an antidote?

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

Sands Of Time2012032720120328

Britain's sand dunes are running out of time. Coastal development and well-meaning conservation plans have locked them in place, frustrating the natural ebbs and flows that attract some of our rarest birds, insects and toads.

On the coast of South Wales the conservation group Plantlife has decided to take drastic action. A fleet of bulldozers has appeared at Kenfig Sands, home of the rare fen orchid. The plan is to reconstruct this massive dune system, giving space for the natural processes of wind and wave to mould the landscape, returning the natural mobility that so many of our dune species need.

Is Mother Nature being given a much-needed helping hand or should we leave what remains of our dunes well alone? Tom Heap reports from the Welsh coast.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Britain's sand dunes are running out of time. Tom Heap joins the battle to save them.

Sands Of Time20120328

Britain's sand dunes are running out of time. Tom Heap joins the battle to save them.

Saving The Caribbean2014100720141008 (R4)

Tom Heap discovers how the islands of the Caribbean are preparing for rising sea levels.

The small islands of the Caribbean are acutely vulnerable to rising sea levels and a potential increase in the frequency and severity of hurricanes. Tom Heap travels to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ask if they're prepared for the worst nature can offer.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Saving The Everglades20030403

Tom Feilden asks if an eight billion dollar plan can save America's wettest wilderness from Florida's rapacious developers.

Scuba Squad: Cleaning The Ocean2014101420141015 (R4)

Cleaning the seabed, one dive at a time. Miranda Krestovnikoff joins a scuba squad making our shores a safe place for swimmers and wildlife.

Presenter: Miranda Krestovnikoff

Producer: Melanie Brown.

Cleaning the seabed, one dive at a time. Miranda Krestovnikoff joins a new clean-up squad.

Sell-by Dates

Sell-by Dates2009090720090910

In the UK, 370,000 tonnes of food is misguidedly thrown away each year after passing its best-before date, with a further 40,000 tonnes not even opened by consumers.

An additional 220,000 tonnes of food is thrown away while still in date and 440,000 tonnes of food is thrown away after its use-by date.

And that is just the food that reaches our fridges and fruitbowls.

There are an estimated 1.6 million tonnes of food thrown away by British retailers making up just some of the 5.4 million tonnes of food the UK throws away every year.

So where does all this confusion come from? According to one survey, more than one-third of Britons believe that any product past its 'best-before' date is liable to poison them and should never be eaten.

Added to this confusion is the less than scientific way in which 'use-by' dates are often set with a 'worse case scenario' applied to all products, protecting the consumer but also the industry.

With dates now applied to all kinds of produce, from soft fruit to hard cheese, Tom Heap seeks to find out where these dates came from, who sets them, who benefits and how we might learn to live without them.

Sell-by Dates20090910

Tom Heap finds out if dates on food are past their sell-by date.

Shifting Sands20151020

A new report from the National Trust reveals how how our coast has changed over the last 50 years. Tom Heap asks if we've become better or worse at protecting our prime assets.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Shifting Spring2018041020180411 (R4)

Lindsey Chapman investigates how shifting seasons are affecting wildlife.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

We've just endured a really tough winter but records suggest that Spring is on average beginning much earlier. Lindsey Chapman investigates how shifting seasons are affecting our wildlife.

Bumblebees in January, daffodils blooming early, 'thuggish-vegetation' thriving as a result of mild winters and damp summers: the seasons appear to be blurring and wildlife is becoming confused. The overall impact is 'quite staggering' according to Matthew Oates, butterfly expert from the National Trust.

In this week's Costing The Earth, Lindsey Chapman meets Matthew as he takes stock of our shifting seasons. He explains how early spring can throw several species out of kilter, creating a mismatch between wildlife and their prey. And what happens when- like this year- we get an icy snap in the middle of a mild spell?

Lindsey meets the scientists studying the mechanisms driving the UK's climate, phenologists who have been studying the link between seasons and species and the naturalists who are spotting new species turning up on our doorstep.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Lindsey Chapman investigates how shifting seasons are affecting our wildlife.

Spring now begins on average 26 days earlier than it did 10 years ago. Lindsey Chapman investigates how shifting seasons are affecting our wildlife.

Bumblebees in January, daffodils blooming early, 'thuggish-vegetation' thriving as a result of mild winters and damp summers: the seasons are blurring and wildlife is becoming confused.

Last year was 'a bit all over the place yet again'. It's hard to put any single event down to climate change but overall the impact is 'quite staggering' according to Matthew Oates, butterfly expert from the National Trust.

In this week's Costing The Earth, Lindsey Chapman meets Matthew as he takes stock of our shifting seasons. He explains how early spring can throw several species out of kilter, creating a mismatch between wildlife and their prey. And what happens when- like this year- we get an icy snap in the middle of a mild spell?

Lindsey meets the scientists studying the mechanisms driving the UK's climate, phenologists who have been studying the link between seasons and species and the naturalists who are spotting new species turning up on our doorstep and familiar species that are moving north, and Lindsey visits her Springwatch friend and colleague Brett Westwood to hear if there are any species that are benefitting from a warming UK climate.

Presenter: Lindsey Chapman
Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Sinking Solomon Islands2017041820170419 (R4)

Five of the Solomon Islands have already been lost to the sea. How are the locals coping?

Five of the Solomon Islands have already been lost to sea level rise and many more are being rendered uninhabitable. For wildlife film-maker and marine biologist, Ellen Husain that's not just a disturbing quirk of climate change, it's a family concern.

At the beginning of the 20th century her great uncle, Stanley Knibbs was the Chief Engineer and Surveyor of the Solomon Islands, drawing up some of the first maps of the region for the British Empire. He fell in love with this Pacific paradise and wrote a warm and witty memoir of his time with the islanders.

One hundred years on Ellen is anxious to find out how the islands have changed. How is sea level rise at three times the global average disturbing the ancient rhythms of life? Can crops continue to be grown in land that grows saltier by the day? Can ancient traditions like shark-calling and megapode egg-collecting survive as tribal communities are broken up and moved to higher ground.? And what lessons can the rest of the world learn from the people on the frontline of sea level rise that we're all likely to endure over the next century.

Producer: Alasdair Cross

Stanley Knibbs played by Mark Meadows

All photos by Ellen Husain.

Five of the Solomon Islands have already been lost to sea level rise and many more are being rendered uninhabitable. For wildlife film-maker and marine biologist, Ellen Husain that's not just a disturbing quirk of climate change, it's a family concern.

At the beginning of the 20th century her great uncle, Stanley Knibbs was the Chief Engineer and Surveyor of the Solomon Islands, drawing up some of the first maps of the region for the British Empire. He fell in love with this Pacific paradise and wrote a warm and witty memoir of his time with the islanders.

One hundred years on Ellen is anxious to find out how the islands have changed. How is sea level rise at three times the global average disturbing the ancient rhythms of life? Can crops continue to be grown in land that grows saltier by the day? Can ancient traditions like shark-calling and megapode egg-collecting survive as tribal communities are broken up and moved to higher ground.? And what lessons can the rest of the world learn from the people on the frontline of sea level rise that we're all likely to endure over the next century.

Producer: Alasdair Cross

Stanley Knibbs played by Mark Meadows

All photos by Ellen Husain.

Sinking Solomon Islands20171121

Five of the Solomon Islands have already been lost to the sea. How are the locals coping?

Five of the Solomon Islands have already been lost to sea level rise and many more are being rendered uninhabitable. For wildlife film-maker and marine biologist, Ellen Husain that's not just a disturbing quirk of climate change, it's a family concern.

At the beginning of the 20th century her great uncle, Stanley Knibbs was the Chief Engineer and Surveyor of the Solomon Islands, drawing up some of the first maps of the region for the British Empire. He fell in love with this Pacific paradise and wrote a warm and witty memoir of his time with the islanders.

One hundred years on Ellen is anxious to find out how the islands have changed. How is sea level rise at three times the global average disturbing the ancient rhythms of life? Can crops continue to be grown in land that grows saltier by the day? Can ancient traditions like shark-calling and megapode egg-collecting survive as tribal communities are broken up and moved to higher ground.? And what lessons can the rest of the world learn from the people on the frontline of sea level rise that we're all likely to endure over the next century.

Producer: Alasdair Cross

Stanley Knibbs played by Mark Meadows

All photos by Ellen Husain.

Soil Saviours2017022820170301 (R4)

Can soil play a role in the fight against climate change? Our soils are the biggest store of terrestrial carbon on the planet. This crucial non-renewable natural resource is under threat, and millions of hectares of farmland are lost every year through erosion and degradation of topsoil, releasing significant quantities of carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.

The French Government believes that soil can play a significant part in keeping the rise in global average temperatures below 2 degrees. They've introduced an initiative called "4 per 1000", which aims to improve the organic carbon matter in soil stocks by 4 parts in 1000 per year. They claim such an increase in the planet's cultivated soil would offset all emissions of greenhouse gases on the planet. Tom Heap talks to scientists and farmers to find out what can be done to put carbon back below our feet.

Producer: Sophie Anton.

Can putting carbon back into the soil help in the fight against climate change?

Sounds Of The Seas2015090820150909 (R4)

How noisy is the underwater environment? Tom Heap dips beneath the surface to find out.

How noisy is the underwater environment? Tom Heap dips beneath the surface to find out if man-made noise is affecting the marine life that lives below the waves.

Costing The Earth begins a new series with three programmes investigating the health of our oceans. The team tackles ocean acidification and how the UK plans to protect marine areas in its overseas territories but first Tom Heap delves into a mystery soundscape: one that exists underwater.

Scientists are only just beginning to study the complex noises coming from beneath the waves. All marine life depends on sound to communicate but in a world that is becoming increasingly loud, whales, dolphins, fish of all shapes and sizes, all the way down to molluscs and the smallest organisms are finding their voices lost in a sub-aqua world of rumbles and crunches from various man-made sources.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Spiritual Greens2016100420161005 (R4)

Tom Heap drops in on the 50th anniversary celebrations of the green magazine Resurgence. With its origins in the peace movement, the magazine has championed the spiritual side of the ecological movement. Tom talks to some of its most famous contributors - and their critics - to take stock of what the last half century of green activism has - and hasn't - achieved.

Producer: Chris Ledgard.

Tom Heap assesses 50 years of green activism with leading members of the movement.

Spring Forwards, Fall Backwards

Spring Forwards, Fall Backwards20101027

On October 31st we'll all dutifully turn our clocks back by one hour, plunging our evenings into premature darkness.

There's mounting evidence that this annual ritual has a real environmental cost.

Alice Roberts takes a look at the arguments from the Greenwich Meridian to Cornwall and the Western Isles to find out who could benefit and who might suffer from a change in the way we set our clocks.

The clocks change next week.

Alice Roberts asks if this is madness for the environment.

On October 31st we'll all dutifully turn our clocks back by one hour, plunging our evenings into premature darkness. There's mounting evidence that this annual ritual has a real environmental cost. Alice Roberts takes a look at the arguments from the Greenwich Meridian to Cornwall and the Western Isles to find out who could benefit and who might suffer from a change in the way we set our clocks.

The clocks change next week. Alice Roberts asks if this is madness for the environment.

Summer Of Mud *2008082120080822

Renewable energy powered stages, biodegradeable tent pegs and car-share schemes all sound great when trying to reduce the environmental impact of summer festivals, but do they really make any difference? How much do festival-goers and performers really care about the environment?

Summer of Mud

Supergrid

Supergrid20090921
Supergrid20090924

Tom Heap tests the notion of a 'Supergrid' linking renewable resources across Europe.

Supergrid * *2009092120090924

Carbon-free energy could become a greater possibility if we help to form a Europe-wide 'Supergrid', but what is it, how will it work and who will pay for it? Tom Heap finds out.

Even if it does sound like science fiction, the European Union want to be able to power the entire continent with green energy: from solar panels to wind and wave turbines, from geothermal to hydroelectric power stations.

The 'Supergrid' project will lie from the North Sea, going down to the Sahara Desert, from Iceland's volcanoes to the tides of Finland, from the winds of Scotland to the Black Sea and to the sun of the Middle East.

Superwood
Superwood20180320

Wood can do anything that oil can do. Could it be the backbone of a future economy?

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

Anything made from oil can now be made from trees, so is a new age of wood about to dawn? Tom Heap visits Finland which is pushing for a new industrial revolution based on trees and plants rather than oil and coal. He takes a glimpse into a future where cars, clothes, computers screens, and everything else we buy could begin its life in the forest. And he finds out how the UK is leading the way towards wooden skyscrapers.

Producer Sarah Swadling.

Taming Australia2015021020150211 (R4)

Australian Premier, Tony Abbott is determined to develop his Northern Territory. With the enormous markets of South-East Asia on the doorstep of Darwin there's huge potential for oil, gas, mining and agriculture in the thinly-populated north.

Locals welcome the prospect of jobs but there's a real concern that the extraordinary landscape of the north could be lost. Mining and intensive agriculture require water in vast quantities. To get it dams will have to be built and groundwater abstracted. That will disrupt the complex web of life in the river systems of the north. Fish, turtles and birdlife depend upon the seasonal flows and fluctuations that will be tamed in a developed north.

Local Aboriginal people who own half of the land and make up 30% of the population still hunt and fish the rivers. Many worry that development will take their water but fail to offer them the jobs and modern facilities they would like to see.

Julian Rush travels across the tropical savannah of Australia's 'top end' to gauge the impact of a populated and energised north, meeting the people and the wildlife that will have to live alongside the incomers.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Australia has big plans to develop the Northern Territory. Julian Rush reports.

Texan Drought2014090220140903

Tom Heap explores how four years of drought is changing the face of Texas.

Whilst many parts of the United States have suffered drought this summer, for Texas it's been going on for years. Wells and reservoir levels are at a fraction of what they should be and farmers and residents have been forced to face some big changes. Climatologists say this is the second worst drought in recorded history but if it continues it could soon surpass that experienced in the 1950s.

Tom Heap visits cattle and crop farmer Kenneth McAlister who lives near one of the areas in 'exceptional drought' - Wichita Falls. The lack of rain has made it hard to grow feed and he's had to reduce his herd size. Many others have done the same or left farming altogether - which is beginning to change the face and identity of this state famed for ranching. Some recent light rain has only brought with it grasshoppers and dangerous weeds on the land.

Meanwhile, to preserve water supplies in Wichita Falls evaporation suppressants are being sprayed onto reservoirs and water companies say they've started 'direct potable reuse' - reducing the stages between flush and faucet - which has garnered an interesting response.

With over 1000 people moving to Texas each day and business being encouraged to boom Tom asks what's being done to save precious water supplies and ensure there's enough to go around.

Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

The Air That I Breathe2011091420110915

British air quality consistently breaches European regulations.

It's not just London or the other big cities, towns the length and breadth of the country suffer from filthy air.

In this week's 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks what individuals can do to improve the quality of the air they breathe.

The first step is to find out where air quality is at its worst.

New techniques, pioneered by Lancaster University, use the pollution-attracting powers of trees to allow scientists to draw up accurate pollution maps of urban areas.

Combined with smartphone APPs they give every pedestrian the power to avoid pollution hotspots.

Air pollution can be incredibly localised.

Even by walking on a parallel street you can save your lungs from the worst of urban pollution.

These new ideas also open up the possibility of citizen control of air quality.

The right trees planted in the right part of the street can reduce pollution loadings by up to 40%, offering communities a real chance to change their neighbourhood.

Even individuals can have an effect.

Chemists at Sheffield University in conjunction with Helen Storey at the London College of Fashion are developing the idea of pollution-munching clothes.

Wear some jeans sprayed with a titanium catalyst and you could remove pollution from the air as you walk.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

How can you help your family breathe clean air? Tom Heap investigates.

British air quality consistently breaches European regulations. It's not just London or the other big cities, towns the length and breadth of the country suffer from filthy air. In this week's 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap asks what individuals can do to improve the quality of the air they breathe.

The first step is to find out where air quality is at its worst. New techniques, pioneered by Lancaster University, use the pollution-attracting powers of trees to allow scientists to draw up accurate pollution maps of urban areas. Combined with smartphone APPs they give every pedestrian the power to avoid pollution hotspots. Air pollution can be incredibly localised. Even by walking on a parallel street you can save your lungs from the worst of urban pollution.

These new ideas also open up the possibility of citizen control of air quality. The right trees planted in the right part of the street can reduce pollution loadings by up to 40%, offering communities a real chance to change their neighbourhood. Even individuals can have an effect. Chemists at Sheffield University in conjunction with Helen Storey at the London College of Fashion are developing the idea of pollution-munching clothes. Wear some jeans sprayed with a titanium catalyst and you could remove pollution from the air as you walk.

The Air That I Breathe20110915

How can you help your family breathe clean air? Tom Heap investigates.

The Art Of Protest

The Big Clean Up

The Big Clean Up20100301
The Big Clean Up20100304

We need to build new homes and schools on ex-industrial land, but how safe is it?

The Big Clean Up * *2010030120100304

When Corby council was ruled to be negligent in its efforts to clean up the site of the town's enormous steelworks, a shiver ran through the building industry.

For a decade builders have been urged to build new homes, offices, schools and hospitals on brownfield land.

It meant that ex-industrial eyesores were cleaned up and it saved greenfield land from the bulldozers.

The rejuvenation of Corby was one of the biggest brownfield building projects in the country and, many believe, it was an unmitigated disaster.

The High Court ruled that the council had failed to oversee the works, resulting in dangerous contaminants spreading far and wide across the town.

Numerous birth defects have been blamed on the contamination and the council could face a legal and compensation bill running into millions of pounds.

Alice Roberts asks what impact the Corby decision has had on Britain's building industry.

Will it be cheaper and safer for risk-averse councils and builders to turn their attention back to greenfield land?

We need to build new homes and schools on ex-industrial land, but how safe is it?

The British Countryside After Brexit2016101820161019 (R4)

Tom Heap hears four visions for the future of the British countryside after Brexit.

Tom Heap hears four radical visions for the future of the British countryside after Brexit. He's joined by Baroness Young, Chair of the Woodland Trust and former head of the Environment Agency and the RSPB, the writer and Guardian columnist George Monbiot, economist Michael Liebreich and by Welsh hill farmer Gareth Wyn Jones.

Can they come up with a plan for the British landscape once the Common Agricultural Policy and European environmental legislation are consigned to history?

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

The Bugs Bite Back2007092020070921

Tom Heap investigates the battle against domestic pests.

From bedbugs to carpet mites and flies, the insect population in our homes is increasing.

Experts say the causes are our greater mobility and and the fact that we spring clean less efficiently.

Nor do we like using so many chemicals to kill insects, making them increasingly resistant in our warmer winters.

Tom Heap investigates the battle against domestic pests. From bedbugs to carpet mites and flies, the insect population in our homes is increasing. Experts say the causes are our greater mobility and and the fact that we spring clean less efficiently. Nor do we like using so many chemicals to kill insects, making them increasingly resistant in our warmer winters.

The Carteret Islands - Sharks In The Garden20090525
The Carteret Islands - Sharks In The Garden20090528

How the Carteret Islands are slowly being submerged by the rising sea.

The Carteret Islands - Sharks In The Garden * *2009052520090528

Tom Heap reports on the first large scale human evacuation due to climate change.

The Carteret Islands, a small coral atoll in the South Pacific are slowly being submerged by the rising sea, forcing the removal of hundreds of islanders to nearby Papua New Guinea.

The City That Fell Into The Earth2016022320160224 (R4)

How do you move a city? Lesley Riddoch travels to Arctic Sweden to find out.

How do you move a city? Lesley Riddoch travels to Arctic Sweden to find out. Kiruna is gradually sliding into Europe's biggest iron ore mine. The city has to be rebuilt two miles away. That requires an extraordinary blend of planning, architecture, technology and stoicism. If anyone can do it then it's the Swedes.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

The Deepest Lake On Earth2013041620130417

Exploring the environmental secrets of the deepest lake in the world with Anson Mackay.

Russia's Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake in the world, containing 20% of the world's unfrozen fresh water. Dr Anson Mackay from University College London is one of a team drilling through the bed of this extraordinary body of water. The cores that they pull up from the depths will tell us not just about the environmental history of Baikal, they'll tell us about 1000s of years of global climate change. Today the lake is threatened by pollution, rising population and global warming. Can the story of the lake's past help preserve it for the future?

In a special edition of 'Costing the Earth' we join Dr Mackay and his Russian colleagues as they piece together the story of Baikal and the wider story of all freshwater on Earth.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

The Diesel Decade2014082620140827

How the rise in diesel cars may have damaged our health. Tom Heap investigates.

The air quality in our towns and cities has remained stubbornly filthy over the last ten years despite tightening regulations on the poisonous emissions our cars can legally belch out. That means more lung disease and more heart attacks.

New research is pointing the finger of suspicion at the dramatic rise in the number of diesel vehicles on our roads. Take a look at the data from car manufacturers and it seems that diesel engines are getting significantly cleaner. Independent monitoring suggests something very different- real cars driven in the real world can emit up to five times more of some pollutants than the manufacturers claim.

Tom Heap investigates the source of our pavement pollution and kicks off his campaign for cleaner air.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

The End Of Plastic2013110520131106

Tom Heap meets a man on a mission: Eben Bayer is determined to eradicate plastic and polystyrene from the packaging industry and replace it with a bio-degradable fungus.

And he thinks he's cracked it. By combining fungus with agricultural waste to create packaging that's cheap, durable and biodegradable, Bayer hopes to disrupt an environmentally destructive industry valued globally at around £13 billion. He's looking at ways to roll his product out across the USA and beyond.

Plus scientists are also looking at biodegradable plastics made from potatoes, and even shrimps and silk in what could be heralded as a real game-changer

In this edition of Costing The Earth, Tom Heap asks if it's too early to be reading the last rites to plastic.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Tom Heap meets a man determined to rid the world of plastic.

And he's cracked it. By combining fungus with agricultural waste to create packaging that's cheap, durable and biodegradable, Bayer hopes to disrupt an environmentally destructive industry valued globally at around £13 billion. He's looking at ways to roll his product out across the USA and beyond.

The Environment After Exit2016031520160316 (R4)

Tom Heap examines the potential impact of an exit from the EU on the environment.

From Roman Snails and Great Crested Newts in East Anglia to the lemon sole of the English Channel and the wind turbines of Fife, European legislation has a significant impact on the look and health of our wildlife and landscape.

Tom Heap examines the potential impact on the British environment of an exit from the European Union.

Produced by Alasdair Cross and Robin Markwell.

The Future Of Fashion20171010

Lucy Siegle reports from La Scala, Milan to ask if fashion can ever really be 'green'.

It may seem odd when an industry that relies on seasonal trends and consumption talks about 'going green'. But Lucy Siegle has had a keen eye to the fashion industry and has been charting efforts to improve things. She heads to La Scala in Milan for the very first Green Carpet Fashion Awards, rubbing shoulders with Gisele, Anna Wintour and Giorgio Armani, where the big names in the industry are gathering to respond to calls for greener fashion. Is this the sign of new era starting from the top? Lucy heads back to the UK, where the 18-35 year olds are leading the charge in wanting more sustainable fashion. She reveals how we shop and looks at which fabrics could potentially challenge cotton and polyester and what it would take for them to be a mainstay in our wardrobes. For the fashion loving consumer who's not ready for a lecture, we reveal the new developments from retail and 'change disruptors' and ask if the 'lucky pants' theory could change our behaviour.

Presenter: Lucy Siegle
Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock.

The Future Of Our Food2014050620140507

Where will our food come from in the future? Tom Heap chairs the debate.

Where will our food come from in the future? Tom Heap chairs the debate from the Bristol Food Connections Festival.

The Future Of The British Countryside2018052920180530 (R4)

Tom Heap leads a debate on the future of the British countryside.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts

What do we want from our countryside and how much are we willing to pay for it?

Tom Heap chairs a debate in response to the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan focusing on "Public Money for Public Goods " and asks what are public goods? Is food a public good?

Should public money be used to support food production or conservation and the environment? How can environmental enhancement be measured? What will the landscape of the future look like?

Producer: Sarah Blunt.

The Future Of The Countryside2018052920180530 (R4)

Tom Heap leads a debate on the future of food production and the countryside.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

What do we want from our countryside and how much are we willing to pay for it?

Tom Heap chairs a debate in response to the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan focusing on "Public Money for Public Goods " and asks what are public goods? Is food a public good?

Should public money be used to support food production or conservation and the environment? How can environmental enhancement be measured? What will the landscape of the future look like?

Producer: Sarah Blunt.

Tom Heap leads a debate on the future of food production and the countryside.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

What do we want from our countryside and how much are we willing to pay for it?

Tom Heap chairs a debate in response to the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan focusing on "Public Money for Public Goods " and asks what are public goods? Is food a public good?

Should public money be used to support food production or conservation and the environment? How can environmental enhancement be measured? What will the landscape of the future look like?

Producer: Sarah Blunt.

Tom Heap leads a debate on the future of food production and the countryside.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

What do we want from our countryside and how much are we willing to pay for it?

Tom Heap chairs a debate in response to the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan focusing on "Public Money for Public Goods " and asks what are public goods? Is food a public good?

Should public money be used to support food production or conservation and the environment? How can environmental enhancement be measured? What will the landscape of the future look like?

Producer: Sarah Blunt.

The Great Flood Of Paris20100421

Paris in 1910 was at the centre of the world's cultural and intellectual life.

New metro tunnels and new sewers were making life cleaner and faster for two and a half million Parisians.

There was such confidence in the efficiency and modernity of the city that early reports of floodwater tumbling down the River Seine were largely ignored.

Nature, surely, had nothing with which to threaten the greatest city in the world?

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap chronicles the causes and effects of Europe's greatest ever urban flood.

Assisted by the new tunnels, the waters of a wet winter rose beneath the city making hundreds of thousands homeless, bringing Parisian life to a complete halt for many weeks.

To many residents it seemed as if the city was doomed.

Surely the huge class divisions, seen so recently in the Paris Commune, exacerbated by food shortages would lead to riots and ultimately revolution.

Tom tells the story of the extraordinary unity that somehow prevailed and the great engineering efforts to drain and re-build the city.

He joins modern Parisians to hear how the lessons have been learned and acted upon.

Could a 'once in a century' flood threaten the city again? Could London learn from the pain of Paris? What can we all learn from the stoicism and heroism demonstrated by Parisians rich and poor in the face of disaster?

Paris was devastated by flood 100 years ago.

Tom Heap learns the lessons for today.

The Great Mineral Heist2009092820091001

Over the past 70 years the levels of crucial minerals in our basic foods have declined significantly.

This is bad news for consumers in the west, but potentially deadly news for those in the developing world who cannot afford a perfectly balanced diet.

Alice Roberts sets out to uncover the culprit and find a solution.

Do we need to shorten our food chains, de-intensify our agriculture, or simply turn to the varieties of fruit and veg enjoyed by our grandparents?

In Perthshire, Moira and Cameron Thomson spread their own mixture of compost and rock dust onto their poor Highland soils.

They are convinced that the rock dust is replacing the lost minerals from the soil, resulting in enormous and very tasty broccoli, parsnips and carrots.

Meanwhile at the University of Nottingham, Dr Martin Broadley uses a combination of mathematics and applied biology to find a way to breed crop roots that extract more of the minerals that are available in the soil.

From the Cotswold kitchen of food writer Diane Purkiss to the world's largest potting shed at the National Soil Archive in Aberdeen, Alice compares and contrasts the diet, soils and plants of the 1930s and the present day in her search for the world's lost minerals.

The Great Mineral Heist20091001

Alice Roberts investigates the loss of vitamins and minerals from our staple foods.

The Greens Revolution2009011920090122

Tom Heap, who vowed as a teenager, on environmental grounds, that he would never play golf, re-examines his prejudices and investigates whether his view of golf is still a valid one.

Does golf ruin good countryside and threaten wildlife, or have the clubs found ways to work in a more environmentally-friendly way? Tom finds that golf courses can, in many cases, actually represent an ideal of land stewardship: ecologically responsible, rich in biodiversity and sensitive to the environment, they can be crucial to the success of many native species of flora and fauna.

Tom Heap investigates whether golf courses are environmentally damaging.

The Growing Season2016092720160928 (R4)

The warmer climate is extending the growing season, Peter Gibbs asks if this is good news.

The Met Office recently issued a report which states that the growing season in the UK is now one month longer than it was in the 1960's. Keen gardeners may notice that spring bulbs are coming up much earlier and that fruit like apples are flowering sooner in the year whilst some farmers can now bring in their harvest before the end of the summer. Peter Gibbs discovers that whilst there are opportunities for growers in more Northerly latitudes rapid changes globally may put yields of vital crops at risk. The UK's gardeners, crop scientists and farmers are not simply sitting back and admitting defeat though. A changing climate is a challenge which many growers are busy preparing for.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

The Hydrogen Bubble20031218

President Bush believes that we'll all soon be driving cars powered by hydrogen gas.

The Ice In Iceland2015021720150218 (R4)

Iceland is warming faster than most countries. Tom Heap finds out why.

Iceland is warming faster than most countries, two to four times faster than the global average temperature rise. A quirk of geography means that the island's plants and animals are having to cope with rapidly rising temperatures whilst their neighbours in the rest of northern Europe warm much more gradually. Glaciers are melting, trees are growing much faster and arable farming is suddenly possible and profitable.

Tom Heap travels through Iceland to gauge the impact on the landscape and the people. Can the rest of the world learn lessons from Iceland's experience?

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change2013100120131002

Tom Heap reports on the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The last report from the IPCC was published in 2007. Costing The Earth discovers what has changed since then and what the indications are for the global climate over the next few decades.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

The Mars Of The Mid-atlantic2016041920160420 (R4)

Peter Gibbs explores Ascension Island, a barren Atlantic rock made fertile by man.

Ascension Island is a tiny scrap of British territory, marooned in the tropical mid-Atlantic roughly halfway between Brazil and Africa. It's the tip of a giant undersea volcano - rugged, remote and, up until around 150 years ago, almost completely devoid of vegetation.

Peter Gibbs visits to learn how 19th-century botanist Joseph Hooker, encouraged by Charles Darwin, planted a forest on the island's summit to trap moisture brought by the trade winds, introducing a panoply of flora from around the world - ginger, guava, bamboo, ficus and dozens more.

But is Ascension's cloud forest all it appears? He talks to conservationists struggling to cope with invasive species running riot, hears about the rescue of Ascension's tiny endemic ferns, encounters nesting turtles on the beaches and ventures among the chattering 'wideawakes' on the sweltering lava plains by the coast.

Producer: Matthew Teller.

The Miracle Of St Mark20020919

Series exploring environmental issues.

`The Miracle of St Mark'.

Tom Feilden on Venice's 2,000-year battle with the environment.

The New Diggers20100201

The New Diggers20100204

Alice Roberts meets the people making Britain's wasteland grow.

The New Diggers *2010020120100204

In 1649 the chaos of the English Civil War inspired a group that declared our land to be a common treasury and began to plant fruit and vegetables on common land in southern and central England.

It was a response to a shortage of food and what the Diggers saw as the misuse of productive land by the large landowners.

Alice Roberts meets the new Diggers - groups and individuals across the country determined to tackle the looming food crisis by making the wasteland grow.

In Todmorden in West Yorkshire locals began by secretly planting up the gardens of their derelict heath centre.

Today the whole town seems to throb with fertility; new allotments fill the retirement home gardens and feed the residents, an aquaponics growing system is being built behind the secondary school and pak choi self-seeds through the cracks in the town centre pavements.

Near Gateshead a National Trust-owned stately home has cleared its enormous Georgian walled garden and invited local people in to create their own allotments.

Meanwhile, a farming estate in Oxfordshire has decided that a reliance on arable farming leaves it vulnerable to world markets.

New farmers and growers are being invited to rent small plots of land to try their hand at making the tricky transition from amateur grower to real farmer.

Alice Roberts asks if this grassroots revolution will produce enough food to feed Britain.

Will it transform the shape of our countryside and the look of our towns?

Alice Roberts meets the people making Britain's wasteland grow.

The Ozone Hole Thirty Years On2015051220150513 (R4)

In May 1985 Joe Farman, Jonathan Shanklin and Brian Gardiner of the British Antarctic Survey published their paper in the scientific journal Nature. It revealed there was a large and expanding hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic and that the cause was the chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs then commonly used in aerosols and refrigerants.

The size and speed at which the hole had formed was alarming and the paper helped convince governments across the globe to take action. The resulting Montreal Treaty of 1987 has been called the most successful environmental legislation ever passed. CFCs were effectively banned and their prevalence in our atmosphere has been slowly decreasing. The ozone layer hole does appear to be healing but the process is slow and increasingly complicated.

Today the interplay between ozone and the greenhouse effect is only just becoming understood and even more worrying is new research which points to previously unknown CFCs and other ozone depleting substances accumulating in the stratosphere. BBC weather forecaster, Peter Gibbs celebrates the discovery which saved millions from skin cancer and hears about the need for continued vigilance.

Producer: Helen Lennard.

The Power Of Peat2012031320120314

In the fight against climate change the peatlands of the British Isles are one of our greatest assets. A healthy peat bog can absorb more carbon dioxide and store it for longer than forests of a similar size. But we're still destroying our peat at a frightening rate. It's mined for use by gardeners, it's burned in power stations, taken by traditional peat-cutters and ravaged by moorland fires.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap meets the people leading the fightback. He takes to the skies above the Peak District where helicopters are dropping rocks and heather brash onto remote hillsides to heal the wounds caused by two centuries of acid rain. He joins the teams blocking drains and planting pods of sphagnum moss in an effort to bring carbon-sucking life back to the blasted heaths of the peaks.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

The peatlands of the British Isles are being destroyed. Tom Heap reports.

The Power Of Peat20120314

The peatlands of the British Isles are being destroyed. Tom Heap reports.

The Price Of Cheap Oil2015032420150325 (R4)

Tom Heap asks what the falling price of oil means for the environment.

In this week's Costing The Earth Tom Heap asks what the falling price of oil means for the environment.

First thoughts would be 'not good'. Lower prices mean that people don't need to be so careful how much fuel they use so what will the consequences of this be? Will this halt the steady decline in car sales? Will people turn their heating up a notch when they're feeling chilly?

Those are the direct impacts on people, but look further and could the drop in oil prices spell disaster for the renewable energy industry?

And what will oil companies do? Will production rise, pushing prices down further? Or with prices falling, will oil companies find it increasingly expensive and barely cost effective to reach those hard to reach oil reserves?

But it's far more complicated than that. Political insecurities and tensions around the world in oil producing states all help to paint a very complicated picture.

Tom Heap tries to find his way through the political and economic maze to find out what hope there is for the environment should prices continue to drop.

Presenter: Tom Heap

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

The Real Avatar2011051120110512

James Cameron and Sigourney Weaver are the latest to wade into the battle to stop the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil but it seems celebrity causes are less likely to win ecological battles than they were 20 years ago and with oil and gas prices spiralling big dams are back on the menu everywhere.

In the 1990s Sting and the Xingu tribal people succeeded in creating enough worldwide protest to stop the Belo Monte dam being put into construction.

Since then the World Bank has stepped away from financing big dams, distancing itself from projects which have often caused as many problems as they solve.

One fifth of the world's freshwater is found in the Amazon.

The Belo Monte dam will divert a significant amount of the Xingu river flooding 640km including much of the city of Altamira and displacing upwards of 20,000 people.

It will cost $17 billion and environmentalists argue that this is only viable because it will lead the way for dams further upstream which could produce far more energy and because the electricity will power aluminium smelters and iron ore mines.

They also site the devastating impact on wildlife and migratory fish which are staples for indigenous tribes, a likely increase in malaria from the stagnant water and significant methane release from the river bed as it dries.

The Brazilian government, and many Brazilian people, argue that the dam is absolutely necessary and that this is renewable energy.

With one of the world's fastest growing economies they need fuel, and hydro already provides 80% of the country's energy needs.

Should privileged Western stars be listened to when they may not fully understand the issues and what is more important to the environment movement, conservation or carbon?

Tim Hirsch travels to the Amazon to see the 'real Avatar' and the dam which threatens them

In the 1990s Sting and the Xingu tribal people succeeded in creating enough worldwide protest to stop the Belo Monte dam being put into construction. Since then the World Bank has stepped away from financing big dams, distancing itself from projects which have often caused as many problems as they solve.

One fifth of the world's freshwater is found in the Amazon. The Belo Monte dam will divert a significant amount of the Xingu river flooding 640km including much of the city of Altamira and displacing upwards of 20,000 people. It will cost $17 billion and environmentalists argue that this is only viable because it will lead the way for dams further upstream which could produce far more energy and because the electricity will power aluminium smelters and iron ore mines. They also site the devastating impact on wildlife and migratory fish which are staples for indigenous tribes, a likely increase in malaria from the stagnant water and significant methane release from the river bed as it dries.

The Brazilian government, and many Brazilian people, argue that the dam is absolutely necessary and that this is renewable energy. With one of the world's fastest growing economies they need fuel, and hydro already provides 80% of the country's energy needs. Should privileged Western stars be listened to when they may not fully understand the issues and what is more important to the environment movement, conservation or carbon?

The Real Avatar20110512

Tim Hirsch travels to the Amazon to see the 'real Avatar' and the dam which threatens them

The Real Cost of Chinese Medicine20181106

Endangered animals are paying the price for the spread of traditional Chinese medicine.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

The Real Cost of Chinese Medicine2018110620181107 (R4)

Endangered animals are paying the price for the spread of traditional Chinese medicine.

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts.

The Real Eco Warriors?2011022320110224

According to senior military figures, by the time a gallon of fuel reaches the frontline in Afghanistan its cost has increased to £250.

Add in the cost of escorting those tankers in terms of lives and you have a pretty powerful incentive for the military to cut down its fuel consumption.

Top officials in the United States and in the UK are taking this message seriously, investing in research into alternative fuels, portable battlefield power systems and energy reduction strategies.

There's already a company of US Marines operating in Afghanistan with solar powered communications systems whilst back home military chemists are working on fuels from algae.

Their ultimate aim is for frontline military bases to produce their own vehicle fuel from on-site tanks of algae, completely eliminating the need for long convoys of fuel tankers.

One British company is building enormous fuel-efficient airships that will spend weeks in the air patrolling Afghanistan whilst another builds generators that turn frontline waste into power for military camps.

Could all this military effort be just the tonic that civilian green technology needs? Could the military's cash, expertise and sense of urgency push forward the stagnant technology of solar, wind and alternative fuels? Tom Heap investigates the real eco-warriors in this week's 'Costing the Earth'.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Could the military lead us into a green future? Tom Heap investigates.

According to senior military figures, by the time a gallon of fuel reaches the frontline in Afghanistan its cost has increased to £250. Add in the cost of escorting those tankers in terms of lives and you have a pretty powerful incentive for the military to cut down its fuel consumption. Top officials in the United States and in the UK are taking this message seriously, investing in research into alternative fuels, portable battlefield power systems and energy reduction strategies.

There's already a company of US Marines operating in Afghanistan with solar powered communications systems whilst back home military chemists are working on fuels from algae. Their ultimate aim is for frontline military bases to produce their own vehicle fuel from on-site tanks of algae, completely eliminating the need for long convoys of fuel tankers. One British company is building enormous fuel-efficient airships that will spend weeks in the air patrolling Afghanistan whilst another builds generators that turn frontline waste into power for military camps.

According to senior military figures, by the time a gallon of fuel reaches the frontline in Afghanistan its cost has increased to £250. Add in the cost of escorting those tankers in terms of lives and you have a pretty powerful incentive for the military to cut down its fuel consumption. Top officials in the United States and in the UK are taking this message seriously, investing in research into alternative fuels, portable battlefield power systems and energy reduction strategies.

The Real Eco Warriors?20110224

Could the military lead us into a green future? Tom Heap investigates.

The Return Of Old King Coal20120501

In the rush to come up with new, clean ways to produce electricity many people assumed that dirty old coal was a fuel of the past, a relic of the Industrial Revolution. However, coal's dominance of the market in electricity generation is actually increasing. China is building many new coal-fired power stations. The booming economies of Poland, Australia and South Africa are almost exclusively reliant on coal whilst even the Germans have turned back to the black stuff as they abandon nuclear power.

In 'Costing the Earth' Tom Heap investigates the dramatic revival of Old King Coal and asks if there are any realistic ways to turn our cheapest, most abundant fuel into a clean source of energy.

Producer: Martin Poyntz-Roberts.

Coal is the dirtiest fuel, but consumption is rising. Tom Heap investigates.

The Revenge Of The Stairs2010092220100923

Often take the stairs in a modern building? Thought not.

If you've ever opted to avoid the lift in a plush pad, you've probably wandered miles of corridor only to be confronted with a fire escape sign giving a sneaking suspicion that the moment you push that door, alarms will scream, firefighters will swoop and you'll be scorned as some Luddite freak.

In a public building it's simpler: stairs stink of stale beer and fresh urine.

The lift wins every time.

But now there's a fightback.

New York City's bosses have declared stair-climbing as key to their citizens' survival.

In fact, they've sent 'Active Design Guidelines' to architects and city planners, pushing them to build more exercise into their grand plans.

The logic is obvious but radical.

New York City's early skyscrapers did so much to relegate steps and elevate the elevator.

The rationale of our built environment has always been convenience.

Yet, the health and design chiefs of NYC want more walking and cycling alongside renewed mastery of the stairs - they want getting around to take more effort, to be harder.

The city bosses come equipped with a persuasive historical parallel.

In the 19th century, the big city killer was infectious disease like cholera and TB and we 'designed out' the danger through better buildings and clean water systems.

The threats now are obesity, diabetes and heart trouble resulting, at least partly, from our slobby lifestyles.

Can we take a lead from New York and re-design our own cities to improve the health of everyone who lives and works there? Tom Heap travels from the Bronx to the Mile End Road to find out.

Can we redesign our cities to improve our health? Tom Heap investigates.

In a public building it's simpler: stairs stink of stale beer and fresh urine. The lift wins every time.

But now there's a fightback. New York City's bosses have declared stair-climbing as key to their citizens' survival. In fact, they've sent 'Active Design Guidelines' to architects and city planners, pushing them to build more exercise into their grand plans. The logic is obvious but radical.

New York City's early skyscrapers did so much to relegate steps and elevate the elevator. The rationale of our built environment has always been convenience. Yet, the health and design chiefs of NYC want more walking and cycling alongside renewed mastery of the stairs - they want getting around to take more effort, to be harder. The city bosses come equipped with a persuasive historical parallel. In the 19th century, the big city killer was infectious disease like cholera and TB and we 'designed out' the danger through better buildings and clean water systems. The threats now are obesity, diabetes and heart trouble resulting, at least partly, from our slobby lifestyles.

The Revenge Of The Stairs20100923

Can we redesign our cities to improve our health? Tom Heap investigates.

The Story Of Bst19990704

`The Story of BST'.

Bovine somatotrophin, or BST, was the first genetically engineered product to be brought to market.

It is a growth hormone which is injected directly into dairy cows to increase milk production.

It can cause disease and birth defects in cows, and there are questions concerning its effects on humans.

In the first of two programmes, Alex Kirby investigates the political and health implications of BST.

The Sun King Of China2016051020160511 (R4)

Peter Hadfield meets Huang Ming, the undisputed leader of China's booming solar industry.

Producer: Alasdair Cross.

Meet Huang Ming, the Chinese inventor who describes himself as, 'the number one crazy solar guy in the world'.

One of the prize exhibits of his museum in northern China is a vintage solar panel. It's a water heater, installed by President Jimmy Carter on the roof of the West Wing of the White House. Back in 1979 the installation was meant to symbolise a new solar-powered future for America. Instead, oil prices fell and Ronald Reagan removed the White House panels.

37 years on and it's China, not the US that's embracing the idea of a solar-powered economy. Huang Ming, an engineer, prominent political figure and businessman is leading the way with his foundation of Solar Valley. In 800 acres of land south of Beijing he employs 3000 people in solar research, development and manufacture.

Peter Hadfield visits Solar Valley to see the fruits of the sun, from a solar-powered yurt to the world's biggest solar-powered building. He asks if Huang Ming can persuade his nation to turn its back on coal and oil and angle its face toward the sun.

The Three Peaks Challenge

The Three Peaks Challenge2009100520091008

Every year around 60,000 people set out on the Three Peaks Challenge, aiming to climb the highest mountains in England, Wales and Scotland.

Most do it to raise money for charity but there are increasing worries that the challenge is putting too much pressure on the environment, destroying some of our most beautiful places.

Alice Roberts sets out with a group of enthusiastic trekkers to find out if the environment is suffering as charities prosper.

The Challenge used to be centred around the longest day in June, giving trekkers the chance to climb Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike in daylight.

More recently, however, it has become such a charity money-spinnner that groups tackle the peaks from April to October.

At the height of the season as many as 1,000 people can be trekking up each mountain, often in the dark.

The Challenge speeds up the erosion of paths, damages fragile Alpine plant systems and adds to the pressure on the areas' toilets and litter bins.

Banning the Challenge would destroy an important income source for hundreds of charities and breach the principle of open access to these iconic mountains.

Can Alice find a solution? Can people enjoy the physical challenge of the mountain environment and continue to raise money for charity without destroying some of Britain's wildest and most beautiful places?

Are charity mountaineers damaging our highest peaks? Alice Roberts reports.

The Three Peaks Challenge20091008

Are charity mountaineers damaging our highest peaks? Alice Roberts reports.

The Urban Farmers2013040220130403

Alice Roberts finds urban wasteland being transformed into productive agricultural sites.

Alice Roberts revisits the - quite literally - ground breaking 'Incredible Edibles' concept of Todmorden and finds that their inspiration has spread across the UK.

Wasteland throughout our cities is being turned into productive agricultural land. Forget roof top gardens, green walls and window boxes, what we're talking about here is derelict, often hazardous brown field sites hidden within our urban landscapes that are now becoming a valuable link in our food chain. But that's not all, in reclaiming this land whole neighbourhoods are being regenerated. No site is too small or too large. From back-alleys on terraced streets in Middlesbrough to acres of polytunnel-lined, disused railway banks in Bristol, these once unproductive - and often hazardous - plots are now feeding their communities via vegetable boxes and even restaurant supply chains.

With a little effort, could our cities really feed themselves? Could this be the answer to both our food security and the improvement of our urban environments?

The Wind Rush Generation2007083020070831

Miriam O'reilly reports on the current flood of proposals for onshore wind farms across the UK, with local and international energy companies hoping to bag the best remaining sites to erect wind turbines.

But how effective are they? Research shows that we are frequently being misled about wind energy and that we are paying more to subsidise a still unreliable source of electricity.

The Wind Rush Generation

Miriam O'Reilly reports on the current flood of proposals for onshore wind farms across the UK, with local and international energy companies hoping to bag the best remaining sites to erect wind turbines. But how effective are they? Research shows that we are frequently being misled about wind energy and that we are paying more to subsidise a still unreliable source of electricity.

This Farming Land20031204

Will the British landscape be affected by changes in European farming policy?

Tony's Farm20171031

How do you communicate carbon emissions to farmers?

When Anna Jones was growing up, the air was clean and the grass was lush. She lived on a farm in Shropshire, and phrases such as 'greenhouse gas emissions' and carbon footprints were associated with towns and cities - factories, cars and aerosols. Not anymore. We now know that 10% of the UK's greenhouse emissions come from farms, and there is a concerted effort to encourage farmers to reduce their carbon footprint. But in a world where the idea of stewardship has only recently taken hold, how do you communicate the importance of carbon emissions to a farmer? Anna starts with her father, Tony, first.
The programme also features contributions from two other farmers - Ian Pigott and Rob Richmond, one arable, one dairy - who have both changed their ways; and Becky Willson, project officer with the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit, travels to Tony Jones' Shropshire farm to measure his carbon footprint.

Producer: Miles Warde.

Totally Uncool2009020220090205

Investigating those businesses and organisations that over-use air conditioning, and in doing so make a significant contribution to global warming.

It is a little-known fact that the gases used in air conditioning and chiller cabinets are between two and three thousand times more potent in terms of global warming than CO2.

And yet air conditioning is becoming more commonplace in modern buildings and the home.

The other major source of these harmful HFC gas emissions in Britain is supermarket chiller cabinets.

Some supermarkets are making efforts to switch to natural 'green freeze' refrigerants, though others are reluctant to act.

Investi