KCET Airs Special Lineup of EARTH FOCUS Beginning May 14 | KCET
KCET Airs Special Lineup of EARTH FOCUS Beginning May 14
New Episode about the Health Risks of Coal Ash Also Premieres on Link TV
BURBANK, Calif. - May 8, 2014 - KCET, the
nation's largest independent television station serving Southern and Central
California, presents a special lineup of the EARTH
FOCUS series beginning on
Wednesday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. The environmental news magazine
and longest-running environmental series on American
television, features investigative reports about how changes to the Earth's
resources and climate are affecting our planet.
The premiere episode, "America's
Dirty Secret: Coal Ash," takes a penetrating look at the health issues
raised by residents in communities close to coal ash dumps in Georgia and
Pennsylvania. It also casts a light on ordinary Americans who say their health
and lives have been ruined due to the reckless dumping of coal ash by
inadequately regulated coal plants. The episode airs Wednesday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. PT on KCET (Southern California);
it will also debut on Link TV (DirecTV 375, DISH Network 9410) on Thursday, May
22 at 9 p.m. PT.
an original broadcast and web series that reports on urgent environmental
issues in the U.S. and around the world. In production for eight years, the
series includes investigative reports, interviews and material from independent
documentary filmmakers. EARTH FOCUS
is funded by the Wallace Genetic Foundation, Marisla Foundation, Park
Foundation, Farvue Foundation, Shared Earth Foundation, Cornell Douglas
Foundation, Rachel's Network, National Science Foundation, and individual
EARTH FOCUS airs every Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on Link TV. Episodes are
also available to watch online at kcet.org/earthfocus or linktv.org/earthfocus.
EARTH FOCUS Episode
Wednesday, May 14 on KCET & Thursday, May 22
on Link TV
"America's Dirty Secret: Coal Ash"
American power plants generate more than 100 million tons of
coal ash every year, the nation's largest industrial pollutant, after municipal
in three adjacent Pennsylvania communities suffer from a rare blood cancer. In
Juliette, Georgia, where radioactive water flows from the tap, people are also
getting sick. What else do these communities have in common? Coal ash. It
contains toxins like lead, arsenic and mercury and it gets into ground water
from unlined ponds and pit storage sites. The federal government says it's
non-hazardous and regulation is left to state governments where the coal
industry has great influence. And it's always people who suffer the
Wednesday, May 21
"Exposed: Killing Dolphins - Dying for Lobsters"
Thousands of dolphins are killed solely for shark bait each year off the
coast of Peru. An upsurge in shark meat consumption in Peru and the rise in the
cost of fish bait has helped drive the hunt to as many as 10,000 dolphins
killed each year according to some estimates. Jim Wickens documents this
illegal practice in an original undercover investigation for EARTH FOCUS. Brad
Allgood and Josh Wolff document the epidemic of decompression disease or bends
suffered by Miskito Indians involved in commercial lobster diving off
Nicaragua's coast in their film My Village My Lobster. Commercial
lobster diving in Nicaragua brings in over $20 million a year annually and 90%
of the lobsters caught are sold to premium US restaurants and supermarkets. The
casualties among the divers continue to mount but the problem remains ignored
by the Nicaraguan government and the international community.
Wednesday, May 28
"Asian Elephants in Peril"
Asian elephants, already endangered in Indonesia and Thailand, are
threatened further by human encroachment and illegal trade. In Indonesia, just
2,500 Sumatran elephants remain. As their last great forest habitat is being
logged to make way for palm oil plantations, elephants are pushed into conflict
with local people. In Thailand and Myanmar, an illegal and brutal trade in wild
baby elephants is contributing to declining elephant populations. On the
Thai-Myanmar border, at least 50-100 elephant calves and young females are removed
from their forest homes every year and are traded illegally to supply tourist
camps. Countless elephants die in the process, threatening the remaining
populations of this endangered species.
Wednesday, June 4
"Toxic Futures: Untold Stories of Chemical Pollution"
Exposure to toxic chemicals affects people in both the industrialized and
developing world. In a program based on the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning book by
Dan Fagin, Tom's River: A Story of Science and Salvation, EARTH FOCUS
travels to Tom's River New Jersey to document how this small town - once site
of a recognized children's cancer cluster - waged a battle to save its drinking
water from toxic waste dumping by dye manufacturer Ciba Geigy and by Union
Carbide. Illegal gold mining in Peru extracts a high and tragic cost on health
and the environment. A look at the film Amazon Gold.
Wednesday, June 11
"Shades of Gray: Living with Wolves"
Gray wolves once ranged across North America. But by the 1930s, they were
nearly extinct - trapped, poisoned and hunted by ranchers, farmers, and
government agents. With protection under the 1973 Endangered Species Act, the
wolf population rebounded. But wolves lost federal protection in 2011. Now,
with hunting permitted in many Western states, the future of this once
endangered species may again be in question. Can we live with wolves? EARTH
FOCUS travels to Montana and Wyoming to find out.
Wednesday, June 18
"UNSAFE: The Truth Behind Everyday
There are tens of thousands of chemicals in our air, water, and in the
everyday products we use. They are largely unregulated and few are adequately
tested for safety. They contribute to disease and are linked to conditions such
as asthma, autism, ADHD, diabetes, cancers, infertility, cognitive disorders, obesity,
reproductive disorders and birth defects. EARTH FOCUS looks at endocrine
disruptors, ubiquitous chemicals that affect development, metabolism, fertility
and intelligence at extremely low doses and at what measures could be taken to
better ensure public safety.
Wednesday, June 25
"Saving the Rivers of the American
EARTH FOCUS speaks with Jeremy Monroe about his film Willamette Futures,
which documents the effort to restore the watersheds of Oregon's largest river
system. Satirical writer George Wolfe's controversial act of civil
disobedience, leading a kayaking expedition down the cemented Los Angeles
River, is the focus of Thea Mercouffer's film Rock the Boat. The
expedition sought to have EPA declare the river navigable so that it could gain
protection under the Clean Water Act. The boating trip down the LA River became
a political movement which led to changes in federal policy and opened up
public access to a long-neglected waterway. The Colorado River is the most
dammed, and diverted river in the world. It struggles to support thirty million
people across the western United States and Mexico and is reaching its limits.
James Redford and Mark Decena talk about their film Watershed: Exploring a
New Water Ethic for the New West, which looks at how we balance the
competing interests of cities, agriculture, recreation, wildlife and indigenous
communities with rights to the water.
Wednesday, July 2
"Restoring the Earth"
It is possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems, to improve the
lives of people trapped in poverty and to sequester carbon naturally? John D.
Liu presents "Hope in a Changing Climate" which showcases approaches
that have worked on the Loess Plateau in China, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Produced
in collaboration with the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP).
Wednesday, July 9
"Fracking Goes Global"
US domestic gas production is on the rise because of hydraulic fracturing,
or fracking, a controversial method of extracting natural gas from shale rock
by pumping millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals
underground at high pressure. Environmentalists say this gas boon threatens
water supplies and pollutes air. Now, as fracking expands around the world, so
does growing resistance. EARTH FOCUS looks at three countries on the new
fracking frontline: South Africa, Poland, and the UK. Reported from South
Africa by Jeff Barbee and Andrew Wasley from Poland and the UK.
Wednesday, July 16
"Killing Bees: Are Government and Industry Responsible?"
Honey bees, the essential pollinators of many major US crops, have been
dying off in massive numbers since 2006. This threatens the American
agricultural system and the one in twelve American jobs that depends on it.
There is growing evidence that a new class of pesticides - nerve toxins called
neonicotinoids, which are used on many US crops including almost all corn - may
be toxic to bees. The Environmental Protection Agency allowed neonicotinoids on
the market without adequate tests to determine their toxicity to bees.
Environmentalists want neonicotinoids banned until needed safety tests are
done. While the US government is slow to act and neonicotinoid sales reap
billions for the chemical industry, bees continue to die. An original EARTH
Wednesday, July 23
"Climate Science in Action"
From researching the pace of Alaskan glacier melt to how changes in Arctic
sea ice affect our weather, climate scientists go to some of the most remote
areas on Earth to help us understand our environment. The Juneau Icefield
Research Program (JIRP) brings scientists and students together annually to
study glaciers. Jeff Barbee reports on the 2013 JIRP expedition. Julienne
Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Data Center looks at the impact changes in
Arctic sea ice may have on weather patterns. And Penn State climate scientist
Michael Mann on what we might expect to see happen to sea levels, if we
continue burning fossil fuels at current levels.
KCETLink, formed by the merger
between KCET and Link Media, is a national independent, nonprofit, digital and
broadcast network that provides high-quality, culturally diverse programming
designed to engage the public in innovative, entertaining and transformative
ways. With a commitment to independent perspectives, smart global
entertainment, local communities, and opportunities for engagement and social
action, KCETLink depicts people
and the world through a lens unavailable elsewhere in U.S. media. A
viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, KCETLink content is distributed nationally via satellite on Link TV - DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH
Network channel 9410 - and on KCET
in Southern and Central California via broadcast and cable, as well as through
various digital delivery systems. For additional information about KCET and
Link TV productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community
events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org.