Greenery and foliage on the shore of a body of water. | Featured image for "Earth Focus"

Unacceptable Risk: Firefighters on the Frontline

Fires are more frequent, larger and more devastating than ever. In Colorado, firefighters are repeatedly putting their lives on the line responding to record-breaking wildfires. Human-caused climate changes are transforming the state's fire environment, bringing higher temperatures, drier fuels, and diseases to forests that create a volatile situation for firefighters and communities. "On a day-to-day basis, we're being surprised," says Don Whittemore, a career Colorado firefighter. "And in this business, surprise is what kills people."

The Story Group takes an inside look at what it's like to battle some of the biggest wildfires that firefighters have ever faced.

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Dairy Alternatives: Rethinking Milk In California and Kenya

The realities of milk production are forcing dairy communities across the globe to rethink the dairy production process. In this episode, we travel to a village in Kenya where the commercialization of camel milk is proving a sustainable solution in the face of drought. In Northern California, the heart of the U.S. dairy industry is finding innovative alternatives to limit the use of water and manure emissions.

  • 2019-09-22T11:30:00-07:00
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Biodiversity and Health

(Earth Focus: Episode 41) What do plants, snakes, molds, marine sponges, and cone snails have in common? They have helped develop medicines that save human lives. Biodiversity -- the variety of life on Earth -- is key to human survival. But plants, animals, and microorganisms are disappearing at unprecedented rates. What impact will this have on human health? Find out in this Earth Focus special report produced in collaboration with the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School.

  • 2019-09-23T00:30:00-07:00
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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.

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Future of Food

Communities and innovators all over the world are creating new sustainable food sources that are resilient to climate change and growing populations. In Madagascar, we see how villagers are closing off marine areas to allow the fish supply to replenish at a natural pace. In San Diego, California, aquaculturists are exploring open ocean farming as a more sustainable model for the fishing industry.

  • 2019-09-25T18:30:00-07:00
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Lighting A Path: Embracing Solar Power In California and Zanzibar

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

  • 2019-09-26T13:00:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-29T11:30:00-07:00
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Climate Science In Action

Whether they are researching the pace of Alaskan glacier melt or measuring the impact of Arctic sea ice changes on our 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.

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Faile Street: The Human Cost of Foreclosure

This Earth Focus special presentation features Faile Street, a film by John Light and Elaisha Stokes which looks at the human cost of apartment forcelosure in New York City.. The apartment foreclosure crisis hurt millions of middle class Americans in the years after the Great Recession. But it also affected the urban real estate market. In New York City, apartment foreclosures left thousands of mostly lower-income renters living in buildings that were stuck in limbo between former owners, the foreclosing bank, and the auction block.

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Urban Habitat

Los Angeles is one of the biggest biodiversity hotspots in the world, despite its smog, urban sprawl and snarling freeways. At least 20,000 native and non-native plant and animal species are thriving despite human interference, and in some cases because of it. How can people help make urban habitats more welcoming to non-human urban dwellers?

  • 2019-10-02T18:30:00-07:00
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Dying Oceans: Abalone Restoration In California

The ocean is a sponge for all the greenhouse gas emissions we produce, and entire aquatic ecosystems are beginning to collapse. Off the coast of California, the disappearing abalone population is raising flags about ocean health and the lasting impact of rising sea temperatures, acidification and pollution. Various teams of scientists, volunteers and businesspeople are collaborating to protect underwater species threatened by the invasion of sea urchins.

  • 2019-10-03T13:00:00-07:00
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Climate Change: The Rising Cost

(Earth Focus: Episode 70) The cost of climate change is rising and its consequences are increasingly threatening our national security. Droughts, floods, wildfires, and severe weather cost lives and livelihoods when they damage property, crops, and infrastructure. Communities in Texas, Iowa, Colorado, Alaska are already struggling with the impact of climate change and coastal cities face expensive consequences within a couple of decades. The high price we are paying today is a harbinger of what the future may hold. How will the US economy and national security be affected?

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Arise: Women Protecting The Environment

(Earth Focus: Episode 42) A look at the award-winning film "Arise!" and its documentation of the intellectual and spiritual insights that women from around the world bring to solving today's environmental challenges. Mother/daughter filmmakers Lori Joyce, Candace Orlando, and executive producer Molly Ross reflect on the making of the film.

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Fueling Change: Oil Extraction in Alaska and California

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

  • 2019-10-09T18:30:00-07:00
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Sea Level Rising: Living With Water

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

  • 2019-10-10T13:00:00-07:00
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Tackling Ocean Challenges

Oceans support life, yet they are overfished, polluted, and, with global climate change, are becoming increasingly acidic.

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Toxic Futures: Untold Stories of Chemical Pollution

(Earth Focus: Episode 56) Exposure to toxic chemicals affects people in both the industrialized and developing world. Earth Focus looks at how Toms River, a New Jersey town, fought back to save its drinking water from toxic waste dumping by dye manufacturer Ciba Geigy and by Union Carbide. Then, a look at the new film Amazon Gold, which addresses illegal gold mining in Peru and its tragic impact on human health and the environment.

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Avocado Wars: The Battle Over Water Rights In Chile

The popular demand for avocados, once considered an “exotic” item, is having a devastating impact on a drought-stricken community in Chile. Lying within one of the largest avocado producing regions in the country, Petorca avocado plantations are in a battle over water rights, where claims of illegal water diversion are creating civil unrest.

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Climate Migration

Populations are dramatically shifting as climate change drives migration. Droughts and floods are driving many people away from their rural, farming communities into big cities. We see how this is manifesting in Mongolia and examine the factors leading to the new community of Haitian people living in limbo at the border between Mexico and the U.S.

  • 2019-10-17T13:00:00-07:00
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