A polar bear swimming in front of a tourist boat in Alaska. | Still from Earth Focus

Urban Habitat: Esperanza Elementary School

Located in Westlake, one of the highest density neighborhoods of downtown Los Angeles, Esperanza Elementary School encourages students to reconnect with nature by exploring its abundance in their urban environment. Principal Brad Rumble says the school's native plant garden is allowing the students to learn about non-human species, including a burrowing owl that took up residency in the garden two winters ago.

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Full Episodes

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Fracking Goes Global

(Earth Focus: Episode 52) U.S. 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.

  • 2019-04-23T00:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-04-27T00:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-04-27T04:30:00-07:00
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Fueling Change

Earth Focus examines how the worldwide demand for oil & gas is affecting the communities that supply it. We travel to the ANWR in Arctic Slope of Alaska. This area that is home to native species is being opened for oil exploration and drilling. While the controversial plan has no shortage of opponents, there are some powerful native communities who see this step as essential to their economy. Closer to home, we visit the oil rich town of Taft, California. The oil industry is large and in charge in this historic community.

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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.

  • 2019-04-28T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-04-28T18:30:00-07:00
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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.

  • 2019-04-30T00:30:00-07:00
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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 is 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.

  • 2019-05-07T00:30:00-07:00
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Building A Future: Lumber Poaching In Oregon and Brazil

Wood is found in countless products consumers use every day. In fact, lumber is closely connected to the world’s economy – a country’ s importation of lumber tends to rise in correlation with its gross domestic product. Following groups like “Guardians of the Forest,” we explore illegal lumber poaching in the forests of Brazil and Oregon, where citizens and scientists are working together to combat the illegal lumber trade.

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City Planning

Two cities, San Francisco and Freetown, brace for climate change using vastly different methodologies. San Francisco's developers are building expensive real estate on floodplains as officials try to heed expert projections on future sea levels. On the other side of the world, a deadly mudslide caused by torrential rains and deforestation in Sierra Leone shows the consequences of city planning that doesn't take climate change into account.

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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.

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