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Journey to Planet Earth

Journey to Planet Earth

This series makes environmental issues understandable, accessible and personal. Each episode examines a specific ecological problem from multiple viewpoints (scientific, economic, political and historical), as well as efforts by different communities to address the problems.

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  • Rivers of Destiny (#101)

    This episode explores the threat to the world's river systems. All over the globe, human activity is destroying fragile riparian ecosystems. With breathtaking images, this program takes viewers from the rapidly disappearing jungles along the mighty torrent of the Amazon to the politically charged, desert shores of the narrow Jordan River. "Rivers of Destiny" shows that efforts to tame the Mississippi have set in motion a potentially disastrous chain of events. In Vietnam's once war-torn Mekong River delta, peace, prosperity and development are bringing perilous change. [56 minutes]

  • The Urban Explosion (#102)

    The second episode explores the effects of rapid, massive urbanization in four of the world's mega-cities. In Mexico City, uncontrolled growth has created a toxic nightmare. The ancient city of Istanbul is becoming a sprawling metropolis that is fast outgrowing its infrastructure. As China develops a market-based economy, Shanghai struggles to prepare itself for an even greater population explosion. In New York City, communities strive to check urban blight. [56 minutes]

  • Land of Plenty, Land of Want (#103)

    The third episode visits diverse farming communities on four continents to examine the worldwide problems of feeding a growing population without exhausting the land. In Zimbabwe, an El Nino-related drought threatens famine for the traditional subsistence farmers of a small village. In France, global competition forces farmers to abandon the harsh, remote Auvergne region, while in Brittany agriculture booms. In China, expanding industry gobbles up the much needed, highly productive, fertile farmland. In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a farmer explores alternative techniques like no-till farming to preserve some of the world's best topsoil. [56 minutes]

  • On The Brink (#201)

    The first episode investigates how severe environmental problems can lead to political crises and increased hostilities around the world. Locations include Haiti, the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, South Africa, Mexico, Zimbabwe and the United States. [56 minutes]

  • Seas of Grass (#202)

    The second episode, "Seas of Grass," looks at the devastating environmental, political and economic effects of the degradation of the world's grasslands, which make up 20 percent of Earth's land surface. Fortunately, substantial research is under way to understand and improve the productivity and preservation of grasslands throughout the world. The filming for this program took place on the pampas in Argentina, the steppes of Mongolia, the savannas of Kenya, the plains of South Africa and the prairies of North America. [56 minutes]

  • Hot Zones (#203)

    The final episode, "Hot Zones," rounds out the series by examining how recent trends in globalization and the altering of ecosystems have led to dramatic increases in the spread of infectious diseases. The footage was shot in Kenya, Peru, Bangladesh, New York City and along Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, where changing climates, uncontrolled development and loss of natural habitat have led to an upsurge of infectious disease. [56 minutes]

  • The State of the Planet (#301)

    For the first time ever, PBS airs an annual "The State of the Planet" special that will give viewers an up-to-date look at the current state of the environment. While celebrating the elegance of diversity and the rich tapestry of the natural world, this year's special explores how population and economic pressures affect that world and resources such as water and food. From Israel to Iowa, Bangladesh to the basins of the Rio Grande and the Amazon, Nairobi to Pennsylvania, the program crisscrosses the globe to visit places where environmental successes have occurred, as well as cities and villages where the quality of life continues to decline. [56 minutes]

  • Future Conditional (#302)

    This episosde investigates the link between environmental change and the future health of the planet, a "future conditional" on how we cope with the spread of toxic pollution. Filmed from the Arctic to Mexico, from Uzbekistan to Palm Springs, California, the program shows that, in the end, the health of those living in far - reaching and vastly different geographic locations cannot be separated. [56 minutes]

  • State of the Planet's Wildlife (#401)

    This JOURNEY TO PLANET EARTH episode is a global investigation of why and how nearly 50 percent of the world's animals may become extinct over the next 25 years. The program is also a visual celebration of the natural world, and features stories of hope and personal courage. [56 minutes]

  • State of the Ocean's Animals (#501)

    Matt Damon hosts television's only continuing science and nature series focusing on the environment. [56 minutes]

  • The State of the Planet's Oceans (#601)

    Matt Damon hosts television's only continuing science and nature series focusing on the environment. [56 minutes]

  • Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (#701)

    A look at the realities of climate change addresses an emerging economy based on renewable sources. [86 minutes]

  • Extreme Realities: Severe Weather, Climate Change, and Our National Security (#801)

    The link between extreme weather events, climate change and national security threats is examined. [56 minutes]

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