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The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History

   2018    Technology
Their quest is to discover whether the items we throw away today have any value for tomorrow's world. In a unique science experiment, Dr George McGavin and Dr Zoe Laughlin chronicle the history of rubbish and explore how what we throw away tells us about the way we live our lives. With unprecedented access to one of the UK's largest landfill sites, the team of experts spend three days carrying out tests all over the site, revealing the secret world of rubbish. They also carry out three other 'archaeological' digs into historic landfills to chart the evolution of our throwaway society.
Is mining trash for something valuable really viable? McGavin concluded: 'The idea of landfill mining is a pretty compelling vision of the future.'

The Ultimate Wave

   2010    Nature    3D
The stunning beauty of an island paradise on a quest to find the perfect wave-riding experience. Nine-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater and Tahitian surfer Raimana Van Bastolaer and a group of friends seek out the best waves breaking on the reef at Tahiti's famed surf site Teahupo'o. As their quest unfolds, the audience is plunged beneath the surface of things, to explore the hidden forces at work shaping ocean waves and the islands that lie in their path. Amidst playful surfing action, we navigate the cosmos and an ocean storm in a search for the source and nature of a wave's energy. Exploring mountainous Tahiti, we are thrust into the turbulent volcanic past of the island and its neighbours and discover the seagoing, wave-riding roots of the islanders themselves -- a culture still rich in the music, dance and lore of the sea. Beneath the ocean, swimming with our surfers, we explore the stunning, fragile beauty of the reef habitat -- a turbulent, wave-shaping interface that envelops the island and nurtures the ocean's multitudes in motion -- fish, dolphins, sharks and whales. When the truly big surf arrives at Teahupo'o, surfing play becomes surfing survival as the riders artfully tackle some of the heaviest surf on the planet -- spectacularly captured for the giant screen in 3D for the first time.

The World Set Free

   2014    Nature
This episode explores the nature of the greenhouse effect (discovered by Joseph Fourier and Svante Arrhenius), and the evidence demonstrating the existence of global warming from humanity's influence. Tyson begins by describing the long-term history of the planet Venus; based on readings from the Venera series of probes to the planet, the planet had once had an ocean and an atmosphere, but due to the release of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions, the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus caused the surface temperatures to increase and boiled away the oceans. Tyson then notes the delicate nature of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can influence Earth's climate due to the greenhouse effect, and that levels of carbon dioxide have been increasing since the start of the 20th century. Evidence has shown this to be from mankind's consumption of oil, coal, and gas instead of from volcanic eruptions due to the isotopic signature of the carbon dioxide. The increase in carbon dioxide has led to an increase in temperatures, in turn leading to positive feedback loops of the melting polar ice caps and dethawing of the permafrost to increase carbon dioxide levels. Tyson then notes that humans have discovered means of harvesting solar power, such as Augustin Mouchot's solar-driven motor in the 19th century, and Frank Shuman's solar-based steam generator in the 1910's. Tyson points out that in both cases, the economics and ease of using cheap coal and oil caused these inventions to be overlooked at the time. Today, solar and wind-power systems would be able to collect enough solar energy from the sun easily. Tyson then compares the motivation for switching to these cleaner forms of energy to the efforts of the Space race and emphasizes that it is not too late for humanity to correct its course.
Series: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Earth 2100

   2009    Nature
Hosted by ABC journalist Bob Woodruff, this two-hour special explores what a worst-case future might look like if humans do not take action on current or impending problems that could threaten civilization. The problems addressed in the program include climate change, overpopulation, and misuse of energy resources. The events parallel the life of a fictitious storyteller, 'Lucy' as she describes how the events affect her life. The program included predictions of a dystopian Earth in the years 2030, 2050, 2085, and 2100 by scientists, historians, social anthropologists, and economists, including Jared Diamond, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Peter Gleick, James Howard Kunstler, Heidi Cullen, and Joseph Tainter. According to Executive Producer Michael Bicks, "this program was developed to show the worst-case scenario for human civilization. Again, we are not saying that these events will happen — rather, that if we fail to seriously address the complex problems of climate change, resource depletion and overpopulation, they are much more likely to happen.

First Second of the Big Bang

   2014    Science
The first second of the Universe, the creation of everything when space, time, matter and energy burst into existence. It is the most important second in history, which seals the Universe's fate and defines everything that comes after - including us.
Series: How the Universe Works
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Catalyst
Catalyst

   2017    Science
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
The Life of Birds
The Life of Birds

   1998    Nature
Mind Field
Mind Field

   2019    Medicine
Engineering the Future
Engineering the Future

   2020    Technology
Capitalism A Love Story
Capitalism A Love Story

   2009    Culture