In a far cry from the steamy jungles of Rwanda or the icy waters of the Arctic, British naturalist Sir David Attenborough has donned a necktie and met with US president Barack Obama to discuss climate change and the future of the planet. The two met at the White House — a place the naturalist had never yet explored — on Sir David's 89th birthday in May to film the interview". It was the first time the respected wildlife filmmaker had met an American president and he seemed a little awed by the experience. Mr Obama, who grew up watching Sir David's programs, seemed equally thrilled. The president has the environment and climate change on his radar and is anxious to see progress made as his presidency comes to a close. He faces stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress on his plans to tackle climate change, but remains determined to make changes before leaving office. "I don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real," he said. "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society." Sir David, who has been called "the godfather of natural history TV" by the BBC, brought to the meeting six decades dedicated to sharing the wonders of the natural world with television audiences. After initially being rejected for television because his teeth were deemed "too big", Sir David went on to make his Life on Earth television series, which has been watched by more than 500 million people worldwide. His name is now synonymous with nature, conservation and wildlife. During the television interview, the men discussed global warming, renewable energy and how children and young people hold the key to reversing the damage.
This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?" From the director Andrew Morgan, is filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
This episode is centered around how science, in particular the work of Clair Patterson (voiced in animated sequences by Richard Gere) in the middle of the 20th century, has been able to determine the age of the Earth. Tyson first describes how the Earth was formed from the coalescence of matter some millions of years after the formation of the Sun, and while scientists can examine the formations in rock stratum to date some geological events, these can only trace back millions of years. Instead, scientists have used the debris from meteor impacts, such as the Meteor Crater in Arizona, knowing that the material from such meteors coming from the asteroid belt would have been made at the same time as the Earth. Patterson also examined the levels of lead in the common environment and in deeper parts of the oceans and Antarctic ice, showing that lead had only been brought to the surface in recent times. He would discover that the higher levels of lead were from the use of tetraethyllead in leaded gasoline resulting in government-mandated restrictions on the use of lead.
Category:Science Duration:42:00 Series: Cosmos 2014
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.
Category:Nature Duration:40:00 Series: Cosmos 2014
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