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Over the last years, the world has experienced an energy revolution, driven by an urgent need to green the grid and save life on Earth as we know it. 50 years ago, a devastating oil crisis kicked off an energy revolution. The world set course to cut the costly habit of burning fossil fuels. With the urgent new threat of a changing climate, the drive to unleash the power of the sun, earth and wind has accelerated into a race for humanity's survival. Change is taken place but, is it happening fast enough to secure our future? Technologies are right here, right now, and they will enable the transition to 100% renewables, because winning the energy race means a win for the entire world.
The Great Acceleration
A new force threatens our perfect planet. In the past, five mass extinction events were caused by cataclysmic volcanic eruptions. It was not the lava or ash that wiped out life, but an invisible gas released by volcanoes: carbon dioxide. Almost every part of modern life depends on energy created by burning fossil fuels, and this produces CO2 in huge amounts. Humans are changing our planet so rapidly, it’s affecting earth’s life support systems: our weather, our oceans and the living world. The greatest change to be made is in how we create energy, and the planet is brimming with natural power that can help us do just that. It’s these forces of nature - the wind, the sun, waves and geothermal energy - that hold the key to our future.
Through compelling animal-led stories and expert interviews, we discover how CO2 is destabilising our planet. We meet rescued orphaned elephants in Kenya, victims of ever worsening droughts, and join ocean patrols off the coast of Gabon fighting to save endangered sharks. In the Amazon, we witness wildlife teams saving animals in the shrinking forests, and in San Diego we enter a cryogenic zoo preserving the DNA of endangered species before they become extinct.
A Perfect Planet
As tides rise and fall twice a day, vast amounts of water swirl around the earth. This is a huge energy source that's currently largely untapped. An estimated 3000 gigawatts are available to be harvested globally, enough to power a third of the earth's homes. Yet compared to wind and solar, the technology needed to harness tidal power is still in its infancy. The power of the ocean’s tides is the last great untapped energy source on Earth. From sub-sea kites to floating platforms, teams of engineers are racing to perfect the technology to harness the vast flows of water.
Engineering the Future Series 3
Legendary oceanographer and TED prize winner Dr. Sylvia Earle is on a mission to save our oceans. Mission Blue is part action-adventure, part expose of an Eco-disaster. More than 100 scientists, philanthropists and activists gather in the Galapagos Islands to help fulfill Dr. Earle's lifelong wish: build a global network of marine protected areas, like underwater national parks, to protect the natural systems that keep humans alive.
As the expedition ends, the Deep water Horizon oil well explodes. With oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, Sylvia and an environmental dream team race around the world trying to defend her 'Hope Spots'.
The world's shipping industry is facing a major challenge. If global shipping were a country it would be the sixth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. At current growth rates, if we do nothing, those emissions could double or even triple by 2050. But shipping companies and engineers are creating remarkable new machines to make their industry greener, using a resource that has moved man across the world’s oceans for thousands of years…Wind.
Engineering the Future Series 3
Out of the Cradle
The Last Dance
How to Grow a Planet
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
Life of a Universe
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