The world of energy doesn’t have to be complex. These short, concise videos will introduce you to the basics of energy.
Over 300 millions tonnes of solid waste is produced in North America every year–a number so big, it’s virtually meaningless. In this documentary, we measure our waste footprint by storing our trash, recycling, and composting for 30 days. We visit the Vancouver Landfill in Delta after the city-wide organics ban is implemented to see where all our food waste has been going. We then meet three local innovators (Enterra Feed Co, Harvest Power, Northwest Waste Solutions) who are changing the way the world thinks about solid waste.
Produced with the support of TELUS.
Weâ€™ve all been told that we should recycle plastic bottles and containers. But what actually happens to the plastic if we just throw it away? Emma Bryce traces the life cycles of three different plastic bottles, shedding light on the dangers these disposables present to our world.
A mass extinction is defined when Earth loses more than three quarters of its total estimated species in a geologically short timeframe. The planet has experienced five such events over its ~4.5 billion year history, with causes thought to include meteor collisions, massive volcanic eruptions and sudden climate fluctuations. Now a growing body of evidence suggests that mankind itself may be responsible for a mass extinction to rival all others, now well underway.
Professor Mike Coffin, Executive Director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania, is an oceanographer. His research expertise encompasses interactions between the oceanic environment and the solid Earth. Educated at Dartmouth College (AB) and Columbia University (MA, MPhil, PhD) in the United States, he has pursued an international career that reflects the boundless nature of the global ocean. Following university studies, he has worked at Geoscience Australia (1985-1989), the University of Texas at Austin (1990-2001), the University of Tokyo (2001-2007), the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (2002-2003), the UK’s University of Southampton and National Oceanography Centre (2007-2010), and the University of Tasmania (2011-). He has also held visiting positions Dartmouth College (1982), the University of Oslo (1992, 1996), Geoscience Australia (2000), France’s University of Strasbourg (2001), and the University of Hawaii (2002). From 2003-2005, he served as the inaugural chair of the Science Planning Committee of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, the largest international program in the earth and ocean sciences, and among the largest in any scientific discipline. Prof Coffin has lead or participated in 29 blue-water research expeditions at sea, focusing mainly in the Southern, Pacific, and Indian oceans.
The Antarctic Ozone Hole is an annual springtime event above Earth’s frozen, southernmost continent. Manmade CFCs, naturally occurring Polar Stratospheric Clouds, and the return of sunlight set off incredible destruction of the protective Ozone Layer. This video presents these complicated processes with simple to understand animations.
Tight budgets, limited resources, new regulations, unexpected problems, citizen concerns, â€œto doâ€ lists that stretch over decadesâ€”stormwater management at the community level is often about how people collaborate and make day-to-day decisions. When faced with a new technology, program managers need to know whether it will mesh with the culture of their organization. Will staff and contractors understand how to install the new systems? Do they have the resources on hand to build them? Can they be maintained without blowing the budget? Will they protect water quality and help meet regulatory requirements?
In 12 years of working alongside communities, we have found that the answer to such questions is â€œyesâ€ when two essential ingredients are present. The first is a communityâ€™s capacity to evaluate innovative designs and practices and make them their own. And the first depends on the secondâ€”a local champion with the respect, trust, and power to put new science-based stormwater management technologies into practice and inspire real cultural change for the future. These case studies illustrate what can happen when these necessary ingredients for change meet some of the biggest challenges faced by stormwater managers nationwide.
Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind, these subtle flecks of life are the source of all existence. Like tiny time capsules, they contain the songs, sustenance, memories, and medicines of entire cultures. They feed us, clothe us, and provide the raw materials for our everyday lives. In a very real sense, they are life itself. Yet in our modern world, these precious gifts of nature are in grave danger. In less than a century of industrial agriculture, our once abundant seed diversityâ€”painstakingly created by ancient farmers and gardeners over countless millenniaâ€”has been drastically winnowed down to a handful of mass-produced varieties. Under the spell of industrial â€œprogressâ€ and a lust for profit, our quaint family farmsteads have given way to mechanized agribusinesses sowing genetically identical crops on a monstrous scale. Recent news headlines suggest that Irish history may already be repeating in our globalized food system. Articles in the New York Times and other mainstream sources report the impending collapse of the worldâ€™s supplies of bananas, oranges, coffee and coconutsâ€”all due to a shortsighted over-reliance on a single, fragile variety. Without seed diversity, crop diseases rise and empires fall.
More than a cautionary tale of â€œman against nature,â€ the remarkable story of seeds is an epic â€œgood-versus-evilâ€ saga playing out in our modern lives. For eons, cultures around the world have believed seeds to be our birthright: a covenant with the earth shared by all and passed down across generations. But today, our seeds are increasingly private property held in corporate hands. A cadre of ten agrichemical companies (including Syngenta, Bayer, and Monsanto) now controls more than two-thirds of the global seed market, reaping unprecedented profits. Genetically modified crops (GMOs) engineered in their sterile laboratories dominate farmersâ€™ fields and dinner tables in the United States and countries around the world. Farmers from Minnesota to Madhya Pradesh, India toil in economic thrall to the â€œGene Giants,â€ paying hefty licensing fees to plant their patented crops. If they attempt to save their own seed at the end of a season, following a tradition practiced by humans for over 12,000 years, they face ruthless prosecution. (Suffering under this indentured servitude, over 250,000 farmers in India have committed suicide in the last 20 years.)
People everywhere are waking up to the vital importance of seeds for our future. In recent months, March Against Monsanto protests have rallied millions in more than 400 cities and 50 countries to the cause of seed freedom. Ballot initiatives to label genetically modified foods have been proposed in U.S. cities from California to Connecticutâ€”a direct threat to the profits of the Gene Giants and their Big Food cronies. Seed libraries, community gardens, and a new generation of passionate young farmers are cropping up to shift the balance toward a more sustainable and sovereign seed paradigm. A David and Goliath battle is underway, and the stakes couldnâ€™t be higher.
Build a baseline understanding of energy.
Transform the energy conversation, from polarized to practical.
Promote efficiency and conservation.
In 2009, documentary filmmaker Harry Lynch and geologist Dr. Scott Tinker set out to make a film on our energy transition. The goal was not to advocate for one technology over another, not to suggest how the transition should happen â€” but to try to determine how it actually would happen, based on scientifically-sound investigation and the practical realities of the world of energy as we discovered them. The result, is Switch.
During the 3 years of filming and post-production, the film expanded into the Switch Energy Project, a multi-platform program, with its home being here, on the web. While the finished film is 98 minutes long, this website holds more than 5 hours of edited video, with much more content to come.
The education components, created with two of our nonprofit partners, are also extremely important, helping to instill in new generations a fascination for and understanding of energy, so that they can make smart decisions for our future.
This Nonpoint Source Success Stories web site features stories about primarily nonpoint source-impaired waterbodies where restoration efforts have led to documented water quality improvements. Waterbodies are separated into three categories of stories, depending on the type of water quality improvement achieved:
Type 1. Stories about partially or fully restored waterbodies
Type 2. Stories that show progress toward achieving water quality goals
Type 3. Stories about ecological restoration
NASA keeps track of sea level change and its causes from space. Find out more about how NASA satellite observations help our understanding of this complex topic.