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BBC Radio 4 - Costing the Earth

Costing the Earth

Fresh ideas from the sharpest minds working toward a cleaner, greener planet

Costing the Earth

  • A short history of environmental protest
    It's fifty years since the first blossoming of environmental campaign groups. Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the organisation which was eventually to become the Green Party were all set up in the early 1970s - all within just a few years of each other. In part 1 of this two-part series, Tom Heap takes a look back over the last half century of environmental protest. He talks to some of the big names involved in green campaigning - from the early days up to the present and the rise of Extinction Rebellion. He asks what the movement has achieved and what challenges still lie ahead. Producer: Emma Campbell

  • World on Fire
    Last year wildfires in the Amazon made headlines news. This year we've hardly heard about them - but that doesn't mean they're not happening. In fact the number of rainforest fires in Brazil rose by almost 20% in June, reaching a 13 year high, according to government data. Some estimates now point to 2020 being an even worse year for forest destruction than 2019. Meanwhile, from California to Siberia, fires have been devastating landscapes and throwing more greenhouse gases up into the atmosphere. In this programme, Lucy Siegle and a panel of experts explore the causes of fires around the world, and asks what can be done to tackle them. Produced for BBC Audio in Bristol by Emma Campbell.

  • Bushfire Animal Rescue
    Record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought fuelled a series of massive bushfires across Australia last winter. Dozens of people died and millions of hectares of bushland and forest were burnt. Australia's plant and animal life are well adapted to natural fire but the additional burden of climate change ensured that many of the fires were more intense and widespread than ever before. Much of the country's unique fauna had nowhere to hide. Peter Hadfield travels through the fire-ravaged regions of New South Wales to discover how local people are working to return injured animals to the wild and prepare habitats for a future that can only get hotter. Producer: Alasdair Cross

  • The Great Leaky Loo Scandal
    Do you know how much water you use? Despite campaigns to reduce our personal water usage from around 143 litres each per day to closer to 100, it's not improving. Meanwhile Tom Heap has discovered that an innovation to a product we use every day, an innovation which promised to save water is actually making things worse. Billions of litres are being wasted every week – enough to supply the cities of Edinburgh, Cardiff, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Belfast combined – welcome to the Great Leaky Loo Scandal. We reveal how this is happening and what can be done. Tom gets a revealing look behind the scenes at a plumbing manufacturer where flushing systems are tested and the science of 'solids discharge' is analysed. When water is being abstracted from rivers and being treated to meet our demands we ask if we need to take the resource more seriously. Produced by Anne-Marie Bullock for BBC Audio in Bristol

  • Swimming in Superbugs?
    Ellen Husain investigates the presence of pathoghens in the marine environment. She learns how surfers and regular sea swimmers may be more likely to have anti-microbial resistant bacteria in their bodies, and finds out about the ways in which antibiotics find their way into our oceans. Is the way we manage our seas actually fuelling the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria and increasing the risk of untreatable disease in future? Producer: Emma Campbell