Carramore International Limited
Carramore International Limited


BBC Radio 4 - Costing the Earth

Costing the Earth

Programme looking at man's effect on the environment and how the environment reacts, questioning accepted truths, challenging those in charge and reporting on progress towards improving the world

Costing the Earth

  • A Greener Home For All
    Our homes and their construction have a huge impact on the environment. The construction industry is estimated to contribute to 40% of worldwide energy use and in the UK alone the building sector uses more than 400 million tons of material a year, many of which have an adverse impact on the environment. Added to this is the impact on local air quality and green spaces and the energy used in heating, lighting and even furnishing new homes. The government has set a target of 300,000 new homes a year to help solve the growing housing crisis but this figure is nearly double the current rate of building. So is there anyway we can solve the housing crisis without nearly doubling our emissions? Tom Heap sets out to find out where, what and how we could build affordable and green homes for all.

  • Coral versus Coal
    The rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef is one of the environmental crises of the decade. But who is to blame? Environmental activists have accused successive Australian governments of underestimating the threats to the reef from agriculture and the shipping industry but their focus is now on a coal mine. India's Adani corporation has government support for the development of one of the world's largest new mines at Carmichael, inland from the Great Barrier Reef. Construction would increase shipping traffic around the reef but the real concern is the extra carbon dioxide that the burning of millions of tonnes of coal would send into the atmosphere. This could increase the speed of climate change and lead to yet warmer waters around Australia, potentially killing even more of the coral of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine biologist and film-maker, Ellen Husain meets both sides of the debate to find out if new jobs from the mine could outweigh the damage to the reef and the jobs that reef tourism supports. Producer: Alasdair Cross.

  • Defenders of the Reef
    Marine biologist and film-maker, Ellen Husain studied the Great Barrier Reef for her Masters degree thirteen years ago. Today she's back to dive with her old supervisor. The picture is grim. So much of the life she remembers has gone, wiped out by the great coral bleaching events caused by rising sea temperatures. Some who love the reef are in despair, others who once chose to ignore the signs are finally energised, determined to do what they can to slow or even reverse the decline. Ellen meets the people of the reef- tour operators, aboriginal Sea Rangers and coral scientists- to discover if one of the great natural wonders of the world really can be saved. Producer: Alasdair Cross.

  • Everything's Gone Green!
    In the last General Election environmental issues barely merited a mention. Nine months on and the Prime Minister is making keynote speeches on recycling and Michael Gove is issuing a flurry of policy initiatives to get the green-minded voter on-side. Tom Heap sets out to discover why this remarkable transformation has taken place. Is it the Attenborough Effect, the power of the newly-green Daily Mail or a blatant attempt to woo the youth vote? Perhaps senior politicians have actually come to accept the gravity of Earth's predicament. Producer: Alasdair Cross.

  • Bonn Climate Talks: Where Next?
    Tom Heap is in Bonn for the United Nations annual climate change discussions. It is the first year with Donald Trump in power as president of the United States of America and Tom will be exploring what impact his climate stance will have on the conference talks and any future agreements. Tom's guests are Lou Leonard, senior vice president of climate and energy at WWF US. He leads their climate program in the US and he is in Bonn to represent the 'We Are Still In' movement, referring to President Trump's desire to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Rachel Kyte is Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. Oliver Maurice is Director of The International National Trusts Organisation: the organisation that oversees all of the national trust organisations around the world, and Mark Pershin. Mark fronts an organisation called 'Less Meat, Less Heat' and he tells Tom about something called the 'Climatarian' diet. Tom will be taking stock of some of the topics disucssed in this series of Costing The Earth and asks how our attempts to combat climate change are proceeding and will proceed in the future. Will public responsibility and engagement with the problems that are now being faced galvanise more of the world's population into action? Presenter: Tom Heap Producer Martin Poyntz-Roberts.