Episode 8: State of the Planet
Investigates the most critical questions of the 21st Century. Case studies look at how population, climate change, and economic pressures affect the world’s resources such as food and water in Kenya, India, Israel, Bangladesh, the Amazon, Mexico, China, and the United States.
- Are populations soaring out of control? Today the Earth’s population has surged to nearly six and half billion and is increasing by nearly 80 million people each year. Yet the population explosion that began in the mid 1900s is finally slowing down—and it’s happening in some of the most unexpected places.
- Are we running out of water? Over 97 percent of our planet’s water is undrinkable seawater and another 2% is locked-up in our polar ice caps. Coupled with the fact that the demand for water doubles every 20 years — this doesn’t bode well for the state of our planet—especially in the mega-cities of the world.
- Will there be enough water and food for future generations? In the last three decades we have increased available food per person by almost 20%. Yet more than 800 million people still go hungry each day.
- Global warming—a false alarm or a gathering storm? Today the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is higher than it has been for hundreds of thousands of years—and global temperatures are rising faster than at any other time in recorded history. The consequences of these human induced changes are becoming more and more profound.