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

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Website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006r4wn
Description
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
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-03-20 03:00
last episode published
2019-03-19 15:30
publication frequency
13.97 days
Contributors
BBC owner  
BBC Radio 4 author  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
222
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Science & Medicine

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
19.03.2019

Clean Air for Kids

Clean air - the fightback: Tom Heap investigates the problems caused by air pollution, and asks how it affects children's health. He visits schools in Manchester and London and finds out about new initiatives which hope to try to reduce pollution aroun...
BBC Radio 4 author
12.03.2019

Tread Lightly

Tyres have an enormous impact on the environment. What can be done to produce and dispose of them more efficiently? Tom Heap reports. Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock
BBC Radio 4 author
5.03.2019

Hit the Gas!

From the cattle shed to the racetrack, ammonia is having a moment. In the wrong place it's a dangerous pollutant, in the right place it's a clean fuel for your car. Ella McSweeney and Peter Hadfield report on the two faces of the gas chemists know as...
BBC Radio 4 author
4.12.2018

The Future of Our National Parks

2019 is the 70th anniversary of the legislation that created the first National Parks in the UK. At this crucial moment for the future of our countryside, Tom Heap asks how our best-loved landscapes can work better for people and wildlife. There are no...
BBC Radio 4 author
27.11.2018

Heat from the Deep

The heat contained in the top 3km of the Earth’s crust could power the planet thousands of times over. Despite that, less than 1% of the world’s electricity comes from geothermal energy. That may be about to change. Near Redruth in Cornwall a 3 mile d...
BBC Radio 4 author
20.11.2018

Art and the Environment

Climate change is hard to depict. Polar bears on melting ice caps are far away from everyday life and the data is often complex and confusing. So could art in its broadest sense help us to understand the implications of global warming and environmental...
BBC Radio 4 author
13.11.2018

March of the Wet Wipes

Over the last decade, wet wipes have become ubiquitous. There's a wipe for almost everything, from faces to furniture, and it's a multi-million pound industry. But our sewerage systems are paying the price. Tom Heap goes on a call-out with the teams wh...
BBC Radio 4 author
6.11.2018

Wetland Wonder

What have wetlands ever done for us? Apart from providing fresh water, carbon storage, flood mitigation, wildlife habitat and much more....they are said to be critical to human and planetary life. But a recent report claims despite this these ecosystem...
BBC Radio 4 author
30.10.2018

The Real Cost of Chinese Medicine

China's $900bn Belt and Road Initiative is taking Chinese money, expertise and workers all around the world. From South-East Asia all the way to South America, Chinese influence can be spotted at construction sites for roads, dams and railways. Evidenc...
BBC Radio 4 author
23.10.2018

Plasticphobia

Could the war on plastic have unintended consequences for the environment? Tom Heap reports. Producer: Sarah Swadling
BBC Radio 4 author
16.10.2018

Man vs Woman vs Planet

The environment affects us all so should gender matter when we consider how best to save the planet? Lucy Siegle and Tom Heap take on the gender divide to find out how global warming has a disproportionate impact on women and how solutions which put wo...
BBC Radio 4 author
9.10.2018

Helen Czerski's Arctic Expedition

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. That's certain to impact on the weather we experience in Britain. Physicist Helen Czerski and an icebreaker full of scientists have just spent six weeks at the North Pole conducting experim...
BBC Radio 4 author
2.10.2018

Electric Dreams

Is the time finally right to buy an electric car? Peter Gibbs has just taken the plunge. We join him on his first road trip to see if Britain really is ready to wave goodbye to diesel and petrol. He drops in on Robert Llewellyn, Kryten in Red Dwarf an...
BBC Radio 4 author
25.09.2018

Fertility and the Environment

Sperm counts amongst men in the West have dropped by over 50% in less than 40 years. Today 1 in 6 couples has trouble conceiving but some animal species are also facing difficulty breeding. Science Journalist and IVF patient Jheni Osman asks what the l...
BBC Radio 4 author
19.09.2018

Ending the Plastic Age

How do we solve the plastic crisis? Tom Heap is joined by an expert panel to find fresh ways to cut down on plastic waste. It's become the environmental crisis that's caught the imagination. Since Blue Planet 2 broadcast heart-rending images of albatr...
BBC Radio 4 author
11.09.2018

Verity and the Bees

Verity Sharp wants to keep bees. She already grows her own organic fruit and vegetables. To pollinate her garden and provide delicious honey, bees seem like the perfect addition. And then there's the warm glow of righteousness to look forward to- bees ...
BBC Radio 4 author
29.05.2018

The Future of the British countryside

What do we want from our countryside and how much are we willing to pay for it? Tom Heap chairs a debate in response to the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan focusing on "Public Money for Public Goods " and asks what are public goods? Is food a p...
BBC Radio 4 author
22.05.2018

Disappearing Alps

The permafrost is thawing, the mountains are crumbling and the glaciers retreating. What will be left of the Alps? Peter Hadfield reports from Switzerland. Producer: Alasdair Cross.
BBC Radio 4 author
16.05.2018

Run Rabbit

When was the last time you saw a rabbit - dead or alive? Despite its reputation, a BTO survey suggests European rabbit numbers in the UK have declined by around 60 per cent over the last 20 years. In turn, other species from birds to invertebrates are ...
BBC Radio 4 author
11.05.2018

Antarctic Assault

The whales, penguins and other seabirds and marine mammals of the Southern Ocean depend upon a reliable supply of the tiny shrimp-like krill. New developments in fishing and freezing technology mean that we can now join in the feast, popping krill pill...
BBC Radio 4 author
8.05.2018

Outback Outrage

In the Australian Outback survival is tough for plants, animals and people. Food and water are always in short supply. If anyone, or anything, takes too much it can spell disaster. Peter Hadfield travels into the red heart of the continent on the tra...
BBC Radio 4 author
24.04.2018

Demolishing Dams

Large hydro-electric dams continue to be planned and built in Africa, Asia and South America. In Western Europe and the US they're tearing them down. Peter Gibbs wants to know why. These wonders of engineering are a symbol of our ability to harness na...
BBC Radio 4 author
17.04.2018

Undiscovered Colombia

Colombia is second only to Brazil in the extent of its rich biodiversity but armed conflict over a half century has limited exploration and charting of much of its land. Those researchers who braved it risked kidnap, injury or death. But in 2016 Presid...
BBC Radio 4 author
10.04.2018

Shifting Spring

Spring now begins on average 26 days earlier than it did 10 years ago. Lindsey Chapman investigates how shifting seasons are affecting our wildlife. Bumblebees in January, daffodils blooming early, 'thuggish-vegetation' thriving as a result of mild wi...
BBC Radio 4 author
3.04.2018

Dunes into Bunkers

It's a decade since Donald Trump began building his golf resort on the enormous mobile sand dunes of Balmedie in Aberdeenshire. Conservation organisations bitterly protested and the idea of building golf courses on sensitive dune habitats seemed tainte...
BBC Radio 4 author
28.03.2018

Superwood

Anything made from oil can now be made from trees, so is a new age of wood about to dawn? Tom Heap visits Finland which is pushing for a new industrial revolution based on trees and plants rather than oil and coal. He takes a glimpse into a future wher...
BBC Radio 4 author
27.03.2018

Microfibre Detectives

Around two thirds of fibres produced globally are synthetic material - many used in our clothing. It's emerged that plastic microfibres are being shed when we wear and wash these items - which ironically include fleeces and kit worn by 'outdoorsy types...
BBC Radio 4 author
13.03.2018

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...
BBC Radio 4 author
7.03.2018

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 ...
BBC Radio 4 author
27.02.2018

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 ...
BBC Radio 4 author
20.02.2018

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. ...
BBC Radio 4 author
14.11.2017

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 confer...
BBC Radio 4 author
7.11.2017

America's Climate Resistance

It's a year since President Trump was elected. In that time he has appointed a climate sceptic as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, he has insisted that he will bring the coal industry back, and he still has not appointed a science advisor....
BBC Radio 4 author
31.10.2017

Tony's Farm

When Anna Jones was growing up, the air was clean and the grass was lush. She lived on a farm in Shropshire, and phrases such as 'greenhouse gas emissions' and carbon footprints were associated with towns and cities - factories, cars and aerosols. Not ...
BBC Radio 4 author
26.10.2017

Fish Farms of the Future

A new study suggests farmed fish could be key to feeding a growing global population. Fish are an efficient source of protein and already over half the fish we now eat are farmed. However, this phenomenal growth in the production of salmon and other po...
BBC Radio 4 author
17.10.2017

Where Does Our Waste Go?

Where do the contents of our bins end up? Tom Heap lifts the lid on the recycling industry to find out what happens to our waste beyond the kerbside collection. What does 'recycling' mean? Are bottles and tins and plastic packaging recycled when they...
BBC Radio 4 author
10.10.2017

The Future of Fashion

It may seem odd when an industry that relies on seasonal trends and consumption talks about 'going green'. But Lucy Siegle has had a keen eye to the fashion industry and has been charting efforts to improve things. She heads to La Scala in Milan for th...
BBC Radio 4 author
3.10.2017

Dare to Share

The ability to share underused resources like holiday homes and car journeys through online sites has disrupted many sectors of the economy. Many people now travel using 'Airbnb' or 'Uber' and being able to deal directly with the owner of the property ...
BBC Radio 4 author
29.09.2017

Guardians of the Environment?

Tom Heap asks if the Environment Agency is fit for purpose. After seven years of deep cuts to its staffing and budgets, Tom Heap asks the EA's Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, to respond to her critics. We hear from those who are concerned that the EA is doing...
BBC Radio 4 author
20.09.2017

Fight the Power

Meet Gina Lopez, the radical green activist who suddenly found herself appointed Environment Minister for the Philippines. Rodrigo Duterte was elected President with the promise to cut crime by killing thousands of criminals. He lived up to expectation...
BBC Radio 4 author
12.09.2017

Battery Powered Britain

New developments in battery technology are changing the way we power Britain. More efficient, higher capacity batteries expand the range of electric vehicles and allow solar and wind power plants to provide smooth, 24 hour electricity. Tom Heap is in...
BBC Radio 4 author
5.09.2017

Tourist Tide

Can beautiful places welcome mass tourism without environmental destruction? Tom Heap reports. There's been a summer of discontent in some of Europe's most popular tourist destinations. In Venice and Barcelona there have been a series of protests over...
BBC Radio 4 author
30.05.2017

James Wong on the World's Toughest Plants

Between 20 and 33% of the world's plant species are currently at risk of global extinction. That's the estimation of recently published studies. So how much will climate change impact on the variety, availability and price of the food on our plates? Bo...
BBC Radio 4 author
24.05.2017

Future Forests

Can Britain revive its forests and grow the wood we need for a greener economy? Tom Heap investigates as we approach the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of The Forest. Tree planting in England has hit a forty five year low which is alarming both ...
BBC Radio 4 author
16.05.2017

Mekong Delta Blues

New dams threaten life on South-East Asia's most vital river, a river that provides food and water to 70 million people. The government of Laos is determined to develop the nation by building hydroelectric dams for electricity. Many people in the downs...
BBC Radio 4 author
9.05.2017

Exploding Penguins

The penguins of the Falkland Islands have thrived since the war of 1982, protected from human interference by Argentine landmines. Peter Gibbs finds out what happens when the mines are cleared. Producer: Matthew Teller.
BBC Radio 4 author
2.05.2017

Made to Last?

How long do you reasonably expect your electronic gadgets and clothes to last? Has the cheapening of products meant we're too ready to let them go when they break and buy new? Jheni Osman is sick of things breaking and the energy and resources that wen...
BBC Radio 4 author
25.04.2017

Insulation for the Nation

Our homes are responsible for 25% of our carbon emissions in the UK. Tom Heap asks if we can retrofit our homes to fight climate change. An Englishman's home is his castle, but most homes are not well defended against cold air and high fuel bills and ...
BBC Radio 4 author
18.04.2017

Sinking Solomon Islands

Five of the Solomon Islands have already been lost to sea level rise and many more are being rendered uninhabitable. For wildlife film-maker and marine biologist, Ellen Husain that's not just a disturbing quirk of climate change, it's a family concern....
BBC Radio 4 author
11.04.2017

Reasons to Be Cheerful?

The Skoll World Forum was set up by eBay founder, Jeff Skoll to pursue his optimistic vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. But can the world's most pressing problems be solved by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrep...
BBC Radio 4 author