The Nature of Things + Betraying Nature
First program: The Nature of Things
Not that long ago most of us on planet Earth lived on the land, that is to say with nature. Today there are many more billions of us and we live in megacities from Cairo to Karachi and Mexico City to Beijing. Away from nature. We have largely distanced ourselves from the natural world. Concrete barriers separate us. We have constructed networks of highways. We have paved over our gardens and fields to build malls and subdivisions. We put up parking garages to accommodate cars while people have nowhere to live. The embedded assumption of the current path of what is called development is that nature will always be there providing its bounty. Will it? How much more pounding can the environment absorb? What are the emotional and spiritual costs? What kind of legacy are we leaving future generations?
Second program: Betraying Nature
Our planet and its people are in peril. Diminishing fresh water supplies, destruction of forests, polluted air, species extinction at an unparalleled rate, and a toxic petrochemical environment are all clear signals that things are going seriously haywire. And climate change, the impacts of which are already evidenced at an accelerating pace, threatens environmental devastation on an almost incomprehensible scale. Rising sea levels will overwhelm island states, low lying countries such as Bangladesh, and many of the coastal areas where the world's population is concentrated. Climate change will bring more disease outbreaks, including new diseases and variants of existing ones for which there is no treatment. Changing weather patterns will leave many populated regions with too little rain to sustain agriculture. Existing environmental problems will worsen severely unless focused and rapid steps are taken to reverse the practices that are causing them.
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