EARTH: THE OPERATORS’ MANUAL is a rigorously researched, beautifully filmed and ultimately uplifting antidote to the widespread “doom and gloom” approach to climate change. The program opens with a thorough grounding in Earth’s climate history and an overview of the current dilemmas, but its main thrust is an upbeat assessment of our many viable sustainable energy options.
To illustrate the evidence and the way forward, the film takes viewers on a high-definition trip around the globe. In New Zealand, host Richard Alley rappels into a deep crevasse to understand how the advance and retreat of massive glaciers during Earth’s Ice Ages are tied to changing levels of carbon dioxide. In Denver, Colorado, we peer over his shoulder at the National Ice Core Lab to see how records of temperature and atmospheric composition trapped inside chunks of ancient ice conclusively demonstrate that today’s levels of CO2 are higher than at any time in the past 400,000 years, due largely to our burning of fossil fuels over the past several hundred years.
Then it’s on to locations where developments in sustainable energy are already proving it’s possible to do things differently, including: A solar power plant near Seville, Spain, that will soon provide electricity to 200,000; a geothermal generating station in New Zealand; and China, the world’s largest energy consumer, which is evolving from “the factory of the world” into “the clean-tech laboratory of the world.”
From low-tech solutions to high-tech innovations, EARTH: THE OPERATORS’ MANUAL shows the wide range of practical options available to meet Earth’s growing need for energy.
Shot on location in Xi’an, Shanghai and Beijing (China); São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Ceara and Iguaçu Falls (Brazil); Marrakesh and the Sahara (Morocco); Seville (Spain);, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Louisiana (United States); and high on the heavily-crevassed snowfield of the Franz Josef Glacier and at “Hell’s Gate” hot springs and geothermal reserve in Rotorua (New Zealand).