Earth Day: Our Fragile Planet

April 22
Just a few weeks ago, the United Nations issued a major report warning that time is short to curb global warming. With only a few decades remaining to stave off environmental catastrophe, asks, what steps should be taken?

Our Earth Day video series focuses on sustainability and the ways nations, states and individuals might slow climate change: Whether it's green tech like electric cars and smart thermostats or environmental efforts like conservation and de-extinction. Together, it's our hope that these videos inspire discourse and debate, and above all, action.


The Earth’s Tipping Point: 350 Parts Per Million C02

Deep Economy author Bill McKibben, co-founder and director of, presents the current concentration of carbon in the atmosphere, which has surpassed the redline of 350 ppm identified by scientists as the safe upper limit for C02 in the atmosphere.

Going on Mammoth Safari in a Siberian Pleistocene Park

Stewart Brand of the Long Now Foundation details what the future might look like for a parcel of land that is being developed by a ecosystem revivalist, who hopes to reintroduce extinct ice age species to Russia.

Home Robotics: How the Smart Thermostat Will Save Energy

Neuroboticist Yoky Matsuoka presents a learning thermostat that automatically saves energy in the home.

Bearing Witness to Global Warming in Patagonia

On a trek into the Chilean Andes, adventurer Craig Childs observes the aftermath in a landscape that once was dominated by a mighty glacier that melted away entirely in only a few generations.

Brian Eno: Going to Mars Is 'Daft', Save Earth First

Brian Eno, composer and co-founder of the Long Now Foundation, argues that this generation needs to fix problems here on Earth before figuring out ways to land on other planets.

Passenger Pigeons: Primed for 'De-Extinction'

Once the most abundant species of bird in the world, passenger pigeons were hunted to extinction in only a few decades. But as Stewart Brand explains, scientists are now close to bringing the bird back from the dead.

Al Gore: The Price of Climate Change Denial

Former Vice President Al Gore, author of The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change, challenges politicians to put a price on carbon and the press to put a price on climate change denial. 

Electric Road Trip: Tesla's Supercharger Network

Co-Founder and chief technology officer of Tesla Motors JB Straubel discusses building charging stations and the new range of the electric car.

Deborah Goldberg: Fracking Feeds Fossil Fuel Addiction

In her opening argument, Deborah Goldberg of Earth Justice asserts that fracking is an overhyped initiative that will continue to feed our addiction to fossil fuels and further deteriorate our environment.

Cougars: From the Mountains to Hollywood

Wildlife photographer Steve Winter combines patience and groundbreaking technology to photograph North America's elusive and nocturnal big cat.

Green Buildings: Why We Must Create a True Market Value

Jason Hartke, Vice President of National Policy for the U.S. Green Building Council, argues the green building industry needs to prove the market value of building energy efficiently to American consumers who don't understand energy consumption.

Mapping Ivory Poaching Data to Save the African Elephant

Zoologist Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save the Elephants, shows a map of African Elephant population density. With the mapping technology, elephant protectors can trace the illegal killings and poaching for ivory that have put the animal in danger of extinction.

Joe Nocera of NY Times: Fracking Is a Tremendous Gift

In his opening argument, Joe Nocera, columnist for the New York Times, asserts that fracking and other energy capturing initiatives at home improve our global security by ending our dependence on foreign oil.

Photographer Bryant Austin Swims Eye-to-Eye with a Whale

Photographer and conservationist Bryant Austin shows the scale photographs of sperm whales he took in Dominica, and he explains how curiosity might help save the endangered species.

Making Green: Why Going Green Is Good Business

Anne Kelly, Director of Public Policy at Ceres, asserts that the motivations behind the adoption of green initiatives is less important than the changed behavior. Kelly also shares why going green is good business.

Mass Extinction Looks Like a GMO Field in Iowa

Author Craig Childs recalls one of his more arduous adventures: trekking through a GMO cornfield in Iowa during a heatwave, and how such an eerie landscape reminded him of an apocalyptic earth.

Saul Griffith: Top 5 Ways We're Destroying the Planet

Saul Griffith, co-founder of Otherlab, asks cities and consumers to focus on the "infrastructure" of energy use such as commute time and square footage of living spaces.

Small World: Stunning Photos of Sea Life in Coral Reefs

Photographer David Liittschweger takes his One Cubic Foot project to the coral reefs of Mo'orea and explores the biodiversity passing through little more than a bucket of water.

Steve King: Shutdown Favors Coal Producers Over EPA

U.S. Representative Steve King explains how he is not concerned about stalling EPA rules during the government shutdown, especially if it helps coal producers stay in the marketplace.

About this series

From the melting icecaps to the Great Pacific garbage path, from elephant poachers to shale frackers, there are all sizes of threats to the third planet. On April 1, the United Nations sternly warned the word's nations that only a few decades remain before environmental catastrophe becomes irreversible. The green movement is picking up speed on both local, national and international levels. Tesla built an electric car. Cities put up solar panels. Nest got smart with a thermostat. Even scientists make plans to bring the Woolly Mammoth back from the grave.

On Earth Day, we celebrate the ways we must protect our environment, our energy, and our future.

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