If Bilbo Baggins had an environmental school

After growing up in a remote corner of Alaska, marine biologist Zach Brown wants to start a school to teach future scientists about environmental sciences and sustainability.  Zach tells producers Mike and Leslie about his vision for the Inian Islands Institute (nicknamed “The Hobbit Hole”) and how experiential education is perhaps the best way to clearly see the lost connections between human systems and the natural world.  Zach also remembers what it’s like growing up with only a single television channel, and how often the signal would drop out… with some interesting results.

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The (mad) science of geoengineering

Climate scientist Ken Caldeira begins with a discussion of ocean acidification, a term he helped coin.  He follows with the story of how his name became attached to geoengineering, from his own skeptical beginnings to publishing a paper that basically said, “well, it works in the models but don’t try this at home.”  Along the way, Caldeira also shares some funny experiences addressing climate skeptics, including how geoengineering has even helped persuade a few.

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Chasing Ice

Director Jeff Orlowski takes us behind the scenes of his widely praised documentary Chasing Ice, which captured stunning time lapse images of retreating and melting glaciers.  He discusses the public reaction to his film, what it’s like working in harsh Arctic conditions, and his emotions witnessing firsthand glaciers the size of Manhattan fracturing and falling into the oceans.

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Ecocriticism & the collision of environment and faith

Literary ecocritic George Handley discusses how literature ranging from sacred texts like the Bible to Charles Dickens to Twilight shape our perceptions of environmental morality.  He also discusses the influences of the Mormon faith on his environmental ethics, and why he feels “a Christian obligation to listen very carefully to science,” including climate change, evolution, and geologic time.

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