Nature Inc. II - 6x22’ - EnglishOctober 2009
Nature is priceless, or is it?
In its second season, this six-part series takes its lead from economists who have worked out that ecosystem services are worth more than the grand total of all the world’s national economies.
Episode 1: Natural Prevention
Natural disasters cost lives… and they cost a great deal of money, US$ 232 billion in 2008 alone. Nature Inc. finds out how much better off we are – and safer – in places where natural barriers to disaster remain intact, where forested slopes prevent mudslides and flash floods and coral reefs and mangroves weaken tsunamis. Nature Inc. goes to Cuba, Haiti, Indonesia and Louisiana USA to find out how compelling the economic case is for investing in natural prevention.
Episode 2: Doing what Comes Naturally
Natural selection is a three billion year old product design process that can’t be beaten. It’s not just Velcro… ‘Biomimicry’ is a way of profiting from nature by observing and adapting natural solutions into technical innovations. In this episode, we see how sharks, sponges and the brittle fish—equipped all over its body with thousands of optically perfect lenses with which it sees—are being studied for commercial potential.
Episode 3: Union of Green
The ‘triple crunch’ of climate, credit, and energy insecurity, is forcing governments to seriously consider the “green economy” as a way of making a sustainable recovery. The recent London G20 Summit emphasised the investment in environmentally sound technology and business could create, as well, sustainable jobs. Nature Inc. goes to China, India, USA, Spain, Bangladesh and Colombia to examine the claim that green investment equals green jobs.
Episode 4: One Sexy Tuber
Industrial farming has discarded genetic diversity in favour of a handful of high-yielding monocultures. But these exhaust the soil and are vulnerable to crop diseases and pests that genetic diversity protects against. Now some agribusinesses and farmers are seeing sustainable profits and productivity in encouraging crop diversity. Nature Inc. focuses on the humble potato in its home in the High Andes and in Africa and Asia to see how going back to long forgotten varieties can improve food security and on farm profits. As one scientist enthuses: “it is one sexy tuber”.
Episode 5: Standing Profits
Poor people who cut down forests do so out of economic pressure, not ignorance. Mostly they clear the forest for smallholdings and firewood. At the other end of the scale, forests are razed for illegal timber and industrial-scale agriculture, especially palm oil, beef and soya. Deforestation contributes up to 20% of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Nature Inc. asks if this scheme is adopted will it make a standing, native forest as profitable as one cleared for other uses?
Episode 6: Now and Forever
The “ecosystem service” that most exercises the international community is climate stability. The increasingly grim findings of the scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have shocked politicians and public alike as have the assessments by Nicholas Stern and others of the cost in trillions of dollars of “business as usual”. Looking ahead to Copenhagen, Nature Inc. asks what will be the impact on the global economy if the art of the politically- possible does not match up to what the overwhelming majority of climate scientists say must be done?
Location(s):Cuba, Haiti, Indonesia, USA, China, India, Spain, Bangladesh, Colombia, Brazil