21 episodes

BBC Radio Four, in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society, presents 39 ideas to relieve the stress that climate change is exerting on the planet.

39 Ways to Save the Planet BBC

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

BBC Radio Four, in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society, presents 39 ideas to relieve the stress that climate change is exerting on the planet.

    Zero Carbon Farm

    Zero Carbon Farm

    Can British farmers transform themselves into carbon-cutting heroes? Arable farmer, Duncan Farrington has worked hard to reduce the carbon emissions from his farm. He's replanted hedges and trees and cut down on diesel-powered machinery. He's even persuaded some of his staff to cycle to work. But Duncan's farm isn't just zero carbon, it's actually sucking in and locking up vast quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    Duncan explains to Tom how he's transformed the management of his soil and proven to doubters that commercial British arable farms can play their part in cutting the planet's carbon emissions.

    Producer: Alasdair Cross
    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society. Particular thanks for this episode to Dr Adrian Williams of Cranfield University and to Professor Andrew Barnes, Professor Mads Fischer-Moller and Professor Bob Rees of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

    • 14 min
    Bamboo Is Better

    Bamboo Is Better

    Fast-growing bamboo has gone in and out of fashion but is now being seen as a possible climate hero. Its capacity to absorb carbon is enhanced by how densely it can be grown, the speed and its regrowth after harvesting - a great advantage over trees.
    Tom Heap meets Arief Rabiek from the Environmental Bamboo Foundation based in Indonesia. He's working to restore degraded land by planting bamboo which can be managed by communities on a forest to factory system. The harvested product can be used for building structures and furniture through to vases baskets and clothing. He wants to expand the project to nine other countries to bring economic and environmental benefits but are some uses better than others? Dr Tamsin Edwards helps evaluate the scope of bamboo as a solution.

    Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock

    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society. Particular thanks for this episode to Professor Vincent Gauci of the University of Birmingham.

    • 13 min
    Cutting the Cow Burps

    Cutting the Cow Burps

    Cattle emit huge quantities of planet-warming methane. But they can be stopped! Tom Heap meets Eileen Wall from SRUC, Scotland's Rural College who introduces him to a host of cunning carbon-cutting ideas- from seaweed in the feed and gas masks for cows to barns that can convert methane into energy to power the farm.

    Tom is joined by Tamsin Edwards of King's College, London to calculate just how much difference these ideas might make to our warming Earth. Are those the best answers or should we all be persuaded to cut our meat consumption?

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society. Particular thanks for this episode to Professor Vincent Gauci of University of Birmingham and to Dr Michelle Cain of Cranfield University.

    • 13 min
    Logging For Good

    Logging For Good

    Is logging always bad for the planet? A team from The Nature Conservancy in the United States believe they have developed a way to cut down the trees we need for construction without damaging tropical forests or adding to our carbon emissions.

    Tom Heap meets Peter Ellis, the man behind Reduced Impact Logging, and his Indonesian colleagues, Purnomo and Ruslandi, who are persuading the foresters of Borneo to take up the new techniques.

    Back in the UK, climate scientist, Tamsin Edwards joins Tom to crunch the numbers- how much carbon dioxide could these ideas save?

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society. Particular thanks for this episode to Professor David Coomes from the University of Cambridge and to Professor Michelle Pinard and Professor David Burslem from the University of Aberdeen.

    • 13 min
    Slippery Ships

    Slippery Ships

    While at sea or in port, the hull of a ship can be an attractive new residence for all sorts or creatures. The initial slime build-up can provide a welcome mat for more and more creatures. This 'biofouling' can end up being inches think and heavy in weight as well as stopping the streamlining of the vessel. The drag caused can result in more fuel being needed to keep the ship moving forwards at the same speed - more cost and more carbon.

    Tom Heap meets a new stowaway on ships which will help fight the build up. Paint company Jotun has now developed the Hullskater robot. Monitoring of conditions will alert when the robot needs to be deployed on missions - with its magnetic wheels and high definition cameras it inspects the surface and uses brushes to remove the build up.

    With an increasing fleet of ships, Dr Tamsin Edwards from Kings College London also reflects on other measures to keep hulls free of build up and alternative fuels that might help the international fleet reduce its carbon impact.

    Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock

    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society. Particular thanks for this episode to Professor Bharathram Ganapathisubramani from the University of Southampton.

    • 14 min
    Polluter Pays

    Polluter Pays

    There are already examples around the world where the manufacturer helps to pay for the safe disposal of waste from their goods once used - such as electronic items or bottles. But what about the carbon dioxide produced from fossil fuels?

    Tom hears about the 'Carbon Take Back Obligation' concept - in which oil and gas producers would have to capture and store C02 - ratcheting up from 1% of what they produce by 2023, to 10% in 2030 and 100% by 2050. Some say it's impossible to meet the aims of the Paris Climate Agreement without it.

    But where would all that carbon dioxide go? How much storage space would we need for it and how much of the cost would trickle down to the petrol pump?

    Dr Tamsin Edwards of King's College, London, armed with statistics gathered by the Royal Geographical Society, joins Tom to add up the numbers.

    Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock

    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society. Particular thanks for this episode to Professor Stephen Peake of the Open University and Dr Chris Hope of the University of Cambridge.

    For more information on the Carbon Take Back Obligation www.carbontakeback.org

    • 14 min

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