11 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
    • 4.8 • 12 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.

    Phenomenal Photosynthesis

    Phenomenal Photosynthesis

    Some food crops convert just one percent of the sun's energy into edible food. If we can improve the process of photosynthesis we can grow more food on less land. Tom Heap visits a Yorkshire greenhouse to meet the team from Glaia with a cunning idea to do just that. Back in the studio, Dr Tamsin Edwards, climate scientist and fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, considers the potential impact on our global carbon emissions.

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    Series made in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society

    • 14 min
    The Legal Fight

    The Legal Fight

    Campaign and protest have been the traditional tools of environmental action in the UK. American lawyer, James Thornton, set up Client Earth to defend the planet in a different way- by using the courts. Using local laws to challenge governments and businesses they've had success across Europe and beyond, preventing the construction of coal-fired power stations and challenging the curse of air pollution. As well as enforcing environmental laws they're helping get new laws written.

    Tom Heap meets James and discusses the carbon implications of his ideas with climate scientist, Dr Tamsin Edwards.


    Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock

    Photo of James Thornton by Dan Wilton.

    Series made in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society

    • 13 min
    Siberian Rewilding

    Siberian Rewilding

    Trees are often thought to be the good guys when it comes to climate change. In Siberia, however, it's not always the case. The landscape was changed when humans arrived and the forest that took over from grasslands is causing problems. In Pleistocene Park, Russian scientists are carrying out a radical rewilding - removing trees and reintroducing species of grazing animals to help protect the permafrost - the deep frozen ground - from thawing and releasing methane into the atmosphere. Tom Heap and Dr Tamsin Edwards consider how this ambitious idea could help in the fight against climate change.

    Producer : Anne-Marie Bullock

    Series made in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society

    • 13 min
    More Power from the Sun

    More Power from the Sun

    Electricity from the sun is cheap and clean but the solar cells we see on our rooftops could be much more efficient. Henry Snaith of Oxford PV has developed a new material which helps solar roof panels extract more energy from the solar spectrum. Tom Heap visits Henry's lab and joins Dr Tamsin Edwards to consider the carbon-cutting potential of a new generation of solar energy.

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    Series made in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society

    • 13 min
    Chilling Food

    Chilling Food

    Chilled lorries are the backbone of our food distribution system, keeping our pork pies and hummus safe and fresh on route to the supermarket. The problem for our air quality and carbon emissions is that many of the refrigeration units are powered by diesel engines.

    Tom Heap meets a team converting these Transport Refrigeration Units from diesel to liquid nitrogen. If successful they could take a bite out of greenhouse gases in the west and, more importantly, offer a clean chilling option for farmers and food companies in the developing world. Food that spoils on the way to the consumer hurts farmers, causes hunger and increases carbon emissions. If meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables can be kept fresh for longer then everyone wins.

    Dr Tamsin Edwards of King's College, London helps Tom calculate just how much carbon dioxide could be removed from the environment if we use techniques like this to slash food waste.

    Producer:: Anne-Marie Bullock

    Series made in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society

    • 14 min
    Robots of the Wind

    Robots of the Wind

    The UK government is betting big on offshore wind to provide a huge percentage of our electricity by 2030. The turbines are certainly efficient, low carbon energy producers but they have one Achilles heel. They're expensive to maintain and repair. Boats or helicopters have to be sent out with a maintenance crew- it's dangerous and costly work. Developers in robotics and artificial intelligence have got together to come up with a solution. If an offshore turbine needs checking an unmanned boat will head out to sea. Once in position it will launch a drone which can inspect the turbine. If a closer look is needed then the drone can launch its secret weapon- the BladeBUG. It's a suitcase-sized robot which can cling to the huge turbine blades, check them and even clean or repair them. They should make new offshore wind development cheaper and safer.

    Tom Heap meets the experts behind the robots - BladeBUG CEO Chris Cieslak; Professor Sara Bernardini from Royal Holloway, University of London - and works out the carbon impact of offshore wind expansion with climate scientist, Tamsin Edwards of King's College London.

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    Series made in partnership with the Royal Geographical Society

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Hellsbells10000 ,

39 Ways to Save the Planet

Very inspiring and positive listening with real possible solutions to climate changes.
So comforting to know that innovative problem solvers are out there helping in the fight .... where can I sign up to help ?

theartfuluniverse ,

Hopeful

Crisp: one focus per on-location episode gives this series authenticity, as does the ever-enthusiastic presenter Tom Heap.

Give the man, and the BBC, an OBE for trying to show us that saving the planet isn’t impossible.

MJClap ,

Excellent

Positive stories on climate change (and in general!) are quite hard to come by these days so I found these easily digestible insights quite refreshing and uplifting. Some amazing people working on these ideas. There is some hope after all! Looking forward to the rest of the series.

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