41 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 Radio 4

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 76 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).

    • 13 min
    Hydrogen Revolution

    Hydrogen Revolution

    It could be the clean fuel of the near future- for homes and for heavy machinery. Lord Bamford, head of JCB, is betting that it will power the next generation of emission-free tractors, diggers and loaders. Tom Heap meets the JCB team and discusses the pros and cons of hydrogen with climate scientist, Tamsin Edwards of King's College, London.

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in association with the Royal Geographical Society. Special thanks for this episode to Mickella Dawkins at Loughborough University and from the University of Edinburgh, Dr Katriona Edlmann, Dr Romain Viguier and Dr Ali Hassanpouryouzband.

    • 12 min
    Arnold Schwarzenegger's favourite ways to save the planet

    Arnold Schwarzenegger's favourite ways to save the planet

    Arnold Schwarzenegger is the former Governor of California and one of America's most influential green voices. He's also one of the biggest movie stars in the world and a big fan of the innovators, activists and entrepreneurs featured in the previous 39 episodes of this series. In this final programme, the Terminator star discusses his favourite ideas from the series with Tom Heap and looks forward to the crucial climate change talks in Glasgow in November.

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    • 14 min
    Hunting Down the Polluters

    Hunting Down the Polluters

    Tom Heap discovers fresh ways to quantify greenhouse gas emissions with help from satellites, artificial intelligence and former US Vice President Al Gore.

    Emissions data from companies and countries can be inaccurate, incomplete or sometimes just plain deceitful. The team at Climate TRACE, led by Al Gore, have devised innovative ways to calculate accurate emissions data from power stations, factories, ships and even planes. That data can be used to reveal unexpected sources of carbon dioxide and methane and to provide independent figures for international negotiations on climate change.

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in association with the Royal Geographical Society. Special thanks for this episode to Professor Raphael Heffron from the University of Dundee and Professor Paul Palmer from the University of Edinburgh. Image courtesy of Transition Zero.

    • 13 min
    Low Carbon Crisps

    Low Carbon Crisps

    Ever thought about the carbon cost of a packet of crisps? At CCM Technologies they think of little else. Their revolutionary fertiliser offers a big step to carbon-free snacking.

    Waste from crisp factories or from sewage treatment works can be routed and treated to form the basic building blocks of new fertilisers that can be spread on the ground to grow a new harvest of potatoes- or any other crop we need. The system avoids waste and takes a big cut out of the carbon emissions of traditional fertiliser production. Tom Heap tours the CCM fertiliser plant on the outskirts of Birmingham and discusses the carbon benefits with Dr Tamsin Edwards of King's College London.

    Producer: Alasdair Cross

    Researcher: Sarah Goodman

    Produced in association with the Royal Geographical Society. Special thanks for this episode to Dr Kate Schofield from the University of Plymouth and Dr Abigail González Díaz from the National Institute of Electricity and Clean Energy.

    • 13 min
    Windcatchers

    Windcatchers

    Wind energy is vital in the battle against climate change, but can we make improvements to harness more from them?
    Tom Heap visits Kelburn windfarm in North Ayrshire to discuss whether 'wakesteering' - reorientating the turbines could see them harness more power collectively. Meanwhile some potential sites are refused or restricted due to the damage caused to wildlife. Hubert Lagrange talks about his childhood obsession with bats which are often killed by the pressure around turbine blades.
    He's worked to develop a system to sense bat and bird activity and allow the turbines to operate longer through a refined system.
    Dr Tamsin Edwards discusses how much more potential there is and how much carbon this could save.

    Producer: Anne-Marie Bullock
    Researcher Sarah Goodman

    Produced in association with the Royal Geographical Society. Special thanks for this episode to Asst Professor Michael Howland from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Professor Nick Jenkins from Cardiff University.

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
76 Ratings

76 Ratings

Lil Timmy Rogers ,

Optimistic but very eye opening

Really good podcast, episodes are succinct and the final discussion and scientific evaluation at the end of every episode is really great. My favourite aspect is discovering the range of people and industries that really do want to prevent climate breakdown. It’s inspiring.

However the show is very optimistic, these snapshot industries have not been able to offset the continued expansion and climate-change denial/greenwashing of fossil fuel governments and corporations. And this was very frustrating to think about until the Polluter Pays and The Legal Fight episodes.

Relts ,

Optimistic but realistic

What a great first series. The climate crisis can feel impossibly big to tackle but this podcast gives me optimism. To hear about people across the world finding solutions in a myriad of ways gives me hope that with the will and energy of humans across the globe we can adapt, innovate and take positive actions to mitigate the effects of climate change on the planet and people.

GavinKewley ,

Put it on TV please!!

Thank you for this. Really looking forward to the next section.
Fabulously reassuring and would reach so many more people if broadcast on BBC. TV.
Gavin

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