Earth Beat is public radio's new weekly talk program covering the environment and our impact on it. Host Marnie Chesterton takes listeners around the world to hear stories big and small that surprise and illuminate. Audiences will laugh and be engaged in a global discussion of where our planet is heading, and our role in shaping that.
LIFE WITHOUT IT: In 1815 the volcano Tambora erupted in Indonesia. It was the loudest ever recorded eruption. The sun's rays were obscured by the ash leading to "The Year without a Summer" with devastating consequences worldwide. Marnie talks to the vulcanologist David Rothery about whether something similar could happen again.
SOLAR - WHO'S HOT and WHO'S NOT: It's no secret that we're not using the full potential of the sun. But what exactly IS the solar situation these days? Chris Turner is a Canadian journalist whose beat is sustainability. When he's not on a grand tour of the world's latest developments in green energy, he's trying to convince us that we're farther down that road to global sustainability than we think. He talks to Marnie about who's using the sun well, and who isn't.
Links for Chris Turner story: http://www.mnn.com/featured-blogs/Chris_Turner
SOLAR CINEMA: Paul O'Connor wanted to prove that the film industry could be greened. To do this he set up what he claims is the world's smallest eco-friendly silver screen cinema. Even in Wales Paul's Sol Cinema manages to find enough sun to keep the power going.
SOLAR FRIDGE: Emily Cummins was just seventeen when she invented the solar fridge. It's a simple idea with large pretensions and it's now being used in many parts of Africa, keeping food and medicines cool in the searing heat. Emily chats with Marnie about how she came up with the idea and how she's been obsessed with inventing since she was a child playing in her grandfather's shed.
The Barefoot College in India is training up illiterate grandmothers to become highly skilled solar engineers. We hear from Dossou Konate an engineer grandmother and Tostan- a charity in Senegal who are bringing solar light to remote communities.
HOW THE SUN HELPS BOOKS: Think of antiquarian books, and you think things handled with great care: white gloves, kept out of daylight in dark, dustless archives... So you wouldn?t think that the sun is good for antiquarian books. But it can be. On their insides, anyway. Earth beat producer Anik See explains.
HOT AND COLD: If you lived in one of the coldest places on the planet and had the chance to work in one of the hottest, would you? How would you adjust? Marnie speaks with psychiatrist Dr. Gord Kelly about how dealing with hot climes is in some ways not at all different from dealing with the cold.