PBS Series Journey to Planet Earth to be Shown at WWU

William Woods University will debut a current PBS series, called “Journey to Planet Earth,” Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in the Library Auditorium. The series dramatizes new ways of looking at the delicate relationship between people and the world they inhabit.


In addition to the one Tuesday, episodes will be shown April 7, 14 and 19. They are free and open to the public. Dr. Joe Kyger, assistant professor of chemistry, will lead discussion following each film.


The Los Angeles Times wrote, “The scope is wide, the photography compelling, the presentation is crisp,” while Newsday said, “Profoundly serious stuff, crucial information for us and our children and theirs. A continuing series that looks at the orb with fresh eyes, is unmistakably a wake-up call.”  


The London (Ontario) Free Press called it, “Intelligent writing and gorgeous camera work,” and the Florida Sun-Sentinel exclaimed, “Unfolds like a Hollywood epic. Count this show a success.” In its review, Grist Magazine labeled it, “A visually stunning celebration of the beauty and diversity of the natural world.”


The first episode is “Rivers of Destiny,” which journeys to four major river systems—the Mississippi, the Amazon, the Jordan and the Mekong—to investigate environmental pressures facing those whose lives depend upon the health of their river. Case studies examine the resulting problems from tampering with wildlife habitat, floods, water rights, destruction of the Amazon rain forest, over fishing, and the impact of economic development on water resources.


The series is designed to help students and adults understand and cope with the complexities of developing an agenda to deal with the most important environmental issues of the 21st century. Through an interdisciplinary approach, these programs reach beyond the physical sciences and draw connections to politics, economics, sociology and history.


Each episode features four to five thematically related stories. Though photographed on different continents and focusing on different sets of problems, all of these stories are connected, providing a dramatic mosaic of how the Earth works as an interrelated system.


“Journey to Planet Earth” cuts across the traditional disciplines that are involved in earth science and answers key questions about interactions that take place between the land, the oceans and the atmosphere.


“State of the Planet,” to be shown April 7 at 8 p.m. in the Library Auditorium, investigates the most critical questions of the 21st Century. Case studies look at how population, climate change and economic pressures affect the world’s resources such as food and water in Kenya, India, Israel, Bangladesh, the Amazon, Mexico, China and the United States.


“State of the Planet’s Wildlife,” to be shown April 14 at 8 p.m. in the Library Auditorium, explores what scientists are calling the “sixth great extinction” of our world’s plants and animals and what we are doing to stop it. Case studies evaluate the loss of wildlife as a result of climate change, population and poverty pressures, poaching, the international bush-meat trade, and the loss of wildlife corridors in Montana, Florida’s Everglades, South Africa, Singapore, Bangladesh, Kenya, Zambia, the Amazon, the Arctic, and China.


“Future Conditional,” to be shown April 19 at 8 p.m. in the Library Auditorium, probes the link between environmental change and the future health of our planet, a “future conditional” on how we cope with the spread of toxic pollution. Case studies cover how changing climates, uncontrolled and unsustainable development, and air and water pollution in one area can affect people thousands of miles away. Areas explored include the Arctic, Mexico, Uzbekistan and the United States.