Human actions and interactions with ecosystems across the globe, like the construction of nuclear power plants, deforestation and the reintroduction of species to old habitats, have significant consequences. This collection helps students explore the effects of environmental policies and processes, giving an understanding of the profound impact humans have on the planet.
Healing the Ozone: First Steps Toward Success
A worldwide effort to heal damage to the ozone layer is showing early progress.
Fighting Drought With an Ancient Practice: Harvesting the Rain
Could rainwater play a role in alleviating drought? Conservation experts are reaching back to the past, reviving ancient farming practices from across the globe to collect and store stormwater.
Unprepared: Lessons From Two Massive Oil Spills
A disastrous oil spill off the coast of Alaska and massive explosion of a rig in the Gulf of Mexico revealed a pattern of unsettled standards and inconsistent oversight that cast doubt on the oil industry’s preparedness for future accidents.
Meatless Burgers Are on Trend. Eating to Save the World Has a Long History.
More Americans than ever are seeking out alternatives to meat, convinced that consuming plant-based substitutes may help solve climate change. Today’s newest meatless burgers have the sizzle, smell and taste of the animal variety, but the idea has roots in a movement that took off in the 1970s.
The Roots of Recycling
By recounting perhaps the most vivid and famous news story in the history of solid waste disposal, this video provides students with historical context for any lesson or unit focused on recycling, waste disposal or waste management strategies.
This Snake is Eating the Everglades
Burmese pythons released into the wild by well-meaning pet owners have created a reptilian nightmare in the Everglades. Pythons are not the only invasive species on scientists’ radar. Non-native lizards, fish, frogs, hogs and zebra mussels, to name just a few, are threatening U.S. lands and waterways.
Future of Water
The increasing scarcity of drinking water is beginning to capture the world’s attention – but surprisingly, a radical, and unlikely, source of water might just be found in one of the Earth’s driest places – Windhoek, Namibia.
The Birth of the Environmental Movement: DDT and Rachel Carson
This video explores the early rise of the environmental movement and how Americans began to rethink how their actions might damage the world around them. It also shows how the work of one woman, Rachel Carson, against the indiscriminate use of DDT was a precursor to some of the environmental challenges of the 21st century.
Reintroducing Wolves to Yellowstone Was a Success. That’s When Trouble Began
In the 1990s, the federal government reintroduced the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park. Since then, the population has bounced back to more than 1,600 across the northern Rocky Mountains. But some say a protracted fight over whether the wolves remain endangered has had some unintended consequences.
Beekeepers and Scientists Join Forces to Protect the Pollinators
Scientists first identified Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in the 2000s and the phenomenon quickly caught the public’s attention. So did a fact few realized: honeybees play an integral role in the national food supply.
Ecology: The Yellowstone Wildfires of 1988
The 1988 Yellowstone fires gave rise to a national political controversy about the relationship between fires and sustainable forestry. This video shows students how public attitudes towards fire and forestry had been molded for decades, and how the Yellowstone fires led to a reevaluation of these ideas.
Nuclear Meltdowns Raised Fears, but Growing Energy Needs May Outweigh Them
Over the last few decades, nuclear meltdowns at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima have heightened fears about the safety of nuclear energy, but environmentalists and others are giving it renewed attention as a way to fight global warming.
Human Geography: The Population Bomb
This video introduces students to the origins of the public debate on population policy. It includes recent interviews with the activists and experts who first raised awareness in the 1970s with dire predictions of catastrophe unless extreme measures were taken to curb population growth.
Love Canal and the Environmental Protection Agency
Love Canal became one of the most famous cases of pollution in American history, and the advocacy of the residents affected by this pollution triggered the creation of the E.P.A’s “Superfund” program. This video is useful as an introduction to any unit focusing on how pollution affects humans and ecosystems, and addresses the difficulty of tracing the effects of pollution within ecosystems.
GMO Food Fears and the First Test Tube Tomato
In the 1990s, a bunch of gene jockeys brought the first genetically engineered food to market. The business crashed but biotech science has flourished far beyond the produce aisle.
Global Water Crises: Challenges and Solutions Webinar
Join Retro Report for this webinar to examine free resources for teaching about global water issues. The webinar features new videos, lessons and student activities along with a United Nations water expert and assistance from the United Nations Outreach Division.