By the early 1950s, a holy trinity of oil, plastics and fertilisers had transformed the planet. But as Professor Iain Stewart reveals, when the oil producing countries demanded a greater share in profits from the Western energy companies, the oil and gas fields of the Middle East became a focus for coup d'états and military conflict.
Chernobyl 1986. A nuclear reactor exploded, spewing out massive quantities of radiation into the atmosphere. Within days, the pollution had spread across Europe. Living on land contaminated with radioactivity would be a life-changing ordeal for the people of Belarus, but also for the Sami reindeer herders of central Norway. It even affected the Gaels of the distant Hebrides. Five years ago there was a meltdown at the Fukushima reactor, and thousands of Japanese people found their homes, fields and farms irradiated, just as had happened in Europe. This international documentary, filmed in Belarus, Japan, the lands of Norway's Sami reindeer herders and in the Outer Hebrides, poses the question: what lessons have we learned? Gaelic title: Chernobyl agus Fukushima: Na Leasanan
2016 • Economics
Thirty-five years of relentless propaganda and harsh brutal punishments left the Chinese people living in fear of their country's one-child policy. That rule, which was abandoned in 2015, has left the country with an ageing population and tens of millions more men than women. The documentary's directors, Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, unmask the tightly held, hidden secrets of how the Chinese government enforced its one-child policy and explores its devastating effect. Wang, a new mother now living in the US, travels back to the rural village she was born in and speaks to midwives, village leaders and journalists, revealing chilling stories of forced abortions, sterilisation, abandoned babies and state-sponsored kidnappings. Her own family share the grim choices they were forced to make in order to avoid harsh punishments from the state. With new information on tens of thousands of abandoned and kidnapped children (nearly all of them infant girls), One Child Nation breaks open decades of silence on a vast, unprecedented social experiment that shaped - and destroyed - countless lives.
Once upon a time there was a large Finnish company that manufactured the world's best and most innovative mobile phones. Nokia's annual budget was larger than that of the government of Finland and everyone who worked there shared in the windfall. But global domination cost the company its pioneering spirit and quantity gradually took over from quality, with new phone models being churned out by the dozen. Market share eroded, until in 2016, mobile phone production in Finland ceased. The Rise and Fall of Nokia is a wry morality tale for our times, told by those that lived and worked through the rollercoaster years in a company that dominated a nation.
2018 • Economics
How will we power the planet without wrecking the climate? Five years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the unprecedented trio of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers are struggling to control an ongoing crisis. What’s next for Fukushima? What’s next for Japan? And what’s next for a world that seems determined to jettison one of our most important carbon-free sources of energy? Despite the catastrophe—and the ongoing risks associated with nuclear—a new generation of nuclear power seems poised to emerge the ashes of Fukushima. NOVA investigates how the realities of climate change, the inherent limitations of renewable energy sources, and the optimism and enthusiasm of a new generation of nuclear engineers is looking for ways to reinvent nuclear technology, all while the most recent disaster is still being managed. What are the lessons learned from Fukushima? And with all of nuclear’s inherent dangers, how might it be possible to build a safe nuclear future?