The focus is climate change, both now and in centuries past. Photojournalist and filmmaker Barbara Pyle travels 2,300 miles off the Chilean coast to Easter Island, famous for its enormous stone statues called Moi, and its enigmatic past. In the mid-1700s, this island’s inhabitants virtually disappeared. One theory is that the fast growing population destroyed their ecosystem– a stunning metaphor for the world’s current course.
Scientist John Loret’s interest in the island began over 40 years ago when he was on an expedition in 1955 to the Island.
One young Rapu-Nui was so fascinated by Dr. Loret’s work, and his own vanishing culture, that he decided to becomes an archeologist and now they are working in partnership.
Scientist Dan Mann is digging up clues that indicate a deadly change in climate might have dealt the final blow to the people of Easter Island
Pyle’s next stop is New Orleans where pest populations are on the rise – mosquitoes and termites – an increase that some attribute to a warming climate. “The Big Easy’s” famous live oaks and historic buildings are suffering. Ed Bordes is introducing innovative techniques to stop the termites and using chickens to pinpoint areas of the city where mosquitoes could spread diseases.
Pyle then heads to Louisiana’s picturesque wetlands where she visits an ex-oil rigger turned activist. Born and raised near the bayou, Milton Cambre is striving to bring them back. He has dedicated 30 years to saving these wetlands, yet he faces formidable opponents in sea level rise and coastal erosion – conditions brought on by a warming climate.
Milton is not alone; other people share his concerns. Meet Mark Davis in Audubon Park of the Coalition to Save Coastal Louisiana and hear his astonishing descriptions of what the future may hold for New Orleans. Pyle is stunned when he tells her that the water in Audubon Park could be over her head if the projections of many climate experts come true.
This hour-long special also provides tips that viewers can use every day to turn down the heat on climate change.