Sorry, but this area needs the Macromedia Flash Player - click here to download the latest version
Future Earth: Addicted To Power
Saturday November 10 at 10 pm PT & Sunday November 11 at 8 pm ET on CBC News Network
Modern life would be impossible without enough energy, but it's an addiction that could cost the Earth. We rely on fossil fuels - oil, coal, and gas - which all emit the carbon that contributes to global warming. The dilemma is how to keep the lights on without cooking the planet.
All the available power alternatives bring terrifying risks; nuclear power produces lethally radioactive waste, which could poison a city such as London. Dams produce clean, sustainable hydroelectric power - but future extreme weather may test them to destruction threatening hundreds of thousands of lives. The Holy Grail is plentiful clean energy such as wind and solar power but they are far from providing power on the scale we need, and they're intermittent - sometimes the wind doesn't blow and you don't get much solar power at night. Nuclear fusion - creating the sun on Earth - may provide the answer but it's a way off. Whatever the energy source it will all be for nothing if it can't get from the power plant to our homes. Unless the grid itself is upgraded we will be instantly plunged back into the dark ages as it fails under the increasing load.
Future Earth: Addicted to Power illustrates the disastrous consequences of continuing our addiction to power through photo-real CGI, but it also includes gripping interviews with experts who explore how adopting new technologies and making changes to the way we live can avert these disasters.