e2: the economies of being environmentally conscious Debuts Tomorrow

Tomorrow, October 19th, new episodes of e2: the economies of being environmentally conscious will make their debut on PBS and air on multiple networks around the world. The new season of e2 will be presented in two parts--the first six episodes focus on energy (narrated by Morgan Freeman) and the following six focus on sustainable design (narrated by Brad Pitt). The show’s creators, Tad Fettig and Karena Albers of kontentreal, along with cinematographer Robert Humphreys, traveled the world to allow their audiences to get an inside look at projects such as: solar energy in rural Bangladesh; Brazil’s successful ethanol rollout and; how an industrial landscape turned into a sustainable development in Amsterdam.
e2 was first seen back in the summer of 2006 with its debut of e2 design. Because of the show’s success, kontentreal has other projects that are in development and include further extensions of the e2 documentary series as well as several feature-length documentary film titles. If you think you might forget to set your DVR, not to worry. Webcasts of each episode will be available one week prior to their official release on PBS, but, what you shouldn’t forget is they are available for one week only. (Photo above taken from the Coal & Nuclear episode.) ::e2: the economies of being environmentally conscious

Episode summaries:

e2 energy

Chapter 1: Harvesting the Wind
Wind is the fastest growing energy source in the world, yet it has struggled for acceptance in the United States. In southwest Minnesota, however, wind energy is a burgeoning source of local power and income for farmers. Some have joined forces in wind cooperatives to invest in larger farms and reap bigger profits. In the absence of a strong renewable energy policy at the federal level, the state government plays a key role in wind policy, begging the question: Will the rest of the U.S. follow Minnesota’s lead?

Chapter 2: Energy for a Developing World
A cleaner energy future depends, in large part, on responsible energy consumption in the developing world. Founded by Nobel Peace Prize-winner Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Shakti organization in Bangladesh distributes small solar systems and portable bio-gas systems to rural Bangladeshis, empowering women and the poor in the process.

Chapter 3: Paving the Way
In America alone, nearly 70 percent of oil consumed is by the cars we drive. Can efficient automobile design mitigate the environmental damage caused by our beloved cars? General Motors unveils The Volt, a super-hybrid vehicle, and the fuel cell-powered Sequel, while technology firm Fiberforge shows off the latest in ultra-light materials for car manufacturing.

Chapter 4: Growing Energy
In response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, Brazil created a domestic ethanol industry that is now thriving on all levels, from production, to distribution at gas stations, to nationwide adoption of flex-fuel cars. The episode examines what we can learn from Brazil’s extraordinary success with ethanol, and whether other countries could follow suit.

Chapter 5: State of Resolve
Could California’s progressive energy policies spearhead a nationwide shift toward cleaner energy? The remarkable laws that California has passed under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to regulate greenhouse gas emissions perpetuate the state’s reputation for environmental leadership across the country, and potentially the globe.

Chapter 6: Coal & Nuclear: Problem or Solution?
Renewables, biofuels, solar, wind and other energy sources may be alternatives to fossil fuel, but it is impossible to ignore the ubiquity of coal and the power capabilities of nuclear, despite their many drawbacks. These controversial resources may be major players in a sustainable energy future, however, thanks to new developments in carbon capture and sequestration and improved nuclear technologies.

e2 design season two

Chapter 1: The Druk White Lotus School - Ladakh
Ladakh, India is one of the most remote regions on earth. Beset with religious, political and cultural strife, it is also one of the most tumultuous. Enter the Druk White Lotus School, which intends to equip Ladakhi children for living in the modern world while simultaneously embracing Buddhist traditions. Commissioned by His Holiness The Twelfth Gyalwang Drukpa and designed by Arup architect Jonathan Rose, the school features sustainable technologies that suit the altitude and landscape, as well as Ladakh's cultural climate.

Chapter 2: Greening the Federal Government
Government buildings are not historically associated with sustainability or exquisite design. But the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence program is changing that perception. The program commissioned Pritzker Prize-winning Architect Thom Mayne to design the San Francisco Federal Building, a structure that aims to be the prototype for tomorrow's workplace.

Chapter 3: Bogotá: Building a Sustainable City
Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, transformed one of the world's most chaotic cities into a model of civic-minded and sustainable urban planning. He reformed public transportation, added greenways, built mega-libraries and created the longest stretch of bike-only lanes in the world. But along the way, he met tremendous opposition from the very people he was attempting to help.

Chapter 4: Affordable Green Housing
New York City is known for its diversity, but that quality isn’t always reflected in its public housing developments, which often ignore the social and cultural characteristics of the communities who live in them. This episode follows third generation-developer Jonathan Rose through Irvington, Harlem and the Bronx — communities where Rose is putting sustainability within reach of public housing residents.

Chapter 5: Adaptive Reuse in the Netherlands
Dutch planners tap into their innate design sensibility and the industrial landscape to create a sustainable development in Amsterdam’s abandoned dockyards, Borneo Sporenburg. Offering an alternative to the trappings of suburban sprawl, the development maximizes space while maintaining privacy, and uses the vast waterways as core landscape design elements.

Chapter 6: Architecture 2030
Buildings are responsible for almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Can a collaborative effort — government leaders, architects, regulatory agencies and building suppliers — avert a climate crisis through policy change and education? Architect-turned-activist Ed Mazria may have the answer. His Architecture 2030 organization is galvanizing commitment to a carbon-neutral building sector by the year 2030.

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