National Renewable Energy Lab's demo of hydrogen fueling station moving the Planet Forward? Photo via: PBS
Interventions interrupt the talking heads on the stage with viewers' videos. Reactions from a live audience in the studio interject commentary. The experts debate how to proceed with alternative energy solutions, covering the full spectrum from solar to transportation. And the ringleader of this environmental forum, Planet Forward, Frank Sesno, a CNN veteran, leads the brigade by inserting online commentary, showing the latest advances, as well as regular folks' innovative methods of impacting global warming.
Planet Forward, which debuts tonight on PBS, shakes up the tired TV format of expert opinions, with a viewer-driven attempt to connect with the green community online. Sesno, professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, hosts from the head of an interactive television classroom, engaging participants with a lively discourse about next generation environmental technology, including wind turbines, biomass, solar, and some provocative, homemade ideas, too—you name it.
Carol Browner, assistant to President Obama for Energy and Climate Change is a guest in the dialogue and answers questions from the online audience and a citizen journalist on the panel. Also, James Connaughton, the former Bush White House Council on Environmental Quality and executive VP of Constellation Energy is among the guest panels of scientists, policy makers, and the business sector discussing the move from fossil fuel-based energy.
This special, which hopes to grow into an ongoing series, involved students from Middlebury College, University of Nebraska and other schools in an effort to draw in a younger audience with a fresher approach. In a meaningful way, it asks whether green means making sacrifices or improving technology--or both.
Catch it at 8 p.m. tonight and continue the conversation online. The show leads up to a big day and night of Earth Day programming on PBS. Would be worthwhile if a show about renewable energy was on weekly, not a one-time-only special.
More on PBS coverage of the environment:
PBS Airs Must-See Episode about Climate Change and Kiribati
PBS Examines Stimulus Package's Impact on Local Transit
Brad Pitt Hosts PBS Series On Green Design
Frogs: The Thin Green Line
e2: the economies of being environmentally conscious Debuts