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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this educational "green" series looks at technological solutions for sustainable urban living by imagining the environmental problems of a fictitious future city. It’s informative, but the ongoing scientific conversations might be a little dry for some viewers (particularly young kids), and discussions about looming ecological disasters and scenes of Ecopolis residents arguing over fuel and struggling to breathe could be a little frightening.
What's the story?
ECOPOLIS explores how green technology developed today could change the ecological fate of our future cities. Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kammen creates a blueprint for Ecopolis, a 2050-era mega city that's suffering from the effects of pollution, global warming, fuel shortages, and other consequences of poor environmental planning. In each episode, scientists from around the world introduce green technology designed to specifically address one of the city’s eco-problems, including overwhelming air pollution, lack of food and water, and fuel shortages. At the end of each episode, Dr. Kammen determines which technological breakthrough -- whether it's creating mass transit fueled by biofuel-generated electricity or hybrid solar lighting -- is most reliable and cost-effective and could realistically be implemented by the mid-century deadline. In the final episode, Kammen ranks each of the five solutions according to which is most urgently needed to ensure future sustainable urban living.
Is it any good?
This innovative series looks at how scientists are working on developing viable green technologies designed to help the planet survive in the future. It's full of easy-to-follow explanations about global environmental problems and the technologies that are being developed to alleviate them. It also explores the potential impact -- both positive and negative -- that each of these cutting-edge solutions could potentially have on the planet.
Ecopolis underscores the idea that an ecological crisis is unavoidable if we don't change the world’s urban mass consumption. While this urgency may be well founded, the ominous way that the messages are presented could potentially frighten viewers more than inform them. But those who are interested in environmental issues and/or living a greener lifestyle will definitely find the series both interesting and rewarding.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the media's role in presenting/covering topics like environmentalism. How does the media impact what people think about these topics?
Is it really important to live a greener lifestyle? Why or why not? What can people do to reduce our carbon footprint and live a greener life? Does it require big or expensive life changes?
How do scientists determine the future impact of environmental damage on the planet? Is it really possible to know what the Earth will be like in 40 years?
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