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tv   Global 3000  PBS  December 16, 2015 12:30am-1:01am PST

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>> a strong signal is due to be sent from paris not only about fighting terrorism, but also about tackling another worldwide threat -- global warming. starting next monday, the international community gathers in the french capital to negotiate a climate treaty in which all countries not just industrialized ones commit to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. it's about time as this edition of "global 3000" will show. under water -- why the largest island in ladeshs bein submerged. ice-free alaska -- we visit a region where climate change has
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already arrived. and the power of the jaguar -- an ancient animal god helps conservation in colombia. two degrees celsius by the end of the century that's the limit the international community wants to set on global warming. a rise of two degrees celsius ov pndtrialevelsould keep the effects of climate change manageable. but in order to stay within this limit, countries will have to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. in the run-up to the climate conference in paris, many countries have pledged to do so. but this is not first time the international community has tried to address this increasingly urgent issue. >> rising carbon emissions are threatening communities in many parts of the planet. for twenty years, the international community has sought to reach agreement on how to limit their effect on climate change. and yet greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.
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the leading co2 polluter is china, accounting for 23.4% of global emissions, followed by the us with 14.6%, india, russia and brazil. the goal of limiting global warming to no more than two degrees celsius over pre-industrial levels now feels like a distant dream. the copenhagen climate conference in 2009 made it clear just how difficult reaching agreement would be. many view that conference as a failure. there was virtually no progress on climate goals. that's a scenario environmentalists don't want repeated in paris. the aims of the paris talks are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. to ensure environmental goals are reviewed regularly. and to introduce new checks to increase transparency. and, unlike in the past, the agreements are to be binding. but emerging economies like india and brazil don't want to see their economic growth slowed down. rapid growth often comes at the expense of the environment. developing countries continue to
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suffer the most from the effects of climate change. drought in some areas, floods in others. and yet they are by far the lowest carbon emitters. the green climate fund, set up last year, aims to achieve more justice. industrial nations pay into the fund, which is used to finance climate protection measures worldwide. donors have pledged to pay in 100 billion us dollars a year by 2020. but only 10 billion have been collected to date. and china, the world's highest co2 emitter, is not yet part of the fund. beijing has promised to reduce its emissions, but not until after 2030. >> which just may be a bit late to turn things around. it's a physical fact that water
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expands as it gets warmer. that's one reason why sea levels are rising as the oceans heat up due to global warming. and that is threatening the very existence of many small island states. because it is so low-lying, the south asian country of bangladesh is also threatened by rising sea levels. and bangladesh's bhola island, in one of the world's largest river deltas is particularly vulnerable. >> driving through lush green forest, we soon arrive at the coast. everything looks to be in order. but take a good look because in a few years time none of this will be here. the houses, the plants, the palm trees will all be gone. submerged under water. mohammad hassan has already lost his house, his land and everything he possessed.
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even his fishing boat belongs to his employer. >> my life is so hard. i have moved six times in recent years, and each time the land was flooded and i had to move on. now i have no money left. my family and i often go hungry. we're going through a terrible time. >> hassan lives in bhola, the largest island of bangladesh. it's situated at the mouth of the meghna river, which flows down from the himalayas. as a result of global warming, many of the glaciers in the himalayas are melting, causing water levels here to rise steadily. they could rise by as much as four metres by the end of the century, leaving much of the island submerged. >> the government is always promising to give us help. but so far nothing has happened. they're just leaving us to go under. >> hassan knows that climate
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change is what's causing the erosion of bhola's coast and that at some stage the island will be completely under water. he got his information from a local environment expert, mizanur rahman. he runs an association called "coast", which seeks to help the victims of climate change by listening to their problems and informing them of new developments. but these days rahman has no good news. >> the houses near the beach can't be saved, nor the mosque right behind me either. the floods come with such force, they could be submerged within two weeks. >> over the past two years, twenty thousand families have lost their homes and jobs, and were forced to move further inland. but starting over again takes money. that's what this man, like many others here, doesn't have. he owns a few cows and goats but he has lost his grazing land to the sea.
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>> i'm totally bankrupt. the land was my main asset. my house is ruined and it can't just be rebuilt elsewhere. and the prices for good land are constantly going up. >> further away from the coast, there's little sense of that despair. this area is on higher ground and likely to remain dry for the time being. it's market day and fish are plentiful. fishing is the main source of income for most of the islanders. but there's a gradual exodus from bhola. every day, ferries leave from the main port, heading for the bangladeshi capital dhaka. some of the passengers hope to build a new life for themselves there. but most who've gone before them live in poverty. much of the country is impoverished, and densely populated. bangladesh has twice the population of germany, but is half the size and now the land is even shrinking.
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but most people in bhola don't want to give up their way of life. they hope that the existing levees, made of mud and bamboo canes, will soon be replaced with a more stable solution made of concrete. but it would cost around five million euros just to secure the worst affected areas of the coast. >> we worked with experts and developed a plan and submitted it to the government. if we get the money and can secure the levees, that will at least protect the villages for a while. >> behind the levee, mohammad hassan, has found makeshift accommodation. a bamboo hut, which he shares with his wife and three children. today he just earned enough for all five of them to eat their fill. he doesn't want to think about what might happen if he is once again forced to find a new home.
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>> i worry most of all about my daughters. how can i find someone to marry them? how can i find work for them? you can't get a job without paying a bribe. but i have no money. and when i die, who will take care of them? >> the villagers know there's a major climate conference happening somewhere far away, and that help for bangladesh is on the agenda. mohammad hassan hopes that some of it, somehow, will change his life. before it's too late. >> small comfort to hassan in bangladesh, probably, but in rich countries, too, people's livelihoods are threatened by climate change. a case in point is the us-state of alaska, part of which borders on the arctic ocean. the arctic temperature is warming at a rate almost twice the global average, and sea ice at the north pole has decreased by more than ten percent over the last decades. as dw's gero schließ found out
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from inhabitants in kivalina in northwestern alaska, climate change is having other effects as well. >> they're getting ready to go out fishing. the whole family helps push the boat out. they head out several times a week. reppi swan depends on fishing to make a living, like many in kivalina. fish is a basic staple for him and his family. they couldn't survive without it. since the weather conditions turned warmer in kivalina, reppi swan has had to go further afield to catch fish. and the fish stocks themselves have also changed. >> this used to be our trout. you see a lot of trout here. and then i guess we start getting more salmon and now we're getting salmon here. >> climate change has caused the water temperature to go up, creating perfect conditions for salmon.
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but salmon alone aren't sufficient for getting this fishing community through the winter. in the past they always caught whales and seals too. >> you gotta watch the net. >> it's been 20 years since the village caught a decent-sized whale. now the seals have disappeared too, after the ice cover, on which they depend, suddenly melted last winter. >> everybody was shocked that the ice didn't come back when it went it out. so it made everything a whole lot harder and only a few people got some bearded seals and those were just not enough. >> climate change is threatening the future of the entire community. kivalina is situated on a narrow strip of land. with the ice off the coast now melting earlier, the village is left largely exposed to the ocean during winter storms. that has speeded up erosion, bringing the sea ever closer to the houses.
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scott rupp is a climate scientist at the university of alaska. he's been observing this trend for years. >> what we have seen in certain places along the coast of alaska kivalina being a great example of that is just really substantial losses of coastal territory from this erosion process. and places like kivalina are in a very bad situation of needing to do something because they are literally falling into the ocean. >> kivalina is home to just over 400 people. it's a close-knit community with a simple lifestyle. most of the homes don't have running water. and some accommodate up to 20 people. but they want to hold on to their way of life. and yet it's not clear how long they can stay here. the mayor is hoping a protective wall will keep the sea back. but he's knows it can only buy them time. >> it's supposed to give us at
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least 15 years, may be more, protection from the fall storms and winter storms. if it goes beyond that, that's great you know, gives us a little more time to find other solutions to either move the village or add on land by filling in. >> some are hoping the effects of climate change will slow down in alaska. but scott rupp says that's not likely. >> all these issues are tied in to this rapid warming at polar regions. a doubling of temperatures at high latitudes relative to the rest of the earth. all that is positively feeding back into this cycle of additional warming. >> many fishing families in kivalina are now reluctantly thinking about moving away, and
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founding a new village somewhere else. they've even found a suitable place. but the government has yet to approving funding for infrastructure. the new village would also be further away from the sea. >> i think i would stay in kivalina, because staying away from the ocean and the rivers disconnect everything, it's just gonna get harder and more expensive. >> global warming has already changed the livelihoods of the people of kivalina. it's very unlikely that reppi swan's children will have any future here. >> every day, climate scientists are finding out more about how global warming is affecting ice shelves, mountain glaciers, and coral reefs. yet there remain many, many open questions. one has to do with desert dust. scientists know that the dust whirled up in the sahara desert has some effect on the global climate.
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but exactly what is it? >> every year some 5 billion tons of minute particles are absorbed into the air around us. around half comprises desert dust. these tiny specks are between a hundred and a thousand times thinner than a human hair. >> the greatest producer of desert dust is the sahara in north africa. it's 26 times the size of germany and is the largest hot desert in the world. does the sahara dust have an impact on the global climate? storms carry the dust particles up to seven kilometers high. the air currents there then pull them west and over the atlantic. the light colored sand reflects and scatters sunlight. that means that only part of the sun's radiation manages to reach the ground. the result is less heat stored
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in forests, lakes, rivers, and oceans and less returned to the atmosphere. the particles also have an effect on rainfall. researchers have determined that the amount of water in clouds decreases as the amount of dust in the air increases. most of the particles from the sahara eventually descend over the atlantic. at the equator the drizzle of dust, with its iron-, phosphorus- and nitrogen-containing minerals, fertilizes the surface of the ocean. these minerals promote the growth of tiny marine plants. they in turn increases the ocean's ability to absorb and neutralize co2 and other greenhouse gases from the air. some of the dust makes it as far as south america. more than half of the minerals and other nutrients found in the amazon rainforest in fact hail
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from the sahara. these natural fertilizers are vital for the health of the rain forests and their capacity for absorbing co2 from the air. the sahara may be a hostile environment but in the bigger picture it's a live-saving source of nutrients. >> when was the last time i saw a monkey? years ago, and at the zoo, not in a forest. because the fact of the matter is that monkeys and apes are disappearing from the face of the earth as the forests they live in are cleared to make space for roads, houses, and farm land. but dw's ruth krause visited a small national park in the south american country of colombia where they do things differently to ensure that humans can co-exist peacefully with their closest relatives.
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>> this is the sound of the colombian red howler monkey. jorge ferrer and his coworker want to know how many of them are living in the los colorados national park. they've been walking for three hours now. >> [whispering] look, another one! that's now three juveniles, three adults and one pregnant female let's see if there are any more surprises! >> what is it that he loves about monkeys? >> [whispering] maybe it's because they look like little people up there, that are asking themselves: "what are they doing down there? are they protecting us? or wanting to harm us?" look, they're watching us!
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>> the howler monkeys are just one of many species of ape living in the park which covers only 10 square kilometres. the cotton-top tamarin, for example, is found only in colombia and is a critically endangered species. the park is also home to several hundred species of birds. there even used to be jaguars in the region, but deforestation and farming have all taken their toll. the park is the last refuge for the animals, but it's too small. >> in the medium-term we're going to get problems with inbreeding and genetic exchange and it will be more difficult to find sufficient space for predators and birds of prey, because the area is shrinking in size. >> surrounded by areas that have
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been cleared, the park is like an island of dense forest. right next door is the small town of san juan nepomuceno, and a busy road which leads right down to the coast. and this is another common sight in the park: garbage, left behind by settlers in the park. more than 400 people have now taken up residence here. luis ortega is one of them. he's building a house here, although that's actually illegal. but houses in the town are in short supply, and those that are available are expensive. he only just ekes out a living doing odd jobs. >> i'm building a house here so that my children have a future. i have three children and a wife, my sister-in-law... a big family. and i just want a better future for my family.
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>> colombia has seen more than half a century of conflict, between government forces, drug gangs and paramilitary groups. like many, luis and his family fled the fighting. now he's glad that he will once again have somewhere to call home. >> for us it's safe here, safer than before in the mountains. here we're close to the village, we're not right in the village but at least we feel safe here. >> out on patrol in the park, staff here are well aware of the residents, but are reluctant to just simply throw them out. luis ortega would be happy to relocate, if he were offered a better house elsewhere. but there's no money available for that. it's a tough challenge to balance the needs of humans and animals. >> it's a really difficult
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situation. so we try to find solutions by working with them. one solution is resettlement. but we also try to limit the damage by raising awareness of how important it is to protect the environment. >> staff at the park have developed a long-term strategy of educating the younger generation in the importance of caring for their surroundings. a group of young people from the town are receiving a guided tour. some of them live in settlements within the park. this gorge once served as a temple for the indigenous malibu people. for them, nature was sacred. >> we want to recultivate this, to show the young people how important mother nature was in the past, so that they learn to treasure it like their ancestors did.
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>> these petroglyphs were etched into the rock by the malibu. they lived here right up until just a few centuries ago. >> all the animals were like brothers to them. but the jaguar was different, more like a god if you like. and they honoured their god with this symbol. >> it's the first time the high-school students have had the chance to learn about their cultural heritage. >> we hope that some of them will later become biologists, or will have the opportunity to study. if we don't preserve what we have, none of this means g, the less you value it. >> a game helps the young people become more familiar with the old symbols and the different species living in the park. >> and the number 13 fits with?
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28! >> it's impressive when you see all this for the first time. i just can't describe it. there are some unforgettable species here. >> staff hope that one day jaguars will again live in the park. in honour of the wild feline and in memory of the malibu, jorge and his colleagues organize an annual "jaguar festival". it's an opportunity for people from the town to come together and celebrate nature. aside from the fun, jorge is delighted that the idea has caught on. >> satisfied, happy. we were hoping that lots of people would come, and they did.
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and this is all the result of our strategy. so i'm happy that so many children have come. >> it's his hope that if the children grow up appreciating their surroundings, they will later help ensure the survival of the park. >> some hope there that humans may actually one day protect the environment they live in, and still be able to live off it. that brings us to the end of this edition of "global 3000." do join us again next week! until then, thanks for watching, all the best and tschuss.
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steves: we're in rothenburg, germany's ultimate walled city. in the middle ages, when frankfurt and munich were just wide spots on the road, rothenburg was one of germany's largest cities,
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with a whopping population of 6,000. today, even with its crowds and overpriced souvenirs, i love this place. during rothenburg's heyday -- that was about 1200 to 1400 -- it was the intersection of two great trading routes -- prague to paris and hamburg to venice. but today, the great trade is tourism. rothenburg is a huge hit with shoppers. true, this is a great place to buy cuckoo clocks, steins, and dirndls, but see the town first. most of the buildings were built by 1400. like many medieval towns, the finest and biggest houses were built along herrengasse, named for the herren, or the wealthy class. the commoners built higgledy-piggledy farther from the center, near the walls. hanging shop signs advertise what they sold -- knives, armor, bread, whatever.
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rothenburg's wall, with its beefy fortifications and intimidating gates, is about a mile around and provides great views and a good orientation. rodertor is the only tower you can actually climb. it's worth the hike for the commanding city view and the fascinating display on the bombing of rothenburg in the last weeks of world war ii, when much of the city was destroyed. but rothenburg's most devastating days were 400 years ago, during the thirty years' war. in the 1600s, the catholic and protestant armies were fighting all across europe. the catholic army took the protestant town of rothenburg, and as was customary, they planned to execute the town leaders and pillage and plunder the place. but the catholic general had an idea. he said, "hey, if someone in this town can drink "a three-liter tankard filled with wine in one gulp, i'll spare the city." according to legend, rothenburg's retired mayor nusch said, "i can do that." mayor nusch drank the whole thing, the town was saved,
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and the mayor slept for three days. and today, tourists gather on the town square several times daily for a less-than-thrilling reenactment of that legendary chug. nice story, but in actuality, the town was occupied and ransacked several times during that 30 years of war, and when peace finally came, rothenburg was never again a major player. it slumbered peacefully until rediscovered in the 19th century by those same romantics who put the rhine on the grand tour map. they came here to paint and write about the best-preserved medieval town in germany. shops are filled with etchings and prints inspired by this 19th century romantic take on the town.
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>> memphis, tennessee... it has been written if music were religion, then memphis would be jerusalem and sun studio its most sacred shrine. and you are here. with grace askew. ♪ love ain't nothing but a drug ♪ ♪ something to fill you up >> i'm a sixth general memphis citizen. we have mark on up right base and logan hanna on lead guitar. i've just been touring nonstop. that's kind of how i made my living for the past five


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