See What Happens When 'What If' Meets 'Why Not'
DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH Re-Engineers the Planet's Possibilities
World Premiere Series Airs Fridays, Beginning August 22 at 9 pm ET/PT on
SILVER SPRING, Md., July 10 -- You've heard the dire
warning; you've seen the detailed PowerPoint; you've even bought that light
bulb with the swirls, but how about some real action? Now the world's
leading scientists meet three uncompromising visionaries to put the most
ambitious geo-engineering ideas to the test, tackling global climate change
in DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH premiering Friday, August 22 at 9 pm ET/PT on
From covering acres of Greenland's glaciers in protective blankets to
stop it from melting to constructing space rockets to send tiny reflective
lenses into orbit to planting thousands of saplings via a mass aerial drop
to reforest barren areas, these are experiments on an epic scale. Each one
will push the boundaries of science and technology, but will they produce
groundbreaking environmental results?
Working with the scientists on these innovative experiments is the
DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH task force, each with a unique specialty: Jennifer
Languell, the tough talking eco-house-building engineer; Basil Singer, the
scientific boy wonder; and finally, the businessman who can fund the
impossible, venture capitalist, Kevin O'Leary.
Bank of America is the presenting sponsor of DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH.
"DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH is an experimental thrill ride of trial and
error, of cause and effect, of asking tough questions about our environment
and finding the brightest minds and most innovative approaches to tackle
these challenges," said John Ford, President and General Manager of
Discovery Channel. "These ideas sound outrageous, but they are 20 years
ahead of their time. This is science in the making."
DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH spans the globe, pinpointing areas of both
concern and opportunity in confronting climate change. The experiments
Stop the Melt
Dr. Jason Box, a glacierologist from Ohio State University wants to
prevent glaciers from melting by covering them with blankets that will
reflect the power of the sun. Jason is convinced that his specially chosen
material is resilient enough for Arctic conditions but just how
indestructible is it really?
Following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, thousands of
acres of Louisiana mangrove forests were left bare. The huge swath of land
presents a perfect proving ground for scientist Mark Hodges' idea to use an
aircraft to drop tens of thousands of canisters, each holding a tree
seedling to repopulate the forest.
Fred Fergussen, a Canadian engineer specializing in airships, has
designed a revolutionary wind turbine that will use the constant winds that
exist at 1,000 feet above sea level to produce a renewable energy. To pass
the test it will need to remain in the sky for 24 hours and provide the
necessary energy to power a water purification unit.
John Latham, an atmospheric physicist based at the National Center for
Atmospheric Research in Colorado, and Stephen Salter, an Edinburgh
University engineer, believe that by changing the size of water droplets in
clouds they can increase the clouds ability to reflect the sun and stop
global warming. Their vision is to build a flotilla of ships that will roam
the world's oceans and seed clouds with minute particulates.
Scrubbing the Air Clean
What if we could solve the problem of global warming by just scrubbing
the air clean of carbon dioxide before it has the opportunity to add to the
blanket of greenhouse gases smothering the earth? Canadian professor David
Keith - the 2006 Canadian Geographic Environmental Scientist of the Year -
believes he can with a machine that sucks in ambient air sprays it with
sodium hydroxide solution and then expels it as clean air.
Oceans cover 70 percent of our planet and are the most important carbon
sink we have, but the phytoplankton that converts carbon dioxide into
living matter is dying off from climate change. Dr. Brian von Herzen of the
California Institute of Technology will deploy five wave-powered pumps in
the rough Hawaiian surf in an attempt to restore this critical natural
Astronomer and professor Roger Angel thinks he can diffract the power
of the sun by placing trillions of lenses in space and creating a 100,000
square mile sunshade. See how the lenses are constructed and the rocket
delivery system is tested in this audacious experiment to reduce the
Space Solar Power
We could have a source of never-ending power and, at the same time,
reduce our carbon emissions to virtually zero by sending thousands of
satellites into space, which will gather energy from the sun and then beam
them down to earth as a microwave. Former NASA physicist John Mankins puts
his theory into practice.
MEET THE DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH TASK FORCE
Kevin O'Leary - The Entrepreneur
Kevin O'Leary is an out and out business giant. He hungers for the big
deals and attacks them like a speeding freight train. One of Canada's
best-known businessmen turned TV investment stars; Kevin is featured on ROB
TV's popular investment show, 'Squeeze Play' and 'Dragons' Den'.
As with all entrepreneurs, Kevin's success story began with a big idea
and no cash. It is a rags to riches tale where from the basement of his
house he launched The Learning Company, which developed software to help
kids learn to read and do math. In 1999, Kevin sold his company to the
Mattel Toy Company for a staggering $3.7 billion, one of the largest tech
deals in Canadian history.
He is also a cofounder and investor in Storage Now, a fast growing
storage company and a director and Shareholder of Environmental Management
Solutions. Kevin is on the investment committee of Boston's prestigious
200-year-old Hamilton Trust.
Dr. Jennifer L. Languell - The Engineer
Dr. Jennifer L. Languell is a trail blazer. Not only is she a female
engineer in a field that is still largely a man's world, but she is also
leading the way in revolutionizing the real estate, design and construction
industries through her multi award winning company Trifecta Construction
She is a specialist in the implementation of sustainable construction
techniques, programs. Jennifer is an award winning author who has developed
a guide for green residential construction in Florida and cost guidelines
for materials and building systems for Florida's public education
Jennifer is co-founder and Vice President of ConstructGreen and the
Director of Planning for Florida Gulf Coast University's Green Building
Demonstration & Learning Center.
Dr. Basil Singer - The Scientist
A quantum physicist, science geek, television presenter, skateboarder
and kite surfer, Dr. Basil Singer is a man of many talents. Not afraid of
adventure, he is an "extreme scientist" equally adept at freezing atoms to
the point of absolute zero or catching monumental air with his kite board.
When he's not filming science shows or explaining the physics behind
break dancing, Basil can be found in the lab at the family business, Singer
Instruments Co. Ltd, in Somerset, England. As both Manager and Senior
Physicist it is Basil's job to build and develop robots and scientific
instrumentation which is sold to institutions worldwide to aid research
into cancer treatments.
A self confessed nerd, Basil has a profound passion for science and
particularly physics. During his PhD Basil froze atoms to 3 micro Kelvin,
that's 3 millionth's of a degree above absolute zero, the coldest
temperature in the universe. The results of these experiments could, one
day, help develop teleportation devices and super computer brains the size
of a grain of sand.
DISCOVERY PROJECT EARTH is produced for Discovery Channel by Impossible
Pictures. Tim Haines is executive producer for Impossible Pictures. Paul
Gasek is the executive producer for Discovery Channel. Gasek also serves as
Senior Science Editor for Discovery Channel.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications is the world's number-one nonfiction media
company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170
countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy
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services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including
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Company (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S.
Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information, please