Program Details
Air Time: 
11/20/2014 - 4:30pm - 4:59pm
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PSIP Description: 
Sinkholes in America are explored. The importance of extensive biodiversity is highlighted.
Long Description: 
USA: Sinkholes: Silent Threat from Below - The ground beneath our feet is not as firm as we'd like to believe. Nearly everywhere in the world is under threat from the earth simply opening up and swallowing everything: roads, cars, entire buildings. Various factors can lead to the formation of sinkholes, including mining, water-soluble rock layers, or subterranean undercutting after heavy rainfalls. Both natural and man-made processes can cause spaces to open up under the surface that grow until the top layer of soil collapses. Biodiversity: Why is it Important? An estimated fourteen million species of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms populate the Earth. Do we really need all of them? For humans at least, living amidst a very wide diversity of organisms is one of the most important bases of existence. Extensive biodiversity is important for a diverse diet, for instance. It also contributes to the balance of the ecosystem, including keeping air and water clean. Of vital importance is genetic diversity within species, which helps ensure that individual species can keep adapting and don't drop out of the food chain. But current estimates say as many as 130 species go extinct each day. Democratic Republic of the Congo: Forest Surveyor - The biodiversity of the Congo rain forests is unique. The forests are home to more than 400 mammal species, more than 1,000 bird species, and at least 10,000 plant species. But in the savannas of the lower reaches of the Congo River, the formerly rich fauna is almost extinct. The civil war and bushmeat hunting have greatly reduced the number of animals. Now the environmental organization WWF is sending biologists there to find out just how much biomass and biodiversity still exists in the Congo basin. Every sign of life, including hoof prints, is recorded in addition to collecting data from the air. Global Questionnaire: Emperatriz Garcia from Ecuador - Emperatriz Garcia is a vendor at a market in Quito. The sixty-six-year-old was born in Ecuador, and she thinks it's the most beautiful country in the world. She considers environmental pollution to be a negative consequence of globalization. She thinks there's too much plastic and harmful exhaust, and not just in Ecuador. Cameroon: Dreaming of a Career in Music - Artists such as Petit Pays, Mathematik, Sonny, and Mony Eka have made their mark with the West African style of music called Makossa. The rest of the world learned about Makossa thanks to jazz star Manu Dibango, who's now 80 years old. In the 1990s, Dibango created a new World Music genre by combining Makossa with jazz. Twenty-five-year-old Armel has his sights set on a similarly groundbreaking career. He lives with his siblings on the outskirts of the city of Douala. He says his greatest joy is playing in the band Sans Visa, which is mentored by musician Petit Pays.