Segments in this Video

Earth on Edge (04:38)


The endangered species today is "us." A most ambitious process is underway to study the earth's life support systems. Demands are putting all earth's resources at risk.

Great Plains of Kansas (04:16)

The Great Plains took hundreds of thousands of years to create. Farmers began cultivating the land in the 1850s exposing it to the elements and triggering its undoing.

Environmental Disasters (03:14)

A quiet unseen crisis of farmland is created by drought, wind, and rain that are making it likely that nothing will grow. One farmer is making a huge difference with small changes.

Farming the Government (01:56)

The federal government pays farmers 28 million dollars a year in subsidies if they use pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals travel into the Mississippi River's polluted Dead Zone.

Farming the Natural Way (04:43)

Kansas farmer, Charlie Neulander, is recreating diversity and balance in the prairie by refusing to use pesticides and bringing back the original grasses. It has proven cost effective.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (04:35)

Experts discuss the effects of pollution, overpopulation, and destruction of the ecosystem on the environment and humanity. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment addresses these issues.

Water (02:00)

The most valuable and imperiled resource in the world is fresh water. Water is needed for everything, but it is not forever. Less than three percent of the water on earth is fresh water.

South Africa's Water Crisis (04:03)

One-half of South Africa's rivers are in danger of drying up within 50 years because of invasive non-native trees brought to the area by Europeans.

"Working for Water" Projects (04:23)

There are 290 projects in South Africa fighting invasive alien trees. After they are identified, cutters/slashers move in to kill them, and rivers begin to flow again.

Projects Fight Poverty (04:10)

One-third of South Africans already does not have enough water and lives in chronic poverty. "Working for Water" provides healthcare and basic necessities.

Illusion of Abundant Water Supply (05:49)

Water is critical. Experts discuss the illusion of continual progress and growth as not realistic, and people need to understand the government is subsidizing environmental degradation.

Clear Cutting in British Columbia (03:58)

In British Columbia and other areas of the Pacific Northwest, one-half of the original forests have been clear cut, much of them in the last 30 years threatening the ecosystem.

Iisaak Forest Project (04:30)

In Clayoquot Sound, BC, environmentalists and the timber industry clash. Ucuelet First Nation creates the Iisaak Forest Project to manage forests in an environmentally healthy way.

Variable Retention (04:23)

Variable retention is what the forest gets to keep. This forestry process mimics the way the forest sustains itself by respecting wildlife habitats and overall ecological relationships.

Marketing Certified Wood (02:39)

Forestry collaborators in BC brainstorm ways to market certified wood for more money. Will consumers and large timber companies cooperate?

Threats of Extinction (03:09)

Tropical biologist Adrian Forsyth, Ph.D. studies how forest systems work. He states that animals and plants need lot of area to persist and be viable, and once extinct, they do not come back.

No Regrets Policy (01:55)

Forsyth believes in the "No Regrets Policy" to save all species because we do not yet know what value all these species hold for our descendents.

Earth's Ecosystem (01:33)

Two experts talk about the poverty of information we have about the range and wonder of life on our planet and what sustains it. How can we preserve it if we do not understand it?

The Asian Steppe (03:04)

The largest patch of grassland left on earth is the Asian Steppe in Mongolia. Goat herders rotate pastures to preserve the grasslands.

Grasslands in Trouble (05:01)

Everything depends on the grasslands, and they are in trouble. When Mongolia changed to a market economy, more people began herding which has created desert-like conditions from over-grazing.

Mongolia's Economic Challenges (04:46)

People naturally want comfort and convenience and stay closer to markets. International scientists conclude that Mongolia's economy must diversify to preserve the land.

Current State of the Earth (06:25)

Paleontologist Michael Novacek Ph.D. talks about the mass extinction that the earth is currently facing, and the time to act is now. The earth is in decline, but can be held in check.

Brazil's Coastal Ecosystem (03:10)

Brazil's coastal ecosystem is 3000 kilometers long. Over-fishing and tourism endangers the coral reefs and marine life near Tamandare.

InterAmerican Development Bank (02:23)

Funded by Brazil's government the Bank studies the ecosystem, educates the public, and involves them in the process of preservation. They create the largest marine protected area in Brazil.

Deforestation of Mangrove Trees (04:53)

Coastal ecosytems depend on land ecosystems to survive. Deforestation endangers the sea due to sedimentation. Mangrove trees along the Rio Formoso are being harvested.

Consequences of Tourism (03:27)

Sixty percent of the Mangrove Trees along Brazil's coastline have been destroyed and turned into luxury hotels for tourism. Seventy percent of the world's reefs are at risk.

Global Warming (05:54)

Experts discuss consequences of global warming and other practices. Coral reefs are an entire kind of ecosystem that are dying because of warming of the earth caused by human activities.

Greatest Human Challenge (06:34)

Everyday the earth sends an SOS. We are on the edge of the greatest challenge humans have ever faced. Experts give their opinions on the state of the earth and the remedies.

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Bill Moyers Reports: Earth on Edge

DVD Price: $99.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $149.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Filmed in collaboration with the World Resources Institute, this Bill Moyers program assesses the state of the environment. Combining interviews with leading scientists and reports from Mongolia, British Columbia, Brazil, South Africa, and the state of Kansas, Moyers and his team of award-winning producers explore the impact that human activities have had on the planet while posing an urgent question: What is happening to Earth’s capacity to support nature and civilization? Computer graphics enhance this gripping documentary. (2 hours)

Length: 115 minutes

Item#: BVL11728

ISBN: 978-1-4213-1381-8

Copyright date: ©2001

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.