A Geochemical History of Life on Earth: 4. The great chemistry experiment
Justin looks at the period since the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, which had seen a steadily cooling climate - until we humans turned up. What can the last 66 million years teach us about the likely consequences of climate change? And can our species make the next big evolutionary leap needed to tackle it? Adrian Lister of the Natural History Museum gives Justin a fossilised tour of how the Earth's fauna adapted to this changing climate.
The Story of Aids: 3. Aids denialism in South Africa
When Aids began to emerge in the USA and Europe in the 1980s, South Africa was a fractured country, divided by Apartheid. During this time, the ruling National Party seemed disinterested in preventing a disease which was mainly affecting black people and gay men. The fall of Apartheid and the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela didn't improve the situation - the country's first black president was overwhelmed with rebuilding a fragile nation, and the problem of HIV-Aids was pushed down the list of government priorities. But perhaps the most malignant factor shaping South Africa's response to the Aids crisis, was the influence of President Thabo Mbeki, who bought into conspiracies and misinformation, propagated by a fervent Aids denialism movement.
Climate: Changing seas
As world leaders, scientists and activists prepare for the UN climate change conference in Scotland, host Nuala McGovern hears how sea level rise is affecting islands in the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. People from the Bahamas, the US Florida Keys and a beach restaurant owner in Jamaica share their experiences of disappearing landscapes and their concerns for the future.
The UK’s rising Covid cases
More than 50,000 Covid cases have been recorded in the UK for the first time since mid-July. Hospital admissions are also rising, however, daily deaths have fallen slightly. Ros Atkins examines what’s behind the infections and what should happen next.
Denmark’s Red Van
A unique project aimed at reducing harm to women selling sex in Copenhagen… Every weekend night in Copenhagen’s red light district of Vesterbro, a group of volunteers pull up and park a Red Van. This is no ordinary vehicle. The interior is lit with fairy lights. There is a bed – and a ready supply of condoms. The Red Van constitutes a harm reduction strategy like no other. It is designed for use by women selling sex on the streets – somewhere they can bring their clients. Just as health workers might argue addicts should have a safe place where they can take their drugs to prevent overdoses, the Red Van NGO’s volunteers believe they are creating a more secure environment for Copenhagen’s sex workers or prostitutes.
Producer / presenter: Linda Pressly
(Image: The Red Van with some of its volunteers – Pauline Hoffman Schroder, Sine Plambech and Aphinya Jatuparisakul. Credit: BBC/Linda Pressly)