"Four or five years ago you couldn’t give environmental and conservation programmes away, but in the past 18 months, the increase in concern about
global warming has changed that, and international broadcasters are increasingly asking what we’ve got coming down the line," says Ian Jones, president of distributor National Geographic Television International (NGTI).
Looking ahead, National Geographic US will make its
Earth Report - a signature year-end programme that premiered at the end of 2006 - an annual event. Essentially, it is an audit on sustainability and quality of life indicators across the planet, specifically looking at the impact of human activity on
the Earth in the previous year. For 2007 there will be an extended web component and the National Geographic magazine will initiate a major push, as will all of the National Geographic channels. In addition, National Geographic is working on a major society-wide
global warming project, and it is also preppinga sequal to the series Strange Days on Planet Earth,
with many episodes set to have a definite green tinge.
However, based on projects in development now, the lion’s share of programming in 2008 will focus on what people are doing, and what we can all do
to reverse the effects of global warming. Broadcasters are shying away from doomsday warnings, and are instead using terms like ’empowering,’ ’inspiring,’ ’aspirational,’ and ’proactive’ to describe the programming they’re after.
New programming throughout the coming year will also likely look at the economic repercussions of going green, from the impact of energy and fuel
conservation on our own wallets to big decisions that politicians face, like enforcing clean industry and promoting train transport above air travel.