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Networks Celebrate Earth Day With Programming About Future of Our Planet

Eye on Earth on CBS
(Image credit: CBS)

Networks are geared up for Earth Day, with a range of programming touching on key environmental issues. The programs look into climate change, water, and how life is changing on Earth. 

Earth Day is April 22. 

CBS News has launched Eye on Earth: Our Planet in Peril. Ben Tracy, CBS News senior national and environmental correspondent; Mark Phillips, senior foreign correspondent; Debora Patta, foreign correspondent; and Jeff Berardelli, CBS News climate specialist, are heading up coverage. 

The initiative reflects the recently announced merger of CBS News and CBS Television Stations. Its emphasis on water “will give audiences both a high-altitude view on the challenges our oceans face like pollution and rising sea levels, as well as deep dives on topics like the water equity crisis in Jackson, Miss., and how both seaweed cultivation and offshore wind energy could change the game in the fight against climate change,” said CBS News. 

CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning touch on climate change this week, as Face the Nation and 60 Minutes did last Sunday.

“Climate change affects everyone, especially future generations. It’s not only a worry for scientists and environmentalists but is something all of us as humans should be thinking about every day,” said Al Ortiz, CBS News’ vice president of standards and practices. “That perspective has shaped our ongoing reporting on climate change for years and is informing how we can capitalize on Earth Day as a moment to objectively report on these challenges. We hope to provide the audience with specific solutions and illuminate potential opportunities to help make our world better.”

CBS’s local reporting includes WCBS New York looking at the future of tap water in the market, KCBS Los Angeles examining drought issues in that region, and WBBM Chicago detailing breakdowns in the billing practices of the Chicago Department of Water Management. 

Premiering April 21, Hulu has the ABC News special It’s Not Too Late: Earth Day Special, hosted by chief meteorologist Ginger Zee. Zee and correspondents Matt Gutman, Gio Benitez and Maggie Rulli “take viewers on a global journey of discovery to showcase the planet’s rich biodiversity that’s at stake, the scientific link between extreme weather and climate change and the auto industry’s bold plans to become carbon neutral within the next 20 years,” summarizes ABC News. 

ABC News Live streams the special at 8 p.m. April 22. 

World News Tonight, anchored by David Muir, reports on climate change all week. 

NBC News is covering climate change all week as well. Lester Holt, anchor of NBC Nightly News, visited Houston after the rough winter storms ravaged the area. Al Roker sat with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan on Today, and ventured to Michigan for a look at General Motors’ all-electric vehicle assembly plant.  

On April 22, Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet the Press and political director at NBC News, spoke with environmental activist Erin Brockovich on Meet the Press Reports. That’s on NBC News NOW and streams on Peacock the following day. 

On MSNBC, NBC News correspondent Josh Lederman speaks with Ohio residents about President Biden’s plans to create green energy jobs for oil, gas and coal workers displaced by the transition from fossil fuels. 

Streaming network NBCLX offers five hours of live content pertaining to the environment April 22. At 4 p.m. that day, LX Live from the Bottom of the Ocean looks at the ocean floor off Florida. Tabitha Lipkin hosts. 

Also on April 22, Disney Plus offers docu-series Secrets of the Whales. James Cameron executive produces the four-part series and Sigourney Weaver narrates. The series “plunges viewers deep within the epicenter of whale culture to experience the extraordinary communication skills and intricate social structures of five different whale species,” said Disney Plus. That includes orcas, humpbacks, belugas, narwhals and sperm whales.

Michael Malone
Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.