Tuesday, February 12, 2008

National Geographic's 'Strange Days On Planet Earth'
Hosted By Edward Norton Returns For Second Season On Pbs In April

A series of seemingly unrelated events and issues are bubbling up from the depths of the world's water supply, forcing scientists and investigators to sleuth out solutions to some bizarre mysteries. What connection does over-fishing in Ghana have to a stench that occasionally overwhelms the coastal villages of Namibia? Why are majestic seabirds starving on remote Pacific Islands? What could be causing the flesh of America's most iconic fish, the striped bass, to melt? The cyclical causes and effects of these problems and the search for answers are chronicled in two new hours of the National Geographic series "Strange Days on Planet Earth," narrated by actor and environmentalist Edward Norton and airing on PBS stations Wednesday, April 23 (check local listings).

The acclaimed National Geographic series dives into the health of the world's water system. Shot on location around the world, the two new episodes, "Most Dangerous Catch" and "Dirty Secrets," follow teams of scientists as they investigate puzzling phenomena in fresh and sea water. These high-tech detective stories, with the fate of the planet at stake, expose some surprising links between catastrophic environmental events around the world. The series aims to deepen our understanding of these complex issues and inspire us all to take action.

National Geographic's "Strange Days on Planet Earth" is produced by Sea Studios Foundation in collaboration with National Geographic Television. The two-hour series has been underwritten by ITT Corporation, with additional support from the Packard Foundation and the National Science Foundation. The series will be complemented by materials for educators and a comprehensive Web site at www.pbs.org/strangedays.

"Our goal with 'Strange Days' is to help people understand that no environmental issue stands on its own," said Mark Shelley, executive director of the Sea Studios Foundation. "Every issue the planet faces, even one as seemingly distant to our lives as the increased trade of bushmeat in Ghana, has ripple effects for all species -- including ours -- around the world."

Series host Edward Norton, an award-winning actor, writer and director, is a dedicated environmental activist. He started the BP Solar Neighbors Program, which helps low-income families reduce their energy costs through the use of solar power. His involvement in "Strange Days" reiterates his commitment to preserving the planet and its resources.

Episode 1: "Most Dangerous Catch," premiering Wednesday, April 23, 2008 (check local listings)
In the West African nation of Ghana, olive baboons are ransacking crops and terrorizing villagers. Further down the coast in Namibia, a once rich fishing ground is struggling to recover while putrid fumes are exploding from the ocean depths, spewing greenhouse gases into the air. These and other events are linked to one activity -- over-fishing. It's become increasingly clear that our massive demands on the ocean are impacting life far beyond the shoreline, including Earth's own life-support systems. Can we reduce fishing pressures, restore fish stocks and protect ocean habitats in time to safeguard the health of life in the sea, on land and ultimately ourselves?

Episode 2: "Dirty Secrets," premiering Wednesday, April 23, 2008 (check local listings)
Scientists and citizens across the world are scrambling to solve a set of disturbing mysteries unfolding along the shores of rivers, estuaries, islands and the sea. Striped bass are succumbing to flesh-eating bacteria in Chesapeake Bay. Majestic seabirds are starving in Hawai'i. Coral reefs are weakening under a growing assault of invisible contaminants. Meanwhile, a known hormone-disrupting chemical is showing up in streams, rivers and other bodies of water across the nation, potentially jeopardizing the health of animals and humans. These mysteries share a similar culprit. Something is amiss in our water supply, and experts are racing the clock to find clues and devise lasting solutions.