Jay Owen Earth Systems Science

EARTH: THE OPERATORS’ MANUAL (Program 1: premiered 2011, re-run 2012)

We have manuals for the things we value, like our cars and computers. So why not a manual for the most complex operating system of all—the Earth?

Is the planet due for an oil change? Why are fossil fuels unsustainable? Can renewable energy power the planet?

These and many other questions are answered in EARTH: THE OPERATORS’ MANUAL. This accurate, understandable and upbeat report on the interconnected stories of humans, fossil fuels, Earth’s climate history and our future energy options will leave you amazed at the beauty and bounty of the planet, inspired by human ingenuity, and optimistic about the future.

Travel the globe to see the evidence for yourself—from massive glaciers in New Zealand whose advance and retreat was tied to changing levels of carbon dioxide to the sunniest place in the world, the dunes near Yuma, AZ where solar power could offer 80% of Earth’s current use—with stops in China, Brazil, Morocco, Spain, New Orleans, Texas and US military bases.

Stunning photography, state-of-the-art animations and infographics combined with accessible science make this a must-see for anyone who cares about our planet and our future.

Hosted by geologist Richard Alley of Penn State University, author of the companion book, Earth: The Operators’ Manual, published by W. W. NORTON & COMPANY.


Watch here

Produced by Passport to Knowledge for PBS

Written and Directed by Geoff Haines-Stiles

Produced by Erna Akuginow


Funding for this program is provided by the National Science Foundation.