China Revs up in World in the Balance

Posted by Lia Chang on Sunday, 18 April 2004.

China Revs up in World in the Balance , the latest
NOVA, PBS' award-winning science series which explores the relationship between people and the planet, a two-hour Earth Day special that airs Tuesday, April 20, from 8 -10pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

In WORLD IN THE BALANCE , NOVA/PBS explore issues behind our planet's biggest environmental challenges. This two-hour Earth Day special airs on NOVA on Tuesday, April 20, from 8-10PM ET/PT on PBS.

In the first hour, The People Paradox , NOVA investigates three countries where social and economic forces have produced starkly different population profiles. Through intimate stories from India, Japan, and Kenya, World in the Balance provides an up-to-date global snapshot of today's human family, now numbering 6.3 billion and likely to increase to nearly 9 billion by 2050.

It took all of history until the year 1804 for human population to reach its first billion. Now, a billion new people are added every dozen years.

Rapid population growth puts stress on ecosystems, in addition to food and water resources in developing nations. Possiblities offered for the poor women's reproductive health rights in India to HIV in Kenya, include healthcare and family planning solutions to cope with this worldwide epidemic.

In Japan, Europe, and the United States-birth rates are falling steeply while the senior citizen population is booming. What does it mean to the United States work force as developing countries struggle to create jobs for burgeoning young populations?

For the second hour of World in the Balance , entitled China Revs Up , NOVA takes the pulse of China's economy, the fastest growing in the history of the world. This Earth Day special examines the stress on China's environment as the country's population becomes more affluent and follows in the consumption footsteps of the United States.

Now in its thirty-first year of broadcasting, NOVA is produced for PBS by the WGBH Science Unit. The director of the WGBH Science Unit and senior executive producer of NOVA is Paula S. Apsell. NOVA is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, and described for people who are blind or visually impaired by the Media Access Group at WGBH. The descriptive narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation, Sprint, and Microsoft. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. For more information visit