COMMENTS: Green Greener Greenest

All three networks have been bitten by the environmental bug. CBS launched a series with a grandiose title Saving the World and a modest suggestion. John Blackstone followed up on his February report on the mysterious deaths of honey bee colonies with a possible ecological remedy. The Field of Dreams hypothesis, developed by the University of California at Berkeley, says that planting wild flowers can restore the bumblebee population, which will pollenate orchards naturally. "If you build it, will they come?" biologist Claire Kremen wondered.

ABC continued its Key to the World series, sending Bill Weir to Madagascar with its "bizarre canyons of spear tip limestone and surreal alleys of giant baobab trees." A combination of extreme poverty and exploitation by mining conglomerates is clearing forests and removing topsoil: "When it rains, erosion turns rivers the color of blood," he demonstrated. The government's solution is eco-tourism and it has set aside millions of acres for viewing of lemurs and chameleons and fossas: "Getting the people to come and getting their money to locals are much bigger challenges." Accordingly, Weir's pictures provided publicity for the island's tourist board: "Madagascar is like another planet."

From the sublime to the mundane, NBC continued its America Goes Green series with Anne Thompson's shopper's dilemma: plastic or paper? Plastic bags are harmful because they do not degrade, create solid waste and harm marine wildlife; paper bags because their manufacture causes more pollution. Environmentalists told her that "the best choice is cloth or canvas and BYOB--bring your own bag" when you go grocery shopping.


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