UCLA’s Stephanie Pincetl and David Nazar. | Image by Ty Woodson/KLCS

Special Project | 2020

Sustaining US — an environmental news program from PBS and UCLA

As climate change and other environmental threats continue to harm and threaten people’s daily lives, the United States remains politically and ideologically divided.

PBS show Sustaining US has partnered with UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability to foster earnest discussion — informed by top research and perspectives.

All 13 episodes of season one are available now on the program’s website.

Season two premiers Wednesday, October 6, and will air weekly on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. and the following Mondays at 5:30 p.m. You can watch on the following channels in Southern California or livestream on KLCS PBS.

Topics include:

  • Urban oil drilling
  • Green spaces and environmental justice
  • Cities then and now: rising sea levels
  • Homelessness and sustainability
  • Climate change and extreme weather
  • Heat islands and public health
  • The L.A. River

Host and producer: David Nazar
KLCS director/producer: Ty Woodson
Content producer: David Colgan

Season 2 episodes

Oil Drilling
Here in the U.S. oil production is commonly identified with places like Texas or the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. It’s not often we hear about the nation’s largest urban oilfield cutting through Los Angeles. The Inglewood Oilfield has been producing oil in Southern California for almost a century with part of the field slicing its way through Culver City. And now a city leader there is on a personal crusade to rid Culver City of the oil industry once and for all. Is oil drilling good for America. Should the U.S. be energy independent. Or is oil drilling the problem.
OC Desalination
Desalination is the process of turning ocean water into drinking water using reverse osmosis to take the salt out of the water. There are desal plants all throughout the U.S. and the world… in places like Carlsbad California… and as far away as Israel and Australia. And while this process has been a great success… desalination has also been met with great opposition from environmentalists who claim desal kills ocean and marine life. 
California Infrastructure
Did you know most of Los Angeles and parts of the California infrastructure are about 100 to 150 years old. So just what do we do with our aging buildings… bridges… pipelines… and tunnels… for example. Especially when California is continually the victim of Mother Nature with natural disasters like earthquakes… wildfires… heatwaves… mudslides… landslides… floods… drought. And then there’s certainly just the deterioration of these aging systems over the decades. How do we replace or even contain these systems without disrupting our lives. 
Ancient Cities
The evolution of a city is an education. Today’s cities are a continuation of what’s been learned thousands of years ago. Ancient cities presented opportunities that modern cities have copied. Everything from government and administrative systems to unique architecture and the management of dense population hubs. Ancient cities also had many challenges our cities are dealing with today. Everything from coastal erosion and floods to heatwaves and drought. So what have scientists and anthropologists learned from ancient cities. 
Kareiva Talks Build Back Better
Should climate change infrastructure projects be part of the Biden Build Back Better plan. Climate scientist Peter Kareiva talks to reporter David Nazar with Sustaining US on PBS.