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Monday 28 July 2014: Naturalist and Wildlife Film-maker - Chris Packham

Hardtalk is in the heart of the English countryside, a habitat that is rich in wildlife but for how much longer? The impact of human beings here, as in so much of the world, is putting enormous pressure on natural ecosystems. Stephen Sackur speaks to Chris Packham, one of Britain’s best known naturalists and campaigners for wildlife protection. Is it time to radically rethink man’s relationship with the natural world?

Tuesday 29 July 2014: What has Happened to El Nino?

At the start of 2014 meteorologists warned of a possible El Nino event this year. The portents were persuasive – a warming of the central Pacific much like that which preceded the powerful El Nino event of 1997. But since then the Pacific climate system seems to have stalled. What’s going on? What are the prospects for an El Nino to develop later this year? What impacts might it have? Roland Pease delves below the Pacific surface to find out what drives El Nino cycles, the most powerful single climate fluctuation on the planet, and asks the experts why it is so hard to forecast. “The year started with a bang,” one expert tells Discovery – will it end with a whimper?

Wednesday 30 July 2014: At the End of Death Row

Following recent botched executions in several states, Rajini Vaidyanathan asks whether the future of the death penalty in the US is itself now in question. She travels to Tennessee to investigate how the case of one death row inmate started a legal process which has created a severe shortage of drugs for lethal injections – making the death penalty more difficult, expensive and legally complex to carry out across the country.  Rajini also speaks to death penalty supporters, and a new breed of opponents, about how they are trying to change the political debate around the death penalty. Is it possible that the United States could give up on the death penalty?

Thursday 31 July 2014: Tornado: Hide and Seek

When a twisting funnel drops from the sky with tearing winds of up to 500 km/h, what do you do? In Oklahoma, people thought they knew the answer. The state is in the heart of tornado alley in the US, where the public is regularly drilled on storm awareness. But when the largest storm ever recorded formed on the outskirts of Oklahoma City last year, people ignored the best advice and nearly died in their thousands. Now, officials are nervously watching where the next storm will form – and trying to figure what people will do when it does. Neal Razzell goes out and about with the storm chasers in Oklahoma City.