Our Favorite Climate Videos

November 15, 2011

Climate Action Reserve staff members are pleased to share and recommend their favorite climate-related videos. There’s a wealth of content available online that inform, inspire and entertain viewers while advancing climate solutions. We encourage you to share your favorite videos with us via the comment box below. (First five comments will win a Reserve stainless steel water bottle!) Thanks!

Tim DeChristopher Power Shift 2011 Keynote
suggested by Rhey Lee:
Tim DeChristopher is a climate activist who is currently serving a 2-year jail sentence for his protest of a BLM auction for oil and gas leases on federal lands. DeChristopher’s act of nonviolent civil disobedience was an earnest effort to prevent further environmental degradation and climate change. Many environmental activists commend his courage and moral conviction, and consider his actions to be an important act of civil disobedience akin to Rosa Park’s refusal to move to the back of the bus.In his Power Shift 2011 keynote, DeChristopher discusses the need to reduce emissions, stand against injustices and maintain our humanity. He reminds us that we have the power to create our vision of a healthy and just world. He encourages people to make real sacrifices, force political leaders to make tough choices and unite in the movement.
Frontline: Heat
suggested by Scott Hernandez:
Easily one of the most comprehensive accounts of the complex issues and challenges related to combating climate change. Frontline’s Heat is a good primer for anyone wanting to learn about climate change; from someone who’s new to the debate to those with years of experience in the issue, this video has something for everyone and it is presented in the straight-forward, matter-of-fact style that has made Frontline the gold-standard in documentary journalism.Also, it serves as a nice reminder of that brief time when both Democrats and Republicans supported aggressive action to avoid the extreme impacts of climate change…oh, the good ol’days.
Planet Earth: The Climate Puzzle
suggested by Gillian Calof:
My pick is the 1986 documentary called “The Climate Puzzle”, an episode of the 7-part PBS series called ‘Planet Earth’. I think the concepts were fairly groundbreaking at the time as climate science was not widely understood or discussed in the general media or by the masses back then. The video is a scientific look at the forces that generate our weather and a modeling of our past and future climates. It’s a fascinating look at climate science and I really marvel the fact that it is 25 years old!
Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish
suggested by Mary Alvarez:
Chef Dan Barber does an excellent job of presenting this very interesting topic in a clear, humorous, and passionate manner. This video covers a fantastic example of blending the necessity to produce fish through farming and the ability to do it in a purely sustainable way. It really hits home for me because my husband is studying to be a chef, and fish shortages are something he will have to face. In addition, I really enjoy eating fish, but am so jaded by all of the negative press about farmed fish and fish shortages that I am typically reluctant to buy it. This video gives me hope that more fish farmers will adopt these methods and become true champions of the environment and a source for healthier eating for people.
Confronting Climate Change, narrated by Al Gore
suggested by Katy Young:
This video features Al Gore describing Google Earth’s Climate Change software, which uses Google Earth as a platform for showing the devastating effects of climate change. In a matter of fact way, the video provides a holistic overview of global climate change through striking imagery and useful, straightforward information.
The Story of Stuff
suggested by Teresa Lang:
The Story of Stuff is a great video for both younger and older audiences, tracking the life of all the “stuff” that we use day-to-day, from extraction to production to distribution, consumption, and eventually disposal. I recommended this video, even though it isn’t focused directly on climate issues, because it really helps put in perspective how much each individual consumer contributes to how much waste is produced and eventually disposed in landfills. Though I think the video could be improved with a chapter about what happens to your stuff if it’s disposed in a landfill with a methane capture and destruction project, this still is a great lesson on the lifecycle of all that “stuff” we use in our daily lives.
The Daily Show: Weathering Fights
suggested by Rob Youngs:
I thought it was funny, and it is crazy how little coverage that study has received.
Senator Whitehouse speech on climate
suggested by Mark Havel:
This is a video of Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) delivering an impassioned speech on climate change and the lack of appropriate action in Washington. Fair warning, this is video is just over 23 minutes long, but it’s a great introduction to the science behind the issue and the risk of inaction. I highly encourage you to watch it, but if you can’t spare 23 minutes and 2 seconds, the transcript can be found here: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/10/19/347768/senator-whitehouses-climate-speech/
The Secret – Planet Earth
suggested by Jennifer Weiss:
I love opportunities to see images showing how breathtaking our planet is. They remind me of the importance of everyone’s work to protect it.
suggested by Sarina Tounian:
The movie Tapped really goes into depth about corporate giants like Nestle that find rich sources of groundwater in the US and sell the water back to the US, ultimately depleting the resource from the area. It shows real stories concerning major health and environmental effects of using and manufacturing plastic bottles, and how drinking tap water is the same as drinking bottled water, minus the environmental damage.
The Story of Agriculture and the Green Economy
suggested by Heather Raven:
The Story of Agriculture and the Green Economy showcases the linkages between climate change, farming, economic growth, sustainability, gender, and other social issues. The video focuses on developing countries but has global applicability. The animated video will appeal to a wide age-range and variety of audiences as it discusses the issues in a direct and simplistic manner, so I recommend viewing and passing it along to friends, family, and colleagues. The agriculture sector will undoubtedly play an important role in the future of climate change, and education is key to understanding and enacting change.
A Way Forward: Facing Climate Change
suggested by Max DuBuisson:
It’s a good, broad overview of climate change, including its origins, impacts, and potential solutions. Also, National Geographic always makes good stuff.
PBS Nova Episode: Dimming the Sun
suggested by Syd Partridge:
The NOVA series on PBS has arguably been the most successful program in television history in terms of conveying groundbreaking science to the public in an easily palatable format. The ‘Dimming the Sun’ episode, which originally aired back in 2006, provides, in my opinion, one of the clearest and most alarming depictions of our (incomplete) understanding of the drivers of climate change. This episode provides evidence that the ‘cooling effects’ of particulate air pollution have actually been masking the extent to which the global temperature is increasing due to greenhouse gas emissions. While this episode may be depicting what one would consider a worst case scenario, it is a clear reminder that we do not fully understand the potential risks we are facing from our continued reliance on fossil fuels.


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