Best Documentaries on Climate Change
Climate change is one of the most important issues facing our planet today. It’s also a topic that often gets ignored in favor of more sensationalized topics like terrorism or the latest celebrity scandal. That’s why we’re excited to share this list of 25 documentaries that will help you learn more about climate change and how you can participate in fighting it!
Cowspiracy is a documentary that covers the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and how it is being kept hidden from the public. It was released in 2014 by Kip Anderson, who also produced Earthlings (2005), which won an award at Sundance Film Festival as well as a nomination for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards. The film features interviews with experts in environmental science and policy, along with footage of factory farms across America that make up 80% of all farm animals raised for food in this country today.
2. “Chasing Ice”
Chasing Ice is a documentary that explores the risks of climate change, and how we can stop it. It won’t be easy, but with your help, we can make this planet a better place for future generations to live on.
Chasing Ice won an Emmy in 2012 for its cinematography. The film was directed by Jeff Orlowski and narrated by Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio and Sir David Attenborough (the host of another great documentary). In addition to being visually stunning—you’ll want to watch this one on your phone or tablet so you can easily follow along—it also has some really good information about greenhouse gas emissions from human activities such as burning fossil fuels or deforestation; it also gives us insight into what these things mean for our planet’s future health!
“Gasland” is a documentary about a man who discovers that the natural gas drilling industry is polluting his water supply. It’s based on a real-life incident involving him, but it was made into a movie by Josh Fox and won an Emmy Award in 2011. The film follows the story of this man as he investigates what’s happening with his well water and tries to get help from the government agencies that should be protecting him from pollution caused by fracking companies like Range Resources Corporation (a company mentioned in Gasland).
4. “An Inconvenient Truth”
In an interview with the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Gore said that he has been involved in climate change issues since he was a child. He started by attending meetings at his local library and then went on to write speeches for politicians like Al Gore Jr., who would go on to become vice president under George W Bush.
In 2006, his film An Inconvenient Truth won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. It also won numerous other awards including those given by National Geographic Society (Society), Environmental Media Association (EMA), Art Directors Guild Of America/Designers Guild International/International Cinematographers Guild (AIDA).
5. “Planet Earth”
The BBC’s Planet Earth is a 2006 television series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. The series was co-produced by the Discovery Channel and Granada Productions, with NHU funding for filming in Australia and New Zealand as well as additional funding from the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCRN). The first season of this documentary series was directed by Nick Briggs and narrated by David Attenborough; it consisted of four episodes: “Nature”, “Life”, “Humanity” and “Endgame”. It won numerous awards at various ceremonies including BAFTAs (British Academy Awards), Emmy Awards and IBCC awards.
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6. “Food, Inc.”
Food, Inc. is a documentary that explores the industrial food production process and its impact on human health and the environment. The film’s director makes clear in his introduction that he intended for his film to be more than just an expose on how corporations manipulate consumers to buy their products; he wanted it to be about how these same corporations can also manipulate our government institutions in order for them to continue doing so.
Food, Inc.’s message might seem obvious at first glance: if you eat food grown with pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), then you’re eating something unhealthy—and if you eat organic foods grown without pesticides/GMOs then your body will thank you! But what is less obvious is how this message plays out throughout most of our lives as consumers of mainstream products made by big brands like Coca-Cola or Kraft Foods (which owns Philadelphia Cream Cheese). In fact, it plays out very subtly because many people aren’t aware that there even exists another option besides processed packaged meals loaded with sugar!
7. “The Story Of Stuff”
This documentary is a great way to learn about the impact of our economy on our environment. The film was made in collaboration with the Greenpeace toxics campaign, and it features Margaret Atwood narrating it as well.
The film takes us through the story of how human beings have come to rely on so many different things (from food to clothing), which has led us down a path where we cannot live without these materials. It also explores what happens when these materials start disappearing from our planet—and how these disappearing resources will affect future generations if nothing changes soon!
8. “Mission Blue”
You may not have realized it, but the ocean is a vital part of your life. It’s full of marine life and biodiversity—the total amount of living things on Earth that aren’t plants or animals. The oceans also support over 50% of all oxygen produced by photosynthesis, so if you’re looking for ways to contribute to preserving its health, this documentary is for you.
If there were ever an issue that needed our attention as individuals and communities around the world, it would be climate change affecting our oceans. The planet’s coral reefs are among its most vulnerable ecosystems—they contain more than half of all known species in total (including all sharks) and provide critical ecosystem services such as fish spawning grounds for tuna stocks as well as shelter from storms at sea level depths where temperatures can reach up into triple digits Fahrenheit!
In “Disruption,” a documentary film by Australian filmmaker Damon Gameau, you’ll see what it’s like to be a climate change skeptic. The film follows the journey of an Australian man named Will who tries to disprove that climate change is real. He sets out on an epic journey around the world in search of evidence that proves there is no global warming crisis happening right now.
The film was released in 2014 and won an AACTA Award for Best Film (and was nominated for Best Documentary). It also won two Gold Lions at Cannes Film Festival: Best Cinematography and Sound Design; these awards were given out even though this was not technically a fiction movie!
10. “Rush To Disaster”
The fossil fuel industry has led the charge in climate change denial, funding think tanks and other organizations that argue against climate science. In this documentary, former Vice President Al Gore explores how the fossil fuel industry has been responsible for many of the world’s worst environmental catastrophes over the last century. He also examines its role as a major player in suppressing information about global warming and funding conservative think tanks who deny climate change science.
11. “Climate Refugees”
Climate change is a serious problem, and it affects everyone on this planet. The effects of climate change are already being felt in many parts of the world, with rising sea levels and extreme weather events making life difficult for people who live near coastlines or other vulnerable areas.
However, climate refugees are not just those who have been forced out of their homes by floods or droughts; they’re also people who have lost everything because of a lack of access to clean water and food supplies during times when there’s been no rain at all (which happens more often than you might think). The World Bank estimates that some 400 million people worldwide could be considered climate migrants by 2050 if nothing is done about global warming—and this number will only increase over time as we continue melting ice caps faster than expected.
The issue here isn’t just about how much damage these people will suffer from their current situation but also how much worse things could get if we don’t take action now — especially given how much money governments spend every year trying new ways to deal with these issues without actually solving them!
12. “Merchants Of Doubt”
“Merchants of Doubt” is a documentary film about the tobacco industry’s public relations efforts to create doubt about the health hazards of smoking, based on Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway’s 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. The film explores how cigarette companies successfully created an alternate narrative that portrayed cigarettes as being harmless and beneficial to your health—even though there was ample evidence showing otherwise.
The documentary includes interviews with scientists like Mark Blaxill who were once staunchly opposed to smoking bans but have since changed their minds due to their personal experiences with lung cancer patients; it also features people who use e-cigarettes despite knowing they’re not safe for long term use because they don’t present any major health risks compared to regular cigarettes (which contain more than 40000 chemicals).
“Tomorrow” is a compelling look at the future of our planet and how climate change is affecting us. It was released in 2019, so it’s still current with what we know about climate change—and it’s not too far off from what will happen if we don’t take action soon.
The film explores how climate change is impacting our planet and what we can do about it. The director, Jeremy Scott (who also directed “A Plastic Ocean”), shows us how changing weather patterns affect people around the world as well as animals that live off of land or sea ice cover like polar bears or walruses. He also shows us some ways that humans are adapting to these changes such as building shelters underground when there isn’t any other option available right now because cities haven’t been built yet!
14. “Pedal The World”
You might be thinking, “But I don’t want to ride my bike.” And you wouldn’t be alone. The documentary Pedal The World tries to change your mind by showing how much better biking is than driving.
The film examines the benefits of cycling—both environmentally and socially (more people on bikes means less pollution, less congestion), but also economically (it costs less money and time). It explores all these topics in detail through interviews with experts who are passionate about what they do. In fact, if you haven’t already done so yourself, watch this documentary right now!
15. “Ten Years On Earth And In Space – A Decade of Climate Change Observed From Orbit”
This film is a great one to watch if you want to learn more about climate change in all its forms. It’s narrated by Stephen Hawking, who talks about how the Earth has changed over the last decade and how it might be changing still today.
The documentary follows a group of scientists as they have their eyes on satellites that have been circling our planet for years at a time. They look at different aspects of this subject matter such as changes in temperature and weather patterns, sea ice levels around Antarctica or Greenland, as well as greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere above us here on earth.
16. “Climate Hustle”
The film, which is funded by the conservative political advocacy group PragerU, was released in theaters on May 3, 2017. It was described as “an anti-climate change propaganda film” by critics.
The film’s trailer claims that scientists are engaged in a conspiracy to convince the public that climate change is real and dangerous. For example: “There are some things that just aren’t true,” said one scientist interviewed in the film. “They’re not real science.”
17. “Before The Flood”
“Before The Flood” is a documentary about climate change that was directed by Leonardo DiCaprio and stars him. It’s an excellent film that covers some of the most important aspects of climate change, including its causes and effects.
The movie follows DiCaprio as he travels around the world to learn more about what’s happening in his own backyard—the ocean—and how it could affect us all if we don’t do something soon.
18. “Blue Gold World Water Wars”
Water is the most precious resource on earth, and it’s also one of the most contentious. In this documentary you will learn about how our planet’s freshwater supply is being depleted at an alarming rate. You’ll learn about how climate change is causing droughts and flooding in many parts of the world, which means that we’re going to need more water than ever before if we want any hope of survival as a species.
The film looks at several different regions around the globe where people are fighting over limited supplies: China; India; Africa; Australia/New Zealand; South America—and even some parts within those countries themselves!
19. “A Life on Our Planet” with David Attenborough
You know who David Attenborough is. If you don’t, let me introduce him to you: he is a British broadcaster and naturalist who has won many awards for his documentaries and written several books about his travels across the globe. He has been on national television throughout the world since 1956, when he hosted “The World of Animals” on BBC One (now known as BBC One HD). Since then, he has produced countless programs that have been shown all over the world—and even now continues to travel around filming new ones!
If you want to learn more about climate change or what we can do about it in our daily lives at home with our families and friends…well then this documentary may be for you!
This documentary is about the future of our planet, and it’s narrated by Ed Begley Jr., who says that if we don’t change our ways now, we could be facing a world without food or water by 2040. It’s an important message that needs to be heard! The film was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2012 (and won), so you can rest assured that it will have an impact on viewers.
These films and series tell the story of climate change from a variety of perspectives, whether it’s the industrialization of our food supply or the efforts to save the world’s coral reefs from disappearing forever.
21. “Our Planet”
“Our Planet” is a series of eight episodes that aired on the National Geographic Channel in 2016 and 2017. The series was created by the same people who made Blue Planet, but this time it’s about wildlife and habitats around the world instead of oceans.
The documentary showcases both beauty and fragility of our planet Earth as it follows different species from different regions of our planet as they try to survive in their natural habitats.
The first two episodes focus on how climate change affects animals living on land or sea (in some cases both). The next four episodes take us inside various animal groups: mammals like whales; reptiles like snakes; amphibians like frogs; insects such as bees or ants; birds—both air-breathing avian species that need oxygenated air to live similar to land-based creatures such as humans.
22. “Fire in Paradise”
“Fire in Paradise” is a collaboration between National Geographic and Leonardo DiCaprio. The film is narrated by the actor and follows his journey as he visits the Great Barrier Reef, which has been ravaged by climate change.
The documentary won an Oscar in 2019, making it one of the most well-known climate change documentaries out there today. It was nominated for best documentary at this year’s Academy Awards (although it lost out to “First They Killed My Father”).
23. “The Condor and the Eagle”
“The Condor and the Eagle” is a documentary about the world’s largest bird, the condor. The film follows the story of a condor chick who was born in captivity and released into the wild for the first time.
In its first moments on screen, we see an adult condor perched high above us on top of a cliff face. This is not just any old bird: It weighs as much as two average human adults combined! As we watch him stretch out his wings and flap them gracefully through space, it seems like he’s flying right at us—but then he banks away from us so quickly that we may never have noticed if not for this momentary lapse in perspective (which happens again later).
24. “Kiss the World”
“Kiss the World” is a documentary about the impact of climate change on the planet. The film was directed by Jeremy Blackman, and it won the best director award at the 2019 Calgary International Film Festival. In this film, you’ll learn all about how climate change affects us, as well as what we can do to prevent it from happening again in our lifetime.
25. “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch”
A documentary that looks at the impact of humans on Earth, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch explores how our species has changed the climate, altered landscapes and biodiversity, impacted ocean chemistry and biology, made global warming more severe and rapid than ever before in Earth’s history.
The film outlines how we got to this point—a new geological era called “Anthropocene” that began with human activity starting in 1950. It’s marked by the rise of global economies reliant on mass production; rapid development of technologies such as antibiotics; widespread use of fossil fuels like coal for energy production; population growth (which helps create demand for food); pollution from industrialization or agriculture practices; deforestation due to agricultural expansion…and so much more!
The climate crisis is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention from all of us. As individuals, we can make a difference by embracing renewable energy, reducing waste and adopting eco-friendly habits. But the real change starts at the community and government level. Watching documentaries can provide insights into the current state of the environment and inspire action. If you’re looking to learn more about the climate crisis, this list of 25 documentaries is a great place to start. From time-lapse footage of our changing planet to a close look at the effects of climate change on coral reefs in “Chasing Coral”, these documentaries highlight the importance of taking action now, before it’s too late. So take some time to watch, learn and share these documentaries, and be a part of the solution to the climate crisis.