There Are An Abundance of Videos, TV Shows, and Documentaries on Climate Change
While many people might be exhausted or overwhelmed talking about our changing climate, it’s important to understand that we are all in this together. Climate change events are affecting all of us and in order to learn how we as individuals can slow the impact of climate change, we need to stay curious and vigilant.
One of the best ways to dive in and learn about climate change is by watching documentaries, videos, and shows about climate change. There are a lot of wonderful climate change documentaries and TV series available but we wanted to put together a list of our favorites.
Here are our top 10 climate change documentaries and TV series that encompass a wide range of topics from global warming in general to how climate change is impacting our oceans, and even a look at our planet from the perspective of astronauts.
1. Down to Earth with Zac Efron (Netflix) 2020
Down to Earth with Zac Efron is a Netflix documentary series that was released in July 2020. Follow Zac Efron and Darin Olien on their travels around the world to France, Puerto Rico, London, Iceland, Costa Rica, Peru, and Sardinia. The series focuses on many climate change topics and other related themes including travel, life experience, nature, green energy, and sustainable living practices. The series does a good job of tackling many climate change and sustainability topics in more of a light-hearted way.
2. Before The Flood (National Geographic) 2016
If you could know the truth about the threat of climate change — would you want to know? Before the Flood, presented by National Geographic, features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inaction. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis. With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news.
Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet. Beyond the steps we can take as individuals, the film urges viewers to push their elected officials in supporting the use of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.
3. From Paris to Pittsburgh (National Geographic) 2018
This climate change movie begins immediately following Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Bloomberg announced a pledge to help fill the void. As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Action and co-chair of America’s Pledge, Bloomberg has partnered with California Governor Jerry Brown to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement by commissioning the necessary reports on U.S. emissions to the United Nations.
Spotlighting the cities, states, businesses, and citizens taking action, Paris to Pittsburgh explores the very real social and economic impacts of climate change-fueled disasters, from America’s heartland to the nation’s coastlines. The film features voices from local leaders as well as everyday Americans presenting the stories behind climate-related recovery and resiliency, as well as tireless innovative efforts to reduce carbon emissions, including boomtowns formerly reliant on coal such as Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, led by Mayor Bill Peduto, who stood up to defy President Trump when he announced the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, is now a city committed to energy efficiency and is one of the many examples of bold economic and climate leadership in the film. Other locations featured in the film include Puerto Rico, California, Iowa, Florida, and New Jersey.
4. Our Planet (Netflix) 2019
Our Planet is a groundbreaking, four-year collaboration between Netflix, Silverback Films, and WWF. The documentary series explores the rich natural wonders, iconic species, and wildlife spectacles that still remain, and reveals the key issues that urgently threaten their existence. The series shows us how today, humans have become the greatest threat to the health of our planet.
The mission of the documentary series is to inspire people over the world to understand our planet - and the challenges it faces. If we can truly understand why nature matters to us all, and what we can do to save it, then we can create a future where nature and people thrive.
5. One Strange Rock (National Geographic) 2018
The National Geographic documentary series, One Strange Rock, is a thrilling journey exploring the fragility and wonder of our planet, one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe. The series narrative about our planet is told from the perspective of 8 astronauts and narrated by Will Smith. It's the extraordinary story of why life as we know it exists on Earth. This 10-part series was filmed in 45 countries, on six continents, and from outer space. Take a trip through and beyond our planet, revealing the twists of fate that have allowed life to thrive on Earth.
6. Climate Change - The Facts (BBC and PBS) 2019
Scientists explore the impact of climate change and what could happen if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees. Discover how the latest innovations and technology are posing potential solutions and what individuals can do to prevent further damage.
In honor of Earth Day in 2019, Sir David Attenborough hosts this compelling documentary film that dives into one of the globe’s most pressing issues, our changing climate. Leading climate scientists come together to discuss what may happen if global warming increases by 1.5 degrees. While that figure might not seem drastic, the impacts of this rise in temperature are significant both in terms of scale and scope, especially with regards to animals and their ecosystems. Experts examine the consequences of rising temperatures on ice sheets, fragile ecosystems, developing communities, and extreme weather events.
7. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Paramount Pictures) 2017
A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture, comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes – in moments both private and public, funny and poignant – as he pursues the inspirational idea that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.
The documentary film follows the efforts made to tackle climate change and Al Gore's attempts to persuade governmental leaders to invest in renewable energy, culminating in the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016, as well as attempting to de-bunk the de-bunkers of Gore, his film and global warming in general.
8. Chasing Coral (Netflix) 2017
Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers, and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.
An advertising executive named Richard Vevers decided several years ago to quit the ad business and devote his life to ocean conservation, both because he was getting fed up with the corporate world and because he decided the issue of marine catastrophe was essentially "an advertising problem." He's particularly fascinated by coral, the colorful and immensely photogenic invertebrates who form the backbone of ocean ecosystems. So Vevers assembles a crew of researchers and underwater photographers to document the process of coral bleaching, the mass ocean epidemic where coral polyps release too much of their algae and starve themselves (thus losing all their color, and ultimately, their life).
9. The True Cost (Life Is My Movie Entertainment) 2015
This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?
Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth, and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
10. The Story of Plastic (Discovery) 2019
The Story of Plastic takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Spanning three continents, the documentary film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash, rivers and seas clogged with waste, and skies choked with the poisonous emissions from plastic production and processing.
The Story of Plastic features interviews with experts and activists on the front lines of the fight, revealing the disastrous consequences of the flood of plastic smothering ecosystems and poisoning communities around the world, and the global movement that is rising up in response. With engaging original animation, archival industry footage beginning in the 1930s, and first-person accounts of the unfolding emergency, the documentary film distills a complex problem that is increasingly affecting the planet’s and its residents’ well-being.