5 Must-See Documentaries to Understand Climate Change

5 Must-See Documentaries to Understand Climate Change
Huge cloud of smoke rises from a petroleum refinery Photo Credit: Shutterstock

With all the current events revolving climate change, keep yourself equipped with information of what you might not know

Sahana Iyer
August 22 , 2019
03 Min Read

“Floods submerge the West Coast of India”, “Iceland mourns the loss of a glacier”, “Heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh lead to landslides”; the news has been infested with cases of environmental turbulence. What else is happening in the world? Have we missed our chance to redeem ourselves against climate change? How many years can we go before there is no sustainable way to survive in the world? If these are the questions clouding your thoughts, it is wise to keep yourself updated and aware to understand what role you can play to help the suffering earth. Here are 5 documentaries you need to watch to ensure you understand the causes and consequences of climate change.

Chasing Ice (2012)



With incredibly shot time-lapses and photographs, this award-winning documentary showcases multi-year efforts of environmental photographer James Balog to capture the fast-paced changes in the glaciers of the Arctic. What began as a simple assignment to capture pictures of climate change in the Arctic, opened Balog’s mind to the gravity of the situation. The documentary sees Balog risks his life and health to capture breathtaking photos and time-lapses that unfold the changes in the Arctic so clearly, any nay-sayer will start to believe in global warming. Not only do you get to see the effect of climate change of the once indestructible glaciers, but also the incredible work behind capturing it all for an audience. 

The Age of Consequences (2016)

In an eye-opening swirl of political conflict and the impact of global warming, this thrilling documentary studies the effect of climate change amidst case-studies of conflicts through the eyes of US national security and global stability. Various admirals, generals and military veterans share their experience and give a personally observed take on how the political tensions and socio-economic instability in different countries are further aggravated by the consequences of climate change. It looks into the water scarcity, drought, food shortages and extreme weather changes in the more volatile regions on earth.

Before the Flood (2016)

An in-depth outlook on all aspects of climate change, the national geographic masterpiece shows various perspectives on climate change and I think I studies the causes, consequences and history of global warming. In a role like never before, Leonardo DiCaprio shows his environmental activist side and takes us through a journey of an excruciatingly detailed film about the environment. With first-hand shot footage, discussions and expert opinions, it is a well rounded take on the gravity of the situation.

The Swedish Schoolgirl That Took Davos To Task on Climate Change (2019)

A story of struggle for awareness and action, this short swedish film documents the life of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg and  who started a sit-down protest every Friday in front of the Swedish Parliament to demand that they follow the Paris agreement. With a humble start, Thunberg managed to draw attention of important politicians and world leaders creating a revolution. The documentary gives us her point of view and journey through her call for action against environmentally harmful activities and for conservation and protection. The documentary opens up a new perspective of the issue through the lens of the younger generation. 

Kingsnorth: Portrait of a Recovering Environmentalist (2018)

A harsh outlook on the world today, this documentary creates a story from the perspective of acclaimed novelist and poet, Paul Kingsnorth. He is convinced that the environmental destruction caused by man is irreversible and we are at the point of no return. Residing on the outskirts of Ireland, he maintains a sustainable lifestyle. In this documentary by vpro, we understand Kingsnorth’s opinion of why the global approach towards climate change is misguided and will not bring necessary change to save this planet. It also gives us a peek into the lifestyle adopted by him to ensure his part to the struggle. Do not be misled, this documentary in no means shows bright hope.

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