Great Documentaries for March Break

By Andrea Loken, science teacher and ECA co-founder

Here is a short list of some of my favourite documentaries related to climate change and the fossil fuel industry. Enjoy!

  1. Chasing Ice – 75 min – 2012 [on Netflix] – A visually stunning and totally inspiring chronicle of nature photographer James Balog’s epic “Extreme Ice Survey”. A gorgeous fusion of art and science.
  2. Disruption – 52 min – 2014 [watch and download for free or watch on YouTube] – Totally inspiring, but also challenging. From the website: “Through a relentless investigation to find the answer, Disruption takes an unflinching look at the devastating consequences of our inaction.”
  3. Do The Math – 42 min – 2013 [free] – The trailer is found at the link.  Also found here. This is a perfect primer for the “Three Scary Numbers” of climate science. It’s great for the SNC2D unit on Climate Change.
  4. Green World Rising – new series – From the website: “Green World Rising is a series of short films on solutions to climate change. The series is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, directed by Leila Conners, presented by Thom Hartmann and produced by Mathew Schmid, George DiCaprio, Earl Katz and Roee Sharon Peled.”
  5. Years of Living Dangerously – 2014 – 9 part series [Ep 1 is free] – Produced for Showtime by James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger, this tells many stories about the devastating impacts of climate change on people right now.
  6. Gasland – 103 min – 2010 – Isn’t natural gas better than coal and oil? This documentary might blow your mind if you don’t know about “fracking”. Josh Fox exposes the many secrets and lies required for this industry to exist as he travels across the USA to get some answers. Very eye-opening. Also, watch it here. Or here.
  7. White Water, Black Gold – 57 min – 2012 – Canadian – Also, watch on TVO. I use this in my science curriculum all the time. From the website: “an investigative point-of-view documentary that follows David Lavallee on his three-year journey across western Canada in search of answers about the activities of the world’s thirstiest oil industry: the Tarsands. As a mountaineer and hiking guide, David is on the front lines of climate change. Over the past 15 years he has worked in the Columbia Icefields of the Canadian Rockies, and has noticed profound changes in the mountains: climate change is rendering these landscapes unrecognizable.”
  8. Mission Blue – 94 min – 2014 [on Netflix] – This is a gorgeous and compelling story documenting the work of trailblazer and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle. The oceans are dying. She is on at mission to save them. “No ocean, no life. No ocean, no us.” Just watching the trailer gives me a lump in my throat.
  9. Occupy Love – 85 min – 2014 – I haven’t seen this film, but it’s on the top of my list! From the website: “Join acclaimed director Velcrow Ripper (Scared Sacred, Fierce Light) on a journey deep inside the revolution of the heart that is erupting around the planet, as he asks the question, “How could the crisis we are facing become a love story?””

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