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Film Finders: Exploring Special Topics: Climate Change

28 Films for Black History Month, compiled by the New York Times in 2018.

Climate Change Warming: The Signs and The Science                DVD 4504      2004; 60 minutes

This documentary profiles people who are living with the grave consequences of a changing climate, as well as the individuals, communities and scientists inventing new approaches to safeguard our children's future. Filmed across the U.S., Asia and South America, this program brings the reality of climate change to life and offers viewers a variety of ways to make a difference in their own communities. Refugees                      DVD 11109      2010; 86 minutes

"[E]xplore[s] the global human impact of climate change and its serious destabilizing effect on international politics. The film turns the distant concept of global warming into a concrete human problem with enormous worldwide consequences ... The film features a variety of leading scientists, relief workers, security consultants, and major political figures, including John Kerry and Newt Gingrich. Whether human-caused or a product of nature, the changing climate is already creating humanitarian disasters and will inevitably lead to worldwide political instability"--Container.
! The Climate Movement on Tour

DVD 17236                              2016; 77 minutes

"Divest! chronicles's 'Do the Math' bus tour as it launched the fossil fuel divestment campaign onto the national and ultimately international stage."

 Waters: Global Warming and The Fate of the Pacific Islands                    DVD 9202                                2000; 57 minutes

"Through personal stories of Pacific Islanders in Kiribati, the Samoas, the atolls of Micronesia including the Marshall Islands, and Hawaii, as well as researchers in the continental United States ... puts a human face on the international climate change debate ... While the policy makers and scientists argue about when and how much to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next twenty years, many Pacific Islanders are wondering if they will have a future"--Container.  Available streaming here.




Image 1Chasing Ice                  DVD 13698                  2013; 75 minutes

Chronicles the efforts of nature photographer James Balog to document the receding of the Solheim glacier in Iceland, a consequence of climate change and global warming, in which strategically placed cameras would take one picture every hour for three years.





The 11th hourThe 11th Hour               DVD 4622                    2007; 93 minutes

Explores the indelible footprint that humans have left on this planet, and the catastrophic effects of environmental neglect and abuse, and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity.


 the Water Tap Runs Dry               DVD 8030                         2009; 40 minutes

"The greatest impacts from climate change will not be warmer temperatures but water shortages. Learn how America's water infrastructure is incapable of handling these changes. There exist solutions that will make us rethink everything from how we use water, to where we live, to who owns water. Every drop of water that flows through America's rivers or is stored in our lakes and reservoirs is spoken for. Now, America is over-drafting its water supply. How did it come to this? The answers lie in America's outdated water infrastructure, an inflexible water storage system, greater demand from an increasing population and the impacts of global warming. In When the Water Tap Runs Dry, we will look at these issues and provide essential solutions based on a new vision of America's water infrastructure, and customized water rights agreements. If the water crisis is not addressed, the water tap will run dry for many Americans."--Container.


The age of stupidThe Age of Stupid                     DVD 11825                  2008; 89 minutes                       Streaming available

Pete Postlethwaite (the only fictional character) stars as an archivist living alone in the devastated future world of 2055, who spends his days looking at old footage from the years leading up to 2015 when a cataclysmic climate change took place. As he sifts through the relics of our lost and misguided civilization, the archivist asks why Earth's inhabitants did nothing to reverse the effects of climate change while they still had the chance.





Gulf Stream and the next ice age : [a planet on the brink of catastrophe]Gulf Stream and the Next Ice Age         DVD 6787        2006; 52 minutes

Documentary about the rising concerns of global warming and its effects on Earth's ecosystems and the flow of the Gulf Stream. Demonstrates how the disruption of ocean currents, the natural circulation of water known as the Gulf Stream, will provoke unstoppable changes that will result in the next ice age.





dvd coverCarbon Nation              DVD 15312                  2011; 84 minutes

"A documentary movie about climate change solutions. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or just don't buy it at all, this is still a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how solutions to climate change also address other social, economic and national security issues"--Publisher website.





Heat Heat                DVD 6575                    2008; 120 minutes

Under pressure from governments, green groups, and investors, big businesses, such as the oil and coal companies, electric utilities, and automobile manufacturers, are promising to reshape their approach to the environment, climate change, and carbon emissions. Shows how some corporations around the world are fighting to fend off new regulations while others are repositioning themselves to meet these challenges. Visits the melting glaciers of the Himalayas, Chinese coal companies, Indian SUV makers, and American oil giants, among other locations.

 Hungry Tide                      DVD 12300                  2011; 53 minutes

Examines the effect of climate change and the resulting rise in sea level and increasing salinity on the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. Exposes the global inequalities driving global warming through the life and work of Maria Tiimon, who advocates for the rights of Pacific Islanders, and explores the deteriorating conditions that threaten the people and culture of Kiribati as they plan for a time when they no longer have a nation.





Power surge : are we finally on the brink of a clean energy revolution?Power Surge                 DVD 9931                    2011; 60 minutes

Can emerging technology defeat global warming? Travel the globe to reveal the surprising technologies that just might turn back the clock on climate change. Focusing on the latest and greatest innovations, including everything from artificial trees to green reboots of familiar technologies like coal and nuclear energy, Nova asks: 'Can our technology, which helped create this problem, now solve it?'  Available steaming here.

 Through the Ice                      DVD 5908                    2006; 51 minutes

"Today the North Pole is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. The Arctic ice cap is less than half the size it was 50 years ago. This radical climate change has thus begun to open the ice-packed Northwest Passage between Europe and Asia, and some scientists predict that the transoceanic maritime route will soon be permanently ice free during its ever-longer summers. [The film] examines the geopolitical ramifications of this development, including disputes between the five nations bordering the Arctic Ocean -- the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Norway and Russia -- over claims to territorial waters, the control of sea traffic, and the right to exploit the region's untapped resources of oil and other natural resources. But if this multinational race to the Arctic is not legally regulated, the region's fragile ecosystem could be devastated. [The film] illuminates the many complex issues involved in this potential conflict between ecology and geopolitics through interviews with scientists, shipping executives, local residents, navigational workers, educators, climatologists, military leaders and glaciologists."--Container.Available streaming here.    Thule Tuvalu                DVD 17103                  2015; 142 minutes

    "Two places at the edge of our planet are making headlines due to climate change. Thule, Greenland, because of record ice melts there; and Tuvalu, because this remote Pacific island nation is one of the first countires on the verge of sinking as a result of rising sea leavels. Whereas for us the warming of the planet occurs almost solely in the media, it is changing the entire existene for the inhabitants of Thule and Tuvalu. The film portrays how they are forced to abandon their traditional way of life as they move towards an unknown future." -- Container.





A Burning Question: Propaganda & the Denial of Climate ChangeA Burning Question      DVD 12370                  2010; 55 minutes

"Paula Kehoe's fascinating and clarifying look at the debate surrounding global warming explores the striking disconnect between the relatively clear-cut concerns of the world's most prominent scientists and the maze of speculation, rhetorical posturing, and outright misinformation that attaches to this issue whenever it's taken up by politicians, PR specialists, and political pundits. Mixing a localized focus on Ireland with insights from scientists and leaders from around the world, the film serves as both a primer on climate science and a penetrating analysis of media framing and the science of perception management"--Container. Available streaming here.




Climate of doubtClimate of Doubt                      DVD 12585                  2012; 60 minutes

Four years ago, climate change was hot. Politicians from both parties, pressed by an anxious public, seemed poised to act. But that was then. Today, public opinion about the climate issue has cooled, and politicians either ignore the issue or loudly proclaim their skepticism of scientific evidence that human activity is imperiling the planet. What's behind this reversal? FRONTLINE goes inside the organizations that fought the scientific establishment to shift the direction of the climate debate.

 Changes Everything              DVD 17147              2015; 89 minutes

"Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. Inspired by Naomi Klein's international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana's Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein's narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better. The extraordinary detail and richness of the cinematography in This Changes Everything provides an epic canvas for this exploration of the greatest challenge of our time. Unlike many films about the climate crisis, this is not a film that tries to scare the audience into action: it aims to empower. Provocative, compelling, and accessible to even the most climate-fatigued viewers, This Changes Everything will leave you refreshed and inspired, reflecting on the ties between us, the kind of lives we really want, and why the climate crisis is at the centre of it all. Will this film change everything? Absolutely not. But you could, by answering its call to action."--Publisher's website.



Wisdom to SurviveThe Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community

DVD 14741                  2013; 56 minutes

"The wisdom to survive accepts the consensus of scientists that climate change has already arrived, and asks, what is keeping us from action? The film explores how unlimited growth and greed are destroying the life support system of the planet, the social fabric of society, and the lives of billions of people. Will we have the wisdom to survive? The film features thought leaders and activists in the realms of science, economics and spirituality discussing how we can evolve and take action in the face of climate disruption. They urge us to open ourselves to the beauty that surrounds us and get to work on ensuring it thrives. Among those featured are Bill McKibben, Joanna Macy, Nikki Cooley, Roger Payne, Richard Heinberg, Amy Seidl, Stephanie Kaza, Gus Speth, Jihan Gearan, and Ben Falk"--Container.  Available streaming here.