We know that for college students Spring Break is coming up, and while the urge to binge watch Netflix is very tempting (we get you), would you consider an alternative option? If you have been to Boston in the last couple of weeks, you might’ve noticed a weirdly warm winter. It’s not that having sunny days in February is not nice, but with temperatures in the 60Fs and 70Fs (or 16 and 21 in Celcius) and barely any snow, maybe you’re wondering why this is happening. If so, we’ve got the right thing for you. If not, we know you’ll watch Netflix anyways, so why not become a little more enlightened and watch something from the list below? For this post, we have compiled a list of climate change documentaries recommended by the Soli team that will inform, (sometimes) scare, but mostly inspire you. Enjoy!

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

A classic for those concerned with climate change, An Inconvenient Truth is perhaps the most popular climate change films. In it, former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, shares various stories and facts to illustrate the greenhouse effect and offers recommendations of how to combat this effect in our daily lives. If you haven’t watched it, it’s a good place to start as well as a good chance to reflect on whether or not the problems highlighted in it have become true a few years later. Plus, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is coming out in July of this year, so now is a good time to catch up on the prequel!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnjx6KETmi4

Merchants of Doubt (2014)

If are trying to understand why the existence of climate change (due to human activity) is still debated today, this documentary is right up your alley. In this documentary, Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway do an in-depth analysis of the groups of scientists that have denied the dangers of tobacco, acid rain, the hole in the ozone layer, climate change and DDT (a pesticide). A striking snapshot of the dangers of spreading confusion to “keep the controversy alive”, the film (which is based on the book) has been praised for its thorough research and documentation.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8ii9zGFDtc

Full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HD2zixRoBP8

Cowspiracy (2014)

According to this film, animal agriculture is the most destructive industry to the planet in terms of water usage, deforestation, and ocean “dead zones”. It is even seen by some as the leading cause of climate change, but yet it is not usually addressed publicly on a consistent basis. This film acknowledges the cost of speaking up against this industry and in a way confronts leading environmental groups who do not talk about this issue. Highly controversial, and criticized by some, the film has caused immense amounts of people to go vegan, which shows the power of this film.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV04zyfLyN4

Full documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-XP79o8gqQ

Before the Flood (2016)

One of the most recent documentaries follows climate change activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, as he travels across the world and shows us the various places in which the effects of climate change are already making themselves present. Using The Garden of Earthly Delights as an analogy for the current (and future) state of the world, DiCaprio touches on various issues related with climate change that although shocking, also reveal a message of hope.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UGsRcxaSAI  

Terra (2016) 

In a time where the refugee crisis is constantly on everyone’s mind, we don’t associate the word refugee to animal species on Earth, but this documentary shows otherwise. In this 90 minute film, Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot have perfected the art of beautiful shots that capture not only your eyes, but your heart. The film explores the symbiotic relationship between the human species and the rest of the Earth, highlighting that one cannot survive without the other. This is available on Netflix, so add it to your cue right now!

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pMScorWcyU

Next week we will be talking about our recommended best reads, so don’t forget to come back!