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10 Best Documentaries of 2013

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10 Best Documentaries of 2013

I love documentaries as they have an incredible ability to educate and motivate people to care about the world around them. We need more people to be part of the solution by tackling the most critical issues facing the planet. Check out my list of favorite documentaries of 2013. Share your favorites documentaries in the comment area below.

Internationally syndicated talk show host and bestselling author Thom Hartmann released a devastatingly powerful new film, LAST HOURS. A jolting wake-up call for humanity, this 10-minute film describes a terrifying science-based scenario where runaway climate change is triggered by massive releases of frozen methane.

Advocates of rights for whales and dolphins made strides in October when the documentary Blackfish aired on CNN during prime-time hours. The film tells the story of orca whales kept in captivity at the Seaworld theme parks in California, Florida and Texas.

Josh Fox's Gasland was about people lighting their water on fire. Gasland Part II is about the oil and gas industry lighting our democracy on fire.

Filmmaker Jim Tittle previewed his new documentary film, The Price of Sand, at the historic Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing, Minnesota, to a full house in April. With original interviews, coverage of recent events and local music about frac-sand mining, this visually rich 57-minute film explores the controversy surrounding frac-sand mining.

GMO OMG tells the story of a father’s discovery of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) through researching the symbolic act of poor Haitian farmers burning Monsanto’s gift of 475 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds after the devastating earthquake of January 2010.

Greedy Lying Bastards, produced by actress Daryl Hannah and directed by Craig Rosebraughchronicles the dirty money trail from tobacco companies paying for fake experts to attack the science linking cigarettes and cancer, through to the modern day equivalent of oil companies paying fake experts and think tanks to attack climate science and fight against any government attempts to regulate pollution to protect public health.

SEED: The Untold Story is a feature-length documentary film that unearths the dramatic story of seeds and the global struggle to preserve them. Many irreplaceable seeds are nearing extinction. SEED unveils a David-and-Goliath battle for the future of our seeds, which are at risk from industrial seed companies that control seeds through patents and genetic modification.

A Pacific Northwest coal project is threatening the global environment on a scale greater than the Keystone Pipeline, but most people have never heard of it. Momenta, a documentary collaboration between Plus M Productions and Protect Our Winters, shares the story of the people living along the coal export trail and the project’s global environmental implications.

Trashed examines the encroaching problem of global waste. Director Candida Brady, who describes herself as a childhood asthmatic and a concerned mother, builds a trajectory that illustrates the impact of waste on land, air and water.

Ever wonder about chemicals in your day-to-day life? “What’s in the air I breathe? The water I drink? The food I eat? Even the things I put on my skin?” Ed Brown wondered these same things after his wife suffered two miscarriages. But instead of just wondering, he traveled around the country with his video camera to interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy and law and learned there are Unacceptable Levels of chemicals in so many things. Including our bodies.

Visit EcoWatch’s EcoNews page for more related news on this topic.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock" — an estimate of how close humanity is to the apocalypse — remains at 100 seconds to zero for 2021. Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.

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The 13th North Atlantic right whale calf with their mother off Wassaw Island, Georgia on Jan. 19, 2010. @GeorgiaWild, under NOAA permit #20556

North Atlantic right whales are in serious trouble, but there is hope. A total of 14 new calves of the extremely endangered species have been spotted this winter between Florida and North Carolina.

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There are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients. Marko Geber / Getty Images

By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson

The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.

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Candles spell out, "Fight for 1 point 5" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 11, 2020, in reference to 1.5°C of Earth's warming. The event was organized by the Fridays for Future climate movement. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.

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A monarch butterfly is perched next to an adult caterpillar on a milkweed plant, the only plant the monarch will lay eggs on and the caterpillar will eat. Cathy Keifer / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.

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