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10 Best Documentaries of 2013

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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.

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The Ministry of Trade issued a regulation revoking its decision from February to no longer require Indonesian timber companies to obtain export licenses that certify the wood comes from legal sources. BAY ISMOYO / AFP / Getty Images

By Hans Nicholas Jong

The Indonesian government has backed down from a decision to scrap its timber legality verification process for wood export, amid criticism from activists and the prospect of being shut out of the lucrative European market.

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Viruses, pollution and warming ocean temperatures have plagued corals in recent years. The onslaught of abuse has caused mass bleaching events and threatened the long-term survival of many ocean species. While corals have little chance of surviving through a mass bleaching, a new study found that when corals turn a vibrant neon color, it's in a last-ditch effort to survive, as CBS News reported.

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Harmful algal blooms, seen here at Ferril Lake in Denver, Colorado on June 30, 2016, are increasing in lakes and rivers across the U.S. Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post / Getty Images

During summer in central New York, residents often enjoy a refreshing dip in the region's peaceful lakes.

But sometimes swimming is off-limits because of algae blooms that can make people sick.

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A group of doctors prepared to treat coronavirus patients in Brazil. SILVIO AVILA / AFP via Getty Images

More than 40 million doctors and nurses are in, and they are prescribing a green recovery from the economic devastation caused by the new coronavirus.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (R) and Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte shake hands during an event to launch the United Nations' Climate Change conference, COP26, in central London on February 4, 2020. CHRIS J RATCLIFFE / POOL / AFP / Getty Images

The U.K. government has proposed delaying the annual international climate negotiations for a full year after its original date to November 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Upcycled Food Association announced on May 19 that they define upcycled foods as ones that "use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment." Minerva Studio / Getty Images

By Jared Kaufman

Upcycled food is now an officially defined term, which advocates say will encourage broader consumer and industry support for products that help reduce food waste. Upcycling—transforming ingredients that would have been wasted into edible food products—has been gaining ground in alternative food movements for several years but had never been officially defined.

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A couple has a lunch under plexiglass protection designed by Christophe Gernigon at the H.A.N.D restaurant, on May 27, 2020 in Paris, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. ALAIN JOCARD / AFP via Getty Images

By Thomas A. Russo

As restaurants and bars reopen to the public, it's important to realize that eating out will increase your risk of exposure to the new coronavirus.

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