5 Must-Watch Documentaries for a More Sustainable Planet
A powerful documentary can help inform viewers and spark a more conscious lifestyle. Maybe you've thrown out rotting greens one too many times, or waste from online shopping has you feeling guilty. The following list of documentaries may inspire you to "green" your life a bit more just in time for spring.
From a Sir David Attenborough Netflix series to a food waste documentary produced by the late Anthony Bourdain, these five environmental documentaries are an absolute must-watch.
1. Our Planet (2019)
Our Planet is a new Netflix original nature docuseries premiering April 5. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, this is the first of his series to appear exclusively online.
How to watch:
Stream all episodes on Netflix.
Want to know more?
You might like this article from The Atlantic: Netflix's Our Planet Says What Other Nature Series Have Omitted Says What Other Nature Series Have Omitted.
2. The End of Meat (2017)
After sold-out premieres worldwide, German Filmmaker Marc Pierschel's The End of Meat launched worldwide on March 12. The documentary exposes the brutal impact of meat consumption, while also exploring what a shift to a more compassionate diet can look like.
How to watch:
3. Hostile Planet (2019)
From Director Guillermo Navarro (Pan's Labyrinth), Hostile Planet is a six-part nature series that premiered April 1 on National Geographic. The series is narrated by Bear Grylls (Running Wild with Bear Grylls).
How to watch:
New episodes premiere Monday nights at 9 p.m. EST on the National Geographic channel. If cable TV isn't your thing, catch up on episodes online.
Want to know more?
Check out Outside Magazine's 'Hostile Planet' Takes a Candid Look at Climate Change.
4. Rotten (2018)
Rotten is a six-part documentary series featured on Netflix. The series shines a light on the corruption, waste and danger behind the food we eat. The series was produced by the team behind Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown and The Mind of a Chef.
How to watch:
Stream the documentary series on Netflix.
Want to know more?
Here's a 2018 article from SIERRA Magazine that breaks down Rotten by episode: Netflix's 'Rotten' Reveals the Perils of Global Food Production.
5. Wasted! The Story of Food Waste (2017)
WASTED! produced by Anthony Bourdain explores both a broken food system and possible solutions to our 21st century issue of food waste.
How to watch:
Irma is the associate editor at EcoWatch. She graduated from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism in Athens, Ohio.
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By Ilana Cohen
Four years ago, Jacob Abel cast his first presidential vote for Donald Trump. As a young conservative from Concord, North Carolina, the choice felt natural.
But this November, he plans to cast a "protest vote" for a write-in candidate or abstain from casting a ballot for president. A determining factor in his 180-degree turn? Climate change.
Fractures Among Young Climate Conservatives<p>While young conservatives have united around the urgency of climate change, they remain divided over how to bring their concerns to the ballot box. Some embrace right-wing <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-attacks-republican-convention/2020/08/24/434e5b46-e66d-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html" target="_blank">attacks</a> painting Biden as a "tool of the left" and find his climate agenda "radical." Others can't find a way to justify voting for Trump, even if it means breaking with their party.</p><p>Patrick Mann from Orange County, California, voted for Trump in 2016. But today, he's leading Aggies for Joe at Texas A&M University and is co-founder of Texas Students for Biden. </p><p>Mann grew up watching wildfires ravage his home state, nearly forcing his family to evacuate in 2017. The GOP is failing to "meet the moment" for climate action, Mann said. He's hoping Biden will deliver on a promise to "<a href="https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/caucus/2020/01/06/joe-biden-democrat-president-iowa-caucus-restore-soul-our-nation/2806422001/" target="_blank">restore the soul of our nation</a>." </p><p>Taylor Walker from Pensacola, Florida, is also determined to make her voice heard on climate, including by casting her first-ever vote for president—but not for Biden.</p>
A False Equivalency<p>Young climate conservatives may fear climate denial and delayed climate action, but more than that, they fear the growing political momentum around the Green New Deal, the massive spending it entails and <a href="https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/" target="_blank">Biden's citing of it</a> as a "crucial framing for meeting the climate challenges we face."</p><p>Many don't want to split with their party to support a Democrat whose <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/757220130/joe-biden-on-bipartisanship-gun-control-and-regrets-over-inaction-after-a-traged" target="_blank">allegedly bipartisan intentions</a> they doubt. If stymieing what they consider a radical green agenda means re-electing a climate change denying president, so be it. </p><p>"I'm scared of climate change, but I'm also scared of the Green New Deal and what it means for America," said Ben Mutolo, a republicEN spokesperson and junior at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. </p><p>Mutolo felt encouraged by former Ohio Governor John Kasich's <a href="https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/17/kasich-speech-to-democratic-convention-follows-years-of-building-conservative-credentials/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">appearance</a> at the Democratic National Convention, but he still struggles to see himself voting for Biden. Though the candidate paints himself as a <a href="https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-08-12/harris-biden-different-generation-similar-political-instinct" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">centrist,</a> Mutolo believes he's "cozying up to the ultra-progressive left." </p><p>Mutolo, who wants to see market-based climate solutions like a carbon tax, feels torn between a candidate whose climate plan relies on taking an "<a href="https://joebiden.com/environmental-justice-plan/#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">All-of-Government approach</a>," and one with no efforts to reign in global warming at all. <span></span></p><p>Leiserowitz said he appreciated how a conservative might feel Biden's climate plan "doesn't jive with their limited government, free-market approach."</p><p>But he sees a strong distinction between voting for a presidential candidate with a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/us/politics/biden-climate-plan.html" target="_blank">$2 trillion climate plan</a> that includes large renewable energy investments, which have <a href="https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/politics-global-warming-april-2020/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bipartisan support</a>, and a candidate trying "to take the country in the opposite direction, towards more fossil fuels."</p>
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