Books, TV, film, youtube, magazines, and podcasts are a great portal to learn about environmentalism and the climate crisis. Whether you are interested in learning the basic science, imagining a post-apocalyptic future, appreciating nature, or exploring solutions there is something out there for you.
We have compiled an incomplete list of books, tv/film/youtube, and podcasts that bridge a variety of topics and genres. Let us know if you have read/watched/listened to any of these recommendations or if there are any you would like added to the list.
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (nonfiction): The book is about plants and botany as seen through Native American traditions and Western scientific traditions.
Weather by Jenny Offill (fiction): Lizzie, the narrator of Offill’s latest novel, is a mother who’s juggling fears on multiple levels: concern for her brother, a recovering addict; financial worries; and general apprehension about the direction of the world.
What We Know About Climate Change by Kerry Emanuel (nonfiction): MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel outlines the basic science of global warming and how the current consensus has emerged.
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (fiction): The novel explores the plight of a working-class African-American family in Mississippi as they prepare for Hurricane Katrina and follows them through the aftermath of the storm.
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (fiction): This fantasy novel, the first in Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, imagines social collapse going hand-in-hand with geologic catastrophe on a planet as violent as the people who inhabit it.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (nonfiction) by Naomi Klein: Klein tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth.
The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert (nonfiction): The book argues that the Earth is in the midst of a modern, man-made, sixth extinction.
The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace Wells (nonfiction): David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await–food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe.
Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush (nonfiction): In Rising, Elizabeth Rush guides readers through some of the places where climate change has been most dramatic, from the Gulf Coast to Miami, and from New York City to the Bay Area. For many of the plants, animals, and humans in these places, the options are stark: retreat or perish in place.
Drawdown by Paul Hawken (nonfiction): In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of.
* all books are available through OCLN
TV, Films, and Youtube:
Before the Flood (Disney+, OCLN): Actor Leonardo DiCaprio meets with scientists, activists and world leaders to discuss the dangers of climate change and possible solutions.
Gasland (OCLN): The film focuses on communities in the United States where natural gas drilling activity was a concern and, specifically, on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), a method of stimulating production in otherwise impermeable rock.
Merchants of Doubt (OCLN): Spin doctors spread misinformation and confusion among American citizens to delay progress on such important issues as global climate change.
There’s Something in the Water (Netflix, OCLN): Community activists embark on a crusade to protect the environment from landfills and pollutants in Nova Scotia.
Erin Brockovich (Peacock, OCLN): The film is a dramatization of the true story of Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia Roberts, who fought against the energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) regarding its culpability for the Hinkley groundwater contamination incident.
Chasing Coral (Youtube): Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.
An Inconvenient truth (+ sequel) (OCLN, Pluto, Prime, Paramount+): Former presidential candidate Al Gore holds this film together as, in front of an audience and with few aids beyond photo slides, he explains how humans have messed up the planet. Gore issues an urgent warning on what must be done, and done quickly, to save the earth.
Islands of Faith (Netflix): Through the lens of faiths and cultures in seven provinces in Indonesia, this documentary follows individuals who strive to address climate change.
African Cats (OCLN, Disney+): Filmed over two-and-a-half years in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergil’s nature documentary focuses on Sita, a mother cheetah with five cubs, and Mara, a lion cub whose parents, Layla and Fang, are the aging rulers of their pride.
Planet Earth (OCLN, Discovery Plus): Each 50 minute episode features a global overview of a different biome or habitat on Earth (Polar, Mountain, Cave, Desert, Plains, Fresh Water, Seas, Ocean, Forest)
Floodlines (30 min episodes): Some call it Hurricane Katrina. Some call it the Federal Flood. Others call it the day the levees broke. On August 29, 2005, the city of New Orleans was submerged. That story of hubris, incompetence, and nature’s wrath is now etched into the national consciousness. But the people who lived through the flood and its aftermath have a different story to tell. A story of rumors, betrayal, and one of the most misunderstood events in American history.
How to Save a Planet (45 min episodes): Does climate change freak you out? Want to know what we, collectively, can do about it? Us, too. How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: What do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? Join us, journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, as we scour the earth for solutions, talk to people who are making a difference, ask hard questions, crack dumb jokes and — episode by episode — figure out how to build the future we want.
America Adapts (45-75 min episodes): The America Adapts podcast explores the challenges presented by adapting to climate change, the global movement that has begun to drive change, and the approaches that are already working.
Mothers of Invention (15-45 min episodes): Climate change is a man-made problem with a feminist solution! Join former Irish President Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins in this uplifting and fascinating podcast, and meet a host of game-changing women fighting to save all our lives.
TIL Climate (10 min episodes): Climate change is confusing. TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate) is an award-winning MIT podcast that breaks down the science, technologies, and policies behind climate change, how it’s impacting us, and what we can do about it. Each quick episode gives you the what, why, and how on climate change — from real scientists and experts — to help us make informed decisions for our future.
Drilled (20-40 min episodes): A true-crime podcast about climate change, hosted and reported by award-winning investigative journalist Amy Westervelt.
You can find even more options here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JM2Ouex9KgmeAVmPeHKxyYqSS8UIVAcPU-OMda6lQMc/edit?usp=sharing