You want to see anything, right? Check out these 2022 environmental movies and TV series.
Our Great National Parks (Netflix)
Barack Obama’s accomplishments include winning the Emmy Award for Best Narrator and safeguarding more lands than any other president. Over the course of five episodes, this little series takes viewers to ten countries on five continents and highlights a fraction of the world’s 4,000 or so National Parks.
A 1,000-year-old Japanese cedar tree, a one-ton leatherback turtle, and Super Tusker elephants are just a few of the rare species that can be seen in the footage as Obama’s narration takes us through the landscapes and wildlife of Gabon, Madagascar, Japan, Costa Rica, Australia, Rwanda, Chile, Kenya, and Indonesia.
We were brought through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California, and Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve in Hawaii (close to where Obama was raised).
Obama doesn’t just show us these stunning natural areas; he also describes how government-regulated lands can benefit the local populace and how having more space under protection improves our quality of life as a whole. Vote as though the future of the planet depends on it, he urges towards the end of the episode.
To the End (Available on Amazon Video February 6, 2023)
To the End, a film by Rachel Lears and Sabrina Schmidt Gordon examines the work of four strong women of color who have supported the Green New Deal: Representative for the US House of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement co-founder; Alexandra Rojas, Justice Democrats executive director; and Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Roosevelt Institute director of climate policy.
With jobs and justice at its core, the Green New Deal seeks to convert the American economy to 100% renewable energy in 10 years. Similar to Roosevelt’s New Deal, the GND is a framework for future policies rather than a single measure.
The movie, which made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in 2022, was shot over four turbulent years that were important for climate change policy. Up to the end of 2021 with President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which narrowly passed in the House and would later fail in the Senate, the video cuts between protesters in the streets and wildfires in California.
The movie portrays the challenges, concessions, and despair that these women and other climate change activists frequently face, as well as the exhilaration of success and progress.
High Water (Netflix)
High Water narrates the tale of a Polish city underwater and is based on actual occurrences. 40% of Wroclaw, Poland was submerged underwater by the 1997 Central European Flood (also known as the Oder Flood),
which occurred after several months’ worth of rain dropped in a matter of days. The flood started in the Czech Republic and eventually killed 114 people before spreading to Germany and Poland. This program,
which was created by Jan Holoubek and Bartomej Ignaciuk, is a fictitious portrayal of the choices that scientists and the government made prior to, during, and following the catastrophe.
High Water, written 25 years ago, is uncannily prophetic of the recent floods and other natural calamities brought on by climate change in the midst of our current environmental crisis. The play challenges viewers to think about the rising frequency of catastrophic catastrophes and how our response to them changes cities and communities forever.
Polar Bear (Disney+)
Despite having a polar bear as its main character, this Disneynature short lacks the Snow-White-like creatures from earlier Disney tales. Alastair Fothergill, Jeff Wilson, and Catherine Keener directed and narrated the documentary Polar Bear, which follows a mother polar bear and her two kids throughout all the seasons and hardships they encounter in the Arctic.
The mother tries to teach her own cubs how to survive in a difficult, shifting environment by drawing on memories of her own upbringing. The movie shows how climate change has altered this region’s landscape and endangered polar bears’ ability to survive as ice flows and seal populations decline.
The movie warns viewers that the Arctic may be completely devoid of ice by the summer of 2040. The decisions we make today could affect the fate of polar bears for the better.
How to Change Your Mind (Netflix)
This documentary series, which was created by Lucy Walker and Alison Ellwood and is based on Michael Pollan’s 2018 book of the same name, focuses on psychedelic drugs and their potential to improve human health.
In each of the four episodes, a different drug—LSD, psilocybin (a substance found in mushrooms), MDMA, and mescaline—is examined in terms of its history and current uses (a compound found in cacti).
The program, which is led by Michael Pollan himself, examines psychedelic treatment as well as the traditional and sacramental applications of these drugs that date back hundreds of years.
The ability of psychedelics to treat addiction, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder is demonstrated in interviews with practitioners and participants. These interviews also highlight the fierce opposition that psychedelic therapy has faced from the government.
Down to Earth with Zac Efron: Down Under Season 2 (Netflix)
In the second season of Down to Earth, Zac Efron serves as our tour guide. In season one, Efron and co-host Darin Olein, a wellness expert, traveled to several nations to learn about healthy and sustainable living as well as to uncover fresh approaches to some very old issues.
Season two appears somewhat differently. As the pandemic lockdowns of March 2020 started closing borders, Zac Efron found himself stranded in Australia. As a result, he now presents a season that is totally devoted to the Australian continent and the conservation initiatives taking place there.
Every episode focuses on a different topic, such as waste management, the Torres Strait, wildfires, indigenous perspectives, and eco-innovation. Throughout eight episodes, learn about the initiatives being made by Australian groups to save koalas and other wildlife from the devastating bushfires of 2020, engage in regenerative agriculture, repair the Great Barrier Reef, breed threatened Tasmanian devils, and protect lands in Aboriginal communities.