The vast majority of Netflix users regularly use the service to view multiple episodes or films in rapid succession. To me, as a climate scientist, observing the reception of “Don’t Look Up” has been illuminating. Netflix users have viewed it more than any other English-language film. The team behind the film, however, didn’t stop there. They assembled an online group of concerned students to work together on climate change. When Netflix released its Sustainability Collection on April 13th, it showed that it was serious about making a difference in the climate and environmental sectors. Do these actions establish Netflix as a leader in environmental issues?
The effectiveness of Hollywood as a voice on climate change is a topic of a heated dispute that has persisted over the past few years. There have been allegations that Hollywood isn’t doing enough to address the issue. There is also a 2019 New York Times piece titled “Why is Hollywood So Scared of Climate Change?”
The “scientist warns everyone, nobody does anything, and nothing can be done” story has been criticized by some who worry that it gives students the wrong idea about their ability to make a difference and leads them to give up hope. Perhaps a fresh perspective on the part Hollywood can play can be found in Netflix’s Sustainability Collection.
9 Best Movies on Climate Change You Need to Watch now on Netflix
Netflix’s curated One World, Infinite Wonder collection provides something for everyone, whether they’re avid viewers of docuseries, Writix, movie buffs, or parents searching for a family-friendly movie night option.
Here is a small selection of the best comedies, documentaries, and thrillers that focus on the environment and highlight international efforts to combat global warming to get you started on your climate-conscious viewing. Here are the nine movies you must watch on climate change:
1. Don’t Look Up
Don’t Look Up is a dramatic comedy and a call to action on climate change, and it boasts arguably the most romantic song ever composed about environmental catastrophes. In this black comedy, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and others star as ordinary people and international leaders who couldn’t care less when a meteor hurtled toward Earth. In our situation, global warming is the asteroid that keeps on threatening us. The steps you can take to counteract climate change are detailed on this page.
2. Captain Nova
This Dutch science fiction film from 2021, like Don’t Look Up, is about a society that ignores the warnings of a talented underdog concerning global warming, but Captain Nova adds a time-traveling, action-packed twist. When the protagonist, a fighter pilot played by Anniek Pheifer, learns she can revert to her younger form, she makes it her duty to prevent the end of the planet.
In his video 2040, Australian director Damon Gameau presents a hopeful picture of the future by picturing the world in 20 years time if we used the technology and thought processes presently accessible to lessen the carbon present in our atmosphere. Among these measures is the adoption of regenerative farming practices, the implementation of carbon sequestration, and the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. As Gameau puts it, this is “fact-based dreaming,” and I think we can all agree with that.
4. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
A Life on Our Planet is an all-encompassing account of Earth’s history that speaks to our better selves and motivates us to take immediate action. In this documentary set to be released in 2020, natural historian and award-winning BBC presenter David Attenborough recount his life via the natural beauties he has witnessed and warns of the fate of our planet if we don’t take action to safeguard it. Importantly, though, he does consider potential next steps. In the preview, Attenborough is heard saying, “Right now, we have a window of opportunity that we can’t afford to miss.” For the sake of ourselves and future generations, we need to rediscover how to live in harmony with the natural environment.
5. Fire Chasers
This four-part documentary series investigates the deadly California wildfires, focusing on the brave firemen who risked their lives to extinguish the flames and save lives, property, and ecosystems. You’ll not only meet retired firemen and inmate volunteers who bonded during firefighting training, but you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the value of mutual support in the face of a worldwide disaster through their stories.
6. Kiss the Ground
While many documentaries and films have focused on the causes and consequences of the climate issue, Kiss the Ground provides a more optimistic perspective by focusing on a potential solution: revitalized soil. Woody Harrelson narrates and leads a group of specialists and celebrity campaigners ranging from Gisele Bündchen to Jason Mraz as they investigate how investment in regenerative agriculture might help revive depleted ecosystems, increase food production, and even mitigate the effects of climate change. When you’re done viewing, head over to the Kiss the Ground website to find out how you can help.
7. The Decline
In this thrilling action-adventure story, a gang of survivalists flees to the Canadian wilderness from the ever-present danger of natural disasters and climate change. But once they get there, they see a deadly accident that kicks off a chain of horrible events and splits the campers into rival factions.
8. Before the Flood
In Before the Flood, DiCaprio took his environmental activism in front of the camera. Deforestation in Indonesia due to the palm oil business and melting glaciers in Greenland and the Arctic are only two examples of the global repercussions of climate change that the actor and UN Messenger of Peace studied for two years. A rallying speech by DiCaprio to world leaders at the United Nations on Earth Day 2016 in which he declares, “You are the last best hope of Earth” is the film’s climax. Please take precautions to preserve it for us. Or all the life we care about and ourselves will perish.
9. This Changes Everything
Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein followed up the success of her 2014 book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, with a documentary that poses the question, “What if solving the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to construct a better world?” Klein, who has seen firsthand the effects of climate change in places like the south coast of India and the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada, draws attention to the relationship between our economic systems and the planetary problem.
Now is the moment to educate yourself on how to safeguard natural ecosystems, endangered species, and even yourself from the effects of climate change. Thankfully, Netflix’s climate-related film and TV offerings can serve as a useful resource in this regard.