The best podcasts, documentaries and books about climate change

Fill your noggin with knowledge.

Do you remember any French from school? No? Well, neither do I and that’s because I haven’t had to say I go to the cinema with my friends on the weekend” for over 12 years in the language. When you don’t maintain newly-acquired knowledge or regularly apply it in your life, it’s easy to forget it.

The same could be said for the climate crisis. Although a big proportion of the population is worried about the future of our planet, our environment and our livelihoods, that sense of urgency can start to wane if our knowledge on the issue isn’t regularly fed or actioned. This is especially true when big polluters go to huge efforts to greenwash, oil companies shift the blame onto consumers and pretend everything is fine, and politicians insist on living in denial.

Whether you’re a complete climate beginner or are already pretty clued up, here are some of the best resources to help you keep learning about the climate crisis, from essential books and documentaries to the podcasts you should listen to on your daily commute.

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The Climate Question

BBC World Service presents The Climate Question, a weekly podcast exploring why we find it so hard to save our own planet and how we could change it. The 30-minute episodes dive into topics like why the climate justice movement has an image problem and if society is putting too much faith into technological advancements. It’s a perfect listen for those getting frustrated about climate inaction and the bigger psychological, philosophical and societal issues surrounding it.

Listen here.

Planet B: Everything Must Change

Novara Media’s climate podcast looks at the crisis from a leftist perspective, exploring issues such as climate debt, migration justice, infrastructure and labour. Hosted by Dalia Gebrial, the six-part series of one-hour episodes proposes well-rounded solutions to building a global Green New Deal (public policy to address climate change), featuring some of the most important academic voices on social justice.

Listen here.

Climate Change for Beginners: An Extinction Rebellion Podcast

Perfect for those new to the subject, Extinction Rebellion’s climate podcast covers the basics of everything, from fracking and why meat is bad for the environment to Australia’s bushfires. Hosted by scientist and activist Dr. Ciarán O’Carroll, the bitesize podcast episodes break down the most commonly asked climate questions. The podcast currently seems to be no longer active, but it’s an excellent archive of knowledge.

Listen here.

How to Save a Planet

Journalist Alex Blumberg and a crew of climate nerds” (their words, not mine) have put together an inspiring and energising podcast, which unpicks the plethora of overwhelming issues the climate crisis has created. The excellently produced episodes vary in length and drop every week.

Listen here.

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Cowspiracy

Do you know how the food industry and the climate crisis are linked? If not, Cowspiracy is an excellent watch to find out the impact of animal agriculture on the planet. Available on Netflix, the 2014 documentary film explores not only the climate crisis, but also how fresh water is used in the agricultural sector, deforestation, ocean dead-zones and other problems related to the food and, specifically, the meat industry. Warning: it will make you want to go vegan!

Watch here.

Kiss The Ground

Also available on Netflix, Kiss The Ground is one of the most hopeful documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. Narrated and led by American actor Woody Harrelson, the film offers a viable solution to not only slow down the climate crisis but to reverse it altogether. The experts in the documentary argue that the answer to sequestering (capturing) carbon out of the atmosphere is in our soil and agricultural practises.

Watch here.

An Inconvenient Truth: A Global Warning

This one was frequently wheeled out by geography teachers at school. The 2006 documentary, which was part of Al Gore’s (former United States Vice President) campaign to educate people about the climate crisis, is proof that climate science has been ignored for too long. The award-winning 97-minute film explains climate basics, such as how increasing CO2 emissions are warming the planet, while providing evidence that the climate crisis is man-made.

Watch here.

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This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein

The climate crisis is a capitalist crisis – this is what Naomi Klein essentially outlines in her book This Changes Everything. She argues against market-based solutions and claims that the fight against the climate crisis is an opportunity to fix societal injustices caused by our current economic system. A lengthy but a well-argued and researched text.

Buy here.

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken

It’s difficult to be hopeful about the environment nowadays, but Drawdown gives us that opportunity by detailing solutions that could not only slow down the climate crisis but reverse it altogether. In this book, you’ll find 100 of the most substantive solutions out there, which have been ranked by their ability to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the air. Plus, researchers have even tried to cost them. If you don’t have the book, you can access the solutions here.

Buy here.

The Uninhabitable Earth: A story Of The Future by David Wallace Wells

We know the climate crisis is bad, but how bad is it really? The Uninhabitable Earth gives an apocalyptic outline of where we are heading as a species. If you want to understand the worst case-scenario (and get a kick up the arse), read this.

Buy here.

How To Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire by Andreas Malm

Swedish academic Andreas Malm is not only frustrated about the lack of climate inaction globally in this book, but also examining the effectiveness of nonviolence and pacifism in the face of large-scale extinction of life. Instead, he proposes that radical environmental changes need radical measures; sabotage through the form of direct action. And no, there are no instructions on how to blow up a pipeline – only reasons explaining why that might be our last choice!

Buy here.

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