3 Videos about the Climate Change Crises

When I reflect on the current corporate interest in sustainability, I am increasingly convinced that a root cause is global concern about climate change. Despite the best efforts of well-funded climate change deniers, people around the world believe the scientific evidence—we are in a climate change crisis.

Awareness of the climate emergency by customers, employees, and other important stakeholders is raising their expectations that companies will proactively reduce their carbon footprints and provide products and services that help mitigate the impacts of climate change. Here are three videos that support the urgency of the situation and suggest a way forward.

To view these videos in full screen, click on the arrows in the bottom right corner of the video.  If you are receiving this blog post via email, click on the title of the video to view it.

1. Al Gore on the planetary emergency (27:51 Min)Despite its length, this is a succinct summary of Al Gore’s 2006 documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” That movie did more to raise global awareness about climate change than any other force. Al Gore’s 2008 TED talk goes further. He advocates putting a price on carbon to wake up the world to the crisis.

He suggests clean energy solutions. He rails against a culture of distraction and advocates a democratic movement that mobilizes the necessary civic and political will to rise to the challenge and makes it all happen. He delivered the talk in 2008, but it is still relevant. The first 21:20 minutes are his presentation; the rest is the Q&A session which is mostly about the Presidential candidates’ positions on climate change that year, and his desire to be a more effective force for change to higher level of consciousness in society.

2. 350 Animation (1:37 min)Climate scientists say that the red line on climate change is 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere. Hence the name for 350.org, self-described on its web site as the “international campaign that’s building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand.”

They produced this clever, short, animated video so that people speaking any of the 4,000 languages on the planet would understand the science of global warming and vision of the 350 Campaign in 90 seconds, with no words.

3.Climate: A Crisis Averted (2:00 min)This is a clever, short, mock-documentary video made by Climate Counts in 2006. It looks back from the year 2055 and describes how we avoided the climate crisis. Of course, some of its first steps proved to be overly hopeful, like the “unlikely independent McCain/Obama ticket” that “was swept into the White House in 2008.” It is also a bit blatant in its appeal for support of Renew US. Getting past those aspects, though, I like the way it backcasts from a desired future situation to the present situation and suggests milestones on the journey.

This is a clever, short, mock-documentary video made by Climate Counts in 2006. It looks back from the year 2055 and describes how we avoided the climate crisis. Of course, some of its first steps proved to be overly hopeful, like the “unlikely independent McCain/Obama ticket” that “was swept into the White House in 2008.” It is also a bit blatant in its appeal for support of Renew US. Getting past those aspects, though, I like the way it backcasts from a desired future situation to the present situation and suggests milestones on the journey.

A few other interesting videos about the threat of climate change are:

  • How It All Ends (10 min)
    This provides a quirky look at climate change through a risk management lens. It’s probably too home-made to use during a public presentation, but it is cleverly informative.
  • The Big Ask: Climate change, “ACT NOW!” (3:54 min)
    A child tells the “men in suits” to act now on climate change – forcefully.
  • TEDxToronto – Tom Rand (3:56 min)
    A great example of the compelling business case for reducing the carbon footprints of buildings.

These videos provide both dire predictions and hopeful approaches to climate change. If you know of other similar videos, please suggest them in the Comments section below.

P.S. Annie Leonard and her friends at Free Range Studios have just released another in her “Story of …” series: The Story of Electronics. It illustrates why an unsustainable “designed for the dump” product model is toxic for people and the planet. It is excellent.

Bob

5 replies
  1. Sophie Agbonkhese
    Sophie Agbonkhese says:

    Thanks for these Bob.

    Your post reminded me of my first assignment in one of my sustainability classes at MIT, which was taught my John Sterman. The first night, he sent us home to watch three videos. One of them was George Carlin’s stand-up comedy routine “Saving the Planet”. If you haven’t seen it, be warned, it’s vulgar, but he really wanted us to see it because it epitomizes the anti-sustainability argument and sums up in 7 minutes everything that people are opposed to regarding sustainability (and climate change as the driving force). We spent much of that course building the argument for sustainability, so this was a great starting point.

    Sincerely,

    Sophie Agbonkhese, Sustainability Coordinator
    Strathcona BIA

  2. Bob Willard
    Bob Willard says:

    Thanks for posting the link to this George Carlin routine, Sophie. Even if some might be offended by it, it is helpful for sustainability champions to be familiar with it in case others reference it. I love the idea of using the video clip as a way to stimulate discussion about how to handle likely objections about doing anything about environmental and social issues that may concern us.

  3. Forum
    Forum says:

    I do trust all the ideas you have presented in your post.
    They are really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too short
    for newbies. May just you please extend them a little from next time?

    Thanks for the post.

  4. Bob Willard
    Bob Willard says:

    Hi, Sally. Thanks for the feedback. It’s hard to know how much to say or not say about a video, especially because times change. This blog is 4.5 years old and I might comment on the videos differently today. Anyway, for a whole bunch of reasons, including how links break when videos are moved, I have sworn off writing blogs about videos. 🙂

    Bob

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