Hannah's Recommended Viewing on the Climate Crisis

In this blog, Hannah, a volunteer on Young Scot's Content Collaborators Panel shares some recommended viewings if you want to find out more about the climate crisis. 

Maybe you want to know more about the science behind climate change or maybe you are just looking for something to sit back and watch on a cosy Autumn evening. Either way, these are some recent TV shows related to the climate crisis that I would recommend watching.

Restoring the Earth: The Age of Nature (2021) [iPlayer]

Made up of three 50-minute episodes, Restoring the Earth is dedicated to success stories about how communities have come together to revive previously devastated ecosystems and how nature can repair itself when left alone. 

Each story is historically contextualised, and the stories themselves span Panama, Norway, Mozambique, China, USA, Scotland, South Africa, Bhutan, Poland, Antarctica, Australia and Indonesia. So, you’ll come away from the documentary knowing a lot more about sustainable climate-based efforts and about the world in general.

Watch on BBC iPlayer.

Extinction: The Facts (2020) [iPlayer]

One of David Attenborough’s latest documentaries, Extinction: The Facts explores the impact climate change has on animals and which species are at risk of extinction. It also shows the link between the collapse of biodiversity and the increased risk of pandemic diseases.

Watch on BBC iPlayer.

Image of Climate Change: Ade on the frontline with text reading Ade Adepitan travels to the frontline of climate change. He discovers how life is being affected even now and scours the globe for potential solutions.

Climate Change: Ade on the Frontline (2021) [iPlayer]

This is a three-part documentary series presented by Paralympic medallist and TV journalist, Ade Adepitan. The series covers the Solomon Islands, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Scandinavia. It has a more conversational feel, and the presenter is really engaging.

Watch on BBC iPlayer.

A Year in the Ice: The Arctic Drift (2021) [Channel4]

A Year in the Ice follows a team of 300 scientists living in the arctic over the course of a year. Their mission: to investigate why sea ice is declining and why the arctic is warming at least twice as fast as the rest of the planet. The documentary at times makes for tense viewing, with polar bears and cracks in the ice keeping the audience on edge.

Watch on Channel 4.

Life at 50 Degrees (2021) [iPlayer]

In stark contrast to A Year in the Ice, Life at 50 Degrees looks at places with extreme levels of heat. There are only a few episodes, each around 20 minutes long, and they all focus on the harsh living conditions for families living in poverty in each location.

Watch on BBC iPlayer.

Shop Well for the Planet? (2021) [iPlayer]

Ok, so this isn’t a documentary, but if you want a more light-hearted viewing experience that is still related to the environment, then this may be the one for you. Shop Well for the Planet? is a series that shares top tips on how to live a greener lifestyle by looking at how to reduce the carbon footprint of a new family each week. One team focuses on the family’s shopping habits and the other focuses on their cooking habits.

Watch on BBC iPlayer.

Australia on Fire: Climate Emergency (2021) [Channel4]

This is a 50-minute documentary about the most devastating fire season in Australia yet. Drone footage demonstrates the extent of the damage, showing destroyed homes and desperate attempts to save the wildlife.

Watch on Channel 4.

Image of Greta Thunberg and text reading Climate activist Greta Thunberg takes a year off school to explore the science of global warming and challenge world leaders, calling for action on climate change.

Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World (2021) [iPlayer]

This documentary switches between a present-day interview with Greta, snippets from her past speeches at rallies and events, and her journey around the world exploring environmental problems and current innovations. Although the documentary never shies away from the reality of climate change, it doesn’t feel overly bleak either, thanks in part to Greta’s involvement. It is educational, moving and persuasive.

Watch on BBC iPlayer.

The People Vs Climate Change (2021) [iPlayer]

This film focuses on how 108 people from across the UK feel about changing the way they travel, eat and work for the sake of the planet. Some are hopeful and others are not. It’s an honest documentary that gives you a clear insight into how much people know about climate change and to what extent they are willing to do something about it.

Watch on BBC iPlayer.

2020: Planet Earth – A User’s Guide (2020) [iPlayer]

Planet Earth – A User’s Guide is the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures from 2020 about the science behind climate change. The series explores the earth, the oceans and the air we breathe, examining rocks, fossils, carbon dioxide, whale poo, zooplankton, hydrogen and more with lots of fun demonstrations.

Watch on BBC iPlayer.

Read other environmental blogs or visit our COP26 page to find out more about climate change, the climate crisis and the environment.

Young Scot supports young people to share their own voices, views and opinions and works with partner organisations and professionals who are experts in different topics. The views expressed in this blog are those of the young people, organisations and/or individuals who have taken part in the blog, not necessarily the views of Young Scot.