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Find more Top 10 DVDs on the Environment
Culled from reviews published in Booklist during the past two years, these outstanding environment-related titles cover subjects ranging from solar energy and global warming to ocean wildlife. With Al Gore winning both an Academy Award and the prestigious Nobel Prize for his work on global warming, celebrities jumping on the “green wagon,” and increased awareness of ecological concerns, these well-organized, recommended titles are sure to be in high demand.
Global Warming: The Rising Storm. 2007. 57min. Ambrose, DVD, $79.99 (1-58281-315-9).
Touring sites from New Mexico to the Arctic Circle, biologists, ecologists, and climatologists present a dire assessment of the effects of global warming on the earth’s climate and future, citing shrinking ice caps, increasing forest fires, and dying coral reefs as evidence.
Global Warming in the Arctic. 2007. 28min. Landmark, DVD, $195.
In this nicely shot documentary, Russian scientists journey to Svalbard, the northernmost spot of civilization (an archipelago situated between Norway and the North Pole), to document the effects of global warming on the ice cover and wildlife.
The Great Warming. 2007. 85min. Landseer, DVD, $29.99.
Film crews travel across the world to interview people whose lives have been affected by global warming. Hosted by Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morissette, this accessible program puts a face on the effects of rising temperatures.
In the Company of Wild Butterflies. 2006. 45min. Bullfrog, VHS, $225 (1-59458-640-4); DVD, $225 (1-59458-341-2).
Excellent close-up photography and rare nature footage, backed by soothing voice-over narration and harp and guitar music, track the life stages of a butterfly, from egg to adult. Experts discuss the effects of land restoration and conservation programs on these fragile creatures.
A Life among Whales. 2006. 56min. Bullfrog, VHS, $250 (1-59458-380-3); DVD, $250 (1-59458-381-1). Gr. 8–11.
Enlightening interviews intermix with striking underwater whale footage in this program in which biologist and activist Roger Payne speaks about his discovery and recording of whale songs, environmental issues, and the unique relationship between whales and humans.
Miracle Planet. 2006. 6hr. Ambrose, DVD, $129.99.
Using stunning computer-animated visuals and voice-over by actor Christopher Plummer, this impressive program charts the four-billion-year history of our planet, including catastrophic meteor collisions and the extinction of dinosaurs.
Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea. 2007. 73min. Docurama, DVD, $26.95 (0-7670-9847-1).
This quirky documentary chronicles the rise and fall of the Salton Sea, an inland ocean in Southern California and a thriving vacation spot in the 1950s. The past glory, captured in home-movie footage, promotional ads, and archival footage, contrasts sharply with modern images of rotting buildings, polluted water, and dead wildlife.
Solar Energy: Saved by the Sun. 2007. 60min. WGBH, DVD, $19.95 (9781593757212).
Accessible computer graphics and testimony by experts help make a strong case for using solar energy to combat escalating greenhouse gases and global warming. Home and business owners demonstrate viable systems and economic benefits of solar power.
State of the Ocean’s Animals. 2007. 55min. Screenscope, VHS, $149; DVD, $149.
Actor Matt Damon hosts this beautifully shot exploration of ocean wildlife. Ecological issues, including commercial fishing, climate changes, and habitat destruction, are examined, and success stories such as the rising populations of sea turtles and otters are touted. There are also other titles available in this ongoing series.
Swim for the River. 2007. 56min. Bullfrog, VHS, $250 (1-59458-533-4); DVD, $250 (1-59458-534-2).
In 2004, Christopher Swain became the first person to swim the entire length of the Hudson River. The filmed record of this feat dramatically highlights the negligence and vulnerability of the 315-mile river as well as successful reclamation efforts.
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