Environmental

  • Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia

    Our world's in crisis and like many others Dr. Stephan Harding believes that science has contributed to the many ecological problems we're now facing, but he also thinks that science has the answer. In this time of increasing environmental problems we need a science that not only...

    43 Min.
  • A Burning Question - Climate Change

    There seems to be a lot of bewilderment and doubt around climate change in the public. It's a difficult story to swallow and to comprehend what it means for humanity. So what do the ordinary people think about climate change in relation to what scientists are trying to convey? And how has the media portrayed this story?
    Running time - 52 Minutes.
  • Damocracy

    A documentary that debunks the myth of large-scale dams as clean energy and a solution to climate change.

    It records the priceless cultural and natural heritage the world would lose in the Amazon and Mesopotamia if two planned large-scale dams are built, Belo Monte dam in Brazil, and Ilisu dam in Turkey.

    Damocracy is a story of resistance by the thousands of people who will be displaced, and a call to world to support their struggle.

    The documentary is an excellent primer on the problems posed by mega-dam projects anywhere in the world, from their environmental and social impacts (including a greater global warming impacts than coal plants) to the way they are forced through over widespread opposition by affected communities, often by means of shady legal tactics.

    running time 34 Min.

  • Deepwater Disaster: The Untold Story

    Horizon reveals the untold story of the 87-day battle to kill the Deepwater Horizon oil blowout a mile beneath the waves - a crisis that became America's worst environmental disaster.

    Engineers and oil men at the heart of the operation talk for the first time about the colossal engineering challenges they faced and how they had to improvise under extreme pressure.

    They tell of how they used household junk, discarded steel boxes and giant underwater cutting shears to stop the oil. It's an operation that one insider likens to the rescue of Apollo 13.

    Running time 60 Min.

  • Dirtiest Place on the Planet

    It is the city of Linfen, China and spending about a day there breathing in the air is about the same as smoking three packs of cigarettes.

    The scary part is that there's a lot of cities in China like this. Sixteen out of the world's 20 most polluted cities are in China.

    Linfen produces what any nation of over a billion people need - a ton of energy. It's an endless landscape of factories all spewing a bunch of toxic chemicals into the air and poisoning the land and the water.

    There's no clouds, just a permanent toxic smog hovering over the city. Linfen is located in the heart of Shanxi Province. Every day, thousands of coal trucks go between Linfen and the rest of China's cities. Then they come back empty for more.

    China suffers from both local problems and global environmental challenges. So the combined impacts of climate change and local pollution are causing enormous consequences. A lot of the environmental problems in China are very closely linked to the energy consumption.

    Running time 28 Min.

  • Do the Math

    Like most people, Bill (environmentalist and co-founder of 350.org), is not an activist by nature. There's really not that many people whose greatest desire it to go out and fight the system. His theory of change was that he'll write his book, people will read it and they'll change. But that's not how change happens. What is required is to make a little noise, be a little uncomfortable, and push other people to be a little uncomfortable. The moment has come where we have to take a real stance, because we're reaching limits.

    The biggest limit that we're running into may be that we're running out of atmosphere into which to put the waste products of our society, particularly the carbon dioxide that is the ubiquitous byproduct of burning fossil fuels. We burn coal, or oil, or gas, we get CO2 and the atmosphere is now filling up with it.

    We know what the solutions for dealing with this trouble are; we know many of the technologies we need to get off fossil fuel and onto something else. The thing that is preventing us from doing it is the enormous political power wielded by those who have made and are making vast windfall profits off of fossil fuels.

    One of the things that humanity is facing is the need to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint over the next 40 years. We're no longer at the point of trying to stop global warming. It's too late for that. We're at the point of trying to keep it from becoming a complete and utter calamity.

    The most important climatologist, Jim Hansen, had his team at NASA do a study to figure out how much carbon in the atmosphere was too much. The paper they published may be the most important scientific paper of the millennium to date, said we now know enough to know how much is too much. Any value for carbon in the atmosphere greater than 350 parts per million is not compatible with the planet on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted.

    That's pretty strong language for scientists to use. Stronger still if you know that outside today, the atmosphere is 395 parts per million CO2. And rising at about 2 parts per million per year. Everything frozen on earth is melting. The great ice sheet of the arctic is reduced by more than half; the oceans are about 30% more acidic than they were 30 years ago because the chemistry of sea water changes as it absorbs carbon from the atmosphere. And because warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere is about 5% wetter than it was 40 years ago. That's an astonishingly large change.

    Running time 45 Min.

  • Fed Up!

    In the harvest of 1999, 60% of Canada's canola crop, 90% of Argentina's soybean crop, 50% of the US' soybean crop, and 33% of the US' corn crop was genetically engineered. Industrial agriculture is damaging the basis for future production. We've got soil erosion, soil compaction, salinisation, water logging, destruction of beneficial biodiversity, loss of natural enemies of pest... and all that is occurring in an alarming rate.

    Three things needed to come together to make the Green Revolution work. One was the development of specific high yield and often dwarf varieties of wheat, rice and corn that were derived by special outcrossing and hybridization techniques that Norman Borlaug perfected, working in Mexico and South-Western United States. Secondly there was a tremendous investment of funds from the Rockefeller foundation and the World Bank to assist poor countries to develop broader food base based on these resources. And third, there was tremendous availability, input and requirement for pesticides, fertilizers and irrigation which combined reinforced the value to a merchant commerce of supporting this type of agriculture.

    The Ford and Rockefeller foundations in the '50s were concerned that if the issue of hunger in the third world wasn't addressed, than poor people in those countries would be ripe for communist subversion. The Green Revolution, which is really the introduction of chemical agriculture under forced circumstances, in India acted as an antidote to social change and reinforced the patterns of inequality. The smaller peasants lost their land because they couldn't afford to keep up with the credit payments linked to the Green Revolution, the usage of water skyrocketed which left huge land regions basically desertified, the agricultural diversity has been wiped out, and yes the production of rice and wheat has increased but that was not an absolute increase in food.

    Faced with a choice of crop failures and resulting worldwide starvation, the use of pesticide and herbicides seems inevitable. Pesticides came out of the defense industry. The first modern synthetic chemical pesticides were derived from nerve gases developed by the Germans in World War II. They were made by simple changes in the molecules and instead of having their greatest toxicity for human beings they could have their greatest toxicity for insects.

    Running time 58 min.

  • Fracking - New Yorkers Against Fracking - The SKy is Pink.

    An emergency short film from Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of Gasland addressing the urgent crisis of drilling and fracking in New York state.

    Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking, commonly known as fracking, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas and coal seam gas), or other substances for extraction.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is weighing a proposal to allow fracking in several communities in New York State.

    Residents are deeply divided over the controversial drilling method. Supporters of fracking say it would give a much-needed financial boost to the affected communities. Those against it argue that the health and environmental risks far outweigh the rewards.

    Running Time 19 Min.

  • Fracking Facade

    A video exposing a flawed claim often abused in the sales pitch for promoting shale gas development across the world:

    "With a history of 60 years, after nearly a million wells drilled, there are no documented cases that hydraulic fracturing(fracking) has lead to the contamination of groundwater."

    Brought to you by the team behind the upcoming South African feature documentary, Unearthed, that is investigating natural gas development and the controversial method of extraction known as fracking from a global perspective. Should South Africa and other countries drill down?

    Running time 24 Min.http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/unearthed-fracking-facade/

  • Fracking in America

    Energy independence. Two words that became very important in the U.S. politics. For years now, the United States has tried to lower its dependence on foreign oil for its energy needs.

    With stability in the Middle East in question, drilling at home has never been more attractive, but it often comes at a cost.

    Natural gas extraction - fracking - is being touted as the answer. The way fracking is taking place, there are questions being asked about the process and its implications.

    People have been aware for decades that the rock formation known as the Marcellus Shale has natural gas trapped inside it. But it took professor Terry Engelder to figure out how much was there. And what he found shocked everyone.

    running time 24 Min.

  • Garbage Island

    Vice sails to the North Pacific Gyre, collecting point for all of the ocean's flotsam and home of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: a mythical, Texas-sized island made entirely of our trash.

    As long as it's existed, the middle of the Gyre has been a naturally occurring point of accumulation for all the drifting trash in its half of the ocean. Once upon a time, flotsam circled into the middle of the Gyre and (because up until the past century everything in the world was biodegradable) was broken down into a nutrient-rich stew perfect for fish and smaller invertebrates to chow on.

    The problem with plastic is, unless you hammer it with enough pressure to make a diamond, it never fully disintegrates. Over time plastic will photodegrade all the way down to the individual polymers, but those little guys are still in it for the long haul. This means that except for the slim handful of plastics designed specifically to biodegrade, every synthetic molecule ever made still exists.

    Running time 67 Min.

  • Garbage Warrior

    Imagine a home that heats itself, that provides its own water, hat grows its own food. Imagine that it needs no expensive technology, that it recycles its own waste, that it has its own power source.

    And now imagine that it can be built anywhere, by anyone, out of the things society throws away. Thirty years ago, architect Michael Reynolds imagined just such a home - then set out to build it.

    A visionary in the classic American mode, Reynolds has been fighting ever since to bring his concept to the public. He believes that in an age of ecological instability and impending natural disaster, his buildings can - and will - change the way we live.

    Shot over three years in the USA, India and Mexico, Garbage Warrior is a feature-length documentary film telling the epic story of maverick architect Michael Reynolds, his crew of renegade house builders from New Mexico, and their fight to introduce radically different ways of living.

    A snapshot of contemporary geopolitics and an inspirational tale of triumph over bureaucracy, Garbage Warrior is above all an intimate portrait of an extraordinary individual and his dream of changing the world.

    running time 88 Min.

  • Global Dimming

    Since measurements began in the 1950s, scientists have discovered that there has been a decline of sunlight reaching the Earth; they called it global dimming.

    But according to a paper published in the journal Science, the dimming did not continue into the 1990s and indeed since the 1980s scientists have observed a widespread brightening. What caused the dimming to go down and what effect will it have, if any, on climate change?

    The film explores the theory that pollution is shielding the oceans from the full power of the Sun, and disrupting the pattern of the world-s rainfall. There is evidence that dimming caused the droughts in sub-Saharan Africa which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the 1970s and 1980s.

    It reveals that we may have grossly underestimated the speed at which our climate is changing. At its heart is a deadly new phenomenon. One that until very recently scientists refused to believe even existed. Alarmingly the dimming continues today, and Asia, home to half the world-s population is currently under threat.

    Running time 49 Min.

  • Inside the Garbage of the World

    We're living on a beautiful planet and as a human race we've been here for thousands of years. Our planet didn't need to be protected; life was flourishing on its own, with its own agenda. However for the past 100 years we've made a tremendous impact with...

    80 Min.
  • Introduction to Permaculture Design

    Permaculture is a system for sustainable living on Earth that benefits all creatures and supplies all the needs of humanity.

    Present systems are failing miserably: resource depletion, water storage, degraded landscape, food shortage, climate change.

    All these things are negative and we don't need to focus on them completely, but we need to look at how we can positively design our way out of this problem.

    How we can come up with solutions that will supply all our needsbenefit the environment, and create absolute abundance. A designed system that gives you a positive view on the future, something that you can engage in and feel meaningful.

    Based on the 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate Course as devised by Bill Mollison, join Geoff Lawton as he takes you into the world of Permaculture Design and introduces you to a new way of looking at the world.

    Learn how to apply your design skills by observing, analyzing and harmonizing with the patterns of Nature. Discover the theory and then see the examples in action in this unique video.

    Essential information for anyone interested in learning more about Permaculture and how they can apply it in their daily lives to create sustainable abundance.

    Running time 82 Min.

  • Plastic Cow

    This documentary film looks at the impact of our almost complete dependence on plastic bags, which we use and discard carelessly every day, often to dispose our garbage and kitchen waste.

    Not only are these bags a huge environmental threat, they end-up in the stomachs of cows, who, either because they've been discarded because they're not milking at the time or because the dairy owner is unwilling to look after them, have to fend for themselves and forage for food, which, like other scavengers, they find in community garbage dumps.

    Owing to their complex digestive systems, these bags, which they consume whole for the food they contain, get trapped inside their stomachs forever and, eventually, lead to painful death.

    Running time 34 Min.

  • Plasticized

    Plasticized is an intimate account of a first-hand journey aboard the Sea Dragon with the 5 Gyres Institute on the very first scientific expedition, focused on plastic waste, through the center of the South Atlantic Ocean.

    An eye-opening story about the institute's global mission to study the effects, reality, and scale of plastic pollution around the world.

    Despite rumors of massive garbage islands, an immeasurable amount of plastic pollution of all sizes is floating throughout every major ocean in the world.

    With the numerous ghost nets of trash or larger windrows of rubbish dominating the the occasional headlines, tiny bits of plastic particulate from frail chunks is the overwhelming contaminant that is secretly infiltrating all levels of sea life like a cancer.

    Running time 48 Min.

  • Poison Fire

    The Niger Delta is an environmental disaster zone after fifty years of oil exploitation. One and a half million tons of crude oil has been spilled into the creeks, farms and forests, the equivalent to 50 Exxon Valdez disasters, one per year.

    Natural gas contained in the crude oil is not being collected, but burnt off in gas flares, burning day and night for decades.

    The flaring produces as much greenhouse gases as 18 million cars and emits toxic and carcinogenic substances in the midst of densely populated areas. Corruption is rampant, the security situation is dire, people are dying. But the oil keeps flowing.

    Poison Fire follows a team of local activists as they gather video testimonies from communities on the impact of oils spills and gas flaring.

    We see creeks full of crude oil, devastated mangrove forests, wellheads that has been leaking gas and oil for months. We meet people whose survival is acutely threatened by the loss of farmland, fishing and drinking water and the health hazards of gas flaring.

    We also meet meet with Jonah Gbemre, who took Shell to court over the gas flaring in his village and won a surprise victory in the court.

    Ifie Lott travels to the Netherlands to attend Shell's Annual General Meeting. She wants to ask a simple question: Is Shell going to obey the court order and stop flaring?

    Running time 29 Min.

  • River of Waste

    This documentary looks at the potential hazards caused by factory farms in the United States, particularly by waste disposal.

    Beginning with a history of the American food system, River of Waste shows its evolution to large-scale corporate farms where pollution and use of growth hormones threaten both individual health and the future of our planet.

    A River of Waste exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production.

    Some scientists have gone so far as to call the condemned current factory farm practices as mini Chernobyls. In the U.S. and elsewhere, the meat and poultry industry is dominated by dangerous uses of arsenic, antibiotics, growth hormones and by the dumping of massive amounts of sewage in fragile waterways and environments.

    The film documents the vast catastrophic impact on the environment and public health as well as focuses on the individual lives damaged and destroyed.

    Running time 92 Min.

  • Sacred Spirit of Water

    Water is a living organism, water is sacred, water is life, water is worth defending and protecting for those yet unborn. Rivers and lakes in Alberta don't stop at provincial borders. These rivers and lakes flow throughout Canada and the United States, therefore everyone will be affected by the ominous bills which have become law.

    This means the previous 2.5 million lakes and rivers that were protected have been diminished to only 62 protected rivers and 97 lakes. If you enjoy the benefits of the Canadian outdoors, camping, canoeing, boating, fishing, for that matter clean drinking water, you need to ask yourself how will you be impacted by the sale of your water resources?

    Treaties stand in the way of the federal government. Traditional treaty territories within Canada protect the natural resources and within these traditional territories the four legged, the winged, and those within the waters, all your relations, will no longer be protected, as well as your human rights.

    The government has cut 186 million dollars from the First Nation water and waste water action plan and sunsetted the entire program. The government ignored the calls to provide the First Nations with the basic services other Canadians have become used to.

    Running time 58 Min.

  • Salmon Confidential

    Salmon Confidential is a new film on the government cover up of what is killing BC's wild salmon.

    When biologist Alexandra Morton discovers BC's wild salmon are testing positive for dangerous European salmon viruses associated with salmon farming worldwide, a chain of events is set off by government to suppress the findings.

    Tracking viruses, Morton moves from courtrooms, into British Columbia's most remote rivers, Vancouver grocery stores and sushi restaurants.

    The film documents Morton's journey as she attempts to overcome government and industry roadblocks thrown in her path and works to bring critical information to the public in time to save BC's wild salmon.

    The film provides surprising insight into the inner workings of government agencies, as well as rare footage of the bureaucrats tasked with managing our fish and the safety of our food supply.

    Running time 69 Min.

  • Sea the Truth

    This is the planet we still know so little. We call it Earth but less than 1/3 is land, over 2/3 is water and we use that water as a dumping site for our waste and as if it's an inexhaustible "horn of plenty" for humans. Our most important ecosystem is on the verge of collapse unless we act now. At this very moment the main problem with the oceans is that they're getting emptier and emptier. If we don't do anything then we face one of the biggest disasters in history of mankind.

    If you look at the predators only about 90% of all predatory fish is gone. Then from all the other commercial fish species almost 80% is gone. The best thing to do to solve the problem is to quit eating fish.

    People who don't dive have no idea how beautiful the underwater world is. The biodiversity is so immense and you see the most amazing creatures. What you can see under the water is art. Almost everywhere underwater photographer Dos Winkel dives he is faced with devastation. Taking a passive stance was not an option. He seizes every opportunity to use his photographs and tell the story of a world that is on the verge of vanishing.

    Is it conceivable that the oceans will be empty in 30 years? If so, we humans are responsible. Two young marine biologists set out to do research for us - Marianne van Mierlo and Barbara van Genne. In this film (sequel to Meat the Truth) we sum up the facts why our seas and oceans are in great danger. First we find a survey by the University of British Columbia which shows that fish stocks in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1900 were megatons of fish in the sea. Hundred years later nearly everything is gone.

    Professor Daniel Pauly has been publishing about the effects of global over-fishing for years. We have a situation where we are already starting losing fish population at an increasing rate. Pauly is one of the most renowned researches concerning the state in the oceans. For his work he has received honorary doctorates from universities in Greece, Belgium, Canada, Portugal and the Netherlands.

    Running time 60 min.

  • Toxic Light Bulb Investigation

    Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL) save energy and sound great - but is there a hidden danger? Why do they need 'special' disposal?

    Harmful UV rays could be seeping into your home. An exclusive investigation that prompted Health Canada to jump into action.

    Allison Vuchnich explores whether there's a link between bulbs and the triggering of migraine headaches. Since these stories first aired, there were many reactions.

    16:9's investigation exposing the possible health risks of those curly fluorescent light bulbs touched a nerve. They demanded answers from Health Canada and finally - their test results.

    Running time 35 Min.

  • Toxic: Napoli

    In the city of Naples, Italy, the Mafia has controlled the waste-management industry for decades - dumping and burning trash across its rolling hills and vineyards. In 1994, the European Union declared the situation an official environmental emergency, and things have only gotten worse since then.

    When VICE investigated the situation they found mutated sheep, poisoned mozzarella, alarming rates of cancer, and pissed off farmers ready to push back against the Camorra, Italy's most powerful and dangerous criminal organization (and the government that enables it).

    At the beginning of 2008, world news outlets were flooded with images of garbage piles in the streets of Naples. The newly reelected premier, Silvio Berlusconi, made countless TV appearances, personally picking up trash and promising to resolve the situation.

    Naples and the entire Campania region had been officially declared an environmental crisis over 14 years ago. The garbage piles were just a current distraction from the real emergency. Almost 8 million tons of rubbish stockpiled throughout the region, illegal toxic waste dumps, a serious human health crisis, and behind it all, the largest criminal organization in Italy, the Neapolitan Camorra.

    Running time 54 Min.