YouTube is not just a great source for cat videos; it’s also a great way to learn about all kinds of things, including climate change.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to dig through the good, the bad, and the ugly of climate change videos, because I’ve done that for you. I spend time watching videos about climate change almost every day. I’ve sifted through what’s there and picked out some favorites so you can dive right in and start learning about climate change.
I’ve organized the videos into a few different play lists, so begin where you’re most interested.
General climate change: This playlist is an aggregation of the most interesting climate change videos I’ve found from a variety of different sources. Some videos are short; for example, the video from 1958 by Frank Capra that talks about climate change–yes, 1958!!–while some are long, in-depth explorations of a specific topic, like the excellent presentation about sea level rise by Jeremy Jackson. Explore the whole list and find a place to begin that resonates with you.
NASA Climate Change: NASA is devoting tremendous resources to studying climate change and our Earth and has produced several fascinating videos about climate change and the specific projects they are undertaking to study the Earth, like Jason 3, which is studying sea level rise, and Operation Ice Bridge which is studying ice loss in both the Arctic and Antarctic.
TED Talks: TED talks are always a great way to learn new things. This playlist includes videos from the global TED conference, various TEDx (local) conferences, as well as TEDEd.
Kevin Anderson: I’ve devoted an entire playlist to climate scientist Kevin Anderson, partly because he has spent a lot of his time in the past year or so speaking about climate change and most of his speeches are recorded, and partly because he does an excellent job communicating about the urgency of climate change and the concept of carbon budgets. Many of the videos in this playlist have some overlapping information, but they are all worth watching if you have the time. Start at the top and work your way down!
Clive Hamilton: Another individual I’ve got a whole playlist devoted to is Clive Hamilton, who is Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics in Australia. He has written extensively about climate change, including in two books, Requiem for a Species and Earthmasters (both excellent reads), and has given presentations about climate change based on both these books and others he’s written, as well as based on the work he does in ethics and philosophy. He is an expert on geo-engineering, and this is a topic well-worth exploring as it is something the planet (or some subset of the planet) may decide we need to do in the near future as an climate emergency response.
Humor and Climate Change: Once you’ve slogged through a lot of this climate change information you might start feeling depressed; after all, climate change is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced, and it’s not at all clear we’re going to get out of this pickle intact. So treat yourself to some funny videos about climate change. After all, no matter what happens, it’s important to keep your sense of humor, right? And, humor is a good way to educate, too.
I hope you find these playlists valuable. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and any other videos you think I should add to the list.