Must See Environmental Awareness Videos

This is a directory with a brief description of a selection of relevant and entertaining `Environmental Awareness” Videos and Tedtalks on the Internet. Watch! Wake-Up! Be Wowed! and take Action!

Earth Awareness & Celebrating Nature:  

The video clips in this section celebrate the beauty and role of an intact Natural Environment as the source of our basic needs for food and shelter and for spiritual wellbeing.

1. Living in Harmony with Nature – a WWF film 1.53 min

If we look after earth – earth will look after us. Beautiful images of rural people in Natural landscapes with sub-titles which draw the connections between people and our planet. Human well-being is directly connected to the way we treat our planet’s natural resources. Deforestation, pollution, extinction, loss of biodiversity directly impact quality of living. Destroying nature makes life harder for all of us and even more for those who are already vulnerable. YouTube film

2. 5×15 George Monbiot on Rewilding 15 minutes loads quickly

Explaining the concept of Trophic Cascades dynamic speaker and award winning journalist George Monbiot shows how the influence of key species such as wolves, whales and elephants goes beyond changes to plants and animals in their ecosystems to impacts on topography and the composition of the atmosphere. Ecosystems are even more complex than we previously understood them to be. Watch the Rewilding of Europe for a message of hope expressed by the resilience of Nature (GAIA) but also about the reawakening of our human need for wild places to be truly aware and alive.

3. She’s Alive… Beautiful… Finite… Hurting… Worth Dying for. 5 minutes

This is a beautifully filmed and dramatic record to highlight the fact that the decisions of world leaders, irresponsible corporates and the actions of thoughtless ‘consumers’ are combining to destroy life on earth. The film is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and to those whose lives are on the line today. The cut was put together by Vivek Chauhan, a young film maker, together with naturalists working with the Sanctuary Asia network at

4. The Pale Blue Dot (Carl Sagan) 5.30 minutes

The Pale Blue Dot puts our civilizations on Earth into a Cosmic perspective. A very graphic representation of the insignificance of humanity and a call for us to behave better. Sagan’s film shows the Earth as a small blue stage set in a cosmic dark that is indifferent to us. Our self inflated importance and continual wars against each other are the result of our delusion that we have a special significance on our lonely planet. Sagan reminds us that there we have no substantial evidence of intelligent life elsewhere or of other planets with the conditions essential for human life. Like it or not the earth is where we make our stand. This underscores our responsibility to be kinder to each other on this small blue dot the only one we have. YouTube address:

5. Beauty – The Feynman Series (part 1) 5.11 minutes

Richard Feynman Nobel Physicist illustrates his thoughts about science and discovering beauty to beautiful images of Earth. “ When you doubt and ask, it becomes a little harder to believe. What is wrong with not knowing. I would rather be excited by not knowing and the process of discovering than believe in the wrong thing.” YouTube address:!

6. Pocahontas – Can you paint with the colours of the wind movie extract. 3.14 minutes

This `back to childhood take’ on our spiritual connection with Nature – begs an answer to the question: How would I feel if there was no natural environment for me to enjoy, spend quiet time in, or escape to? In this movie extract Pocahontas reminds us about the inherent wisdom and beauty of nature and the value of local indigenous knowledge. Good message – its effect depends on whether the audience consider themselves to be too `mature’ for a `Walt Disney’ styled message. YouTube address:

6. Wild Earth’s Children: Re-connect deeply with Nature. 4.36 minutes

Wild Earth’s Children is an environmental education programme that takes parents and children on a journey to reconnect with Nature. “A deep connection to nature is life and world changing . There is a flow to life and when we learn to move in harmony with nature. We can be at peace. We have nothing to fear we are the rivers and trees and mountains. Nature is a place to build our confidence our connections and to find inner peace. We do not have to destroy.” You tube address

Materialism and its negative impacts on a sustainable future

These video clips relate to the issues of how can I enjoy the benefits of a healthy community and a physically and spiritually intact in an environment that is degraded and in some cases toxic.

1. I am only a child – 12 year old Severn Suzuki speaking at UN Earth Summit 1992 7.50 minutes

Severn Suzuki’s speech has an eternal message that strikes a deep chord – even though it is 20 years old. It is one of the most powerful public appeals ever made to government leaders to sit up and take action for a sustainable future for humanity. At the time Severn Suzuki was a 12 old child telling the national delegates at the Rio Earth Summit that they need to clean up their act. Picture quality not great but Severn’s Speech is clear and her message needs to be heard by every generation. YouTube address:

2. The Story of Change: 6 minute film.

Responsible shopping is about growing your own awareness but for significant change, the policies that support bad business practice need to be changed. The Story of Change invites citizens to put down their credit cards and to become pro-active citizens. The process of change is set out and citizens are called on to become change makers (Activators for positive Change). Find out with the Story of Change what kind of change maker you are: a communicator, builder, Investigator, resister, networker, nurturer etc YouTube address:

3. The Story of Bottled Water: 8 minute film.

Exposing the story of bottled water in the USA has very direct lessons for us in RSA. It is about how the commercial sector grows materialism (wants) by creating buying fashions which result in the frivolous use of non renewable resources and the degradation of our environment. The story of bottled water is more than the story of how marketing can confuse our needs with wants. It is a highly relevant example of how many big businesses change consumption patterns to generate profit rather than healthy lifestyles and environmentally sustainable business. It is a warning that we need to be more conscious and proactive about our purchase choices. By purchasing responsibly and in some cases by not buying we can demand a shift to people and earth safe products one till slip at a time. YouTube address:

4. The Story of Stuff: 13 minute film.

5. The Official Meatrix : 3,46 minutes.

A cartoon skit on `The Matrix’ it tells the story of factory farming of animals for the meat market. It illustrates the demise of family farming as industrialised factory farms replace and outcompete family farms to maximize profits. YouTube address:

6. Buy Buy American Pie: 2.46 minutes.

A Fun interlude. The words of the old classic feel good song `American Pie’ have been replaced so that this version is a funny skit on globalization, consumerism and toxins in consumer products. YouTube address:

7. A new seal for South African wines:

2 min advert for a new sustainability label for South African Wines which is a world first.
This is the story of a label introduced in 2010 so that consumers could identify which wines are grown with environmental integrity and social responsibility. The seal is an example of an industry responding to social and environmental responsibility and transparency. It also provides consumers with the means to for select for sustainability.

8. It all comes back to you: 50 seconds a WWF

This is an anti – littering film with a fresh and funny approach. An example of what goes around comes around. A man experiences the unexpected consequences of his wanton and thoughtless act of throwing an empty bottle from which he has just drunk the contents into the street. YouTube address:

9. Surviving Progress: 2 minutes

Surviving Progress is the trailer of an award winning film by Scorsese. It calls for us to make a distinction between good and bad progress and connects runaway consumerism with Ecocide. Inspired by book – A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright. My favourite quote: ‘we are essentially stone age hunters running 21Centuary software on hardware that has not been upgraded for 50 000 years’.
YouTube address:

Climate Change / Global Warming

These video clips tell the story of Climate Change and challenge us to find ways to move from awareness to positive action. The key ingredient required is leadership in the true sense of the word at each level – individual, community, economic and political.

1. How it all Ends by Wondermind 42. 9:30 minutes

How it all ends is a clever presentation watched by millions of viewers. It provides an approach to get to the core of the issue of how to weigh up the risks of devastating consequences of Climate Change if we do nothing versus the risk to the economy if we dramatically stop activities resulting in fossil fuel pollutants. It is a serious presentation with a fun approach – a debate between a science teacher and the devils advocate. The message is there is no need to get gloomy – we have opportunities to respond to the risks. The Climate Change / Global Warming debate has been raging for many years, but to date has generated more heat than light. High school science teacher Greg Craven aka Wondermind42 unpacks the risks of Climate Change on human civilization and the risks to the global economy of taking significant action to slow down Greenhouse Gas Emissions. We can not wait until every scientist and politician is aligned with or against the question of human induced Climate Change. We are in the test tube now. We don’t have to choose which scientists to support – for or against. Look at the risk assessment presented and fill in more information based on your own understanding and choose the wisest direction / action given the risks. YouTube address:

2. 7 of the most inspiring videos on the Web. 19 minutes Lewis Pugh speaks about his swim for climate change at the North Pole. He swam to make a public statement to show the worlds’ leaders how serious the situation is. But this story is also about personal growth and commitment to a dream, sound planning and faith in your support team. What type of world do we want to leave our children? Lewis Pugh joint South African and British national who lives in Cape Town is nick named the `Human Polar Bear’. He was the first person to swim 1km at the north pole – why because the world is changing and what happens at the north pole will also affect us.

3. Wake up, Freak out- then get a grip (tipping point ahead) 11:34 minutes

Good animation with a good explanation of the science behind a range of climate tipping mechanisms. The negative predictions regarding implications of climate change and the prognosis for humanity should earth temperatures go over the tipping point are realistic, but could upset sensitive viewers. Drought, fires, sea level rise flooding coastal areas where most of human populating live, massive movement of people who are climate change refugees and conflict as established communities try to keep refugees out. With a world awash with weapons and no longer able to support 7 billion people, many will not die peacefully in their sleep!!! After the animated horror presented, it comes as little consolation when the presenter Leo Murray states that Climate Change is NOT inevitable YET. But do not believe that Government and corporations will act in time as they are too busy dealing with profit. He proposes less consumption as a key solution – but we need to be more than consumers. We need to confront Government and big business to get a paradigm shift to an economy based on environmental sustainability. YouTube: Vimeo address:

4. Majora Carter on the Struggle for Environmental Justice 10 minutes

OPEN HERE; A great example of Active Leadership and innovative thinking. The Story of an urban environmentalist whose leadership turns her South Bronx community from an urban ghetto neglected by the authorities into a new growth zone for riverside recreation and tourism. Apart from organising her community and working to turn South Bronx from a hell hole into a positive space to live, she shows how urban renewal that incorporates environmental health also creates entrepreneurs and job opportunities. This video clip ends abruptly but gets the essential message across.


1. Facing up to Goliath – Lewis Pugh on Shell’s fracking plans in Karoo 13:20 min

Lewis speaks about not letting corporate greed dishonour our constitutional rights and the men and women who fought for them, Neither must we let corporate greed desecrate our environment and especially our critical water resources. He provides an excellent summary of issues and implications of fracking the Karoo both for the community and the natural environment. Reminding us about the poor social and environmental track records of the corporations such as Shell involved in the applications to frack the Karoo, he asks why we should trust them when so much is at stake. YouTube address:

2. Frack Attack 2 minute

A fun and young animated video with rapstyle dialogue by Cape Town artist Quinton Jitsvinger Goliath. It tells the story of the anticipated negative social and environmental impacts of Fracking the Karoo.
WWW Address

3. We Say No to Fracking – Voices from the Karoo

Voices from a wide range of Community members from across age, gender and racial groups as well as farming, tourism and other local interest groups. All coming together to raise concerns about the negative impacts of Fracking on their environment, economy and future. Ends with kids singing song that calls for them to have a future. Mixed English and Afrikaans 10:36 minutes. By Liane@kingsley. 0834152365 film by Liane Greef YouTube address


1. The Wild Mother of Invention series of Slides

Mother of Invention – How the Genius of Nature Could Help Us Live Smarter – 27 Slides with Lessons from the world of Biomimicry. Nature’s been inventing for a few billion years. In that time it has solved some daunting challenges, like how to make energy from sunlight or how to use waste so there isn’t any. Recently humans have started to work at the same tiny scale as nature, and we are beginning to understand how nature builds something stronger than steel without mines and furnaces. The natural world is filled with wondrous ideas. Take a look at the images in this collection to see some cool examples of an endless code of inspiring natural inventions that could help us solve our own complex challenges. I could not copy this set of slides – follow the link below to watch it.

2. Will Lawson TEDxTableMountain: Trees Rivers and Mountains 13 minutes.

A young man Will Lawson who talks about his journey from wanting to work in the outdoors to biomimicry. He gives examples of how Nature’s creatures show us how to solve problems. How Nature supports conditions conducive to life – humans on the other hand deplete resources and create pollution in their endeavours to build so called civilization. Youtube address:

3. Michael Palwyn TED talk: Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture
13 minutes.

Michael Jumps in with examples of how we can create buildings and living environments inspired by nature and using principles of waste being a resource. I did not copy this video – follow the link below if you want to watch it.

1. Association for the Study of Peak Oil South Africa film by Dr Jeremy Wakeford aprox 13 minutes

Detailed and technical explanation of the issues and consequences surrounding running out of Fossil Fuel a non-renewable energy source and the fuel that runs the engine of our current economic model.

. 2. Hans Rosling and the Magic Washing Machine. 9 minutes

Very articulate and entertaining. H Rosling takes a dig at environmentalists who tell others what to do from the comfort of having electricity and mod cons. More important, he gives a breakdown of global energy users. 2 billion people are below the poverty line on 2US $ per day who have no electricity, 3 billion in between with electricity but no washing machine, 1 billion above the washline on 40US $ per day and 1 billion above the airline on 80US $ per day who have all the mod cons and fly regularly as well. Hans then looked at aspirations and consumption and the implications for people and the planet. YouTube address