Environmental Books and Movies to Liven Up February Blues
"This Changes Everything," a book written by Naomi Klein which discusses climate change and economics. Photo courtesy of Naomi Albert

Environmental Books and Movies to Liven Up February Blues

Although sub-zero wind chills and icy streets may deter students from getting outside to enjoy nature, they provide the perfect opportunity to cozy-up with a book or movie to get inspired and informed.

“Rotten” episode one, season one. “Rotten” is a documentary available on Netflix, which discusses the global food industry. Screencapture from Netflix.com

Mark Cook, freshman chemical engineering major, said that he has been enjoying watching “Rotten,” a documentary series which arrived to Netflix this January.

“It just inspired me to eat better food and know where my food is coming from and eat local food,” said Cook.

Each of the six episodes have intriguing titles such as “Garlic Breath” and “Lawyers, Guns and Honey.” While they each focus on a different product, the over-arching theme is food.

Eve Kramer, junior wildlife ecology major, said that “Erin Brockovich” is her go-to environmental movie.

The film follows legal assistant Erin Brockovich, played by a spunky Julia Roberts, who exposes a company that is poisoning the residents of a small town through toxic contamination of their drinking water. Although dramatized, it is based on real events. The film depicts a powerful, and in real life rare moment, when environmental justice trumps profit, providing an empowering message for environmentalists. Although the film is uplifting, there is some controversy over the outcome of the real-life events.

“180 Degrees South” is a 2010 documentary available on Netflix. Screencapture from Netflix.com

For those who are solely looking to enjoy scenery and sunshine, “180 Degrees South” is a more light-hearted documentary available on Netflix.

The film follows a group of happy-go-lucky surf-loving mountain climbers on their quest to reach Patagonia. The journey is pure adventure and has truly majestic views, accompanied by soulful feel-good folk. The film provides a pleasant escape from a cold Wisconsin night.

“Unbranded” is another Netflix documentary to watch, if not solely for images of magnificent landscapes and beautiful horses.

This documentary tells the story of a gaggle of aspiring cowboys who attempt to ride from the U.S. Mexico border to Canada on recently-broken wild-mustangs. The film features spectacular views of the very rugged west, which offer a sharp contrast to the midwestern winter surrounding us.

While the array of environmental movies is extensive, the selection of books is nearly endless.  If you need proof, just spend an afternoon browsing the campus library.

“This Changes Everything” is the fourth book written by Naomi Klein which discusses climate change and economics. Photo courtesy of Naomi Albert

Jessycah Anderson, junior natural resource planning major, said that she has been reading “This Changes Everything: The Capitalism of Climate Change.” Anderson said the book is  a great resource for understanding the history and current use of fossil fuels in America in relation to “the whole climate battle.”

Although icy weather may keep everyone indoors, the vast array of environmental themed books and movies make the midwinter blues more bearable for avid outdoors-people.


Naomi Albert
Environment Editor

About Naomi Albert

Naomi Albert
I am a junior Natural Resource Planning major with a Spanish minor. I enjoy the outdoors and traveling.

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