The New Environmentalists

5 hrs. Green Planet Films. 2007–2016. Schools $599. Public libraries $375. Streaming avail. UPC 714497274072.
Gr 9 Up—This excellent anthology, narrated by Robert Redford, depicts the environmental struggles of individuals, small groups, and grassroots organizations as they take on major energy corporations, developers, and polluters of all kinds to protect natural resources, community health, and sovereign lands. Interviews with these new environmentalists over the last 10 years are accompanied by footage of the destruction they are trying to prevent, the beautiful natural areas they endeavor to protect, and "slice of life" segments of the environmentalists in their communities. Protests, hearings, direct confrontations, and legal actions are all depicted as the tools used to educate supporters and fight for ecosystems and communities the activists hold dear. Countries all around the globe are featured, making the point that people need to work together to protect the planet for generations to come. There is a segment about San Juan, Puerto Rico, rendered absolutely heartrending in light of the devastation it has suffered in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The episodes can be viewed separately, making this useful for class periods and providing much food for thought, discussion, and further research.
VERDICT Environmental studies, social studies, science, and math classes will find this informative and inspiring series useful. A hopeful and welcome addition to both school and public libraries.

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