Climate change is a serious problem, and continues to become an increasingly dangerous threat to future generations for all species of life on Earth. The mass media has a profound influence on our own opinions, beliefs, and views about the world around us. Documentary films and television communicate and educate us about the natural world to the public. It let's us easily access places in our world we have never seen or heard of before. From the deep ocean depths to the tips of glaciers in the Arctic to the great sand dunes of Africa, because of the documentaries, we are able to experience these distant unworldly places through our very own eyes.
Environmental documentaries not only educate and inform audiences, but they are also capable of deeply impacting audiences. These films connect causes and consequences of environmental issues in a narrative that initiates an emotional engagement with the material we are viewing. These issues are also met with contrasting political viewpoints.
In addition to educational purposes, these films also advocate for personal or collective action, or policy change. Filmmakers are using documentary films and television programs to both inform audiences on the facts of environmental issues, as well as persuading those that this problem is in fact real, and desperately needs urgent human action. For example, climate change is a direct threat to our planet and all species of life. It is also a highly political issue. Documentaries advocate a clear and political viewpoint that addresses the issues of climate change, as well as a message urging for individuals or collective behaviors to mitigate climate change. The facts and images of the issues shown are usually fear-inducing messages that includes information about how to reduce the threat at hand. Environmental documentaries like Blackfish and Our Planet, both make us question our relationships to nature, animals and the world around us. The issue of animal rights and the detrimental impacts of our ecological footprint as a global society is evoked by empathy, in both films.
Climate change documentaries focus on the consequences for humans and the natural world. Environmental issue documentaries are so effective in the way in which they impact public opinions about these issues, as well as produce effective messages that initiate an emotional response, and call to action.