A report from the front lines of climate change in Kenya, India, Canada, the Arctic, China, and Montana where people's lives have already been dramatically altered.
Directed by Brenda Longfellow
Producers: Jennifer Kawaja, Brenda Longfellow, Julia Sereny for Sienna Films; Gerry Flahive for the National Film Board of Canada
Director of Photography: Christopher Romeike
Original Music: Philip Strong & Laurel Macdonald
Produced by Sienna Films Productions VI Inc. in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada
Climate change is already here. In another decade, the damage will be irreversible.
"Excellent...provides sobering testimony from people who, thus far, are the most impacted by the rise of greenhouse gases." Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine
Weather Report is a sneak peek into the future. This year-long road trip takes us around the world, to places where global warming is having an immediate effect. We meet people for whom climate change already has life-and-death implications.
In India, city planners brace for more flooding disasters. In northern Kenya, tree-planting activists try to fend off the extreme drought that is sparking armed conflict over water and land. In the Canadian Arctic, elders are baffled by unpredictable weather patterns and animal behavior.
Many of the characters we meet are tireless fighters. People like Nobel Peace prize winner Wangari Maathai, whose Green Belt Movement marries conservation with community economic growth. A few years ago, Maathai was beaten by private security guards while protecting a forest. Now she's an assistant minister in the Kenyan government. Half a world away, in northern Canada, firebrand activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier fights to protect Inuit human rights against the impacts of climate change. Cloutier grew up riding dog sleds and hunting seals, a way of life disappearing for social but also climatic reasons. As head of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, she mounts a case that emissions from the US are a violation of the rights of the Inuit and other northern peoples whose cultures are being destroyed.
Weather Report brings us the powerful human stories of people whose lives have already been dramatically altered by the global crisis that will soon affect us all. It suggests that the weather is telling us that the current model of economic growth is not sustainable.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2008
Copyright Date: 2007
DVD ISBN: 0-7722-1222-8
VHS ISBN: 0-7722-1221-X
"Weather Report is a beautifully filmed documentary that travels the globe and is one of the first films to put a human face on the myriad impacts of climate change. Highly recommended."
Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, Director, Yale Project on Climate Change, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
"Excellent...Weather Report provides sobering testimony from people who, thus far, are the most impacted by the rise of greenhouse gases and other humanly emitted pollutants. Many of these people come from cultures that have observed their surroundings very carefully over the last few centuries and longer and they see the change. They provide eloquent commentary for those of us who are still at least partially buffered from environmental change and this commentary ought to awaken us."
Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, Author, The Ice Chronicles: The Quest to Understand Global Climate Change
"The Weather Report masterfully accomplishes something scientists have not been very good at--putting a real, human face on the consequences of global warming and the resulting climate change. The filmmakers brilliantly allow the viewer to see through the eyes of people already experiencing climate change just how it important it is to stop global warming and stabilize the climate."
Cindy L. Parker MD, MPH, Co-Director, Program on Global Sustainability and Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
"Compelling footage and heart-wrenching...The Weather Report is a visually appealing, up-to-date, and gripping documentary of the impact of climate variations on susceptible people around the world, something often forgotten in rich countries where we are largely insulated from the worst of them."
Kirk R. Smith and Audrey B. Barrett, Global Health and Environment Program, University of California-Berkeley
"Weather Report tackles an issue far greater than the local weather--it addresses the dismal consequences of climate change on communities throughout the world for decades to come...Perhaps our new president understands an essential outcome of the film: that the earliest victims of climate change are disadvantaged and remote communities--but that eventually all communities will suffer an irreversible fate unless immediate action is taken to reverse the patterns of greenhouse gas emissions that are changing the world's climate system."
Rosamond Naylor, Director, Program on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University
"Unfolds like a well-written novel, with each chapter contributing to the full narrative, yet it is concise, educational and visually stunning...Crystal-clear images overlaid with minimal commentary from the filmmakers allow the viewer to feel as if he has gained first-hand experience with problems that might, so far, exist only on the other side of the globe...Highly recommended for junior high-general adult viewers."
Carrie Macfarlane, Middlebury College, Educational Media Reviews Online
"Viewers will be rubbing grit out of their eyes from the dust storms...Weather Report is recommended for public library patrons."
"The strengths of the documentary are its multicultural focus, both on the threat of climate change, as well as possible responses to it, and its connection of industrialization and globalization to the cause of the problem...Could be put to good use in courses on social problems, social change, environment and society, inequality, and globalization."
Mike Keen, Teaching Sociology
"An insightful question is raised about how we can change our current path toward destruction. Some believe the economic market will fix its own mistakes, while others call for a clean-tech revolution...By presenting information on global climate change, [Weather Report] encourage[s] the audience to go out and individually educate other people about it, because the more people know about this situation, the more can be done to help."
Renee Patten, DePaul University, Environmental Practice
includes extended interviews with Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai (founder of Kenya's Green Belt Movement); author James Howard Kunstler (The Geography of Nowhere); Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier (former Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference); science fiction writer, Bruce Sterling; and Indian environmentalist, Sunita Surain (Director of the Centre for Science and the Environment in New Delhi), plus scene selection.
Bullfrog Films trailer
Awards and Festivals
"The Green," Sundance Channel
Bronze Remi Award, WorldFest International Film Festival
Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
Amazing Earthfest, Kanab UT
Climate Change/Global Warming
Forests and Rainforests
Urban and Regional Planning
Examines the media strategies, on both sides, that have resulted in the US government's failure to take decisive action on global warming.
Looks at the battle over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in the context of Alaska's accelerated warming.
Shows that global warming is already hurting the Pacific Islands.
A Sea Change
Ocean acidification threatens over one million species with extinction--and with them, our entire way of life.
Was the unprecedented mass coral bleaching in 1998 proof of global warming?
Turning Down The Heat
Renewable energy sources and energy conservation are the solution to global warming.
Big Spuds, Little Spuds
The impact of climate change and monoculture on one of the world's staple food crops.
Satirical look at the inadequacies of the concept of carbon offsetting.
The Ecological Footprint
Dr. Mathis Wackernagel introduces the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures human demand on the Earth.
The Fires of the Amazon
Adrian Cowell reports on the situation in the Amazon more than a decade after his series THE DECADE OF DESTRUCTION.
The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced
Two scientific expeditions to Alaska, 100 years apart, give us an unparalleled view of environmental damage and the change in society's attitudes.
The Next Industrial Revolution
Architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart bring together ecology and human design.