Clinging to Coal: West Virginia’s Fight Over Green Jobs

Clinging to Coal: West Virginia’s Fight Over Green Jobs

Source:  CBS News

For generations, coal has been the backbone of West Virginia, until jobs were eliminated by the tens of thousands.

While some are counting on promises made to bring coal back, a new generation is embracing the next opportunity: green energy.

But in the nationwide race to dominate renewable power production, West Virginia’s deeply rooted tensions and interests may leave its workers behind.

Watch “Clinging to Coal: West Virginia’s Fight Over Green Jobs” above and read the story at CBS News.

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Reserve, Louisiana has the highest rate of cancer in the country. The Guardian presents “Cancer Town”

Reserve, Louisiana has the highest rate of cancer in the country. The Guardian presents “Cancer Town”

Source:  The Guardian

Reserve, Louisiana sits in the heart of an industrial corridor between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  For more than 30 years, it’s been known to its residents as “Cancer Alley.”

That designation stems from the toxic pollution that is spewed out from chemical plants along the lower Mississippi River.

For a long time, proof of that morbid title lay mostly in anecdote and suspicion.  “We always wondered about the pollution, but we never really knew,” says Mary Hampton, who, like many residents in the region, relied on petrochemical plants to make a living for much of her career.

But the town underwent a profound awakening in December 2015 as the result of an Environmental Protection Agency report on toxic air.

The findings from the EPA, not only confirmed the existence of a profoundly higher risk of cancer throughout the region, but pinpointed Reserve, a working-class town of about 10,000 people, at its epicenter.

Watch short documentary “Cancer Town” above and read the story at The Guardian.

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The Intercept imagines a world where we successfully fight climate change

The Intercept imagines a world where we successfully fight climate change

Source:  The Intercept

Yesterday, The Intercept released “A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” a seven-minute film narrated by the congresswoman, conceived by Naomi Klein, and illustrated by Molly Crabapple.

It’s a project unlike The Intercept has done before crossing boundaries between fact, fiction, and visual art.

The Intercept asked: what if the United States actually pulled off a Green New Deal?  What would the future look like?

Set a couple of decades from now, “A Message From the Future” is a flat-out rejection of the idea that a dystopian future is a forgone conclusion.

Instead, the film offers a thought experiment: what if we decided not to drive off the climate cliff?  What if we chose to radically change course and save both our habitat and ourselves?

Watch “A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” above and read the story at The Intercept.

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“Our Planet” is an urgent plea for fighting climate change. Now available on Netflix

“Our Planet” is an urgent plea for fighting climate change. Now available on Netflix

Source:  The Daily Beast

Beauty and tragedy are intertwined in “Our Planet,” never more so than during its second episode, “Frozen Worlds,” in which thousands of walruses take up residence on Russia’s northeastern coastal beaches due to the fact that their natural habitat, the frozen sea ice, has contracted.

Crowded to the point of instigating hostile stampedes, some walruses take to the surrounding cliffs for refuge—an unwise decision, given that the flippered marine mammals are not fit for such rocky landscapes.  Before long, one slips and falls to its death, followed by another, and another, until they’re cascading down by the hundreds.

It’s a horrifying calamity born from climate change, and it epitomizes “Our Planet’s” marriage of celebration and lamentation.

Debuting today on Netflix, the eight-episode documentary series was produced by the award-winning team responsible for the BBC’s “Planet Earth” and “Blue Planet” series.

Like those acclaimed predecessors, it offers visions of the natural world, narrated by the legendary David Attenborough, that are sure to take your breath away—don’t be surprised if, after fifteen minutes, you’re already dreaming of purchasing a new 4K TV.

Yet while “Our Planet” looks and sounds familiar, there’s something different about its sterling portraits: a deeply-ingrained sorrow for a world struggling to cope with the ramifications of climate change.

“Our Planet” is available now on Netflix.

Read the story at The Daily Beast.

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Watch a piece of glacier the size of a skyscraper crash into the ocean from Netflix’s “Our Planet”

Watch a piece of glacier the size of a skyscraper crash into the ocean from Netflix’s “Our Planet”

Source:  TIME

Among the many wonders in Netflix’s new wildlife documentary series “Our Planet,” arguably the most awe-inspiring is a scene where almost no animals appear at all.

In this clip from the series, which premieres April 5 on the streaming giant, cameras catch the moment when a chunk of ice the size of a skyscraper breaks off the Store Glacier in Greenland and tumbles into the ocean.

As seabirds circle in the foreground, 75 million tons of crystalline ice cascade into the water below.

“Glaciers have always released ice into the ocean,” says narrator David Attenborough. “But now this is happening nearly twice as fast as it did ten years ago.”

Read the story at TIME.

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“The River and the Wall” follows five adventurers as they travel the Rio Grande, assessing the ecological and social impact of a border wall

“The River and the Wall” follows five adventurers as they travel the Rio Grande, assessing the ecological and social impact of a border wall

Source:  The Hollywood Reporter

The five adventurers in “The River and the Wall” set out with a purpose and a point of view.

They will follow the Rio Grande for 1,200 miles where it forms the U.S.-Mexico border, trying to scope out the ecological damage Donald Trump’s proposed wall might cause.

Led by the film’s director, Ben Masters — the subject of 2015 documentary, “Unbranded,” about his trek driving wild mustangs from Mexico to Canada — the group includes an ornithologist, a river guide, a National Geographic explorer, and a conservationist.

Along the way, as they switch from bikes to horses to canoes, they occasionally talk to the camera about their individual stories.

Despite its verité form, this is no shaky, handheld affair, though.  Polished, visually gorgeous, and acutely political, it’s a vivid, engaging nature film with a message.

Read the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

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