5 movies about climate change for when it’s too hot outside

Climate change is happening. I know that might be a controversial statement for some but let’s face it, winter starts and ends later than ever and I’m dripping sweat as a write this from my cave. These movies aren’t 100% accurate to the climate science but in movies, what is? If you want to experience climate change from the comfort of your home, leave the AC off and check out the following movies.

The Day After Tomorrow

Like many, I paid to see this glorious entry in director Roland Emmerich’s never-ending oeuvre of destruction extravanganzas. Due to climate change, a series of super storms develop above Canada, Scotland, and Siberia and the weather everywhere goes apeshit. Characters try to explain what’s happening but then end up running away from climate-related disasters that can kill them. Jake Gyllenhaal at one point has to outrun really rapidly advancing frost. What more do you need to know?


As weirdly interesting as this movie is, it’s probably the last one you should make a point of watching on this list. It stars Gerard Butler who once again swaps his charming Scottish brogue for a North American accent. The plot concerns people who need to shut down malfunctioning natural disaster causing climate-controlling satellites which were put in place to stabilize the effects of climate change! I guess the lesson is you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. A cautionary tale of extreme forms of geoengineering.


A classic from the 90’s when Kevin Costner was the biggest star on the planet and could do no wrong. In this movie, the polar ice caps have melted covering the world in water and Kevin Costner plays a man with gills and webbed feet over 20 years before The Shape of Water! It’s an enjoyable action-adventure movie typical of the era and at the time was the most expensive movie ever made. At the beginning of the movie, Kevin Costner recycles and drinks his pee. Let’s just hope we don’t have to resort to that kind of stuff anytime soon.


If there’s one movie to watch on this list, it’s this one. Another classic from Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, it’s adapted from the French graphic novel La Transperceneige. The world has frozen over after an attempt at climate engineering and the last of humanity lives on a train that never stops. The poor are at the back of the train and the elites are in the front. It’s brilliant and brutal stuff. And the immortal Tilda Swinton’s in it.

The American President

This is a bit of a cheat since the movie isn’t really about climate change at all but more of a romantic comedy involving the President of the United States (not the current one). Many of you might not know, but in the mid-nineties, climate change (previously known as global warming) was also an issue that needed to be addressed. Not much has changed since then but in a rousing speech towards the end of this movie, President Andrew Shepherd (Michael Douglas) puts forward legislation that will cut fossil fuel emissions by 20% demonstrating that in the alternate universe of a movie made over 20 years ago, things are going well.

Baldwin Tong Impact Hub Vienna
Baldwin Tong A writer who wears many hats, mostly metaphorical ones.

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