Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top 5 Environmental Law Films

With the arrival of summer break, you have time to watch some movies, right?  Below are my top 5 environmental law films. They make the cut both because they are very well-done and they have good content about the law and legal processes.  The runners-up, in my view, are worth watching but lack a bit in one or the other category. 

I call these environmental law films because they tie in well with the environmental law class I teach, which is focused on pollution (mostly CAA, CWA, TSCA, RCRA, and CERCLA).  In future posts, I'll provide lists of my top 5 for other classes I teach, including Natural Resources Law, Climate Change Law, and Comparative Environmental Law.  I have shown these films to students as a lunch series to complement my courses, and I also sometimes use short clips in class.  

If you have one to recommend, please let me know.  I'm hoping to watch some movies this summer too! 

-Lesley McAllister

Environmental Law Films – Top 5

1) Who Killed the Electric Car (2006, 92 mins.): On California’s policies with respect to electric cars (Netflix)

2) Blue Vinyl (2004, 90 mins): on the use of toxic materials in building materials and other consumer products (Netflix)

3) Burning the Future: Coal in America (2007, 89 mins.): on coal mining and water pollution, especially in Appalachia (Netflix)

4) A Civil Action (1998, 115 mins):  Based on toxic torts case of Anderson v. W.R. Grace (D. Mass, 1986); regarding whether  the groundwater contamination caused by a leather production company was responsible for several deadly cases of leukemia. (Netflix)

5) Erin Brokovich (2000, 130 mins):  based on a real toxic torts case regarding whether hazardous wastes deposited by Pacific Gas & Electric contaminated drinking water and were responsible for harms to human health in the southern California town of Hinkley. (Netflix)

Trashed: the Story of Garbage, American Style (2007, 76 mins): On landfills and solid wastes

The Recyclergy (2006, 33 mins): On community recycling in the San Francisco Bay area


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