Updated 05 June 2014

Jaded: has Green Fatigue got you?

This World Environment Day (5 June 2014), the planet faces its worse threat yet: Green Fatigue. Fight it with these inspiring green-themed books and films.

 People are so bored and/or weary of hearing the mounting bad news on the environment that they're tuning it out, digging their heads deeper into the sand and giving up on changing their lifestyles.

Sometimes when we need a refresher on why it all matters, the Arts are better than the Sciences: check out this list of great environment-themed movies and books, sure to inspire you and recharge those green batteries.

The Lorax

Dr Suess' perennially charming cautionary tale of the Lorax, champion of trees threatened by consumerism, or the personification of nature itself, is probably the most famous environmental fable for kids, grownup ones too.

The Lorax was published over 40 years ago, coinciding with the surge of environmental awareness in the early 70s: a copy should grace every 21st century child's bookshelf.

The movie version carries the message too, but the original book remains the classic.


The environmental message of James Cameron's sci-fi tale of a green planet and its peaceable blue inhabitants at the mercy of corporate prospectors is none too original or subtle, but the gorgeous spectacle more than makes up for the movie's lesser attributes.

The alien landscape is genuinely moving, and its destruction genuinely upsetting because it looks like a heightened dream of our own planet's wild places; of all we've lost and stand to lose. Fans impatiently await the sequel, due for release in 2016.

The Road

Cormac McCarthy's devastating post-apocalyptic novel is one of those reads you have to take regular breaks during - to catch your breath and look up from the page to check it hasn't happened yet... because it so easily could.

Read more: The Road: a Review


The collapse of great civilizations through anthropogenic environmental degradation is nothing new. The only difference in how we're repeating this particular mistake is that we're now doing it on a global scale.

Some historical inaccuracies and producer Mel Gibson aside, Apocalypto is a gripping, violent reminder of how one such civilization - the Mayan empire - destroyed itself through over-exploitation of the land, and the related crime of over-exploitation (to put it mildly) of its people.


WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter – Earth-Class) is a lonesome robot left to trash-compact on a junked Earth by the last remaining humans, whose desendants now live morbidly obese, indulgent lives aboard a luxury space craft.

WALL-E discovers and nurtures one growing seedling, and embarks on a space journey that could change the fate of the planet.

This computer-animated story, told with gentle humour and poignancy, largely without words (just robotic noises), packs more of a punch than a thousand news reports on impending environmental doom.


Not for the faint-hearted, this controversial examination of the captive killer-whale industry's treatment of its star performers is sure to bring out your outraged inner animal activist.

Read more
about Blackfish and the filmmakers' clash with SeaWorld

The Cove
, the highly-acclaimed expose of Japan's mass slaughter of dolphins, I'm sure also deserves a place on this list. (I just haven't been brave enough to watch it myself yet. I'm still recovering from the poor tigers in the Circus Maximus in Gladiator, which I'm sure weren't harmed in the making thereof.)

Got a green-themed favourite to add to the list? Post it in the comment box below.

Olivia Rose-Innes is Health24’s EnviroHealth Editor. Read more of her columns and articles or post a question to her expert forum.


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