GEOG 430
Human Use of the Environment

Lesson 11 Film: Thule Tuvalu


Required Film:

Thule Tuvalu - Investigating Climate Change

Matthias von Gunten, (2014). Germany.

The documentary travels between Thule, the world’s northern most inhabited place, to Tuvalu, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean to show how climate change has connected the fates of these two places. Warming of the currents is resulting in melting ice-sheets in Greenland, threatening the way of life of the residents of Thule who are hunters, and the rising sea levels are threatening the very existence of the islands of Tuvalu.  The documentary shares many themes with Nicholls & Cazenave (2010), especially in its discussion of adaptation strategies and the impact of climate change on coastal areas. Significantly, the movie sheds light on the geopolitics of climate change: the 2 degrees limit would be too little too late for Tuvalu, yet it was forced to agree.

When watching the movie consider what Nicholls & Cazenave (2010) say about coastal cities: that because they are valuable they will be protected. Consider what value is assigned to the coast of Tuvalu, who decides these values and how.

Movie poster for Thule Tuvalu - Investigating Climate Change
Thule Tuvalu - Investigating Climate Change
Credit: Perry Street Advisors

The film is available for Penn State students to stream through the Penn State Libraries (via Kanopy Firms). Use the following link to access the PSU library Kanopy Streaming Service where you should use the LOG IN TO PENNSTATE link to access the Kanopy catalog of films. After logging into the Kanopy Streaming Service, search for Thule Tuvalu - Investigating Climate Change. This film is also available through Amazon and iTunes.