Before the Flood @ RIDM

before the flood2Climate Change is one, if not the, of the major issues facing humans and this planet right now. It is everywhere in the news. Admittedly I am worried. I have tried to alter my consumption patterns and diet (leaning towards vegan) to address the issue. Before the Flood is Oscar Award winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s attempt at education and addressing the issue.

He and director Fisher Stevens (Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Ocean Blue) bring us around the world from the melting snow in Greenland to his film set in Alberta to pollution swallowed Beijing. Talking to varied people like scientists, environmentalists, Pope Francis, then President Obama, Elon Musk, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. This is not about him or them; it is all about the film establishing the authenticity of the science behind it. With the warming of the planet overall different species, ecosystems and communities are hanging on by a thread. We will lose them forever. It is undeniable. Or, at least for me.

What was strong about the film is that despite the recognition factor with DiCaprio he does represent the Everyman. He does not pretend to be an expert and with him asking the questions we all might in his place it makes all the science, which could be overwhelming, a lot more manageable. Another part of the success is due to DiCaprio because of the genuine interest he demonstrates himself. It is infectious. Because of all this we feel the urgency. The call to action.

The fact that it is shown that if we continue along this path that things like arable land, habitable land, food, and water will become less and less available. This will lead to conflicts between men. Alludes to the fact that battles and even wars might start between people or countries to get their hands on resources needed to survive. Scary!

Along with the fact that he admits up front in the film that his carbon footprint is larger than most people’s. In the beginning there is a whole section of newscasters, etc. making fun of DiCaprio and his climate change education quest. They claim he is a phony along with the science. There is an honesty and transparency there that is quite apparent and reassuring. It also shows you what he and the science world is up against. The power of big businesses like the oil industry (who have a vested interest in keeping us addicted to fossil fuels) is fully on display.

Visually it is great. This despite the fact that there are some sad images of the deterioration of this beautiful planet. Powerful and sobering. It is a National Geographic production so seeing the beautiful images is not all that surprising.

Climate Change is not something we can turn our backs on. It is happening. The science world has proven that. If we continue on the way we have been then we will no longer have a habitable planet. It is a time for action and behavioural changes. We do have to remain positive and think/know that we can make a difference and turn things around.