Limelight: Leonardo Di Caprio’s Before The Flood

Film and Entertainment

By Star Noor

Photos courtesy of Before the Flood website, NASA, National Geographic, and the NRDC.

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While global warming is as the designation pronounces, a global problem, we Americans haven’t been fully informed as to the magnitude and even worst, with all the information out there and those tirelessly working to get the horrifying and very real data into the heads and hearts of our mostly uninformed citizenry, we refuse to believe it’s true.  We Americans are one of the leading nations in carbon footprint and fossil fuel consumption (consumption altogether), however, we are not the top country for mass conversion from fossil fuels to clean energy nor one of the top contenders for unilateral government compliance in large and drastic efforts which must be made to correct and halt the death of our planet; the death of us.

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As the recently released documentary, “Before the Flood”, by Leonardo Di Caprio points out this and many other facts which we are shielded from and misinformed about by a mass network of Government, privately owned corporations; and Mainstream, Social, and Independent media, many of whom are re-reporting misguided information and mostly rebel rousing the masses in largely unproductive diversions meant to buy time for the profiteers. A chain which is important for us to start paying real attention to.  A chain we must break.

<> on September 22, 2016 in Aston, Pennsylvania.

With the present upsetting election of President Elect Donald Trump,  who is prone to such grossly misinformed and blind-sighted quotes as, “It’s really cold outside, they are calling it a major freeze, weeks ahead of normal. Man, we could use a big fat dose of global warming!” (Tweeted on October 12, 2016); we are facing the brink of catastrophe in policy oversight and drastic reductions in governmental funding for programs that we are now actively a part of in the efforts to reduce global warming.  Even amidst the rallying cry of 97% of top scientists in the world studying the problem, as Leo narrates in the film, the President of the Free World resonate the ideals of the most under-informed of our society  instead of taking the time to truly surround himself with the informed and the advised (under-information to the public again, is largely by the cause and effect factor from the actions of these very same echelon of people who stand to profit for the time being).

We are no longer able to assign ourselves the luxury of time.  We are no longer able to be in the lull of ignorance and this film points this out in a most well done cumulative looks into a very broad and complex net of environmental pollution, bureaucracy, denial and profiteering at all costs, human consumption, and ultimately – global warming.

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The film begins with Leo recounting his first days on Earth, starring at the panels of a mural painting by artist Hieronymus Bosch titled, The Garden of Earthly Delights and how this work of art was forever engraved into his memory and the way it has fueled his passion for natural conservation since the days of first hearing about the looming global warming crisis at the time, through the insight of then Vice President Al Gore and how those decisive moments helped shape the rest of his life in regards to activism.  In this very personal search, Leo travels the world and ultimately to the White House and the U.N., to research and present a more focused look into global warming and where we are now, in “Before The Flood “.

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Before the screening in London began, DiCaprio took to the stage to introduce the film. He said:

“Before The Flood is the product of an incredible three-year journey that took place with my co-creator and director Fisher Stevens. We went to every corner of the globe to document the devastating impacts of climate change and questioned humanity’s ability to reverse what maybe the most catastrophic problem mankind has ever faced. There was a lot to take on. All that we witnessed on this journey shows us that our world’s climate is incredibly interconnected and that it is at urgent breaking point…I’ve been incredibly moved by so many climate change documentaries in the past, but I never felt that I saw one that articulated the science clearly to the public. I think people grasp it, but it seems something distant, far off, intangible and almost otherworldly. An individual doesn’t feel like they can make an impact. The journey for me was to try and make a modern-day film about climate change. I’ve been studying this issue for the past 15 years, I’ve been watching it very closely. What’s incredibly terrifying is that things are happening way ahead of the scientific projections, 15 or 20 years ago…We wanted to create a film that gave people a sense of urgency, that made them understand what particular things are going to solve this problem. We bring up the issue of a carbon tax, for example, which I haven’t seen in a lot of documentaries. Basically, sway a capitalist economy to try to invest in renewables, to bring less money and subsidies out of oil companies. These are the things that are really going to make a massive difference. It’s gone beyond, as we talk about in the film, simple, individual actions. We need to use our vote…We cannot afford to have political leaders out there that do not believe in modern science, or the scientific method, or empirical truths…We cannot afford to waste time having people in power that choose to believe in the 2% of the scientific community that is basically bought off by lobbyists and oil companies. They are living in the stone ages. They are living in the dark ages. We need to live in the future.”
Global warming might not be the most glamorous or socially acceptable issue (depending on what type of society you choose to surround yourself with), however, it is the most pressing in that without the space in which for all of us to survive and prosper in harmony with each other and with the Earth, we have no need of most any other issues for which we might stand.  Without Earth there is no us.  We must understand that very simple yet complex notion, and begin to individually rise to a collective effort to save our home and all of the bounty we have been granted upon it.  Bounty that we are now raping.

For years many, it’s been said one of our top and most effective efforts globally will be personal responsibility and effort to reduce our own carbon footprints in any way that we can.   As Leo points out in the film and I personally concede, for example, if we reduce our waste of red meat which produces different sources of waste which largely impact the environment, we can reduce our carbon footprint drastically.  There is such vast amounts of change necessary that not only does personal effort count enormously, but it is paramount to us winning the battle of saving the tiny little space in which we have been granted life.

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I believe that Dr. Sunita Narian said it best in her chat with Leo in one of the most poignant scenes in the film, “I’m sorry to say this, I know you’re an American, and please don’t take this amiss but your consumption is gonna really put a hole in the planet; and I think that’s the conversation we need to have.  I’ll show you charts from this perspective. [Shows page from a book.] Electricity consumed by one American at home is equivalent to 1.5 citizens of France, 2.2 citizens of Japan and 10 citizens of China, 34 of India and 61 of Nigeria. Why? Because you’re building bigger, you’re building more and using much more than before. The fact is we need to put the issue of lifestyle and consumption at the center of climate negotiations.”

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To that I say, any action, is better than no action at all.

Figures from the Environmental Working Group’s Meat Eater’s Guide and the EPA’s Guide to Passenger Vehicle Emissions.

Rank

Food CO2 Kilos Equivalent Car Miles Equivalent

1

Lamb

39.2

91

2

Beef

27.0

63

3

Cheese

13.5

31

4

Pork

12.1

28

5

Turkey

10.9

25

6

Chicken

6.9

16

7

Tuna

6.1

14

8

Eggs

4.8

11

9

Potatoes

2.9

7

10

Rice

2.7

6

11

Nuts

2.3

5

12

Beans/tofu

2.0

4.5

13

Vegetables

2.0

4.5

14

Milk

1.9

4

15

Fruit

1.1

2.5

16

Lentils

0.9

2

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