Before the Flood

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3 min read

In this documentary, United Nations Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio takes a three-year personal journey around the world with the intention of exploring the topic of climate change. As he interviews dozens of high-profile men and women, he discovers exactly what needs to be done today in order to prevent the catastrophic disruption of life on this planet. The big question, however, is why aren’t more people interested in making changes? Why are there still so many that call global warming a hoax?

Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club, states that if we are going to fight climate change effectively we have to start by acknowledging that most of our economy is based on fossil fuels— coal, oil, and natural gas. Oil powers most of the transportation sector while coal and natural gas power most of the electricity.  In order to sustain our dependence on fossil fuels, humans are taking huge risks and seeking out extreme new sources that are producing devastating effects.

Jason E. Box, a climatologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, states that the climate is no longer acting in a predictable way. What this means is that the future projections have to be very conservative and less than exact. For instance, climatologists can vaguely predict that if the temperature remains as it has been in the last few years, Greenland will simply disappear within a decade. However, there’s a strong possibility that this may happen in less time, though.

In order to avoid ‘sunny day flooding’ in Miami Beach, the local government initiated a $400 million dollar project to raise some streets and install pumps to make sure the water runs back into the sea. However, this huge project only ensures that the problem will be solved for the next 40 or 50 years.

Still, in spite of the mounting evidence, there are many who do not believe that climate change is a direct result of human activity. Many people think it’s just not true and that it’s arrogant to believe that man can change the climate. However, there has always been opposition and differences of opinion regarding practically every matter in science.

Dr. Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor of Atmosphere Science at Penn State University says that unfortunately, scientists who agree that there’s such a thing as global warming find themselves fighting a massive disinformation campaign that has been launched to confuse the public.

Currently, it’s difficult to get a climate bill passed through Congress because there are 131 climate change deniers there and 38 more in the Senate doing the same thing. What’s odd is that about half a century ago, scientists warned that this would happen. If the appropriate steps had been taken back then, the story would have been very different today.

Directed by: Fisher Stevens