Before the Flood is the type of movie that comes around once in a decade. It is eye opening, riveting, alarming and inspiring all at once. With over 10.3 million views in just a week on Youtube, the film is spreading like wildfire. The film follows actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio as he reveals the truths to climate change and the current state that our world is in. He was designated as the United Nations messenger of peace to specifically advocate for environmental activism against climate change.
Many, especially in the United States, refuse to believe that climate change exists and is occurring right now. These people are often the ones who leave behind them the heaviest carbon footprint and benefit the most from actions which destroy the environment. After watching this film, there could be no doubt left behind in anyone’s mind that climate change is real. Negative effects are happening now and the worst has yet to come. Climate change is the largest and most difficult problem to solve of our generation.
Throughout the movie Leo travels around the world to different locations where the effects of climate change are being felt. From the sinking islands of the pacific to the rapid melting glaciers in Greenland, climate change is impacting daily lives across the globe.
It is easy to say we “hope” that renewable energy will become cheaper and take over fossil fuels, but hoping is not enough. It is not enough to wait around for a solution to pop up or wait for the future to find out what horrible effects will happen because by then it will be irreversible. We have to act now to minimize the negative impacts of the damage we have already done. As Leo says in Before the Flood, “we have to practice what we preach”.
As Americans, our average individual carbon footprint is multiple times bigger than any citizens in other countries of the world. To make a dent in our harmful effects on the environment we must change the way we consume. The easiest way to do this is to change your eating patterns, moving away from a red meat diet. Beef is the number one reason for deforestation so decreasing our dependency on beef in our diet will help to reduce forest destruction. As well, cows release an insane amount of methane daily, which is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide! By passing on a steak or burger for dinner, you are making an easy and conscious decision to change the way you consume. The less we consume, the less will be produced and therefore the less destruction to our environment will occur.
Our consumer society has driven us past the point of consuming for necessity, now we buy to buy. We must work to decrease our society’s desire for excess. If Americans are able to do this, we will set an example for countries around the world to follow suit.
Changing the way American’s consume may seem like an ambitious task, but if we, as voters, support carbon taxes and investment in renewables we can speed up this change that our society needs to go through. Americans need to be convinced of climate change in order for politicians to step up and enact legislation for change. Before the Flood has shifted the way that I think about climate change and the way that I think about my impact on the environment. Before the Flood is a type of movie that you will never forget. My big take away from the film was that we share one Earth and during our time on it we must do what we can to preserve it for those coming after us.
Watch Before the Flood, be educated, be inspired and take action.
Sea’s the Day!