Before the Flood

"If you try and have a conversation with anyone about climate change, they just TUNE OUT."

Friday nights are usually pizza and movie night in our household.  We've been missing that for a while due to a busy schedule.  Most nights I'm just too damn tired to turn my brain on for a super long movie, but something drew me into watching a new film last week.

Since I am sucker for a documentary, the ads for Before the Flood have been popping up every where.  Either Facebook's targeting is getting way too good or the universe wanted me to watch this film.  Either way, I'm glad I took the hint.

I don't know many people who are super into documentaries, but this one definitely stands out.  It was engaging to watch, the facts were well communicated, and the imagery was impactful.

Escapism is a popular reason we all see movies.  We want to be amazed and to be taken to a place outside of ourselves.  To be released from all the decisions we have to make and the realities of our choices every day.  I get it.  On the flip side, we also have a responsibility to educate ourselves and to make sure that as we are making our daily choices, we are doing so with integrity, thought, and meaning.  This can be an overwhelming thought, but we will never make progress if we continue to stand still.

This particular documentary focuses on climate change and the effects our world faces based on the choices we make.

Leonardo DiCaprio may not strike you as the go-to authority figure on environmental or global issues.  He particularly points this out in the beginning of the film and I appreciate the fact that he does so.  I find it disturbing that so many media outlets would just railroad him because he isn't a scientist, but an actor.  What in the hell is wrong with taking your notoriety and using it for a good purpose?  What exactly is so bad about learning about something more?  Shouldn't we all be learning more and DOING more?  He may not be a scientist or researcher, but he sure is doing more for this planet than most.  Plus, he's not bad to look at for an hour and a half.  Just sayin'.

Take a peak at the trailer for Before the Flood:

"If you could know the truth about the threat of climate change — would you want to know? Before the Flood, presented by National Geographic, features Leonardo DiCaprio on a journey as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness climate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inaction. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis. With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news."
(synopsis from beforetheflood.com)

Here is a clip from Leonardo's appearance on the Ellen Show:

Are you a believer in climate change?  Personally, I don't see how you can't be.  You experience the extreme weather patterns.  Don't you comment about the unusual weather every day in awkward conversations with acquaintances?  We make a giant impact on this planet every single day.  How can we honestly say that none of that matters or makes a difference?  

Fossil fuels are what our economy is based on.  There is no such thing as "clean fossil fuels".  All sources of oil, coal, and natural gas create an impact on our land and water ways.  Forests are being demolished and water is being polluted.

Almost everything we do releases CO2.  Carbon Dioxide.  There are naturally occurring sources of CO2 as well.  We are producing more CO2 into the environment faster than natural processes can remove it.  This isn't good because it traps heat into the atmosphere, effectively causing global warming.

Senators are paid by industries rooted in fossil fuel production and profits.

The Greendex Tracking Survey from 2014 said "Results show that American consumers’ behavior still ranks as the least sustainable of all countries surveyed since the inception of the Greendex study in 2008."

There are only three main tropical rain forest areas left: the Amazon, The Congo Basin, and the Southeast Asian Rainforest.  In Indonesia, they are intentionally setting fire to the forests to grow palm oil.  This cheap commodity is growing the profits of large corporations.  Every day that a fire is burned to clear land for this crop, more carbon is released into the atmosphere than the entire US economy.  Not to mention that many species are nearing extinction as part of this process.

The production of beef is one of the most wasteful uses of resources.  47% of US land is used for food production.  Of that 47%, 70% is used to grow feed cattle alone.  Cows produce methane.  Methane has more impact than CO2.  One molecule of methane is equivalent to 23 molecules of CO2.  Nearly all of the sources of methane are from beef production.

What could the United States and the world do with the ability to harness the energy provided by the wind and sun?

I'm not saying I have all the answers, or any answer.  I mostly have questions...  We have to live here and we will all make an impact.  But, we can have control over how much impact we make.  We don't have to throw our hands up in desperation.  We have choices.  Our first choice is to become aware.  Learn more.

Please, click here for a list of ways you can check it out for yourself!
*check out National Geographic's green calculator too!

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