Leonardo DiCaprio Attempts to Fight Climate Change


[ot-caption title=”Leonardo DiCaprio at the annual Our Ocean conference fighting against climate change (via State Department, Public Domain)”]

[spacer height=”20px”]Imagine living in a world where Florida no longer exists and ecosystems are permanently destroyed; imagine the air you breathe being polluted and no longer being able to sustain agriculture. These are issues fast approaching, and Leonardo DiCaprio tackled the problem of climate change in his documentary, Before the Flood, which was released in theaters and on online streaming services on October 21st. [spacer height=”20px”]

The documentary begins with DiCaprio reflecting on his early childhood and a painting from around 1500 he used to look at as a child, called The Garden of Earthly Delight. This painting’s three panels depicted different points of human history beginning with the garden of Adam and Eve.  These panels progress and show overpopulation and sin in the second one, and finally a twisted, burned, distraught landscape.  This introduction then moves seamlessly into an overview of problems this world faces in regard to climate change; Leonardo DiCaprio then is seen giving a speech in the UN.  After this speech, he faces some criticism from the press claiming he is an uneducated man from Hollywood, and then DiCaprio begins his journey.  He ventures across the planet uncovering the very real issue of climate change and what people can do to change it.  DiCaprio talks to experts in this field in addition to prominent world leaders such as President Obama and Pope Francis.[spacer height=”20px”]

Senior Juliette Pozzuoli, along with the rest of the students taking environmental science, watched this documentary during class.[spacer height=”20px”]

Before the Flood was an extremely effective documentary,” Pozzuoli said. “It really did a good job of demonstrating just how pervasive human caused environmental destruction is by covering multiple locations all across the globe that have all been affected.”[spacer height=”20px”]

This film is meant to be educational and clarifies how immediate and major actions are needed, but the problem is that many law makers still do not believe that it is happening.  The film argues that since it is better for the economy to ignore this issue, political action is not always taken, and notes that there are politicians who still deny that it exists even though many scientists continue to scientifically prove it is a legitimate issue DiCaprio proposes that if the public begins to take climate change seriously and force politicians to think this way, legislation can be passed to prevent even more damage to the environment. Before the Flood hopes to educate the public about the strain of human waste on our planet.[spacer height=”20px”]

As a major social figure in the world, DiCaprio is using his place in society to spread a positive message.  Celebrities have the power to spread messages such as this one because they are able to attract a large audience.  DiCaprio uses this to his advantage, which allows this documentary and issue to gain the recognition it deserves.[spacer height=”20px”]

For the first week of its release, the documentary was free to watch on many streaming websites including YouTube to help promote people to watch it. In the first few days, the film garnered over 7 million views on YouTube alone. It can now be found on Netlfix and other subscription services.[spacer height=”20px”]

Sources: Huffington Post, National Geographic

Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons