“We’ve known about this for decades, for over half a century. Try to have a conversation with anyone about climate change, people just tune out. And the problem seems to be getting worse and worse and worse.” 

Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood

 

 

Somewhere between our scientific understanding of climate change and the action needed to mitigate it lurks a vacuum for common sense, solutions, and accountability. Most of us understand the urgency of addressing the threats to our planet, yet a cycle of ignorance and inertia continues. Why?

To rewrite humanity's next chapter on Earth, it’s important that we tell the story of our present reality in a way that makes it “real” — a way that elicits action rather than despair. We already have the tools. Among the most powerful is film. In Before The Flood, Academy Award-winning actor and passionate environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio uses his celebrity to bring international awareness to the fragile state of our planet, and especially its largest and all-important ecosystem: the oceans

 

 

Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Parley Speaker Fisher Stevens, Before the Flood follows DiCaprio as he meets with scientists, politicians, citizens, activists, and the world's most powerful leaders to discuss the undeniable impacts of climate change, sea level rise, pollution, and related threats, as well as their viable solutions.

The film is yet another step in a series by the UN Messenger of Peace as he channels his global prominence into positive change (watch his speech opening the 2014 UN Climate Summit).

Before the Flood premiers October 21 in limited theaters, and October 30 on the National Geographic Channel. Watch the trailer below. Learn more here.

 

 

Despite the threats—both present and looming—there are clear and definite signs of progress: The Paris Climate Deal was successfully negotiated at COP21 and in less than a year passed the 55 percent ratification threshold, countries and communities are passing legislation to ban single-use plastics and rallying together to tackle pollution, global brands are taking initiative to fix faulty systems and redesign the plastic economy, and vast swaths of the ocean have been given historic protections. The list is long and growing. Each accomplishment is cause for celebration, but never for complacency. The biggest challenges are still ahead of us. 

When the world’s most idolized celebrities turn influence into substance, people start paying attention; apathy and ignorance give way to action. The change is already in motion. Now we have the opportunity and the responsibility to join it — and to do so before the next proverbial (or literal) flood. 


 

Other films inspiring change:

Racing Extinction

Mission Blue

How to Change the World

 

Ways to take action now:

Cut your carbon footprint with these simple tip cards  

Eliminate single-use plastic from your life (a main ingredient in plastic: crude oil)

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

 

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