We continously hear about global warming and climate change, but still we forget about it very easily, I don’t want to sound like I know all the answers or like I am some kind example to follow in terms of pollution awareness because I’m not. I’m just a regular student concerned about climate change.
Before the Flood is a documentary that gives us a perspective of what are we facing, a look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent endangered species to extinguish, ecosystems and native communities to disappear across the planet. It’s more than a movie, more than a documentary, it’s a reminder of the problem that we tend to forget so rapidly, it’s a call to take action.
“Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General, United Nations.
Global warming exists, it’s real and it’s getting worse every day. In this documentary, Leonardo Di Caprio takes us on a journey across the five continents and the artic, to witness the global warming effects on the ecosystems. In his expedition, he meets with scientists and political leaders around the world to discuss the problematic and the impact of climate change. He also unveils how huge companies intentionally misinform people to cover their interests, spreading inaccurate information to confuse the public about the urgency of this climate crisis.
What is happening?
All those things we heard about 10 years ago, all those predictions scientist made a couple of years ago, are now becoming a reality, and the future is no different. Heat waves, floods, wildfires, prolonged drought, extreme weather, sea level rise, all these natural disasters are related one to each other, and all of them can be explained from a global warming perspective.
Let me put it in simple and nonscientific words, the world is getting hotter because of the carbon pollution we have already emitted, since the world is hotter the ice melts and less ice means the temperature increases at a higher rate, at the same time the sea level increases which causes floods and this unleashes a chain of negative effects in the world.
Where is the carbon pollution coming from?
Over 60% of the carbon pollution comes from the burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas – around 25% comes from deforestation and agriculture. The rest comes from cement waste, industrial chemicals called F-gases. Burning fuels to produce energy is no longer a reliable source, it doesn’t matter if electric cars are in the streets if the energy to propel them comes from burning fossil fuel to produce electric energy, they might not be burning fuel inside the car, but somewhere else the fuel is being burnt. Although there are many sources, the most important ones are: burning fossil fuels, deforestation, livestock farming (food production) to mention a few.
What we can do?
You won’t believe it, but right now it is possible to solve climate change with the available technologies and sustainability measures. I’m not saying it is an easy task but it is possible. It has been proven that by using currently available technologies it is achievable to meet all our energy demands for heating, electricity, and transportation through 100% clean renewable sources by 2050.
There are a lot of things that we can do to lower the carbon emissions, I won’t list all of them but I will mention the most important one: GET INVOLVED! There are a lot of organizations, initiatives, technologies, and programs out there that could help to solve the crisis, the major problem is that no one cares about it, or everybody thinks that one change won’t make the difference.
I asked Francesco (you can check his stream here) to write his thoughts about the documentary, and to write about what we can do to deal with this crisis, this is what he wrote:
The days we all are living today are dramatic. We think we have reached the highest peak of human history – which is true in a sense and to a certain extent. However, everything we can do today, everything we can manage has seriously affected our planet, our real home. No matter the borders we as humans have drawn over the course of the centuries – in fact, there are NO borders. We all are part of the same reality, of the same matter which is planet Earth.
“Before the Flood” is a new attempt to open our eyes, to shake us and let us think: “Okay, do we really want this? Do we really want to destroy our future and the future of the planet?” The problem is that if we want to see the future, we must deal with the present. And the present, it’s far from being a foundation good enough to hope in a better future. We are driving our own species and, consequently, all the species in the world towards a sort of black hole: once we enter it, we cannot go out anymore. The process which leads us to this imaginary black hole is what Andres as well as the documentary talked about: the global warming.
Despite this danger, which is tremendously real, there are many people who really want to help the humankind and the planet to find the right solutions and affect positively the awareness about the global warming. Projects like Ecosia are simply wonderful. In Ecosia’s case, they may slowly but effectively help to change the vision that we, humans, have of our planet. What is Ecosia? Well, it’s “the search engine that plants trees with its ad revenue”: basically, when you want to look for something on the web, you open Ecosia main page and, just as Google or other search engines, you enter your search; once you see the outcomes, you can also look at how many trees you’re contributing to plant. That sounds amazing, right? And it just takes the space of a web search!
We can, we must do something for saving our planet. It’s our responsibility, and we should fight for it every day. We have the means, we have the technologies, we have the power to do that: it’s up to us.
For those of you who live in Gothenburg, Chalmers is screening the movie on december 6th, in Hörsalsvägen 4, SE-412 58 Göteborg, Sverige.