When I first heard that Leonardo DiCaprio had made a movie about climate change, I can’t say it was the #1 must-watch movie on my list. But when I was given the opportunity to get extra credit for seeing it in Marine Science, I guess you could say that notion changed.
Growing up next to the ocean, conservation has been a big part of my life since an early age; and working at the Aquarium this past summer led me to feel that sustainability has really impacted my life.
I always knew climate change existed, and I didn’t doubt the theory for a second. If companies are emitting black fumes and cutting down rainforests to drill for oil 24/7, how could something bad not come from that? It was hard to watch the ice caps drastically melt, and acres of rainforests be cut down every day, resulting in thousands of animals losing their homes and nearly going extinct. I actually expected the majority of the movie to be DiCaprio telling his viewers that climate change was real, and wondering how ignorant people could be not to believe in the phenomenon. I was, however, pleasantly surprised because he didn’t push his own opinion once in the movie. Instead, he traveled around the globe for 2 years, and came face to face with climate change. I was shocked to see how small everyday things we do can damage the ecosystem so badly. For instance, raising beef hurts the environment and giant name brand companies are some of the leading roadblocks to working towards a sustainable earth. DiCaprio just found the evidence and filmed it, as his audience was in silence over shock and agony. It was interesting to see what influential world leaders like the Pope and President Obama had to say about the world we are living in today. I enjoyed hearing their opinions and ideas on ways to fix the companies and factories, and what they believed would be the eventual outcome of the human race. Before the Flood made me realize that we are already way past seeing recycling or saying no to plastic straws as negotiable issues.
I realized that the only hope is for world leaders to universally agree to cut emissions or issue carbon taxes.
I wondered if it even mattered if I used my reusable water bottle, because how can one person truly make a difference? I realized, though, that if I keep doing what is right and encouraging the people around me to do so as well, the population at large will eventually influence higher authorities to make a real change. It is up to us to come together and protect the environment we have for the future generations. And it’s actually not that hard! There are small steps we can all take to make a big difference. The key is accepting that there is a problem, and finding ways in your daily life to lower your carbon footprint or make purchases from eco friendly companies. Even if the change is small, it is better than nothing, and every little bit counts. This movie truly inspired me, and even though it put me through a lot of heartbreak, it gave me hope for our future. I highly recommend it for a great Christmas break movie!