Watch Before the Flood, an urgent call to arms about climate change

National Geographic released Before the Flood over the weekend, and it is a calm but clear-eyed overview of the scope of the environmental crisis facing our planet. It also looks at pragmatic steps we can take right now to slow the damage.


Produced by National Geographic and hosted by U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, it avoids the hyperbole that often turns skeptics off on these documentaries. DiCaprio spent three years interviewing people around the world about their local and regional challenges, as well as the options for addressing those.

They also have a great interactive map where you can look at what small increases in global temperatures will do to sea levels. Manhattan, New Orleans and about one-third of Florida would be imperiled in the worst-case modeled on the map.

Before the Flood - Full Movie (YouTube / National Geographic)

Notable Replies

  1. And what about those pilots and other flight crew? Geez, if they would just stop jet-setting around the world, Climate Change would be in our rear view mirror!

    (The path to the solution includes having an international star getting around to make his point to people who are more receptive to hearing the message because it's coming from an international star who is right in front of them. That's how people work.)

  2. Apache says:

    ok, I'll take the bait. For the sake of argument, let's agree that Leo is a hypocrite. If I drive drunk every night, does that make it less true that drunk driving is dangerous if I tell my kids not to do it? I'm sorry if (perceived) hypocrisy rubs you the wrong way, but it's the weakest rejoinder to global warming propaganda--and I don't mean "propaganda" to have a negative connotation--you can make.

  3. Even taking that into account, Jevon's paradox assures us that any carbon dioxide emissions you prevent by failing to engage in air travel will pop up somewhere else in the economy as the decline in demand causes a drop in fossil fuel prices.

  4. Conventionally, to make a globally significant impact requires mass action in the ballot box. Be sure to hold your breath on that one! (no, don't, please).

    But I have had a significant impact on my carbon dioxide emissions, cutting them by 90% or so every couple of years. And if everyone reading this doubled the insulation in their attic, most of them would save a lot of money, and it'd also have a globally significant impact.

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