So why not watch Before the Flood, I've been wanting to do that, it's just been released.
It's said that deceptions are our responsibility, and it's true: they are the sudden realization that our expectations don't match reality. And now, at the end of the documentary, I ask myself why I was hoping, once again and against experience, that such a "Hollywood Production" could be worth it. It's definitely not. It will definitely NOT land on my "worth watching" list.
I'll take Cowspiracy a thousand times before this one.
For those who haven't yet had the chance to view it, it's again another documentary that shows the catastrophic consequences of climate change, and an horrifying very possible forecast. The film is actually good at that, at summarizing what has been said over the last 30-40 years. It puts it all together and there is worth to it, if you don't know that climate change is happening, and don't know some of the causes that generate it, you should watch it.
But the main message, ONCE AGAIN, is that to change the world one needs big decisions, big powers, big personalties. All things that are outside the reach of almost any of us. The main message, except some very fleeting fragments -that at this point are inevitable- is that we are in someone else's hands. As usual, we are at the mercy of the "big and powerful", who supposedly are the only ones who can "save us" from that terrible destiny.
I profoundly disagree with this message. Change will happen when EACH OF US DECIDES to change.
The basic keys to REAL change are:
1- Consume LESS. There is no way around this. The good news is that we need much, much less than what we buy and own, in every aspect, including of course -but ABSOLUTELY NOT LIMITED TO- fossil fuels (that ARE really an issue). Let's ask ourselves, before we buy anything, if we really, really need it.
2- Consume CONSCIOUSLY. For what we REALLY need, let's spend a few seconds thinking where we buy it, and if there is a better alternative. It becomes a habit, and since we consume less, it's not a burden.
3- Go VEGAN. Without even considering the rights or wrongs of what we unnecessarily do to billions of sentient beings, land animal agriculture is responsible for over half of the greenhouse emissions in the world. Yes, 51%, and (one percent or another) we've known this fact for a long time. Fish farms are responsible of polluting huge zones in our seas, lakes, rivers and aquifers, and fishing will be responsible for the extinction, by 2048, of all commercial species of marine animals, on top of being an industry of slavery and death.
If we want to watch yet another documentary that only skims the surface of the issue, we can watch Before the Flood. In the most chilling, shrug-of-shoulders moment of the documentary, Di Caprio agrees with Sunita Narain that "our" consumption is outside every proportions compared to the rest of the world, only to dismiss, in the same sentence and without even giving it a second thought, the possibility of "changing our lifestyle" with a "it's probably not gonna happen".
Newsflash: I have done it. Some of it at least, and I'm not nearly finished, I will continue to reduce my consumption and be more and more aware of what I consume. And if I have done it, ANYBODY CAN. I'm definitely not that special, in fact, many are doing exactly the same right now, all over the world.
But I guess it's easier to wait for Mr or Ms SomebodyElse to take charge of responsibilities that are, in fact, OURS.
If we, instead, really want to inform ourselves about what we need to do to CHANGE, we can watch Cowspiracy, The End of the Line, China Bue, The Power of Community (How Cuba Survived Peak Oil), A Farm for the Future (especially the last part), Plastic Planet, and why not, An Inconvenient Truth (this has all been said before).
And then ACT. Because WE CAN.
Although change at the highest level is also needed as part of the process, real profound change will NOT come from above. It will come from YOU and ME. The billions of YOU and ME who are humanity. Let's not wait for a big-shot movie star, the Pope, the president of the USA or China, a billionaire, the UN, Big Industry or anybody else to finally decide to change national and international policies, dedicate 20 years to studying what could be done to reduce emissions, allocate billions to this or that project. That will come automatically if YOU and ME change.
And the beautiful thing is that YOU and ME CAN CHANGE NOW. We all can. Start little and work your way up. Let's go back to life at a human scale. It's the only way we will survive.
Me? I'm glad that Leonardo di Caprio will take advantage of his contacts at the highest level to do what HE can, and I'm grateful to him for that. At the same time, I will DO what I CAN to avoid what is hinted in his documentary. Without waiting for anybody to save me or the planet.
My suggestion is that you do the same. NOW.
It's so easy to point our fingers at China, the "world's biggest polluter", conveniently forgetting that one US citizen pollutes ten times as much than a Chinese citizen, and one European citizen "only" seven and a half times more. It's not "a nation" that pollutes. It's the people, it's YOU and ME, individually.
It's easy to demand of countries like India NOT to live as we have lived for the last century, to "care for the environment". While we continue living exactly that way.
It's easy to blame deforestation on palm oil plantations, when WE are who consume products made with it, and if Big Industry didn't plant and buy palm, WE would still loudly claim for THE SAME PRODUCTS, but with a different oil that is even more destructive.
The solution is not blaming China, but reducing OUR energy consumption.
The solution is not blaming India, but reducing OUR lifestyle consumption.
The solution is not replacing palm oil with another oil that will cause as much damage (or even more!) to the environment, animals and human beings, but STOP consuming certain non-necessary products.
And by OUR I mean YOURS and MINE.
The solution goes through realizing that YOU and ME are causing this, and since YOU and ME are the cause, we are also the solution.
Before the Flood? A remake, An Inconvenient Truth 2.0. An updated version, as useful as it might be, of all the information we ALREADY HAVE. We have had it for at least 20 years.
It's time to stop gathering information. We evidently have more than enough to start ACTING.
Let's ACT. Let's change our consumption habits. Let's stop hoping that someone else will solve this situation, this can only be solved by YOU and ME acting. We will not hear that in newspapers nor in the news, decreasing consumption will mean the collapse of the societary model we are living in right now. It's scary, true. We don't know what kind of world we would live in if we changed the world we know. But... it's pretty clear that this way of living is bringing us all towards destruction. We really have no choice but changing and doing our best to create a better new world.
Let's start TODAY by thinking about what we buy, where we buy it, and above all, why we buy it.
Let's start TODAY by choosing NOT to put pain and death on our plates. Going vegan is "only" one step, but it's definitely something we can ALL do, NOW, that will influence YOUR and MY impact on the environment. It's simple. Many people, even around you, already do. Ask for their support during your time of transition, you will surely receive it.
I'm at your disposal.
A Mind full of Ideas