In an unprecedented step, Before the Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film on climate change, has been made available to watch – in full – for free, in a bid to send a message to the world: climate change is a very real threat to millions of people, and governments and the public should act now to avoid the worst impacts.
Courteney Monroe, CEO of National Geographic Global Networks, said Before the Flood would premiere commercial free across digital and streaming platforms around the world as part of the network’s continued commitment to covering climate change.
For every use of #BeforeTheFlood across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram between 24 October and 18 November, 21st Century Fox and National Geographic will together donate $1 to Pristine Seas and $1 to the Wildlife Conservation Society, up to $50,000 to each organisation.
’A new collective consciousness’
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens, the 96-minute film presents an account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change. The Oscar-winning actor travels to five continents and meets with an array of scientists and leaders, including Obama, Pope Francis and Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Motors.
‘A massive change is required right now. One that leads to a new collective consciousness. A new collective evolution of the human race, inspired and enabled by a sense of urgency from all of you.’
Actor, campaigner and UN messenger of peace
For DiCaprio’s documentary, Enric Sala, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and marine biologist who heads Nat Geo’s Pristine Seas programme, invited the actor to join him on Canada’s Baffin Island in the Arctic in July 2015 to talk about the melting of sea ice. In the film, Sala describes it as ‘the most dramatic transformation of a large environment ever.’
Sala said DiCaprio’s film differs significantly from Al Gore’s 2006 An Inconvenient Truth because much has changed in the climate change debate in the last decade. Last December in Paris, leaders of 200 countries agreed to cut carbon emissions in an effort to prevent the global temperature from reaching 2 degrees Celsius.
‘When Al Gore made his movie, the deniers were trying to have a debate over whether climate change existed, so Gore tried to make sure that everybody understood climate change was real and caused by human activities. But this is a different time. We are not debating, except for a few loonies, whether climate change exists. What Leo’s movie brings to the table is the extreme sense of urgency. We cannot debate anymore, we have to act.’
Marine biologist and National Geographic explorer-in-residence
The film, three years in the making, was intended to be released before the presidential election in the hope of spurring greater action on climate change.
The film will also be screened in several swing states, including Florida, where Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio remain sceptical of climate science.