What do we do, Before the Flood?

What do we do, Before the Flood?

Sophie Jeffery, Staff Writer

As a part of celebrating Earth Week, the Pingree Community gathered to watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary on climate change. And for me, it was completely terrifying, even if I didn’t learn much of anything new. I’ve been aware of climate change and global warming since elementary school, and since then, any type of natural disaster has been towards the top of my “greatest fears” list.

The documentary was similar to others about this issue that I’ve seen; lots of scenes of pollution, deforestation, and images of what the future looked like. But to me, this particular documentary stood out because it was so pessimistic. Unlike other films, DiCaprio’s documentary ended with urgency and tension, rather than hope and reassurance that we have so much time to fix the world with small changes. I used to not worry too much about climate change, thinking it’d take full effect long after I died, but now I know of, and fear the possibility of our planet being destroyed during my adulthood.

It’s actually very infuriating; the fact that we could easily cushion the impact with a few simple changes at a time, but people are too stubborn to do so. I believe that the root of the problem is money. People will do whatever it takes – no matter how harmful it can be – to become wealthy. Large industries destroy habitats to get resources that help create their products, and politicians will lie about climate change because they are sponsored by oil companies that want to keep their abuse to the world hidden. The issue also comes from us; as buying customers, we reward the harmful companies by consuming their products, and consequently promote hurting our Earth. Sure, we like living our lives in luxury, but how much longer until that luxury cannot make up for the damage we’ve done? Would you really be willing to discontinue using products that you’ve always used because they aren’t cruelty-free? The documentary also mentioned how even diet could be damaging, like raising cattle for beef. I used to eat every type of meat, but I became a poultry-pescetarian a year-and-a-half ago, and I honestly don’t miss red meat at all. It’s sad to think that in order to satisfy our taste buds, we are clearing out so much land to raise cows that release methane into the air, which speeds up climate change.

And if you think we still have time, think again. Maybe you say that you’re eco-friendly, but are you really? Every plastic bag you use, every mile you drive, and every watt you consume, all of it adds up to damaging the environment. The documentary was filmed a few years ago, but it already showed blackened skies, massive fires, and flooded islands. Imagine how much worse the world could’ve become within the past few years. As we live near Boston, we could watch the city drown first-hand with no way to prevent it because we were too lazy to make a change now. Please, for the sake of our lives, take DiCaprio’s words seriously; don’t ignore it just because it makes you feel uncomfortable or because you don’t want to believe them. I mean, if you want to live in a wasteland, be my guest and do not change your life, but if you want the Earth to live as long as possible, start considering how impactful your actions can be.