One very concerned citizen, superstar Leonardo DiCaprio, focuses on these problems in his new documentary, The 11th Hour which describes the last moment when change is possible, and apparently Humanity has arrived at this moment…Narrated and produced by DiCaprio, and opening on August 17th, the movie spotlights over 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who present the facts and discuss the most important issues facing our planet.
Drought; Famine; Severe flooding; Record rainfall; Hurricanes; Acid rain; The highest average temperatures in recorded history. Are these incidents isolated, or pieces of a larger global puzzle that could unlock Humanity’s future?
Q: Why was this movie so important for you to make?:
A: I felt the want and need to hear some of the great experts and visionaries in the environmental field of our time be able to speak in an open form uninterrupted about the subject matter that they’ve devoted their lives to; wanting to hear some great thinkers really give us some insight as investigators on this issue. And the year and a half editing process condensing down some of their profound thoughts and ideas into an hour and a half format was very challenging at times, to say the least.
Q: How did you become involved with the conservation movement?
A: I became an actor at a very young age, but I also had a deep respect for nature, I think I was a little biologist when I was younger. I watched documentaries on [global warming] and the loss of species and habitats for animals around the world, and it affected me in a very hardcore emotional way when I was younger. So later in life I wanted to continue that path more and investigate and learn more about ecological issues. That sent me eventually into a room with Al Gore about 10 years ago, who explained to me what climate change was, and global warming, the science behind that, and the decades of research that he’d done on the subject matter, and it really propelled me to want to be more vocal about the issue.
Q: What do you do to live green?
A: I’ve been driving a hybrid car for six years now. My house is built green; I have solar panels on my house. I try to live by example. I don’t think the environmental movement is about telling people how to live, no matter what financial background they come from, because not everyone can put solar panels on their house. It’s just not a reality. But it is about being aware of these global forces that are out there, and with the next election, asking the right questions about what the candidate’s environmental policy is. And, of course, personal action is very important, but until the powers that be infuse this into our daily way of living, I don’t think anything is really going to change on a massive level.
Q: Should Hollywood lead by example and go green?
A: It would be great; I’d certainly be an advocate for it. I know that the Hollywood system itself produces a tremendous amount of waste in making these movies. This is all a part of the movement we’re talking about, from Hollywood down to the way everything is produced in this country. One of the great quotes in this movie is, ‘We have to reinvent the way we do everything.’ And you can look at that as something that makes you depressed or as an exciting thing.