Leonardo DiCaprio’s global warming documentary is a meandering snooze-fest hell-bent on trashing climate change skeptics and hectoring viewers into becoming little climate change warriors.
The Oscar award-winning actor’s new project, “Before The Flood,” which aired on the National Geographic Channel Sunday night, spends a disproportionate amount of time discussing DiCaprio’s evolution from a Hollywood playboy to a part-time environmentalist.
DiCaprio’s labor of love is tiresome, which is bad considering the fact that it aired late at night on a seldom-watched cable channel. But it does give an interesting glimpse into why DiCaprio takes such a hard-lined stance on climate change fighting.
The high-flying Hollywood actor’s parents apparently dangled 15th-century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch’s magnum opus the “Garden of Earthly Delights” over his crib when he was a baby, essentially guaranteeing DiCaprio would turn into an ideologue.
The artwork was the catalyst for DiCaprio’s environmental crusading — it depicts a sweet and innocent Adam and Eve in one panel, a landscape teeming with humans and animals engaging in debauchery in another, and a hellish, burnt out earth in the last.
The film’s thesis is that the fossil fuel industry, as well as conservative media, is helping to destroy the environment and that the only way to save earth is to hector the public into becoming climate change warriors.
The movie jumps around, showing the Oscar winner jet setting around the world, peering majestically at glaciers from helicopters, and convening with President Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Pope Francis, and climate scientists like Michael Mann.
“We are fighting a massive disinformation campaign,” Mann told the actor in between sips of a whiskey. The disinformation on climate change, according to the climatologist, emanates from groups funded by the Koch brothers.
Mann gained fame in the early 2000s for his “hockey stick” graph showing global temperature rise. He was also involved in the “Climategate” email scandal, and he’s been repeatedly called out for falsely claiming to have been a “co-winner” of the Nobel Prize.
The interview with Mann is naturally spliced with news clips of conservative talking heads bashing global warming and photo stills of politicians such as Republican presidential nomine Donald Trump mocking climate change.
Beyond Mann’s seething criticisms, the film mostly rehashes many of the same weather-beaten arguments environmentalists have used to prop up their argument – carbon emission output and greenhouse gasses are causing global temperatures to increase and oil companies are to blame.
But “Beyond The Flood” conveniently ignores studies confirming the 15-year “hiatus” in global warming. A study conducted in 2015, for instance, essentially showed that most of the climate models environmentalists relied on to bolster their arguments were wrong.
“There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” John Fyfe, Canadian climate modeler and lead author of the new paper, told Nature. “We can’t ignore it.”
It wasn’t the only issue DiCaprio ignored.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” actor — who is a prominent supporter of solar power, wind power, and electric vehicles — also failed to address solar panel industry’s environmental impact.
“You would need 100 gigafactories to energize the whole world,” Musk, who chairs electric vehicle automaker Tesla Motors, told DiCaprio during a walk through one of Tesla’s giant lithium battery factories. “Only 100? Geez. That’s not very many,” the actor said in feigned surprise.
Tesla is racing to build its $5 billion, government-subsidized lithium battery “gigafactory” in an effort to meet demand for its electric vehicles.
A report conducted by the Washington Post laid out in excruciating detail some of the effects mining graphite, which is one of the key components in Tesla’s lithium battery, has on Chinese communities.
One couple living in Jixi, a city near the Russian border, said graphite dust covers their corn crops so much that simply walking outside leaves their faces blackened, according to the report. The dust also leaches into the couple’s house, infusing itself into the food and water.
Worse, merely inhaling the particulate matter causes respiratory troubles, according to health experts.
Tesla vehicles are sold to consumers as environmentally friendly alternatives to fossil fuel burning vehicles – the report, which was published Oct. 2, indicates the productive tools used to make their batteries is destructive.
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