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Obama, Leo Di Caprio, and the Pope feature in documentary, Before the Flood,

FilmAfter Revenant … Leonardo DiCaprio stars as eco-warrior in climate battle
Obama and the pope feature in documentary, Before the Flood, that hopes to influence presidential election,
Guardian, , 2 Oct 16,  New York 

It’s an issue of importance to both men. Obama, who appears in the documentary,Before the Flood, is using the last days of his presidency to make environmental protection a central pillar of his legacy. Last month he created the world’s largest ecologically protected area when he expanded Papahānaumokuākea, a marine reserve in his native Hawaii, to encompass more than half a million square miles. He also gave “marine national monument” status to 4,913 sq miles off the New England coast.

Two years ago, DiCaprio – who has raised money for protecting tigers, orangutans and elephants – was designated a UN messenger of peace, with a special focus on climate change.

The White House screening of Before the Flood, which follows DiCaprio as he travels to parts of the world including Greenland, the Pacific islands, Sumatra and industrial regions of China, precedes a global release via National Geographic later this month. DiCaprio and the film’s director, Fisher Stevens, hope to use it in the run-up to next month’s US presidential and Senate elections. They plan to show the film on college campuses and across swing states, including Florida, where Senator Marco Rubio is up for re-election.

“Rubio is a climate change denier, and we want to get these deniers out of Congress, to make them understand the Paris [climate] accords are important and that we need to do more,” Stevens said. The film-makers claim 38 US senators accept money from the energy industry, in effect blocking the passage of environmental legislation.

“These people are not necessarily climate deniers. They’re just in the pockets of the energy industry, even though that’s at the expense of all of us,” said Fisher. “And [Republican presidential candidate] Donald Trump has said he’s going to try to kill the Paris accords if elected.”

Last month DiCaprio told the audience after the film’s world premiere at the Toronto international film festival: “We cannot afford, at this critical moment in time, to have leaders in office that do not believe in the modern science of climate change.”

Before the Flood’s release comes as statistics relating to the health of the planet worsen. Last week the Scripps Institution of Oceanography announced it was safe to conclude that global CO2 levels will not drop below 400 parts per million this year – “or ever again for the indefinite future”. The figure is seen as the point at which global warming becomes irreversible…….

Despite the intransigence of US legislators, Obama is using his last months in office to establish his legacy as the most environmentally effective president since Theodore Roosevelt created national parks. In Obama’s reading of the issue, climate change is as much a national security issue as an environmental one……..

October 10, 2016 - Posted by | Resources -audiovicual

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