UT Campus Environment Center film event discusses the issue of climate change after the election

Reagan Ritterbush

From deep inside the rainforests to the depths of the sea, our planet provides answers to our future. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, known for his roles in films such as “The Revenant” and “Inception,” currently stars in a new environmental awareness film in order to help Americans find answers to pressing climate issues.

To coincide with this year’s election, UT’s Campus Environment Center screened “Before the Flood,” a documentary about climate change featuring and produced by DiCaprio, on Wednesday night. Released by National Geographic in late October, the documentary is available to UT students on various media platforms, including YouTube.

CEC works to enable UT students to learn about the environment and to collaboratively build a culture of sustainability on campus. Chemical engineering freshman Susan Ward, a member of the CEC’s social squad, said the point behind screening DiCaprio’s film was to show students the importance of climate change following the election and for the future of the world.

“It gives us a bigger perspective on the issue at hand,” Ward said. “DiCaprio did all this research and compiled all those statistics so it’s easier for us to understand and visualize.”

Economics junior Hank Freeman said the documentary hit on all the critical reasons why the world needs to continue dealing with the effects of climate change.

“Climate change isn’t something that hurts one person,” Freeman said. “It affects aspects of everyone’s lives.” 

The documentary, directed by Fisher Stevens, follows DiCaprio to places such as Canada and Greenland, where global warming is posing a threat to the environment. It also features DiCaprio’s personal journey to stop climate change ever since former Vice President Al Gore brought it to his attention in the 1990s.

“We wanted to create a film that gave people a sense of urgency, that made them understand what particular things are going to solve this problem,” DiCaprio said in the film. “Basically, sway a capitalist economy to try to invest in renewables, to bring less money and subsidies out of oil companies. These are the things that are really going to make a massive difference.”

“Everything he was saying to me about climate change sounded like some nightmarish horror film, except everything he says is real and it’s happening right now,” DiCaprio said in the film. “The more I learn about climate change, the more I realize all the things I don’t know about it.”