Before The Flood Paris Agreement
150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln also thought of courageous action when he said, “The dogmas of the silent past are not equal to the stormy present. As our case is new, we need to rethink and act again. We must deprive ourselves of ourselves and then we will save our country. He addressed the U.S. Congress to address the dominant theme of his time: slavery. Everyone knew it had to end, but no one had the political will to stop it. What is remarkable is that his words seem so true today when applied to the crucial crisis of our time – climate change. As a UN peace ambassador, I have been around the world for the past two years and documented how this crisis is changing the natural balance of our planet. I have seen cities like Beijing suffocated by industrial pollution. Old boreal forests in Canada that have been evacuated and tropical forests in Indonesia that have been burned. In India, I met farmers whose crops were literally swept away by historic floods. In America, I experienced unprecedented droughts in California and witnessed sea level rise on the streets of Miami. In Greenland and the Arctic, I was amazed to see that ancestral glaciers are rapidly disappearing, long before scientific predictions. SN: I`m sorry to say, and I know you`re American, so don`t take it badly, please, but your consumption is really going to make a hole in the planet.
I think that`s the conversation we need to have. I will show you graphs from this point of view. [Displays a book page.] The electricity consumption of an American at home is equivalent to 1.5 French citizens, 2.2 citizens of Japan and 10 Chinese, 34 citizens of India and 61 Nigerians. What for? Because you build bigger, you build more and you use a lot more than before. The fact is that we need to put the issue of lifestyle and consumption at the heart of the climate negotiations. It is important to recognise that even if we succeed – and we must – we will achieve this goal, the effects of climate change will continue to increase over the next few decades due to emissions from past global warming. Vulnerable countries need help to cope with these effects, for which they had almost no responsibility. The United States, Europe, Japan and other developed countries should increase financial and technical assistance to those countries, both for adaptation measures and for effective responses to loss and damage — the cost of managing sudden disasters such as typhoons and floods and slow effects, such as sea-level rise and drought.
It starts with a surprisingly personal monologue by DiCaprio, in which he talks about the “nightmare” painting hanging above his nursery when he was a child. “I looked at him before bed,” he explains, noting some of his subjects – “overpopulation, debauchery, exodus.” Hieronymus Bosch`s Garden of Earthly Pleasures was painted more than 500 years ago, but it speaks today, he says, with its “twisted, dilapidated, burnt landscape.” . . .