“Before the Flood” is a National Geographic documentary about climate change and what we can do about it. You can watch it for free in YouTube and it does worth your time.
If you’re like me and prefer to download the video, you can use this torrent. I already seeded 144 GB and will keep seeding it for a while. The video codec is x265, the best you can have at the moment.
The documentary isn’t exactly mind-blowing, there is no new information that wasn’t available previously. But it’s great in what it should be, a scientific divulgation about climate change easy to understand. Don’t expect Leonardo DiCaprio to be a great science communicator like Carl Sagan or Neil deGrasse Tyson, but he did made some good questions and got equally good answers.
In my opinion there were two fundamental conclusions in this documentary.
First, we need a carbon tax. While in Europe, fossil fuels are already heavily taxed – but not enough -, in the USA they are heavily subsidized. What currently people pay for gas isn’t even close to its real cost.
Let’s see some costs of fossil fuels that aren’t included in the price:
- public health
- overthrowing elected leaders to establish dictators willing to sell cheap oil
- wars that kill innocents and create “terrorists”
If the price of gas reflected all the social costs it has, renewable energy would be seen as a bargain. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy contribute to a better democracy. Fossil fuels are available only in some parts of the world, so they tend to create monopolies and conflicts (wars and corruption) to protect them.
Second, politicians are followers, not leaders. We need more science communicators to increase the scientific literacy of the general population. Science should be more part of ours lives and while we can’t rely on the mainstream media, we do have the Internet. Now with the Internet we can search, triage and produce better information more than ever before.
In this documentary Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla appears to give some hope and shows us that disaster isn’t inevitable.
If you do want a more complete analysis of the problems we face today, I recommend you to see the “Zeitgeist: Moving Forward” made by Peter Joseph.
Ultimately, a documentary is rated by its influence. Since the “Before the Flood” is getting a lot of visibility, there is a strong chance it’ll make a difference.
What do you think? Will this documentary create more awareness about climate change?