DiCaprio and Climate Change
Many of you watched the Oscars on Sunday. Many of you also probably saw Leonardo DiCaprio awarded his first Oscar (the entire Internet erupted in applause). What struck me was what he said during his acceptance speech:
“Climate change is real, and it’s happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species.”
In today’s global civilization, we are very connected. However, our current system of transporting goods, information and people has caused a crisis that needs to be addressed. It is scientific fact that global warming and climate change is real, and a majority of people understand that it is.
Since we are human, we aren’t as interested in investing in our future as we are in instant gratification. According to George Marshal and Mark Lynas, co-authors of the 2003 article Why We Don’t Give a Damn (New Statesman), it is very hard to understand the problem and identify it because there is not a rival social group to blame or fight back against; it is self-inflicted. We are the plaintiff, defendant, and jury in this case. However, change for the better has already begun. In 2013, the world added 143 gigawatts of solar energy, while fossil fuel only added 141. To put that into perspective, one gigawatt will power over 700,000 homes. Before 1999, this is roughly the same amount of homes that the Hoover Dam powered.
Earlier this year, NASA announced that they were working on developing the most efficient plane ever built, expected to be at least 70 percent more efficient than any other passenger jet built.. But is this enough?
The short term effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number, duration and intensity of tropical storms.
By 2050, the Arctic Ocean is expected to be ice free. If big companies can put greed aside and work together developing alternative energy sources and education for the young, we can drastically reduce climate change and hopefully, in the future, completely put it away, for good.
I am personally enthusiastic about innovations to come, made by my generation in science and technology to fix our worldwide problem. This problem can be fixed. Quoth DiCaprio, speaking as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street: “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”