I attended the premiere of #BeforeTheFlood in Paris, and I had a question ready for you even before the screening started. See, I know that you’ve been an activist for the environment for a while, and I wanted to ask you: how can we still find hope, we, the people of my generation, the 20 & 30-something who won’t live long enough to benefit from the improvement, and should yet not only change their lives, but also convince older and younger generations to follow? Where can we find the strength to face the responsibility that has been put upon us by our predecessors?
But you answered that inside the documentary. « Hope won’t be enough ».
You’re right. You’re absolutely right. I’m 29 years old and I’m out of hope for this world. But I do have plenty of anger instead. I’ve sat through this cold exposé of our present situation, but you’ve left me with less hope than anger.
I was born into a system that led me to believe that this is the way that we should live. But « this way » is criminal in so many levels, and ignorance has made me an accomplice. Had I had any say in it, I would never have supported such a pillage of our planet. It’s not the footing of the bill that angers me besides myself, it’s the responsibility that I now face, and how powerless I feel, looking at our situation.
I am standing before the flood armed with a tea spoon: this is how powerless I feel. Yet you would want me to believe that I, and everyone of us, have the power to change our future? That our billions of spoons put together might just stop an ocean rising?
You say that we can turn things around by the choices that we make every day, I see us nailing our coffins with the choices that have been taken out of our hands, every day.
You’re damn right « hope won’t be enough », I have none left for this world, and I’m not sure it deserves any. Because from where I’m standing, I’m not sure that I want to stop that flood anymore. We have the leaders we elect, we get the products that we buy, at the prices that we ask… Ignorance was a good excuse, but now what?
You’ve left me short of hope Before the Flood, and I’m already drowning in rage. You talk about consumer choices, but all I want to do right now is to scorch the handful of corporations which have been burning our forests to the ground. All these companies and men, who have long since forgotten the actual value of green — not the dull shade of a dollar bill, but the bright green of a tropical leaf — I want to tear them apart.
You advise us to vote wisely, but the last thing I want to do right now is to trust another spineless politician, and watch them yield to corporate interests quicker than you can cash a check.
All I want to do right now is to overturn the table of negotiations like an hourglass, to buy back the time that was lost in empty talks and promises void of actual commitments.
I’ve taken aim at you, but held my fire.
Because I know better than to shoot the messenger.
So I do have a question for you, after the screening of #BeforeTheFlood. You have met quite a few World leaders, government officials… Tell me: do they realise their responsibility? Do they really understand what needs to be done, and the timeframe that we have to react?
You see, I need to know this. Because we’re not « before the flood », we’re already inside the storm. I need to know that our leaders are prepared to act upon the promises that they have made at the COP21, and to push further yet.
Watching your movie wasn’t an incentive to vote. It made me want to riot.
It didn’t deprive me of hope, it just melted away its remnant, in the form of illusions.
If that system can’t be changed, then we’ll have to bring it down. We may not be able to stop a flood with a billion spoons, but governments and corporations have been brought down with fewer numbers.
At least, some hope’s back on our side.