Jetting across the world to show how bad it is to be jetting across the world

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

That is basically what Leonardo Di Caprio has done in “his” docu-movie “Before the Flood”. It is exactly the same as what the environmental NGOs do when they jet to each and every climate conference. It is making a total mockery out of trying to convince the rest of the people to do as they are told by those who do different.

BeforeTheFloodWhile there may be important issues covered and interesting concepts shown the point remains that, like with the NGOs jetting off to the conferences across the world, and, obviously, the world “leaders” the message is, time and again, it would appear; “do as we say not do as we do.” Is it therefore any wonder that the people, in general, are somewhat apathetic when the ones telling them are the ones doing exactly the opposite of the message that they are screaming out? Hypocrites are rarely listened to unless you happen to be sitting in church.

Those who preach, whether it is sustainability or Christianity, or whatever, better walk the walk and not just talk the talk. The problem is that the majority of all those preachers do the latter and not the former.

It is nice, for instance, for the current Pope to talk about the state of the biosphere or the world in general as to inequality and while he lives a little more frugally than his predecessors he still has not downsized that much.

Many Christian churches, their ministers and members, claim to be very distressed and disturbed about all the homelessness but still they will more often than not prevent homeless people being near their houses of worship and as to actually housing them; don't be silly.

Back to the environmental issue trail politicians almost everywhere, for example, talk about how we need to cut back on this and that, reduce driving a flying, while still wanting us to consume more for the good of the economy. But while they ask of us, nay demand, that we reduce our environmental footprint (forget the carbon bit), they drive their cars, with a few exceptions, or get driven in their official cars all over the place, or they jet from one place to another.

Di Caprio may have made an interesting documentary and also shown some innovative ideas with regards to sustainability from many different parts of the world but that does not negate the fact that he probably caused enough greenhouse gas in the process to sink a small island.

It must be said that DiCaprio’s documentary is, ironically, a testament to excessive consumption because he jets around the world to China, India, the Arctic, Miami, Italy, Indonesia and beyond, meeting the Pope, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, addressing the UN in New York and Paris, chatting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, and all in the name if climate change and its prevention.

At the end of the film, the producers say they paid a voluntary carbon tax to support the rainforests, which reduced the 90-minute documentary’s carbon footprint to zero.

Except these so-called carbon allowances – even assuming they are genuine – resemble little more than the papal indulgences of old which, while they ostensibly absolved sin, didn’t actually remove it, and that is what we have to remember with those carbon certificates, carbon tax, or whatever we may wish to call those things. They are but the modern day indulgences absolving environmental damage caused by the actions of a corporation, a government, or whatever. It does not make the damage go away, however.

For that to happen we, all of us, need to change, and that also means that we must stop those conferences about climate change and the environment to which everyone has to fly causing more emissions and damage.

So, and I am now addressing you film makers, Greenpeace and other such NGOs, and governments; if you want to be taken serious as to action on climate change and sustainability then walk the walk and not just talk the talk. We have the technology today to do all our conferencing online. Yes, I know that also has an environmental footprint but a much smaller than everyone jetting off to those places. The same goes for making documentaries, and such. But no, you all want to be slapping each others' backs at those conferences and so on. It is all, for most of you (am still addressing that the above mentioned) a means of aggrandizement, of “look what I am doing about this”. Just like the giver who announces his gifts of charity in the media. We can very well do without any more hypocrites. We already have enough of them all over the place.

© 2016