GREEN WORLD RISING with George DiCaprio and Leila Conners
Interview by Celia Anne Browne
Published in A Green Beauty Magazine
Green World Rising is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, presented by Thom Hartmann, directed by Leila Conners and produced by George DiCaprio, Mathew Schmid, Earl Katz and Roee Sharon Peled. The series is created by Tree Media with the support of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
CAB: What inspired you to collaborate on Green World Rising?
GWR: Sadly, climate change is accelerating and global action has not yet met the challenge. We created the series to give the most updated information on the problems, and the solutions, to the climate crisis.
CAB: Have you collaborated together in the past?
GWR: We have worked together on the feature documentary, The 11th Hour with Leonardo DiCaprio.
CAB: What is the mission of Green World Rising?
GWR: The mission of Green World Rising is to raise awareness and ignite action in regards to climate change. Specifically, we must keep carbon in the ground and move rapidly to a civilization based on renewable energy. This is possible, we can power our modern economy on renewable energy, and that will also stop rising carbon emissions that are currently threatening the life-support system of the planet.
CAB: Has Green World Rising brought their films to the public other than sharing on the Internet?
GWR: The Green World Rising series is not only on the Internet, but also playing in festivals, as well as in special events and festivals around the world, schools or universities.
CAB: Will there be short films beyond the Four Carbon, Last hours, Green World Rising and Restoration?
GWR: The Green World Rising series will continue to create short films on the challenges created by climate change and the solutions to the problem.
CAB: Did Green World Rising attend the recent Climate Summit in NYC and what was your experience?
GWR: The march was a complete success in our eyes, and to prove it, it was the only photograph on the front of the next issue of USA Today. Besides an astounding coalition of various people from one end of the earth to the other, it featured the strength of the indigenous peoples of the world. They are manning the outposts protecting the rest of us from the overwhelming coal oil and gas Cyclops.
CAB: As explained in your film Last Hours there have been five previous extinctions here on Earth driven by global warming-the last one being the Permian Mass Extinction 250 million years a go that killed 95% of all life?
GWR: There were several more after that one. The insistence of the life force is an amazing phenomenon. We now have the same chemical formula in our atmosphere as the Permian, skyrocketing CO2, the same chemical precursors, why should we expect anything different to happen now?
CAB: Have we now passed the tipping point?
GWR: There are many tipping points, and we have passed some of them, most notably, the complete loss of the sea ice in the arctic, that is already well underway. That said, if you are referring to the main tipping point, of a positive feedback loop that eliminates most of life on earth, like in the Permian event, the answer is, we don’t think so, but it is not out of the question that we pass that tipping point in a few decades, maybe sooner, maybe later. So because that is a distinct possibility, we must do everything in our power to prevent this from happening, and that means we need to keep the carbon in the ground.
CAB: What has been the response to the films?
GWR: The films have made an impact; already policy makers in some states and in some countries have paid attention and have held discussions based on their content. In 2015, we anticipate a series of events with the US Dept. of Energy regarding carbon sequestration and renewable energy among other topics.
CAB: Do you feel the general public takes these issues seriously?
GWR: The public is concerned, but day-to-day issues are of more pressing concern because they are more immediate. It is very difficult to tell people that the entire life system of the planet is at stake when the sun rises everyday and the weather seems fine, in most cases. For good reason, getting food on the table and keeping yourself and your family safe and with opportunities on the horizon is what grabs people’s attention.
CAB: In what ways, if any, do you see global awakening demonstrated?
GWR: The climate march in New York, Sept. 2014, was one of the largest demonstrations of all time. Additionally, Wall Street is starting to notice, starting to devalue companies with large fossil fuel holdings. In truth, these holdings should be worthless, because they can’t and shouldn’t be burned, and Wall Street is starting to act on that information.
As well as Green World Rising, do you have favorite sources for information on environmental issues that you could recommend to the AGB readership?
CAB: Even if we are headed in the direction of utter demise, what if any, is the positive outcome of still trying?
GWR:You mean if we all put down our meaningless differences, attempt to gain world wide monetary equity, stop killing each other, purify our air and water, control the birth rate, stop eating meat and slaughtering endangered species, settle disputes among the Abrahamic religions and switch to renewable energy sources? On the other hand, we could stand around like idiopathic bystanders and allow ourselves to be bulldozed down the drain without knowing why and who is to blame. Still trying might be a good way to fiddle away our last hours before extinction. After all, we have to set a good example for the children.
CAB: Do you have hope for the planet George?
GWR: Yes, if we take responsibility for our lives, and the natural world around us. If we take the time to understand how it works, and be good stewards, and change our buying behaviors, change our wants and needs to be more in alignment with a sustainable culture, we will all be fine, more than fine, it will be a spectacular world.