I cannot imagine hanging a poster of Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights over a child's crib. But that is what Leonardo DiCaprio saw every time he opened his eyes, throughout his infancy. Looking at the triptych again, in the opening of his new film Before the Flood, I was dumbstruck by its predictive quality. It was painted in 1500. We are living it now.
DiCaprio's film is deeply disturbing. And inspiring. I was brought to tears several times, not only by the destruction we have wrought, but by the gorgeousness of which we are capable. Piers Sellars, an astronaut with NASA, is dying of prostate cancer when he is filmed, and he talks about his sense of urgency, what can he do in the time he has remaining? How can he let the world know what trouble we are in? The maps he has created are stunning. They are a warning to us, as powerfully as did Bosch.
Never before in our history has an election been so important, so consequential. I have been stunned by the demagoguery, the distortions and the lies, and the sheer hatred of so many people, in so much of what we have heard coming from Trump. I have been dumbfounded by the lack of engagement, on the part of the debate moderators, with a problem that is as globally urgent as our rising temperatures.
The window for action on climate pollution is closing. We have time now to stop the warming before it becomes catastrophic. But not a long time.
Watch the film. And make sure you vote. Vote against climate deniers. Vote for hope.