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The 11th Hour Synopsis
Drought. Famine. Severe flooding. Record rainfall. Hurricanes. Acid rain. The highest average temperatures in recorded history. Catastrophe is reported on the nightly news as isolated incidents. But are these incidents isolated, or pieces of a larger global puzzle that could unlock humanity’s future?
In the history of the planet, humanity’s time on earth has been short but powerful. The human drive to ensure its own survival and quality of life has revolutionized industry, science, nutrition and medicine. But it has also effected unprecedented changes in the delicate balance that makes life on earth possible.
Shaped by oceans and rainforests that generate oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide, govern climate, weather and temperature, the planet earth is under siege. The alchemy of natural greenhouse gases that enables life has been augmented with chemicals from tail pipes and smoke stacks. For every truckload of product produced, many more truckloads of waste are created. The oceans have been flooded with mercury, heavy metals, and toxic chemicals. The forests are disappearing, deserts are widening, the arctic sea ice is melting, the permafrost has begun to crack. The earth has grown warmer. Not since a meteor hit the planet 55 million years ago have so many forms of life gone extinct. But are these changes to the earth permanent? Or are they puzzle pieces that, if connected, reveal a larger story that needs to be told – a human story that takes into account who we are and the state of our relationship to this planet, our only home. We are in an environmental age whether we like it or not.
Produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, and written and directed by Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners, The 11th Hour describes the last moment when change is possible. The film explores how humanity has arrived at this moment – how we live, how we impact the earth’s ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course. The film features dialogues with experts from all over the world, including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, former head of the CIA R. James Woolsey and sustainable design experts William McDonough and Bruce Mau in addition to over 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who present the facts and discuss the most important issues that face our planet.