Rio Olympics opens with a powerful message about climate change

A year in the life of Earth's CO2

An estimated 3 billion people worldwide received an introductory lesson about climate change by watching the Brazil Olympics opening ceremony.

Rio took a sudden sobering turn (after a dance party) with a video showcasing ever-climbing global carbon pollution and projections of sea level rise.

Here’s a clip:

A theme of the Rio Olympics is sustainability, appropriate for a country whose main contribution to climate change is deforestation of the Amazon. Not that the Olympics hasn’t introduce its own environmental woes, but this video probably just did more for climate education than Leonardo DiCaprio or the entirety of the U.S. presidential election.

Most of the video’s graphics should be familiar to Grist readers, but hopefully the average viewer learned a thing or two.

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