On Thurs., Feb. 16, three local organizations concerned about the growing threat of climate change will jointly sponsor a free, public screening of the documentary film, Before the Flood.

The screening, followed by discussion, will be held at the Unitarian Fellowship, 1 West Nelson St., Newton, from 7-9 p.m. The event is being co-sponsored by Transition Newton and Northwest NJ, the Skylands Group of NJ Sierra Club, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sussex County.

Before the Flood, directed by Fisher Stevens and produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, premiered in theaters on Oct. 21, 2016, and was aired globally on National Geographic Channel shortly thereafter. In the film, Leonardo DiCaprio sets out on a journey as a United Nations "Messenger of Peace," traveling to five continents and the Arctic to witness the ravages of climate change firsthand. On expeditions with scientists, DiCaprio is shown the undeniable damage caused by climate change to date. He also learns that a calculated disinformation campaign has been orchestrated by the powerful oil and gas industry working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis. He meets with political leaders around the world who are fighting against inaction, and tries to find some hope despite a rising tide of catastrophic news.

The film, while distressing, points the way to actions individuals and society can take to prevent the disruption of life on Earth. The film urges viewers to push their elected officials in supporting the use of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.

"Some people believe the threat of widespread destruction from climate change has been greatly exaggerated," says Susan Williams, Chair of the Skylands Group of NJ Sierra Club. "Too often, people are making observations about climate change from their small corner of the world. It's like a doctor giving you a physical but only looking at one small section of your body. One area can be healthy while a tumor is growing elsewhere. This is precisely why Before The Flood is such an important film. Once you witness with your own eyes the reality of the havoc climate change is wreaking on regions throughout the world, we believe there will be a shift in your opinion about climate change."

Williams can be contacted for further information at SkylandsGroup@gmail.com.

In the event of inclement weather on February 16, the film will be shown on Tues., Feb. 21, 7 p.m., at the same location.