Becoming Cousteau (2021) Movie Script

Diving is the most fabulous distraction
you can experience.
I am miserable out of the water.
It is as though
you have been introduced to heaven,
and then forced back to Earth.
It's a beautiful sight.
- Captain, This is Jennifer.
- Jennifer.
Um, what's it like down there?
It's fantastic.
Imagine having no weight.
Imagine that this would be underwater.
You would just inhale your lungs
and you would float around.
You would move like this swimming in space
above all your little friends.
It's beautiful.
we have a question here.
I am fascinated by the element, water.
The world we live in on Earth,
it is a struggle against gravity.
But, by diving, when you put
an Aqualung on your back,
you suddenly are turned
into an archangel.
In harmony with the one single thread
around which all forms of life
have been created.
It's liberation.
You describe yourself
as a witness to change.
When in fact did you first
become aware of the way
that the planet we're on
was changing?
Well, when my friends and I started,
it was for us, for ourselves.
The pleasure of discovering.
Look sharp, they're diving!
Stand by with the buoy!
Falco and Piel, get ready!
I thought that my job
was to show what was in the sea,
the beauties of it...
so that people would get to know
and love the sea.
Then we began to see that the things
that we had admired
were beginning to decay.
And we said, "We have to do something."
"We have to enter the fight."
Because you will only protect
what you love.
Good evening.
I have no doubt that you'll recognize
the face on the screen behind me.
It's that
of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
For the past 25 years,
Captain Cousteau's
books and films and television series
have reached hundreds
of millions of people all over the world,
sharing with them
one of the great discoveries of our time,
the mysterious, incomparably
beautiful world under the sea.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome
Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
First, Captain Cousteau,
I'd like to ask you
how you account for this lifelong
preoccupation with the sea?
When I was a very small boy,
I was fascinated by the fluid element
that was capable of supporting
very heavy ships.
I couldn't understand
very well how it did it.
But you could have learnt
all that in museums,
and by walking about on the surface,
what extra insight did you get by diving?
Uh, you never experience a difference
between reading a book
- and doing it yourself?
- Good point.
If you read a book about love making,
it's not the same.
"Every explorer I have met
has been driven by curiosity.
"A single-minded, insatiable,
and even jubilant need to know.
"We must go and see for ourselves."
Since I was a kid,
I had a tremendous desire
to search and go further.
So, at the age of 20,
I entered the Naval Academy.
And I chose, as my specialty,
airplane pilot.
And I was at the pilot school
of the Navy,
when I was driving at night.
But then I had an accident,
a very bad accident.
I had a right arm paralyzed,
12 bones broken,
I... I was in a bad state.
"I was alone at night, bleeding,
on a country road,
"with nobody to come.
"It was 2:00 in the morning.
"I was losing blood.
"Turning to the sky, looking at the stars,
I thought I was going to die.
"But strangely enough, that became for me,
"a wonderful opportunity."
Cousteau was told
that he should go,
and see my grandfather Philippe Tailliez,
who was one of the very early free divers
in the Navy, and Frederic Dumas,
who was not in the Navy, but he was
a very famous spearfisher at the time.
And Tailliez and Dumas thought that
they could probably help Cousteau
recover, through swimming.
When my grandfather and Cousteau
started freediving,
they had the whole sea to them,
because nobody else
was doing that at the time.
All the fishermen were jealous
about these three guys
that would go straight into the water,
and come out with the biggest fishes.
They were quite famous
on the French Riviera.
The local press would call them,
"The three diving Musketeers".
Simone wanted
a life as a sailor on the sea.
Her two grandfathers were admirals
and all of her family were sailors.
She said, "I don't have blood.
I have saltwater in my veins."
When she married Cousteau,
she made a deal with him.
"I give you two children,
Jean-Michel and Philippe,
"and you give me the sea."
Simone started coming with us,
on all my expeditions.
And after two years,
we already knew how to dive very well.
But we had an inner urge
to go deeper and further.
It's always the same, necessity.
In order to go deeper,
in order to stay longer,
I became an inventor by necessity.
"I took normal breaths in a slow rhythm,
"bowed my head and swam smoothly
down to 30 feet.
"I felt no increase in water pressure."
"It was a new and promising device,
"the result of years
of struggle and dreams,
diving could be revolutionized."
"We had been years in the sea
as goggle divers.
"Our new key to the hidden world
promised wonders.
"But unfortunately,
our Utopia was doomed to disappear."
Within four short weeks,
French defenses
had been utterly shattered.
And Adolf Hitler
has claimed Paris as his own.
After France surrendered,
my wife and I didn't sleep much.
I always had a gun in my pocket,
I was looking outside before I went out.
But during all that time,
we still had the sea.
For my grandfather
and for Cousteau,
diving was an escape from the war.
Because above the sea, nothing made sense.
"I was determined to have a career.
"And it was during the war that I realized
that the autonomous diving suit
"could be a serious business.
"There were hundreds of jobs for divers
in the scuttled fleet,
"and in the ships torpedoed at sea.
"So when the war was over,
I told officials at the Navy Ministry
"about this entirely new system
we had developed."
Cousteau got a boat from the French Navy.
And the whole team
was supposed to go diving.
Cousteau was trying to finance
a new boat
and he wanted to prove that the Aqualung
could go more than 100 meters deep.
Which had never been done.
It was like electricity
in the air,
a mix of excitement and fear,
with all the journalists taking pictures.
Cousteau was going to make
the Aqualung famous.
And they were going to try
to break a record.
The first person to go down,
Maurice Fargues, died that day.
"Fargues is the first of my team
that I see disappear.
"This drama upsets me for months.
"I start to wonder if what I am
undertaking makes sense.
"If it is not asking
too much of these men
"to risk their lives
for a hypothetical conquest."
After the death of Fargues,
it was no longer the "Three Musketeers".
My grandfather just knew
it had to be different for him.
He said, "His death must not be in vain.
"It is up to us to learn from it,
and the lessons it contains".
My grandfather was also
an early ecologist.
And he was one of the first to realize
how precious the reef is...
and how quickly it can disappear.
And he told Cousteau
they have a role to play to protect it.
He said, "We are opening Pandora's Box."
But at the time,
Cousteau had another agenda.
Calypso was basically a minesweeper,
built in 1942 in America.
And I acquired her for very little money,
thanks to a grant given to me
by a British citizen.
And she has gone practically everywhere
around the world with me.
Journal number one.
We are at sea, at long last,
enjoying this first day of navigation
on the Calypso.
We have started
with a full-scale expedition
to explore the reefs of the Red Sea.
Journal number two.
Since we left,
bad weather has never stopped.
It is raining, it is cold,
and the swell is at least force six.
We are thrown from one side
to another, 24 hours a day.
And I spent a horrible night
fearing for my vessel.
So we sailed north again
and found a very good shelter.
A poetic and desolate island.
"I have that feeling
of trespassing when I submerge.
"The feeling that you're cheating.
"We're land animals
"and we're not supposed
to cross the threshold.
"Nature warns us 'Don't go.'
"But we do go,
and the sense of trespass vanishes."
The whole world was being discovered.
And we had no idea
that we were destroying it.
Setting off dynamite to count
the fish at the surface, you know,
to see how many fish lived underneath.
We just didn't know
any better at the time.
This is an underwater hunt
by Captain Cousteau's group
in the Persian Gulf.
These men are searching
not for pink pearls,
but for black gold. Oil.
"The only field in which I know
I am gifted is cinema.
"It's a built-in sickness.
"I feel miserable if I don't make a film."
When I was about 12,
I saw my first underwater films.
And I found them miraculous.
People at that time had no idea
what was going on under the surface.
So that was a revelation for me.
That's when I understood
the strength, the power of images.
I started taking movies at the age of 13.
I began to make little stories
about the marriage of my cousin.
And also, with my brother,
we imagined a gangster story.
During all those years,
everywhere I went,
my notebook was a camera.
And after I invented the Aqualung,
I wanted to show my friends
what I was seeing.
But, to photograph underwater
I had to put a camera in a housing.
So I had to invent that too.
"I become furious
"when they label my films
with the word 'documentary.'
"That means a lecture by a guy
who knows more than you."
"Our films are not documentaries.
"They are true adventure films."
Bridge, engine room! Bridge, engine room!
Something has just stalled
the port engine!
We've crashed into a whale.
The cuts are so deep, it cannot survive.
We speed up to put the whale
out of its misery.
"I dreamed of being the John Ford
or John Huston of the ocean."
"To offer beauty
to my fellow human beings."
"A moment of grace,
"I slide into the depths,
aware of living in harmony
"with an environment very different
from the world above.
"I swim almost effortlessly,
"like the fish I meet.
"I am an unexpected guest,
"spellbound by this splendor.
"This silence.
"This harmony."
In London last night,
a man gave a lecture
paving the way to a time when human beings
will live continuously under the sea.
Commander, is this development
of the ocean bed
an adventure to you,
or does it have practical applications?
I don't think we can name it
an adventure.
It is a succession of carefully planned
and prepared steps.
We are moving into the sea,
deeper and longer.
In the coming years,
we will establish settlements
where men will live completely
in the water.
So this is a bright future for diving.
Because it will eliminate
all ties to the surface.
Cousteau said to me many times
that an explorer has no right
to be a family man.
He's off following his nose,
to the future and to the universe.
And that's how it needs to be.
The children,
they were not cared for.
They went to boarding school.
And Simone, she was more interested
in a life on the sea.
She had only one passion,
What most people don't realize
is that my mother spent more time
on the ship than my father, my brother,
and myself together.
She doesn't like to be on film,
and that's why she has avoided it.
She stays away from the cameras.
She's the strong person behind the scenes.
Uh, people confide in her,
and she makes a lot of decisions,
which most people don't even know about.
They don't even know she exists.
what was it like on Calypso
as a young kid?
I cannot compare with anybody else,
since this was a natural thing.
I was invited there for my vacation.
And it took many years for me to realize
that this was very unusual.
You have to be prepared
to make all kinds of sacrifices.
You have to agree to have
a very sketchy family life.
what's the biggest blunder
your father ever made?
That's too hard
to answer, really.
Philippe was like his father.
Always doing dangerous things,
fearing nothing.
Cousteau was like a king with his empire.
And Philippe was the next king.
In the perpetual darkness,
Philippe Cousteau
focuses his underwater camera
on a unique experiment.
The oceanauts will try to repair
a production type oil wellhead,
370 feet deep.
The petroleum companies
had given Cousteau a contract
to do scientific research.
And he used the money to fund Calypso,
and to continue his explorations.
It may have been a wrong turn
in his path to the future.
But the world at that time
didn't understand the danger
to the environment.
So, for Cousteau,
that was a means to an end.
Once we had finished
this chapter,
we had done the work of a pioneer.
So we turned this over to the industry,
to use it.
But we wondered
if we were doing the right thing.
They put
the Jacques Cousteau footage on the air,
and it was a big success.
One day I'm sitting in the house
and I tell my wife,
"I bet you that'll be a great series.
"Jacques Cousteau going underwater,
around the world,
"The Seven Seas, was my thought."
So I flew to Monaco
and spoke with Cousteau.
He says, "I just figured the money,
you have to do 12 hours.
"I can't do it in less than 12 hours."
So I go back to New York
to sell the 12 shows.
I go to NBC, they don't even know
who Jacques Cousteau is.
Who is he? "Well, he's the undersea guy
who invented the Aqualung."
"We don't care."
I go to ABC,
who is there but Tom Moore.
He looks at this thing,
this is terrific, but I can't take 12.
But he says, "David, you know,
I'm a member of The Explorers Club
"and I have not been able to find
an explorer to speak at my goddamn thing.
"Can you get Jacques Cousteau to speak?"
I said, "Well, you know I could ask him."
He said "I tell you what.
"You get Jacques Cousteau to show up,
I'll put the 12 shows on the air."
And the rest is history.
I started on the Cousteau series in 1967.
And I was given a huge editing room
because there was so much footage.
Sharks, whales,
and things I had never seen before.
The shark is said to be
a fearsome brute.
But this is not always true.
Many harmless species exist,
sand sharks, spotted dogfish,
nurse, and leopard sharks.
But for a diver, a shark bite,
whether accidental or deliberate,
is always serious and sometimes fatal.
Hello, Raymond. Hello, Raymond.
What depth are you at?
What depth are you at?
I have abandoned
or almost abandoned feature films,
the production of feature films
for television, for only one good reason.
Though it is an aesthetic sacrifice,
it is a way to reach,
by the only real mass medium there is,
millions of people rapidly.
Well understood, Raymond,
well understood.
We are all okay.
He had that wonderful persona.
But the general audience at that time
didn't know who Jacques Cousteau was.
As our assistants logged him,
"There's an old man
in a red beanie cap on deck."
So, we had a lot of discussions about,
how are we going to present him?
Is he a scientist? Researcher?
Or is he a philosopher? Or an inventor?
But in his close-ups,
he really looked like a man
looking at the future.
So we decided, he's the explorer.
Because his motto was,
"il faut aller voir."
You know, "We go see it for ourselves."
The New York Times says
The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau
has opened the eyes of millions.
his underwater films,
which are shown
on 100 other television networks
throughout the world...
...have not only popularized
underwater science and discovery...
Captain Cousteau
has been more responsible
for introducing people
to the world beneath the sea...
Captain Jacques Cousteau challenges
the most treacherous of undersea worlds.
Tomorrow, Captain Cousteau
will set out on what he's called
the greatest and most difficult
expedition of his career...
Captain Cousteau
perhaps has done more
than any other individual
to reveal the mysteries of the oceans...
The average audience
is 26 million viewers.
8-time Emmy Award winning...
Jacques Cousteau.
The most popular documentary
series in broadcasting history.
"I have produced for television
52 one-hour films.
"The start was curiosity.
"The enthusiasm about beauty.
"Then came the period of alert,
"because we were looking at things
that were actually disappearing.
"And so my past life,
as just a mere explorer, is over."
Mr. Chairman, I am greatly honored
to have been invited to come here today
to talk about the element
to which I have devoted my life.
The sea.
The sea that is today,
as everybody knows, in distress.
I spent my life sailing
and swimming through the seas.
In 30 years, I have seen coral reefs
turn into wastelands,
rich fishing grounds depleted.
And when I was diving recently,
in the Gulf of Lyon,
I was disturbed to find
that we have practically destroyed
the original fauna
of the continental shelf.
What we are facing
is the destruction of the ocean
by pollution and by other causes.
For the past two centuries,
people have been totally unaware
that there was an ecological problem.
It was understood that the sea
was a vast expanse,
a body of water so big
that you could throw anything in it
and it would not matter.
So that is what we did.
Last year, in America first,
and then in Europe, and Japan,
people began to understand
and there was an environmental
protection movement created.
People start pollution,
people can stop it.
Along with my son,
and with my friends,
we decided to create The Cousteau Society.
Together with thousands
of concerned citizens, like you,
we have begun a nonprofit organization
to save not only the sea,
but the precious living systems
of our water planet.
Join now. Call 1-800-648-5000
or write to this address.
The awareness of the people is growing.
But there is still a lot of work to do.
So I am dedicating
all the rest of my film activities
to try to convince people
that they have to do something about this.
So, films that are no more
just about beautiful little fish,
but that are dealing
with the fate of mankind.
For example, more than 600 drums
containing deadly lead tetraethyl
were on board a Yugoslav freighter, Cavtat.
And the ship was rammed
and sank in the south of Italy,
three miles off shore
at a depth of 300 feet.
Some of the drums are already opened up,
and they are going to release
this deadly poison
into the Mediterranean Sea.
So it's a difficult problem to solve.
And all governments
are turning their back to it.
Judge Maritati orders
the Saipem Company to begin salvage,
helped by the Calypso divers,
Albert Falco and Raymond Coll.
I, of course, was involved
at various stages of the operation.
And once the ships were there,
the divers began to work.
Ninety-seven percent of the lead
was recovered.
The rest is lost,
because some of the drums
had already been damaged.
Captain Cousteau,
I know you have thoughts
about the world's resources
being used up.
And you've seen it happening
year after year.
Apparently a lot of people
who should have didn't.
Do you have anything
you want to say about that?
Well, uh, I was already involved
in, how to say, scanning,
the possibilities of extracting energy
from the sea.
It was a choice that I made
many years ago.
But what I was shocked by,
is the speed and the shamelessness,
with which the industrial interests
have threw to the waste basket,
all of the environmental measures
that had been very laboriously taken.
I feel responsible, I feel guilty
as everybody else, as you should
that we are drawing blank checks
on future generations.
We don't pay. They are going to pay.
One of the jobs of The Cousteau Society
is that we want the truth
to come to the people.
And we are amazed to find out
that we became the fastest growing
non-profit organization
in just two years.
Now you're talking about
the Cousteau Society in the United States,
and that is, what's its membership
at the moment?
A hundred and sixty thousand.
And it's growing fast,
because we are a young society.
What are you aiming for?
What sort of membership?
Several million.
- How many?
- Several million.
In Houston, USA,
11,000 people flocked to listen to the man
who according to a recent survey
is the celebrity
that next to the president,
most Americans would like to meet.
Their hero
is Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Involvement Day
is to reawaken a sense of hope
that our actions will not further abuse
our life systems.
And in the words of Captain Cousteau,
it's going to be up to ordinary citizens.
Captain, this is Matt.
Well, I'd like to ask you
how you feel about
underwater civilizations in the future?
I must admit that I once proposed this,
but I don't think
that we are going to develop
an underwater civilization.
I think, uh...
we should first build
a good civilization on land.
In 1954,
I shot a feature length film
called The Silent World.
Where in which there was a sequence,
where we saw sharks feed dramatically
on a damaged baby whale.
And, uh, our men got so furious,
that they brought them on board the ship,
and they began to hit them
on the head, and to kill them.
It was a real slaughter of these sharks,
a kind of age-old revenge of seamen,
you know, that hated sharks
for generations.
All right. Now, recently,
I saw that film again
because I was asked to show it again
in Paris.
And you just... I couldn't...
I couldn't agree.
I cannot show it anymore
because we all have changed.
Mentality has changed
and we couldn't handle the shark
in the same way today.
I think that we are lucky.
We travel a lot
and we see things that the others don't.
So it is a duty for us
to share these things with them.
And to think a lot about
our responsibility.
And we often discuss this,
Philippe and I,
and Philippe shares my philosophy
on this 100 percent.
It's a great satisfaction
to find the same understanding
with your main collaborator.
You know?
- That's wonderful.
- Well, the basic philosophy I think
is that you cannot really enjoy
what you're doing if you don't share it.
That's right.
December five.
I commit Calypso
to the perilous Drake Passage
that lies between
the extreme tip of South America
and the Antarctic Peninsula.
But at the approach of these polar waters,
we feel alien.
We dive in fairly muddy water.
The red algae gives us a waving,
inviting welcome.
Along the cliff,
down to one hundred feet,
we discover an unexpected
profusion of life.
I am eager
to take down the diving saucer,
to explore the deeper polar waters.
Falco will pilot the saucer while I film.
A little lower,
an opening gapes in the wall.
Dull, cracking sounds
are warnings
that the iceberg is under
immeasurable internal stress.
It is a giant crystal,
melting under my eyes.
We are witnesses
to the vanishing of an eternity.
You know, I must tell you
that I hate danger.
I'm not one of these people
who have to have a thrill.
But you too, I think we,
we all in the family,
we are not daredevils at all.
- Yeah.
- Yeah?
Oh, but you're flying planes.
You don't like him...
- I don't know.
- You don't like him to fly planes?
- Well, I'm not so sure.
- Hmm.
Philippe had this idea
to make a film in North African countries,
and I approved it.
And he started with his airplane.
that was it.
Why? How?
Philippe was an excellent pilot.
A poorly latched hatch
on the nose of the plane
had just annihilated my beloved son
and a part of me with him.
Arms, present!
We are here in joy.
And I share that joy with you,
with tears in my eyes
because of the great absence tonight...
After Philippe died,
Jacques' entire physical appearance
was absolutely different.
He had aged ten years.
He was bent over, his skin was sallow.
And, as time went by,
he became more pessimistic
about the environment.
In 1977, Cousteau
and the Calypso divers returned to Veyron.
In only three decades,
the sea floor has become a desert.
Bleak as the surface
of some barren planet.
In this submerged desolation,
the water temperature seems to rise,
burning our hands in spite of our gloves.
Our eyes are burning.
Tears pour down our faces,
blurring our vision.
The pain is unbearable.
We have penetrated a zone of death,
a region where no living thing
can long survive.
ABC dropped him
because he was getting too dark.
They didn't want him
browbeating the audiences
with these, uh, dismal stories.
He was more strident,
trying to convince people
rather than just showing them.
And I think he became somewhat cynical
at that point in his life.
Can you tell me what you think
are your greatest accomplishments
and your greatest phase?
This is... This is impossible to answer
because I am not interested
in analyzing myself.
Why haven't you?
I am not interested in myself
once and for all.
I am interested in the world outside me.
My world inside is nothing for me.
I keep thinking of a day
that we spent together.
We were working on our book
and he had flown to Paris to meet me.
The people on the plane
had formed a line in the aisle
while they awaited his autograph.
And he said, "I spend every day,
all day long going to meetings,
"doing films, doing research,
and the only thing they want
"is a piece of paper
with the name Jacques Cousteau.
"And that's what they are
going to enshrine."
And he got more and more angry about it.
I think the two
of us were needing
to have a new life, when we met.
But in my mind and in his mind...
it was not linked
with anything romantic.
I was 31, and I was a diver.
So at that time,
it was just about diving.
We had organized,
what we called at the time,
Involvement Day in Houston.
And I went diving with a club,
and she was there.
And I thought she was an interesting girl.
At that time,
she had a brilliant career
at Air France, in charge of diplomatic
travels for the French government.
I think what Jacques
wanted the most probably at that time
was to have a place with a family.
Not that he didn't have a family before,
but because of the kind of life he had,
he was never two minutes
in the same place.
His wife was on the boat.
And the kids were in boarding school.
And him, he was traveling everywhere,
so there was no family,
what we call "foyer," in French.
It's a place where the family goes
together, regularly.
He needed to have that.
We knew a little bit
about his relationship with Francine.
And Cousteau, during that time,
he had two children with her.
But we never talked about them.
But everyone knew.
And I think Simone knew too.
"The last time
we had dinner together,
"I knew she was not well.
"But I had no idea
what was wrong with her.
"She had made the doctor promise
not to tell me,
"so as not to disturb my work".
Calypso has given me everything.
No man in the world could ever offer me
what this vessel has.
This boat is my paradise.
And it's a wonder to pass my hand
over the hull.
To breathe its paint.
To feel its vibrations.
Its soul, the only reason
for my being alive.
Jacques never explained
to anybody our private life.
But he was getting worried
that if anything happened to him,
we would not be protected.
So that was the reason
we were married so early
after his first wife died.
When Francine married Jacques,
I don't think that the French
were shocked or cared.
What mattered to them
was what is Cousteau accomplishing.
Francine started writing the narration
for his films.
And helping him to lead
The Cousteau Society.
And he said that their kids
gave him a new beginning.
And he said that even though
he knew he was at the end of his life,
he wasn't finished yet.
Antarctica, it of course
is the remote region
at the center of a fierce
international debate this morning.
Should the majestic continent
forever remain untouched
underneath the ice?
Or in a world of diminishing resources,
should Antarctica be tapped
for oil and precious minerals?
You've said the survival
of Antarctica, um,
and the survival of the human race
are linked.
Is that alarmist,
or explain how that would be?
Yes, the science today,
understands much better
the role of the Antarctic system
in the making of our own climates
all over the world.
The combination of industrialization
and deforestation
have increased the carbon dioxide
in the atmosphere,
triggering a dangerous warming up
of our planet.
The Antarctic, this mass of ice,
90% of the ice of the world,
governs the climate
even in the United States
or Europe in the northern hemisphere.
If we touch Antarctica with industry,
with explosions and et cetera,
we don't know what can happen.
And we may bring
about famines in Africa,
and even droughts in the United States.
Because we now understand
that our globe
is just one single thermodynamic machine,
that it works simply
with a heat source from the sun,
and a cold source from Antarctica.
And we must not touch it.
I decided to start a petition,
to put pressure on the industry leaders
and the politicians.
Because they will not do it
by their own incentive.
It has to be under pressure.
Now recently, I even had an opportunity
to tell our story
to the President of the United States,
and I think that he was very receptive
to what we said.
Jacques Cousteau has forced
a change of policy towards Antarctica,
against mining
or any exploitation of resources there.
Twenty-six nations agreed
to leave Antarctica untouched
for at least 50 years.
Distinguished ladies and gentleman,
it is my privilege to talk to you
in the most important conference
on the environment
that has ever been imagined.
The biggest
summit meeting ever has finally begun.
The Earth Summit as it's called.
Representatives of 170 nations
have a very tall order,
how to prevent making the Earth
an unlivable place.
Among the thousands who
are taking part in the Earth Summit,
one man can claim
to have molded public opinion
even before this conference began.
Jacques Cousteau's enthusiasm,
his scholarship,
and his reach toward ordinary people
have motivated pressure groups
and governments alike.
At the age of 80,
he can take no little credit
for bringing the Earth Summit into being.
He says he's optimistic
about the outcome of this conference,
but warned of continuing threats
to the world's environment.
Non-renewable resources are depleted.
Biodiversity shrinks to alarming levels.
Energy is in unreasonable demand.
And above all,
the melting of glaciers and of ice caps,
and catastrophic rise
of the ocean levels,
has already begun.
But listen to this,
all the people of the world,
the beginning of everything is in Rio.
For the first time,
the immense majority of the leaders,
they have promised beautiful things.
All of them.
Now we have to force them
to transform these words into acts.
Captain, are you optimistic
about the way that nations
are going to handle
this resource of ours?
I was asked this question
very often and I ask myself this question.
When I reason, I put things together,
I am optimistic because I have
a great faith in human beings
and I believe that someday
people are going to revolt
and begin to care.