The opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Friday featured a video focusing on the controversial issue of climate change.
Discussion over whether or not the Olympics were an appropriate forum for political topics like climate change or race relations has been ongoing for months, with former Olympic medalist Caitlin Jenner — who was a man known as Bruce Jenner when he won a gold medal in 1976 — telling HBO’s Bill Simmons “absolutely not” when asked that question on Wednesday.
The opening of the summer Olympics disregarded Jenner’s objections, including fireworks, musical acts, costumed performers and a climate change themed video narrated by Oscar winner Judi Dench, with maps and graphics showing climate data and demonstrating potentially harmful scenarios that climate change activists say could happen if action isn’t taken to prevent further damage to the planet.
With roughly 30 percent of the world’s rainforest and more than half the Amazon rainforests within the country, Brazil seems to be a logical place for a discussion on climate change to occur since if there are any negative effects, Brazil would be uniquely harmed by them.
The climate change portion of the opening ceremony spurred plenty of reaction on social media, with many showering praise upon the Olympics for tackling what they perceive to be such an important subject.
Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony achieves historic importance by educating billions of viewers about climate change. Bravo!#OpeningCeremony
— Fred Krupp (@FredKrupp) August 6, 2016
Unbelievable. The Opening Ceremonies of #Rio2016 is providing some of the most concise and powerful climate education ever
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) August 6, 2016
However, the controversial nature of the issue meant that a lot of people were not complimentary. Skeptics have said that the climate change issue has been exaggerated by alarmists and dispute the idea that it is a catastrophic problem.
Many of these people likewise took to social media to show their displeasure with the opening ceremony.
"We are going to show how climate change is affecting zzzzzzzzzzzzzz" #OpeningCeremony
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) August 6, 2016
Oh so the country that burned down the rainforest is going to lecture us on climate change. THANKS #OpeningCeremony
— Russ McNamara (@McNamaraWWJ) August 6, 2016
— Julie R. Snyder (@Jmrhsnyder) August 6, 2016
Makes sense Brazil would focus on global warming. Probably distracts from Zika, corrupt government, and ocean of poop.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 6, 2016
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