DiCaprio made the documentary with sisters Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Peterson, who directed the project. The trio had worked together on two previous short-subject films about the environment.
"What we tried to do is create a story about humanity and the planet, and how we got here, why we're here, why we're stuck here, and how we can get out of this situation," Conners said.
"I think we want them to walk away from the film saying, 'OK, I get it. There is a problem,'" said Peterson. "But, what's so amazing and exciting about the time we live in is that there are solutions, the solutions are there."
Paper or plastic? "Neither! Bring your own bag!" they say.
Amid all the dire warnings, "The 11th Hour" presents hope for new technology and new kinds of energy — doing things nature's way, like the way a spider can weave a web stronger than steel without burning even a lump of coal.
DiCaprio said you don't even have to believe in global warming to want a clean environment. "It's not about imposing a certain belief system or a way of life on people in any economic background," he said.
"It's about just being aware of this issue. That's the most important thing, and really trying to say next time I vote, next time I buy something, I'm just going to be aware of what's really going on."