|Leonardo DiCaprio accepting his Academy Award. Photo credit: The Oscars.|
By Anders Lorenzen
Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio delivered a clear message to world leaders, telling them not to stand in the way of climate action.
The climate message came as the actor accepted his first ever Academy Award for his role in The Revenant. He was first nominated 20 years ago.
DiCaprio has become one of the most vocal voices in Hollywood calling for action on climate change, and for the protection of the planet. In his message, he highlighted that 2015 was the hottest year ever recorded. He also made a link to the world’s changing climate and the film for which he received the Oscar, The Revenant. Here they had great difficulty finding locations with snow enough to make the film.
‘Climate change is real’, he stated. He said, that we need to support those politicians and governments who have not been blinded by corporate lobbying and greed from the fossil fuel industry. He also gave his support to indigenous and minority groups, who are at the forefront of the battle with climate change.
Perhaps Hollywood is slowly starting to wake up to the reality of climate change, as DiCaprio received huge applause for his statements. Another of Hollywood’s keen environmentalists is actor Mark Ruffalo, who starred in Spotlight, which won the best Motion Picture award. Days earlier he had warned about climate change and the rise of unsustainable fossil fuel energy production.
He had connected it to Hollywood as he warned about oil and gas production in Los Angeles, and the increasing number of oil and gas drilling rigs. And he brought attention to the group Hollywood United, a campaign led by the entertainment industry which aims to free California from oil and gas production.
Weeks earlier Mark Ruffalo had warned UK Prime Minister David Cameron against pursuing a fracking industry. He pointed out the dangers that people in California have suffered as a consequence, such as contaminated water, and polluting air and gas leaks.
At a crucial time for the planet, DiCaprio has brought the issue of climate change to the attention of his millions of fans from across the world. Many of them will be likely to follow in his footsteps and leadership on the issue. But people should also ask the actor to practice what he preaches and scale back his lavish lifestyle. Critics say that if every human lived the lifestyle of DiCaprio, we would need several Planet Earth to sustain us; and we might already be dealing with dangerous runaway climate change.