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With the midterms rapidly approaching, it's important to make your vote count in the most pressing issue of our time: climate change.
After a year of destructive hurricanes, killer flooding and devastating wildfires, 2018 is already on pace to be among the hottest years in recorded history. Earlier this month, top scientists urged drastic emissions cuts in order to avoid climate catastrophe. Meanwhile, we have lawmakers in office who are not taking these threats very seriously, deny the science, and encourage the use of planet-warming fossil fuels.
With the U.S. midterm elections just six weeks away, the Sierra Club launched a campaign Tuesday to boot ten leading "Fossil Fools" from office and replace them with more environmentally friendly alternatives.
The "Fossil Fools 2018" campaign, spearheaded by the group's Political Committee, targets Congressional Republicans running for reelection in November who have consistently voted in favor of fossil fuel interests and against taking action on climate change and protecting air and water.
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The Environmental Working Group Action Fund, the political arm of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), released a first-ever report that scores how each member of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on chemical policy and safety.
The scorecard shows that 140 House members voted against chemical safeguards every time, while 149 members consistently voted for chemical safety protections.
For environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio, it is very clear why you can not stay home this Nov. 8. Following 14 consecutive months of record-high temperatures, the United Nations declared last week that 2016 is officially going to be the hottest year ever.
He further dove into this important political topic on his Instagram page.
The post included a photo of the Riau Rainforest in Indonesia being cleared for a palm oil operations, which is a major driver of deforestation that releases greenhouse gases and leads to biodiversity loss.
While he hasn't explicitly said so, DiCaprio has virtually endorsed Hillary Clinton, who's now officially the Democratic presidential nominee. The Hollywood A-lister has donated at least $2,700 to her campaign and he has also supported past presidential campaigns for John Kerry and Barack Obama.
DiCaprio also had glowing words to say about Clinton's Democratic presidential rival, Bernie Sanders, especially for his environmental bonafides.
"Look, not to get political, but listening to Bernie Sanders at that first presidential debate was pretty inspiring—to hear what he said about the environment," DiCaprio told Wired in December. "Who knows which candidate is going to become our next president, but we need to create a dialogue about it. I mean, when they asked each of the candidates what the most important issue facing our planet is, Bernie Sanders simply said climate change. To me that's inspiring."
Meanwhile, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump believes that global warming is a hoax. A vote for Trump would essentially be a vote for dirty energy, continued dismissal of science and, as Stephen Hawking noted, a more dangerous world. If elected president, Trump would be the only world leader who does not acknowledge the dangers and science of climate change.
Last night, accepting her nomination for president, Clinton said she is "proud" of the Paris climate agreement and pledged to hold every country accountable to their commitments to climate action, including the U.S. One of her best lines, which was met with loud cheers and applause, was a clear poke at Trump and other climate deniers: "I believe in science."
DiCaprio is a longtime environmental champion. His eponymous foundation recently held its third annual fundraising gala in St. Tropez, France, setting a new fundraising record of $45 million that will go towards preserving Earth and its inhabitants.
DiCaprio giving a speech at his star-studded gala in St. Tropez, France. Getty
"While we are the first generation that has the technology, the scientific knowledge and the global will to build a truly sustainable economic future for all of humanity—we are the last generation that has a chance to stop climate change before it is too late," DiCaprio said in a speech at the gala.
DiCaprio celebrated Thursday on Instagram a major victory of one of his foundation's partners, the Wildlife Direct and Elephant Crisis Fund in Kenya.
Last week, Feisal Mohamed Ali—a notorious illegal ivory kingpin—was sentenced 20 years in jail and fined 20 million shillings ($200,000) by a Kenyan court.