What Climate Deniers Had to Say About Leo’s Oscars Speech
Millions heard the call for climate action on Sunday night, when Leonardo DiCaprio (finally) accepted the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Revenant. After expressing his appreciation for The Revenant’s crew and people who helped him throughout his career, Leo impressed many by dedicating a significant portion of his time to calling for climate action.
When approached backstage, Leo continued with even more forceful words for deniers: "If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in modern science or empirical truths—and you will be on the wrong side of history. We need to all join together and vote for leaders who care about the future of this civilization.”
Cue the denier outrage.
Andrew Siefter at Media Matters shows how Fox & Friends embodied the right-wing response, namely that Leo shouldn’t be enjoying the luxuries of being wealthy (planes, yachts, etc.) if he’s going to advocate for climate action. This puts Leo in a no-win situation (which is the intent of the attack). On the one hand, if he enjoys the fruits of his labor but cares about the environment, he’s a hypocrite. On the other hand, if he were to live a spartan lifestyle, he’d prove that the greens-as-luddites strawman is real and that environmentalists want everyone to live anti-industrial lives. In this scenario, deniers could then disparage Leo for wasting the wealth and luxuries afforded to him by the free market capitalism they so lovingly espouse.
Surprisingly, one of the best defenses to this sour grapes attack on the compassionate celebrity can be found at the Daily Caller. The article recounts Leo's answer to a friend who asked why he doesn’t quit acting to focus on being an environmental activist, in which Leo states, “Being an artist gives you a platform. Not that necessarily people will take anything that I say seriously, but it gives you a voice.”
And in front of tens of millions of Oscar viewers, he used that voice.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
- Oxford Endowment Ditches Fossil Fuels in 'Historic' Decision ... ›
- Fossil Fuel Divestment Debates on Campus Spotlight Societal Role ... ›
- London and New York Mayors Call on Other World Cities to Divest ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jacob Wallace
This story is published as part of StudentNation's "Vision 2020: Election Stories From the Next Generation" reports from young journalists that center the concerns of diverse young voters. In this project, working with Dr. Sherri Williams, we recruited young journalists from different backgrounds to develop story ideas and reporting about their peers' concerns ahead of the most important election of our lives. We'll continue publishing two stories each week over the course of September.
In the speech she gave at the People's Climate March in Washington in 2017, Jansikwe Medina-Tayac, then 15, told a crowd of thousands, "This [climate change] is not just an environmental issue. This is a race issue, this is an immigration issue, this is a feminist issue."
- Youth Activists Urge Presidential Candidates to Address Climate ... ›
- Young Republican Climate Activists Split Over November's Election ... ›
- Activists Launch Youth 'Power Vote' Campaign to Turn Out Climate ... ›
The United States passed 200,000 deaths due to COVID-19 Tuesday and experts warn that number may double before the end of the year as an autumn surge in cases starts, according to USA Today.
- Thom Yorke of Radiohead Releases Song With Greenpeace to Help ... ›
- Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, Flea and More Featured on Just Released ... ›
- Musicians and Activists Unite at 'Pathway to Paris' - EcoWatch ›
A national park in Thailand has come up with an innovative way to make sure guests clean up their own trash: mail it back to them.
- Supermarkets in Thailand and Vietnam Swap Plastic Packaging for ... ›
- Malaysia Sends Plastic Waste Back to 13 Wealthy Countries, Says It ... ›
- Thailand Begins the New Year With Plastic Bag Ban - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus Worsens Thailand's Plastic Waste Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Marium, Thailand's Beloved Baby Dugong, Is the Latest Victim of ... ›