During the United Nations Climate Action Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York City on Tuesday, Leonardo DiCaprio -- who was recently named the “Messenger of Peace” for the international organization -- told those in attendance that it's “time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet. … You can make history or be vilified by it.”
“To be clear, this is not about just telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car,” DiCaprio said. “This disaster has grown beyond the choices that individuals make. This is now about our industries and governments around the world taking decisive, large-scale action.”
“As an actor, I pretend for a living,” he stated. “I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that climate change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.”
DiCaprio then noted: “I stand before you not as an expert but as a concerned citizen, one of the 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis.”
The “Messenger of Peace” then pointed to several events as proof of the crisis:
Every week, we’re seeing new and undeniable climate events, evidence that accelerated climate change is here now. We know that droughts are intensifying, our oceans are warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor.
We are seeing extreme weather events, increased temperatures and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets melting at unprecedented rates, decades ahead of scientific projections.
“None of this is rhetoric, and none of it is hysteria. It is fact,” he asserted. “I am not a scientist, but I don’t need to be because the world’s scientific community has spoken, and they have given us our prognosis; if we do not act together, we will surely perish. Now is our moment for action."
“My friends, this body -- perhaps more than any other gathering in human history -- now faces that difficult task,” DiCaprio stated. “You can make history ... or be vilified by it.”
The actor then listed several actions he feels must be made to solve the global crisis:
We need to put a price tag on carbon emissions and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy.
They don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny for the economy itself will die if our ecosystems collapse.
Nevertheless, DiCaprio said that he had “good news” for those concerned about climate change.
“Renewable energy is not only achievable, but good economic policy,” he stated. “New research shows that by 2050, clean, renewable energy could supply 100 percent of the world’s energy needs using existing technologies, and it would create millions of jobs.”
“This is not a partisan debate; it is a human one,” the actor continued. “Clean air and water, and a livable climate, are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation -- if, admittedly, a daunting one.”
DiCaprio declared: “We only get one planet. Humankind must become accountable on a massive scale for the wanton destruction of our collective home. Protecting our future on this planet depends on the conscious evolution of our species.”
“This is the most urgent of times, and the most urgent of messages,” he asserted. “The time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet ... is now. I beg you to face it with courage and honesty.”
As NewsBusters has previously reported, this isn't the first time DiCaprio has sounded the alarm regarding climate change with no one providing a different view of the issue.
In 2007, he starred in an alarmist “documentary,” The 11th Hour, which quickly bombed at the box office. Nevertheless, it helped the actor receive the first Big Green Help Award at Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards two years later.
During 2010, DiCaprio joined several of “Hollywood's finest” in creating a public service announcement encouraging people to petition Congress to pass the Clean Energy & American Power Act, which would have established a cap and trade system.
Judging from the actor's speech, feel free to trade in your bicycle for a new car and travel around the world in private planes, which is how DiCaprio got to New York City to give his doomsday message. That makes him a poor role model for other climate alarmists.