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Leonardo DiCaprio’s Climate Change Face-palm

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

It was inevitable, the film fraternity and movie buffs could have easily predicted this year’s academy award winner for Best Actor—Leonardo DiCaprio. And rightly so. The award was long due, and it was fitting that The Academy finally recognized his performance in the movie The Revenant.


While I was extremely pleased with the decision, I was equally baffled by the speech he gave after receiving his award. DiCaprio, an outspoken advocate of climate change alarmism, said: 

“Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real; it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed....Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”

Only scientifically ignorant people would have completely agreed with his statements. But, to my surprise, even my academic friends from universities in the U.S. applauded his speech. Whether you are an alarmist or a skeptic, you must realize the major errors in his speech. Here are the glaring errors that I couldn’t ignore:


We felt 2015 as the ‘hottest year.’

This was the point that made me do a face-palm. The fact that it is taken for granted and declared so blatantly is unbelievable. From the observations made in the satellite era (since 1979), satellite temperature recordings show that 1998 was the hottest year in recorded history, followed by 2011 in second place, and 2015 in third place, and the major reason for 2015 and 1998 being so hot was the onset of strong El Ninos during both years—not any long-term trend of global warming. Further, the differences among the ten hottest years in that record are mostly within the margin of error, and even the entire warming since 1950 (less than 1°C) is a small fraction of the normal daily and seasonal temperature swings in most locales—i.e., our proper response is, as MIT emeritus Professor of Climatology Richard Lindzen puts it, “So what?”

We must remember that feelings are not good indicators of climate change, but real world satellite measurements are!

Absence of Snow.

DiCaprio’s statement on the lack of snow in Southern Alberta as an indicator of climate change was laughable. A Chinook is an environmental condition during the winter period which can best be recognized by summer-like conditions and is a phenomenon that is frequently observed in Southern Alberta. The Chinook winds are not directly caused by climate change and are a very well-documented weather phenomenon. DiCaprio’s comment was so ignorant that it attracted criticism even from climate change alarmists. Chris Turner, a journalist on the subjects of Sustainability and Green economy, tweeted “If you're wondering how many times, as an Alberta-based climate hawk, I'll have to answer for Di Caprio's ignorance? Answer is ALL THE TIMES.” I just have to hope the climate alarmists recruit a better spokesperson and save us from further face-palm incidents.


Climate change is real; it is happening right now.

Well Mr. DiCaprio, climate change is always real and has been happening since the beginning of earth’s history. It is not news to me or to scientists. But for an average listener, you made it sound like it is something that has never happened before. False.

Yes, as mentioned by DiCaprio, we need to support those who are afflicted by climate change—or any other danger.

But how?

We need to address policies that deprive people across the globe of the abundant, affordable, reliable energy they need to rise and stay out of poverty.

Conversion from coal to renewables should not be made unless the marginalized and poor communities of the world are guaranteed clean, affordable, and reliable access to energy, and the richer communities are not put at risk of declining back into poverty. We should bear in mind that production of renewable energy is more expensive than conventional energy. If one really cares for the so called billions and billions of underprivileged, then energy policies that will bring immediate relief to the millions who lack reliable access to affordable energy must be supported.

While we all should be concerned for our children’s children, we must also be concerned for our own children and for our fellow citizens on this planet who are living and dying in poverty today. Denying access to affordable energy and stalling the progress of industrial development in poor countries by using the climate agenda effectively condemns millions of people to misery and death.I might even add, it is “the politics of greed” that is insensitive to the impact of the climate change agenda on the poor of the world.


I never took this planet for granted, and I will never take the life of another human being for granted.

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