OPINION: Leo Is Right (And So Is Science)



On February 28 2016, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Academy Award for his lead performance in “The Revenant” (2016). In his acceptance speech, he thanked many people who have influenced him in his career and life before taking a serious turn by discussing the issue of climate change:

“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,” DiCaprio said. “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.”

This statement was not a surprise since it is known that DiCaprio is a huge supporter of climate change research and many other public figures like Sam Smith, Joe Biden, Lady GaGa and Chris Rock all spoke on issues they felt were hurting the world in their statements/speeches. However, DiCaprio did not stop expressing his beliefs on climate change after he won his Oscar; he chose to bring up the issue again in his promotional video for “Vote Your Future” (a campaign encouraging Americans to vote in the 2016 Presidential Election):

“I can’t imagine having a political leader that doesn’t listen to the scientific community,” DiCaprio said. “Over 97 percent of the scientific community is in complete agreeance that we are contributing to climate change. To deny that means that you are not a part of the modern world because it proves that you don’t listen to modern science or facts.”

This statement from DiCaprio was a direct attack on Donald Trump’s belief that global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese. Some praised DiCaprio for speaking out against Trump while others condemned him for it, but I decided to take the side of DiCaprio after witnessing a tiny detail in my environment and community:

Halloween is next week and I have not seen a single flake of snow emerge in Highlands Ranch. Some of my peers brushed this tiny detail aside and assumed that this was just “a random act of Mother Nature”, but I took the time to delve into my memory and what I noticed was something that interested and disturbed me at the same time: in my sophomore year of high school (2014), it started snowing in the second week of September. The year after (2015), it started snowing in the early weeks of October. These may seem like completely random, irrelevant and ludicrous pieces of information right now, but for me, they prove DiCaprio’s and scientists’ conclusions that the Earth is getting hotter and climate change is real.

I too believe that anyone who refuses to accept the existence of climate change is not a part of the modern world. You can call me a “lunatic” or “mad prophet” after reading this, but I know that by the time society stops and realizes that DiCaprio and other members of the scientific community were right about climate change, it will be too late.

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