Leonardo DiCaprio has finally done it. The six-time Oscar-nominated actor has finally won the Best Actor award. While his speech started with the traditional thank yous, he used it to highlight an important global issue: climate change.
The successful actor has long been an avid spokesperson for climate change, trying to encourage people to make changes now to save the future for the next generations. DiCaprio’s recent film—and the reason he has finally won an Academy Award—helped him make the situation even more clear. He made a point that to find somewhere full of snow for filming meant the whole team had to go to the most southern parts of the world, because the world had experienced the hottest summer on record.
Leonardo DiCaprio: “If you don’t believe in climate change, you don’t believe in modern science or empirical truths”https://t.co/VxbnjL8sDS
— Variety (@Variety) February 29, 2016
During his speech, he made it clear that climate change is a real thing; something that some argue against. He says it is a major threat to the entire human race, and everyone needs to work together to be able to combat it.
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) February 29, 2016
Despite previously campaigning against climate change, this has been DiCaprio’s biggest audience, according to the Guardian. He was so desperate to get the message across that he used his thank you speech to talk about it. Luckily for him, it was a seamless fit with his movie, The Revenant.
Leonardo DiCaprio has donated more than $30 million to fund the advancement of negotiations about the climate within the United Nations. He wants to see tigers, coral reefs and more protected, and would like more awareness spread about the dangers of this very real threat.
Leonardo DiCaprio waited all these years to say “we need to stop climate change now” and now it’s probably too late. thanks a lot, Oscars
— Matt Binder (@MattBinder) February 29, 2016
@thinkprogress That was awesome and a little brave given the number of Climate Change doubters out there who will hold it against him.
— kenhabeeb (@kenhabeeb) March 1, 2016
The Washington Post confirms Leonardo’s concerns, reporting that a recent study shows climate change is more of a threat now than anybody is willing to admit. Scientists are able to calculate the relationship between the carbon in the air and the expected rise in temperature. The best temperature rise is less than two degrees, but there is more carbon output now than ever before. Current figures show that either the carbon output needs to cease completely, or carbon dioxide needs pulling out of the atmosphere somehow.
— TV Guide (@TVGuide) February 29, 2016
DiCaprio’s speech has led to claims of hypocrisy on social media. Some people say that he is added to the carbon footprint by travelling on private jets. They also question the amount of carbon The Revenant used for filming. Some claim that temperatures have not risen in 20 years, despite the data shown from the Washington Post. It is due to comments like these and the view of hypocrisy that people tend not to take the threat seriously. It is also something that people cannot physically see, making it harder to believe.
— Magic (@Magic304750611) March 1, 2016
— Vincent (@Vinniedus) February 29, 2016
— Lucy (@Lucy59jarvis) February 29, 2016
Despite those against him, Leonardo did bring up supporting the rights for indigenous people and supporting the “billions and billions of underprivileged people” who are mostly affected by climate change. He claimed political greed is the reason voices are drowned out, but he wants it to stop. Only with the help of the people can the government put aside companies’ views and focus on the big issues like this.
Leonardo DiCaprio uses Oscars speech to call for climate action: https://t.co/oVDW0RivG7
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) March 1, 2016
Before his speech started, he received a 30-second applause for finally getting his Academy Award. It has been the only award to escape his grasp up until now. After his speech, he received a standing ovation. His speech has now broken Ellen DeGeneres’ record from when she shared the selfie while presenting the awards show.
The Academy Awards was originally surrounded in controversy over all white people being nominated for the 20 awards, with various actors and directors refusing to attend. However, it has now become about Leonardo DiCaprio’s win and using his speech to focus on climate change.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]