This story was first published on Gas2. Reprinted with permission.
Leonardo DiCaprio won the Oscar Sunday night for his his role in The Revenant. His acceptance speech thanked all the usually people, as expected. But then he took the opportunity to speak about a subject he feels passionately about — climate change.
Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world in 2015, the hottest year in history. Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who speak for all of humanity, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people, for our children’s children, and for those whose voices who have been drowned out by the politics of greed. Let us not take this planet for granted.
You can watch his speech live below. His thoughts on climate change begin at about the 2 minute mark.
Gas2 is not a political forum. It is, however, a place where people who want to know more about the coming electric car revolution can find information that is up to date and accurate. Electric cars exist for one reason and one reason only — to help the world sever its dependence on fossil fuels.
There is a political component to that change. Our leaders in Washington, DC and in our various state capitols have a lot of influence about how America responds to the challenge of climate change. We as voters have only one means at our disposal to affect the policies our leaders put in place — our votes. With a national election coming up in November, we will have an opportunity to cast our votes for the leaders we think will do the best job of protecting our planet from harm.
DiCaprio begs us not to support “the politics of greed.” That means not voting for candidates who are in thrall to industrialists like the Koch Brothers, who are using their enormous financial muscle to oppose policies that promote electric cars. They gain much of their $115 billion annual revenue from fossil fuels and are willing to make all of us suffer so they can continue to enjoy enormous profits. Many political candidates accept campaign contributions from the Koch Brothers or the many foundations, think tanks, and lobbying groups they control. Do you want someone representing you who is loyal to fossil fuel interests?
A new report by MIT suggests that if we do nothing to slow the use of fossil fuels — which is what the Koch Brothers want — the average temperature of the earth will rise as much as 15 degrees by the end of this century. Is that the world we want for those who come after us? If you are under 30, doing nothing means condemning your own grandchildren to a world that is nearly uninhabitable. Are we willing to fatten the Koch Brothers’ wallets for that?
DiCaprio’s words are not meant for just he rich and the powerful. They are meant for us. They are a call for each and every American to stop empowering those who would sell us down the river for a few shekels more. The vote is more powerful than all the financial might of ExxonMobil, Shell, and the Koch Brothers combined. Please don’t waste it.
Cartoon credit: Stephanie McMillan.org via Facebook