After finally receiving what must be the most-anticipated Oscar in the Academy’s history, Leonardo DiCaprio took this opportunity to lecture his audience about climate change.
Call me a cynic, but I’d have preferred the usual; thanking the fans, thanking your co-stars, thanking the crew, and thanking your mam. There’s at least a veneer of sincerity in stuff like that (and watching people be nice to one another is nice in itself), whereas celebrity evangelism is a realm of faux, forced, phony displays of faith.
It’s faux because it’s just so obviously not believed in. An unfathomably rich man, commuting globally via private jet, is not really concerned about climate change. I also don’t understand this notion of raising awareness. What person, in the western world, hasn’t heard of climate change? Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize and an Oscar for a powerpoint on global warming back in 2007, and we already have a whole cottage industry dedicated to ‘debunking’ climate change, for a variety of motives.
Climate change is a profoundly important social issue, and one we should be taking seriously. But we are not taking it seriously if the fight consists of wealthy celebrities lecturing the little people, telling them to live simpler lives.
It’s depressingly defeatist, this notion that humanity is a cancer upon the planet and we ought to forfeit all the progress we’ve made in order to live sustainably, in communication with Mother Gaia and tripping balls on shrooms at our weekly drum circle.
Thomas Malthus was wrong in the 18th century, and his ideas are wrong now. You can look at humanity as a burden on the planet, or as a group of seven billion people, who’ve risen up out of nothing and created everything worth caring about.
It is an extraordinarily anti-humanist attitude to give into climate change alarmism. Only a truly-believing misanthrope would have the gall to tell those in the developed world to give up on their standards of living, and tell those in the developing world to give up on their hope of affluence and a decent life.
Of course we should be taking climate change seriously, but if in that process we identify ourselves as the problem, then we more resemble a set of self-flagellating, virtue-signalling cultists than we do a group of serious individuals looking for a viable solution.