The Cult of Anti-Humanism

Image: Robert Scoble

Image: Robert Scoble

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.

4 comments

  1. 8 Mar ’16 at 1:31 pm

    OverlookedForTheOscar

    I heard he killed a bear, so who the hell does he think he is telling me to recycle?!

    Reply Report

  2. I like Leo and think he’s actually a decent chap.

    Reply Report

  3. Who are we supposed to blame, if not our lifestyles? The ants?

    Reply Report

  4. I am a humanist, a mother, an artist and activist. In my opinion, this article “The Cult of Anti-Humanism” doesn’t make its case. It seems that your argument is climate change is too serious for celebrities to comment on and somehow by championing it they are responsible for anti-humanist sentiment.

    Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar Speech 2016
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOoP56eXtzM
    ——————————————————————————
    Morrissey Quote// “I’d have preferred the usual; thanking the fans, thanking your co-stars, thanking the crew, and thanking your mam. “//
    ——————————————————————————
    Most of Dicaprio’s acceptance speech was the usual thank yous. His last comment was about his personal experience with climate change.
    Quote Dicaprio Speech //“Making ‘The Revenant’ was about man’s relationship to the natural world, the world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in reported history — our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow,” DiCaprio said. “Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”//
    In no way was this a lecture, he relayed a very genuine, first hand personal experience he had as a direct result of climate change. The message was brief and hopeful, human beings working together to find solutions.
    ——————————————————————————
    Morrissey Quote// ” …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. ” //
    ——————————————————————————
    How is it that you presume to know what Leo Dicaprio, or anyone for that matter, genuinely thinks and feels about climate change? You claim to care about Climate change , but I bet you use fossil fuels/petroleum products in some way, shape or form, and you probably don’t live in poverty either. Does money and product consumption make everyone who cares about climate change a hypocrite or disingenuous? I don’t think it does, at the moment our options are deliberately limited. I don’t see how celebrities using their notoriety, money, influence or Oscar speeches for that matter, to raise awareness about climate change is a problem or anti-humanistic.
    ——————————————————————————
    Morrissey Quote//” What person, in the western world, hasn’t heard of climate change? “//
    ——————————————————————————
    There are millions of people who may have heard the term “Climate Change”, but they either don’t know what it really means, how it impacts the planet or their lives personally , or they choose to ignore the science and roll with anti-intellectualism.
    ( http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/big-gap-between-what-scientists-say-and-americans-think-about-climate-change/ )

    As mentioned in your article – ” we already have a whole cottage industry dedicated to ‘debunking’ climate change, for a variety of motives.” Energy and oil companies, lobbyists of countless special interest groups, entire political parties and religious organizations are involved in a campaign of misinformation, giving massive amounts of money to suppress evidence, silence scientists, create fake studies and keep as many people as possible confused and misinformed to keep the profits rolling in.
    ( http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dark-money-funds-climate-change-denial-effort/ )
    ——————————————————————————
    Morrissey Quote// “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.”
    ——————————————————————————
    Climate change is a complex series of critical issues that has a global impact on the entirety of the human race, involving not only social issues but environmental, political, national security , health and economic problems. In my opinion every voice in support of scientific fact, sustainable energy and innovation is needed – whoever, whenever and however the message gets out there – it’s out there. You climb a mountain one step at a time. Snubbing actors, artists, comedians, musicians or other celebrities as being too much “this” and not enough “that” is short sighted, biased and IS Anti-Humanist.
    ——————————————————————————
    Morrissey Quote//”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.”//
    ——————————————————————————
    What are you referring to with this statement? Who is telling who how to live? Who is being Anti-humanist and how? It’s vague with no sources or references. In one paragraph you say how serious climate change is, far too serious for celebrities to champion, then in another you admonish people not to be alarmists.

    For as long as human beings have been around we’ve used actors, comedians, artists and musicians to deal with and express just about every aspect of the human condition and circumstance, The Arts are a unifying force for humanity and artists of all types give voice, soul and spirit to important issues that impact all human beings.

    Comedians on Climate Change
    Various Clips http://youtu.be/YhWZPiLkLLY
    John Oliver – http://youtu.be/cjuGCJJUGsg
    George Carlin – http://youtu.be/RuimRdB-kc4

    Reply Report

Leave a comment