“The scientific consensus is in and the argument is now over. If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in facts or in science or empirical truths and therefore, in my humble opinion, should not be allowed to hold public office,” proclaimed Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio this past week in an event on the White House lawn.
His remarks came during an all-day event — "a festival of ideas, arts, and action" — where President Obama hosted several liberal panel discussions, including one on “climate change.”
After DiCaprio finished his remarks, the liberal crowd was treated to a climate documentary, Before the Flood. The showing was its U.S. premiere, but the film will air just eight days before the presidential election, on October 30, on the National Geographic Channel. Those on the Left who decry the anti-Hillary film Citizen’s United are strangely silent when it comes to the National Geographic Channel attempting to influence an election’s outcome.
DiCaprio acknowledged that the timing of the film’s release was designed to influence the 2016 presidential election, arguing that it is urgent that action be taken immediately to avert the coming global catastrophe that he is predicting as a result of what he insists is man-made global warming.
Before the showing of the movie, DiCaprio “moderated” a panel discussion advancing his view that the climate is changing, all because of human activity. The panel featured atmospheric scientist Dr. Katherine Hayhoe and Obama himself, both discussing the supposed urgency of certain government regulations to avert the disastrous effects of climate change. They spoke of alternative energy, taxation on carbon, and the need for more restrictions on fossil fuels. No other viewpoints were voiced, and all participants agreed that climate change will lead to “extreme weather.”
DiCaprio’s movie was three years in the making, and he related that in the course of the project he traveled with director Fisher Stevens to “China, to India, to Greenland, to the Arctic, Indonesia to Micronesia to learn more about the effects of climate change on our planet and highlight the message from the scientific community and leaders worldwide on the urgency of the issue.”
He added, “The film was developed to show the devastating effects climate change is having on our planet and more importantly what can be done.”
Americans who believe in free enterprise and limited government, and who were not allowed at the White House event, should fear “what can be done,” because the actions the participants favor will no doubt lead to reduced freedom for the average American, and dire economic consequences. Both Obama and Hillary Clinton have essentially called for the destruction of the American coal industry in their plan to combat alleged global warming. In contrast, Donald Trump has dismissed the man-made climate change theory as a hoax.
Unfortunately, DiCaprio did not take any questions from anyone challenging his viewpoint. If he had, a logical one would have been about his trip to Greenland “to learn more about the effects of climate change on our planet.” An informed reporter (perhaps an oxymoron in many cases) could have asked DiCaprio if he was aware that during the Medieval Warm Period the Vikings were farming where there are now sheets of ice. Since it is unlikely the Scandinavians in medieval Greenland were not burning coal or driving around SUVs, just what caused this warming period? For that matter, what caused Greenland to cool off so much? And with all this “global warming,” supposedly due to the Industrial Revolution, why aren’t the ice sheets in Greenland melting?
Another logical question for DiCaprio would be to ask him if he would really deny the right to run for public office to a person who questioned his view on the science of global climate change. After all, the Framers of the Constitution inserted into the document a prohibition against any “religious test,” banning a person from even running for public office because of their religious beliefs. Perhaps atheists and agnostics will determine “the argument is over” and anyone who takes a theistic viewpoint should be likewise banned from serving on a city council, or any other public office? Imagine the outcry were some real estate tycoon to call for a ban on all Muslims from running for public office.
Who should decide what viewpoints would disqualify an American citizen from serving in public office?
Some enterprising reporter could also ask DeCaprio about his assertion that “the argument is over” concerning the issue of whether climate change is man-made or the result of natural causes, over which we have little or no control. After all, something caused those sheets of ice to melt in Greenland, and something made it possible for grapes to be grown in England during the Medieval Warm Period.
This claim that “the argument is over” is the same as former Vice President Al Gore’s claim that “the debate is over.” Again, who makes these decisions that “the debate is over?”
What if the DiCaprio-Gore position would have been in effect at other times in world history? At one time, bleeding sick people was considered excellent medical practice. It seems as though Galileo was told “the debate was over,” too, in his adherence to heliocentrism. Fortunately, Copernicus and others did not have to concern themselves with “peer-reviewed articles” back in those days. But, DiCaprio is not demanding those with differing views than his drink hemlock, such as Socrates — at least not yet.
Finally, a reporter who wanted a good story could get personal with DiCaprio. If he is so concerned about his “carbon footprint,” then why did he make 18 plane trips in only six months over the course of 2015 and 2016? These trips totaled almost 100,000 miles, which is about 100,000 miles more than the average American traveled by jet plane during that same time.
Then the reporter could follow up and ask DiCaprio if he had ever read George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm, in which we found that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” That certainly seems the case when it comes to Obama, DiCaprio, and Gore.