At present, it's impossible to deny that climate change is happening, that it was caused primarily by humans, it's making the world a less livable place and it's up to all 7.1 billion people on the planet to stop this.
If you cannot accept that this is happening then you deny the reality before you. The vast majority of scientists agree that climate change is occurring and that it is a direct consequence of human activities.
Simply put, we caused this problem and we must find the solution.
The Earth is getting hotter. According to the EPA, the Earth's average temperature has risen 1.4 degrees over the past century, and it is expected to continue to rise. Likewise, the EPA notes:
Small changes in the average temperature of the planet can translate to large and potentially dangerous shifts in climate and weather. ...Many places have seen changes in rainfall, resulting in more floods, droughts, or intense rain, as well as more frequent and severe heat waves. The planet's oceans and glaciers have also experienced some big changes - oceans are warming and becoming more acidic, ice caps are melting, and sea levels are rising.
Luckily, there are many people out there working vigilantly to educate others on this problem, and how we can address it.
Beyond the multiplicity of incredible films this man has stared in, Leo has continued to be an avid environmental activist. For his philanthropic efforts, DiCaprio was recently named a UN Messenger of Peace.
Some might question the viability of having an actor, rather than an expert, at the forefront of the conversation surrounding climate change.
Yet, by placing such a popular face on this extremely important issue, the United Nations has made this vital issue palatable to even the most disinterested individuals.
It's crucial that people continue to talk about the human impact on the environment and how to reduce it, or we risk destroying the only world we have.
Indeed, Leonardo DiCaprio is the wolf of climate change awareness. He has been relentless in his efforts to combat the consequences of this environmental catastrophe. Likewise, Leo has continued to spread awareness while encouraging others to join the fight to save our planet:
1. Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
In 1998, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation was established in order to address pressing environmental and humanitarian issues.
The Foundation has focused on conservation, climate change and disaster relief especially.
Through grant making, campaigning and media projects, the organization has addressed an exceptional variety of issues: protecting tigers from extinction, saving rainforests, protecting oceans, saving sharks, protecting Antarctica and helping people gain access to clean water.
2. World Wildlife Fund
Recently, Carter Roberts, CEO and President of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), stated:
We are exhausting our planet’s capabilities to support you and me. Now more than ever, Mother Nature needs a voice. Ladies and gentlemen, Leonardo DiCaprio is that voice.
DiCaprio has been a huge supporter of the World Wildlife Fund and sits on the board of directors.
In addition to WWF, he also sits on the board for several other environmental organizations: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Global Green USA and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
3. Elephant Crisis Fund
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donated $1 million to the Elephant Crisis Fund to assist anti-poaching efforts.
Elephants are at risk of extinction. Every 20 minutes, an elephant is poached (killed) for its tusks. Ivory is a valuable commodity in many parts of the world. In total, around 33,000 elephants are poached a year.
These are majestic animals that deserve their place in the world, and they are killed by humans for the sake of greed. Accordingly, Leo once stated:
Elephant poaching is a brutal crisis... The decimation of these animals is something we have the power to stop, and the Elephant Crisis Fund is a crucial part of the solution. I am honored to support them.
4. Ocean Conservation
Earlier this year, Leo's foundation provided Oceana with a $3 million grant. Oceana was founded in 2001 and is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation.
It's not surprising that DiCaprio cares about the ocean especially, as he is an avid diver.
At the 2014 Our Ocean Conference, Leo spoke in defense of the ocean and on behalf the countless lifeforms that call it home:
These last remaining underwater bio-gems are being destroyed because there isn’t proper enforcement or sufficient cooperation among governments to protect them. People who depend on these oceans’ resources for sustenance need to hear that governments are working to create strong systems of accountability for those who are destroying it.
5. Hybrid cars/Solar Panels
Apparently, Leo also practices what he preaches. DiCaprio is a big fan of electric cars and has invested in Fisker Automotive.
Likewise, he founded an electric car racing team. Thus, it seems he might set a new precedent for the way people race cars, making the activity much friendlier to the environment.
Indeed, research has shown that electric cars are much better for the environment than those that are gas-powered.
Moreover, Leo also covered his house in solar panels. Solar power is great for the environment as the sun provides a great natural source of clean and renewable energy. Unlike many forms of energy, solar power does not spread toxic pollution.
6. "11th Hour" (Documentary Film)
"The 11th Hour" is a documentary film created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. It provides an intimate look at the state of the global environment and the way in which we can institute practical measures to improve its health.
It was shown at Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Earthwatch Environmental Film Award at National Geographic in Washington, DC.
7. Eco-Friendly Island Resort
Apparently, he plans to build an environmental friendly resort there. Not much construction has occurred as of yet, but it sounds pretty awesome. Well played, Leo.
8. Global Citizens Award
A lot of rich and famous people do absolutely nothing beneficial with their wealth and status. Leonardo DiCaprio, however, is not only a model for other celebrities, but also the common citizen.
Accordingly, he was very recently presented with the Clinton Global Citizen's Award for his efforts as a philanthropist and environmental activist.
Indeed, when it comes to climate change, it's up to common citizens to stand up and take action. Of course, it may seem easier to actually impact things when you are fabulously wealthy, like Leo.
Yet, when hundreds of thousands of regular people took to the streets to symbolize their concern for climate change on Sunday, Sept. 20, Leo was among them. This is a testament to the fact that when we stand together, we can change the world.
Do not be fooled into thinking that your voice doesn't matter. You do matter and so does your voice, you are as much a part of this world as anyone else.
This is precisely the message that DiCaprio has been trying to spread in his efforts to save the environment. Likewise, during his speech to the UN Climate Summit, Leo stated:
I stand before you not as an expert, but as a concerned citizen. One of the 400,000 who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis. ... Clean air and a livable climate are inalienable human rights, and solving this crisis is not a question of politics, it is a question of our own survival. This is the most urgent of times, and the most urgent of messages... ... The people made their voices heard on Sunday around the world, and the momentum will not stop... The time to answer humankind's greatest challenge is now.
Simply put, if we do not make a more concerted effort to combat climate change, we are essentially condoning the destruction of the planet as we know it.
Mother nature is ruthless, and it will not wait for us to get our act together. There is no better time than now to begin saving the world.