DiCaprio: ‘If You Do Not Believe in Climate Change, You…Should Not be Allowed to Hold Public Office’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | October 4, 2016 | 11:01 AM EDT

President Barack Obama, Katharine Hayhoe and Leonardo DiCaprio (Screen Capture)

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio said at the White House yesterday--at President Barack Obama's "South by South Lawn" festival of "Ideas, Art and Action"--that if you do not believe in climate change you “should not be allowed to hold public office.”

DiCaprio made the statement while introducing President Obama at the event, where they discussed a new "climate change" documentary DiCaprio made with filmmaker Fisher Stevens. The documentary, entitled “Before the Flood," premiered at the White House event and will be featured on the National Geographic Channel.

“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,” DiCaprio said while introducing the president.

DiCaprio said his documentary was designed to be released before the election.

“This film was developed to show the devastating impacts that climate change is having on our planet, and more importantly, what can be done,” DiCaprio said. “Our intention for the film was to be released before this upcoming election.” 

"The film follows DiCaprio as he travels to five continents and the Arctic speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue and investigate concrete solutions to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time," says a synpsis of the documentary posted by the National Geographic Channel.

Here is an excerpt from DiCaprio’s remarks:

Leonardo DiCaprio: "Tonight I am pleased to present the U.S. premier of my new documentary, “Before the Flood.”  This was a three-year endeavor on the part of myself and my director, Fisher Stevens.  Together we traveled from China to India, to Greenland to the Arctic, Indonesia to Micronesia, to Miami 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.

"This film was developed to show the devastating impacts that climate change is having on our planet, and more importantly, what can be done.  Our intention for the film was to be released before this upcoming election.  It was after experiencing firsthand the devastating impacts of climate change worldwide, we, like many of you here today, realize that urgent action must be taken.

"This moment is more important than ever where some power leaders who not only believe in climate change but are willing to do something about it.  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.

"So, with that, I'm so very honored and pleased to be joined onstage with one of those leaders -- a President who has done more to create solutions for the climate change crisis than any other in history -- President Barack Obama."

President Barack Obama:  "Thank you."

 

 

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