Wednesday, September 24, 2014

'You can make history... or be villified by it' - DiCaprio at UN Climate Summit


Leonardo DiCaprio Addresses UN Climate Summit: 'You Can Make History... Or Be Vilified By It'

Leonardo DiCaprio addressed world leaders assembled for the United Nations Climate Summit early Tuesday morning, urging them to take action to address "the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet."
"As an actor, I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe humankind has looked at climate change in that same way," he said at the summit. "My friends, this body -- perhaps more than any other gathering in human history -- now faces that difficult task. You can make history... or be vilified by it."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently appointed DiCaprio to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace, calling the actor a “new voice for climate advocacy." Both Ban and DiCaprio participated in Sunday's 400,000-strong People's Climate March in New York City.
Take a look at DiCaprio's speech above. Excerpts:
Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, your excellencies, ladies and gentleman, and distinguished guests. I’m honored to be here today, I stand before you not as an expert but as a concerned citizen, one of the 400,000 people 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.
As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.
I believe humankind has looked at Climate Change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that Climate Change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.
But I think we know better than that. Every week
, we’re seeing new and undeniable Climate Events, evidence that accelerated Climate Change is here now. We know that droughts are intensifying, our oceans are warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor. We are seeing extreme weather events, increased temperatures, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets melting at unprecedented rates, decades ahead of scientific projections.
None of this is rhetoric, and none of it is hysteria. It is fact. The scientific community knows it, Industry and Governments know it, even the United States military knows it. The Chief of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that Climate Change is our single greatest security threat... (Full transcription here).

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