In celebrities we trust

There is not only Leonardo DiCaprio among celebrities who care about our environment and climate change.

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Illustration by Peter and Maria Hoey (source: sierraclub.org) https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2015-4-july-august/graphic/celebrities-and-their-environmental-causes

Even if he is the person we most commonly used to see in the media talking about climate change, Leonardo DiCaprio is actually well supported by some of his other celebrity friends. When politics gives up the idea that climate change is happening right now and that some actions need to be taken before the worst happens, we can rely on celebrities to educate the public. After the withdrawal of the United States and its new President Donald Trump from the Paris Accord, politics seems to put the issue of climate change completely aside, even abandoning it. But it seems to work better with arts and celebrities anyway.

A RECIPE THAT WORKS

According to Dailyplanet.org, “researchers determined that when Leonardo DiCaprio calls for climate actions, tweets and Google searches about the topic are enormous.” Movie stars are more famous than politicians. When celebrities call for action, there are more responses from the public than if Governments had done so. This is exactly what happened at the Oscars when DiCaprio delivered his speech on climate change. “A single speech, at a very opportunistic time, at the Oscar ceremony, resulted in the largest increase in public engagement with climate change ever,” John Ayers from the University of San Diego told the Washington Post. This raising of awareness can have a huge impact on young people who see these celebrities as role models. Adding that social media is more important than anything else for people of their age, celebrities convey most of their ideas and news through it.

A LARGE RANGE OF SUPPORTERS

This is the best way to touch a larger public when we see the number of followers celebrities like DiCaprio have. Fortunately, he is not the only one. And the range is large. From cinema stars like Mark Ruffalo or Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger and Emma Watson to pop singers such as Pharrell Williams or Bjök without forgetting former Vice President Al Gore, almost every domain is covered. Even on the small screen. Famous TV host Jimmy Kimmel has made some videos where he tries to educate sceptical people with the help of some scientists in a very pleasant way.

WHY IT WORKS

This method is working precisely because celebrities are not politicians. They never give people lessons about what you can or can’t do, nor do they tell you are wrong or right, and there are no incomprehensible graphics of the carbon dioxide in the air that are so boring. Otherwise, they do it in a smoother manner, in a playful way. Besides communicating on their social media, they also take part in marches for the environment, they deliver speeches at the UN or most importantly they do so through their work. How many films have been made dealing with climate change? Since The Day After Tomorrow, it has become a major issue people seem to care about. Most recently, TV shows like Years of Living Dangerously: Why I Care or 24 Hours of Reality ask celebrities why they care about climate change and what they do to contribute to change.

The reason why it works is because unlike politicians, celebrities show they care about this issue and try to provide people with hints about their way of living and how they can have a positive impact on climate and on their health by contributing to this fight.

 

GOOD TO KNOW:

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This photo was taken in April 2017. The actor of The Wolf of Wall Street marched in a climate change protest in Washington D.C towards the White House. He was joined by other celebrities in the climate change rally such as Vice President Al Gore, actor Mark Ruffalo or singer Jared Leto. In this picture, DiCaprio is followed by indigenous people from North and South America. 300 other protests were recorded around the US on this day. This kind of protest is the perfect example showing that climate change is affecting everyone. The fact that Hollywood celebrities take part in these rallies is a good way to raise awareness among the general public.  And sometimes, Hollywood celebrities are very important to talk about topics when politicians are not listening anymore.

 

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Leonardo DiCaprio gives a speech on climate change and the need for immediate action at the UN (in 2016) in front of all the leaders of the world. This is not the first time the star of Titanic has spoken to the UN. He did so in 2014 to call for the development of renewable energies and stressed the importance of their realisation. This time, after giving a stunning performance in his latest film The Revenant and its portrayal of nature and the importance of preserving it, the Academy Award winner is always so invested “no more talk, no more excuses, no more 10-year studies,” he told the assembly. DiCaprio also raised an excellent point on fossil fuels “our planet cannot be saved unless we leave fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.” DiCaprio is braver than any politician, daring to say what needs to be done… Maybe because he is not a politician himself.

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