You can always count on the British tabloid press -- and especially the Daily Mail -- to cover the hypocrisies of preachy U.S. movie stars. We all feel a bit queasy about the notion that we should do as stars say but not as they do; it's just that, unlike our newspapers, the British press won't stand for it.
So it's no surprise the Daily Mail's online platform (the most visited English-language newspaper website in the world) recently launched a few haymakers at the vaping VIP -- Leonardo DiCaprio.
(Note to Leo: We've noticed all those vaping devices and e-cigarettes you're often photographed using. Igniting a fluid made up in part of nicotine and propylene glycol, a petrochemical, and then deeply inhaling its gas into your lungs on purpose is NOT the best use of our precious and valuable fossil fuel reserves -- or your lungs. To be honest, it makes me question your powers of reason. Think about it.)
The occasion of the Daily Mail piece was the third annual auction gala of the not-so-modestly-named Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Last week in mega-yacht-choked Saint-Tropez, the foundation raised more than C$50 million from the likes of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and continual campaigner Bono to support Leo's mission to protect the earth from climate change and environmental crisis.
Other eco-scientific heavyweights in attendance included Mariah Carey, Jonah Hill, Chris Rock, Naomi Campbell and Real Housewives of New York star Sonja Morgan -- all of them dragged over by SUV, chopper, private jet and luxury yacht. With that level of science education surrounding him, and the amount of guilt he must feel in connection with the greenhouse gas emissions he creates in his own image, is it any wonder that Leo can't tell an apocalypse from a Chinook?
The foundation announced earlier in July its largest ever round of grant making, a $15.6 million portfolio to fund -- among other things -- "the implementation of innovative solutions to combat climate change."
OK Leo, stay with me. If you believe fossil fuels spell the end of civilization (I for one believe the opposite -- that our fossil fuels are a vital part of our future -- but this isn't about me), then the climate doomsayers ought to identify the low-hanging fruit and deal with it.
This is not complicated, Leo, so keep up. Do you and your entourage really need an over-sized, gas-guzzling and polluting SUV to get you to your over-sized, jet-fuel-guzzling and polluting chopper to get you to your over-sized, jet-fuel-guzzling and polluting private jet? Not really. You know how I know that?
Because in the photo of the private jet you used for last week's Foundation gala, I counted roughly only a half-dozen hangers-on. Isn't it obvious that you (and they) should have taken commercial flights instead not only to save you and/ or your foundation money, but also create much less GHG emissions in the process?
Look, I don't really begrudge DiCaprio his petrochemical-derived vaping or his fossil-fuel-based cell-phone technology. Vaping, yachts, choppers, private jets, schmoozing supermodels on the phone... for the anti-industry Hollywood elite, these are the simple pleasures.
But the problem is not only that Leo's science is so bad that he literally can't differentiate between a regularly occurring winter weather phenomenon in Alberta from an apocalypse, but also that his prescription has to be followed by everyone -- except for his close personal friends.
We know the oceanfront of Saint-Tropez is a symbol for conspicuous energy consumption around the world. We've seen the dozens and dozens of super-yachts jammed against the Quai Jean Jaures in magazine pictures, yachts representing hundreds of thousands of diesel-generated horsepower. It's understandable that you would hold your gala there.
But unless we missed it, Leo, you didn't mount much of a protest against all that gas-emitting hardware. In fact, it seems to me you more or less championed it.
So, Leo, put me down with the Daily Mail. I still don't quite get you.
Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer organization that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.
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