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Timing is Everything: Why Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar Speech Matters So Much Right Now

Leonardo DiCaprio took the stage to talk about climate change.

Leonardo DiCaprio finally… FINALLY… won an Oscar on Sunday night. And while we’re incredibly stoked that the fabulous actor got to take home a little gold man for his day job, we’re even more excited that he gave a killer acceptance speech that touched on the climate change crisis. Yes, crisis.

DiCaprio has always been a proponent for the environment. According to the World Wildlife Organization, the actor created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998 “to support organizations and initiatives dedicated to securing a sustainable future for our planet.” DiCaprio also has formed fruitful relationships with some of the “great leaders and thinkers on the planet, staying continually engaged and active on the most pressing issues we face – climate change, access to clean water, protecting biodiversity, oceans conservation and disaster relief.”

DiCaprio is on the board of the WWF,  the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Global Green USA, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

During the 2016 Oscar season, DiCaprio also has talked at length about how “The Revenant,” the film he won best actor for, is, at its heart, an environmental film, and most specifically, about man’s relationship with the natural world. He explained this theme in-depth while discussing the movie with The Frame’s John Horn.

“Doing a film about climate change, studying climatic change around the world, having to relocate to the southern tip of Argentina just to find snow was the greatest irony,” DiCaprio says. “Here we are, a bunch of artists saying, Let’s go into nature and see what it tells us. Well, nature was f***ing telling us that the world is changing unlike ever before. 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history and these are unprecedented weather conditions happening all over the world. And it hit us right smack in the face. We had to shut down production multiple times — extreme weather patterns in both directions, the locals telling us that they’d never seen this in the history of their provence. So that’s what, ultimately, I’m going to be left with: the year 2015 where all the tipping points happened and we immersed ourselves in the natural world to hear it for ourselves.”

Climate change is happening and it’s not going away anytime soon. Let’s hope Leo starts a trend that inspires more prominent people to speak up on behalf of the Earth to help give this dangerous reality the attention it deserves.

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Image of Leonardo DiCaprio via Shutterstock

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