First of all, if you have not seen Before The Flood – go do that, like immediately. O.K. Now that we’re on the same page, let’s begin. Leonardo DiCaprio has metamorphosized from the baby-faced heartthrob we met in Titanic to a hard-core environmental advocate in recent years. He has helped raise funds for whales and the protection hundreds of species who are affected by palm oil deforestation. In addition, he has made numerous moving speeches encouraging world leaders and individuals alike to take the matter of climate change seriously and work to enact change. DiCaprio even used his Oscar’s acceptance speech to warn us that we need to start working to protect nature from human avarice and apathy. And it looks like Leo is at it again, using his fame as a platform to encourage others to wake up and protect the future of our planet.
In a recent speech at an award event for the UN, DiCaprio posited that sustainable energy solutions make up “‘the biggest economic opportunity in the history of the U.S.” This appeal is aimed at people who think that taking measures to secure the future of our planet is at odds with financial opportunity (we know, it sounds insane … but, you know). DiCaprio points to the fact that,“In less than 100 years of our pollution-based prosperity, we humans have put our entire existence in jeopardy,” in a hope that we can turn to clean energy-based prosperity. While we have put our planet and our lives in jeopardy with carbon-based fuels, there is an incredible amount of money to be made while we dig ourselves out of the proverbial hole.
DiCaprio and members of his foundation recently met with President-elect Trump and his cabinet members to discuss the incredible potential new jobs that are currently untapped in renewable energy sector. While it does not seem that he was successful in persuading Trump, DiCaprio was not daunted. He told a UN correspondent, “To those who may be discouraged by naysayers, let me remind you, the environmental awakening is all over the world and the progress we have made so far … has always been because of people, not governments.” DiCaprio sites the Paris Agreement as a huge victory for those who are fighting against climate change and urges the movement forward.
And while there is an arena for businesses and governments to effect climate policy, we can help too. By choosing to participate in a conscientious, sustainable economy, we can make an enormous difference. Our money keeps businesses and governments functioning and so if we choose not to give our money to institutions that are making irresponsible decisions, these institutions will be forced to change their policies or cease to exist.
One of the biggest industries that negatively impacts the planet is animal agriculture. The livestock industry is responsible for 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the transportation sector. Not to mention, this industry also uses 23 percent of world’s freshwater and occupies 45 percent of the global land – yet one billion people go to bed hungry every night. By moving toward a plant-based diet we can each cut our carbon footprint in half and make a huge impact in the fight against climate change. To learn more about how you can reduce your carbon emissions check out One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet movement.
Image source: Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock