United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently designated actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a “U.N. Messenger of Peace” for climate change, touting him as a “credible voice in the environmental movement.”
Upon receiving the designation, DiCaprio, who will give an acceptance speech at this week’s Climate Summit in New York City, said he feels a “moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history – it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.”
Can a Hollywood actor be a credible source when it comes to something as complex as climate science? Perhaps. However, simply being a popular Hollywood actor does not, in and of itself, make one an expert on climate change. In fact, it should raise a lot of red flags when people start turning to Hollywood for credible information.
The truth is the dire predictions that were once made by climate change alarmists haven’t come to fruition. Data simply does not show that the climate has been getting warmer, wetter or wilder at the accelerating pace some predicted it would. All the climate summits in the world and all the marches and rallies may ironically increase the collective carbon footprint, but they won’t change reality.
However, drastic measures taken to combat climate change could harm economic growth. Increased environmental regulations, carbon taxes and cap-and-trade schemes all harm the economy.
Where is the indignation from Hollywood over the harm these policies and others like them inflict on people who struggle simply to afford electricity and other sources of needed energy? Increased economic activity is one of the ways to improve quality of life for people in America and across the globe, but there will be less access to jobs, hospitals, schools and businesses if excessive carbon emissions regulations and other such schemes are enacted.
Perhaps this is why the top leaders of countries such as China and India are skipping the summit. These countries have some of the largest populations, segments of which do not have reliable access to energy, and emit much of the world’s carbon. Their absence from this week’s Climate Summit is telling.
Instead of being a “Messenger of Peace,” DiCaprio should aim to be a Messenger of the Market. The free market can improve peoples’ lives, create opportunity and prosperity and simultaneously help with stewarding the environment. That idea probably wouldn’t mesh well with DiCaprio’s progressive inklings, but it would actually help people live better lives.