It's become pretty obvious by now that Leonardo DiCaprio is extremely passionate about climate change and the environment. So much so, that he founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 2008 with the aim of protecting the preserving the earth's climate, its natural habitats and wildlife. And in news released just a couple of days ago, his Foundation has granted and impressive US$15 million to various global organisations who are "implementing innovative and impactful environmental projects around the globe."
After giving a rousing speech to the UN and taking part in The People's Climate March in New York City recently, DiCaprio urged the world's leader and delegates to start taking the issue of climate change more seriously. "As an actor, I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems. I believe that mankind has looked at climate change in that same way - as if it were a fiction," he said. "As if pretending that climate change wasn't real would somehow make it go away."
He went on to list some of the more devastating effects of climate change - such as droughts, acidifying oceans and extreme weather events and called out for dramatic economic and political reform on carbon emission policies and reduced government subsidies for oil, gas and coal companies. "This is not about telling people to change their lightbulbs or buy a hybrid car - this disaster has grown beyond the choices that individuals make,' he added. "This is now about our industries and governments around the world taking decisive large-scale action."
Luckily for DiCaprio, he's been able to effect change through his own foundation - pledging millions in grants towards conservation programs and organisations like Amazon Watch, National Geographic: Pristine Seas, Save The Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Society. By actively supporting programs that help to conserve and protect species like Nepalese tigers, Pacific wolves and Amboseli's elephants - DiCaprio has proven himself to be more than just a great actor and celebrity mouthpiece. It's a relief to know he's nothing like his money swindling character in The Wolf of Wall Street...
For more information on the various projects The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation supports, head to leonardodicaprio.org.
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