The list of celebrities who claim to be environmental activists, but don’t exactly practice what they preach, is a pretty long. And almost all of them have flown their private jets up to Alberta to tell Americans we don’t need Keystone XL (or fossil fuels for that matter). That’s exactly what happened this week when Leonardo DiCaprio turned up in Alberta, presumably with the purpose of researching Canadian oil sands’ impact on climate change for his upcoming film.
On that point we can’t help but note that DiCaprio is very much in the minority: the overwhelming consensus – from the United States State Department, numerous Obama administration officials, research institutions, and energy and climate experts – is that oil sands development will not significantly exacerbate greenhouse gas emissions. Not only that, but as IHS CERA has pointed out, the United States has been importing Canadian oil sands for years and this resource has become a “key pillar” of our national security. No wonder the latest poll found that support for Keystone XL (and the oil sands it would transport) is “almost universal” in the United States.
Further, the folks who universally support Keystone XL and oil sands are generally not building houses the size of a small city, flying around the world in private jets, and having lavish parties on enormous yachts, all of which are powered fossil fuels. These are hard-working Americans who want the good paying jobs, economic growth, and energy security that the pipeline and Canadian oil sands would bring.
But of course, DiCaprio’s carbon hypocrisy is well known. Remember, he famously announced last year: “I will fly around the world doing good for the environment.” And he wasn’t kidding about flying around the world. As the New York Post reported, DiCaprio booked a chartered jet just so that he could celebrate New Year’s Eve in both Sydney, Australia and Las Vegas in the same night:
“Leo DiCaprio and his ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ co-star Jonah Hill racked up some impressive air miles for their New Year’s celebrations — cheering in the New Year in both Sydney and Vegas. The actors were spotted partying on a boat with a group of attractive bikini-clad women while cruising Sydney Harbor on Saturday. The pair flew from Australia to Vegas on a chartered 747 along with stars including Jamie Foxx, Kevin Connolly and Leo’s latest love, Margot Robbie.” (emphasis added)
That’s a 13 hour flight – in a private jet because he cares about the environment or something.
That’s not all. As the Edmonton Journal pointed out today, DiCaprio certainly isn’t above taking favors from people like Deputy Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, whose money comes from oil. From the Edmonton Journal:
“DiCaprio and 21 of his friends recently used one of the world’s largest superyachts, an energy-guzzling 482-foot behemoth called the Topaz, in order to watch the recent World Cup in Brazil in high style.
The yacht is the 5th largest in the world, according to news reports, and is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. That’s right. It’s oil money that paid for the fancy yacht that Leo and his pals used to watch the World Cup.
Sheikh Mansour, who has an estimated personal wealth of around $4 billion US, and DiCaprio appear to be rather good friends, in fact. In April of this year, DiCaprio reportedly teamed up with actors Jamie Foxx and Orlando Bloom to host a 1980s theme party on the Topaz in New York. According to the New York Daily News, it was attended by about 100 guests.” (emphasis added)
Yet, DiCaprio, who by himself emits more carbon than most Americans an even imagine, tells us in his film that we “must fight to keep this carbon in the ground.” That’s something only an eco-hypocrite like DiCaprio can say with a straight face.