Leonardo DiCaprio is a leading Hollywood advocate for fighting global warming. Or, at least, he says he is.
The reason for doubt is that the clueless Mr. DiCaprio is sublimely oblivious to the obvious. To wit: Mr. DiCaprio and most of his 500 guests will fly 12,000 miles to a gala for his foundation later this month in the French resort of St. Tropez. Since most of the attendees will be coming from Los Angeles, that means that a private jet making that trip will dump 86 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Even taking a scheduled commercial flight will release seven tons of carbon dioxide into the environment, according to the Daily Mail:
Last night, green campaigners were quick to criticise 41-year-old DiCaprio, who in February used his Best Actor acceptance speech at the Oscars to warn about the dangers posed by climate change
The reception – the grand-sounding Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Annual Gala To Fund Climate and Biodiversity Projects – will be held on July 20 at the Bertaud Belieu Vineyards on the French Riviera.
Celebrities including Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Scarlett Johansson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin Spacey are all expected to attend, along with a host of international rock and pop stars, supermodels and tycoons.
And while a table seating 12 people at the gala costs up to £125,000, the real price will be paid by the environment.
If just one guest among the 500 invitees chooses to fly the 12,000-mile round trip from LA to St Tropez by private jet – a notoriously environmentally unfriendly way to travel – they will produce 86 tons of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas.
Even those who use a scheduled flight will be responsible for releasing seven tons of CO2 – leading green campaigners to ask why the event could not have been held in Hollywood or in St Tropez during May’s Cannes Film Festival, when many of the guests would have been there anyway.
Robert Rapier, an environmental analyst, said: ‘DiCaprio demonstrates why our consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow. It’s because everyone loves the combination of cost and convenience they offer.
‘He believes that no sacrifice is necessary; just Government policies that can provide him with a solar-powered yacht or jet, or that give individuals low-cost renewable energy on a broad scale.’
One guest who attended last year’s gala said: ‘It’s basically a big party for Leo and his showbusiness friends and models. The models, of course, do not pay for tickets, and neither do the VIP guests – they get to have a nice big free party.’
The Mail on Sunday has learned that guests opting for the Grand Earth Protector Package – ‘prime dinner seating for 12 guests’ at a table near to DiCaprio – costs £125,000. The more frugal Earth Protector Package – seating 12 at a slightly more distant table – costs £82,000, while those content with social Siberia can choose the Ocean Steward Package, at a mere £58,000 for 12 diners.
This isn’t the first time that DiCaprio has been called out for his decidedly ungreen approach to travel. His love of huge yachts and private planes is well known. But the reason why the criticism rolls off his back is he really doesn’t care what anyone thinks. In his own mind, he can be forgiven his hypocrisy because of all the great work he does in telling the rest of us how to live.
So shaming DiCaprio won’t work. But laughing at him might. Pointing a finger and giggling at how incongruous it is for a global warming advocate to dump more CO2 into the environment on one trip than the average American will release in four years might catch his attention.