Leonardo DiCaprio has long been the A-list poster boy for climate action, and he’s currently so much in demand that rival factions in Australia are fighting to show him the havoc wrought by bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef.
DiCaprio famously used his Oscar-winning speech earlier this year to draw attention to manmade climate change before ridiculing Republican climate-change deniers while promoting his film The Revenant in Japan.
His every utterance on climate change makes headlines around the world, which is why it’s no surprise that groups with various different goals are clamouring to link him to their campaigns. After the actor spoke out against coral bleaching at the US State Department’s recent Our Ocean conference in Washington, D.C., he received two separate invitations to survey the damaged Great Barrier Reef in person.
The first came from the Queensland state government, the second – purporting to be “non-political” – from the non-profit group Great Barrier Reef Legacy. As reported by the Guardian:
Dean Miller, a marine biologist and science director of the non-profit group Great Barrier Reef Legacy, said he wanted to say to DiCaprio: “We would like to take you to the Great Barrier Reef and show you firsthand what we see, no political or media spin, just the facts from the scientists themselves to show you what is really happening here.”
A visit by DiCaprio would draw more attention to the extent of the bleaching the reef has suffered, explained Miller.
“We are opening our arms and our doors to anyone on the planet that can help us overcome the great barriers to save our reefs and Leonardo DiCaprio is most certainly someone who can help us make significant and positive changes for the future health of the Great Barrier Reef.”
At Our Ocean, DiCaprio described the terrible effects of bleaching on the reef: “Not a fish in site, colourless, ghost-like coral, a complete graveyard.” Let’s hope he accepts one of the invitations and brings this sad story to a wider audience.