Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio told reporters in Japan on Wednesday the United States must elect a president who takes climate change science seriously.
At a press conference in Tokyo promoting The Revenant, the actor and environmental activist told the media, “We should not have a candidate who doesn’t believe in modern science to be leading our country,” according to the AFP.
He added: “Climate change is one of the most concerning issues facing all humanity and the United States needs to do its part.”
Of his filmmaking partner Fisher Stevens, who produced the 2010 documentary The Cove, DiCaprio said, “We’ve been traveling around the world documenting climate change.”
DiCaprio is working on a climate change documentary that will be released before November, and he reportedly visited China, India, and the North Pole and South Pole with Stevens.
Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have both expressed doubts about the science behind climate change.
Trump described the hysteria as a “very, very expensive form of tax,” adding, “A lot of people are making a lot of money.”
Trump has also tweeted about his opinion on climate change on numerous occasions in recent years.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I'm in Los Angeles and it's freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2013
Any and all weather events are used by the GLOBAL WARMING HOAXSTERS to justify higher taxes to save our planet! They don't believe it $$$$!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2014
On the campaign trail in New Hampshire earlier this year, Cruz also shared his skepticism: “John Kerry said in 2009 the polar ice caps will be entirely melted by 2013 … Has anyone noticed the polar ice caps are still there? In fact, there was an expedition that went down to Antarctica to prove that the polar ice caps were melting … (the ship) got stuck in the ice because in fact the polar ice caps have increased.”
Cruz added: “They are larger than they were. So not only was Kerry incorrect, he was spectacularly absolutely opposite the facts.”
Long shot GOP candidate John Kasich, meanwhile, has stated he believes in the concept of climate change but is not sure of the science behind it.
Both Democratic candidates have taken extreme positions on the issue.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated earlier this month the U.S. Department of Justice has been considering whether people should be prosecuted for denying climate change, despite the fact that the issue is far from settled.
At last month’s Oscars, after winning his first Academy Award, Leonardo DiCaprio used his acceptance speech to ask for international support in stopping the world’s “big polluters.”
“Climate change is real. It is happening right now,” said DiCaprio. “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
In 2014, the Environmental Policy Alliance mocked Leonardo DiCaprio for being “just another celebrity hypocrite,” calling out the star for traveling around the world in super yachts and private jets and wasting “thousands of gallons of jet fuel to indulge his lavish tastes.”
The group also called out the actor for owning five homes.