After Trump picks climate sceptic Scott Pruitt as EPA chief, actor-environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio meets president-elect
By Shubham Ghosh
'Titanic' star Leonardo DiCaprio has never wasted an opportunity to speak his mind on the need to counter the implications of climate change. Be it on the stage to accept his first-ever Oscar or at the United Nations as the messenger of peace, the 41-year-old actor-environmental activist has given impassioned speeches to drive home his point. The departing president, Barack Obama, has also been sympathetic towards the issue but his successor, Donald Trump, has given it little importance, even till a few years ago.
And when the president-elect picked a like-minded Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DiCaprio could not just sit back any longer.
Trump's nominee to lead EPA, Scott Pruitt, is a climate denier who's worked closely with the fossil fuel industry. That's sad and dangerous.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 7, 2016
On Wednesday (December 7), the actor-activist and Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation met Trump in New York for talks on how jobs related to environmental preservation can help the economy.
In a statement to the Associated Press, Tamminen confirmed about the meeting and gave a presentation to Trump, his daughter Ivanka who is fast emerging as an important member of his team along with other members on how working on renewable and clean energy could succeed in employment generation.
The DiCaprio-Tamminen initiative was seen as an effort to counter what is being seen as the incoming administration's determination to neutralize the preceding administration's climate legacy. The irony lies in the fact that Pruitt is part of the legal action which was undertaken by various states against the EPA to disrupt the Clean Power Plan - an initiative by the Obama Administration to curb greenhouse gas emitted by power plants run with coal energy. Environmental bodies described Pruitt as a "puppet" of the fossil fuel industry, mentioning the resistance he had put up against air pollution standards, said a report in Guardian.
"Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the US Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires," mocked Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, added the report. Sierra Club is an environmental organization in the U.S.
A few days ago, DiCaprio met Ivanka to present a copy of his documentary film "Before the Flood" which addresses the problems the world is witnessing because of climate change.
The U.S.A.'s former Nobel-winning vice-president Al Gore also met the Trumps earlier this week to discuss climate policy.