The Oscar award-winning actor’s new project, “Before The Flood,” which aired on the National Geographic Channel Sunday night, spends a disproportionate amount of time discussing DiCaprio’s evolution from a Hollywood playboy to a part-time environmentalist.
DiCaprio’s labor of love is tiresome, which is bad considering the fact that it aired late at night on a seldom-watched cable channel. But it does give an interesting glimpse into why DiCaprio takes such a hard-line stance on climate change fighting.
The high-flying Hollywood actor’s parents apparently dangled 15th-century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch’s magnum opus the “Garden of Earthly Delights” over his crib when he was a baby, essentially guaranteeing DiCaprio would turn into an ideologue.
The artwork was the catalyst for DiCaprio’s environmental crusading — it depicts a sweet and innocent Adam and Eve in one panel, a landscape teeming with humans and animals engaging in debauchery in another, and a hellish, burnt out earth in the last.
The film’s thesis is that the fossil fuel industry, as well as conservative media, is helping to destroy the environment and that the only way to save earth is to hector the public into becoming climate change warriors.
The movie jumps around, showing the Oscar winner jet-setting around the world, peering majestically at glaciers from helicopters, and convening with President Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Pope Francis, and climate scientists like Michael Mann.
“We are fighting a massive disinformation campaign,” Mann told the actor in between sips of a whiskey. The disinformation on climate change, according to the climatologist, emanates from groups funded by the Koch brothers.
Mann gained fame in the early 2000s for his “hockey stick” graph showing global temperature rise. He was also involved in the “Climategate” email scandal, and he’s been repeatedly called out for falsely claiming to have been a “co-winner” of the Nobel Prize.