Donald MacInnes: Leonardo DiCaprio climate speech at the UN this week was excellent


Donald Macinnes@DonaldAMacInnes
Friday 26 September 2014 18:37

There were some glitzy touches to the start of the annual United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York on Wednesday.

Kicking things off, from the files of “Pointless Tie-ins Nevertheless Guaranteed to make Tourists Go ‘Ooooh’ ”, on the eve of the summit, the Empire State Building was bathed in green light thereby rendering it like a 443m-high lightsaber.

A few days before the event itself, the excitement had begun when Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio was awarded the exciting office of International Guardian of Peace and Bringer of Quietness and Mostly Nice Things. Yes, I’m sure that was it. As one would expect, The Wolf of Wall Street star appeared on stage with Ban Ki-moon to receive the magnificent honour and also accepted an invitation to give a speech at the Climate Change Summit.

Sadly, unlike previous UN honorary showbiz figureheads such as Geri Halliwell and Basil Brush – who cast aside their normal attire of “up to here” dresses (Geri) and tweedy hunting ensembles (Baz) – DiCaprio seemed determined to go the other way. Granted, he may have showed up in a suit, which should make us all grateful, but he gave the credibility of the annual UNCCS a bit of a kicking, by sporting a beard which had marched resolutely over the line into the territory known as “violently bushy” or “Where does that bloody hippy think he is – Hoxton?”

And I really don’t think I am overstating things to say that the combination of dark suit and tie, long hair in a ponytail and voluminous facial hedgeness made him resemble nothing less than Robert De Niro’s Satanic character Louis Cypher from the Mickey Rourke movie Angel Heart. Not entirely suitable attire, Leo. Maybe you should check your big mirror at the front door before you leave the house next time.

Another announcement was made this week, confirming that the Rockefeller group was to join a coalition of philanthropists pledging to rid themselves of more than $50bn (£31bn) in fossil fuel assets. In my mind’s eye, I see a horse lolloping over the horizon, as the farmer sadly locks the stable door. Around 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined this admirable group, known as the “Coalition of the willing not to lean as hard on oil any more. We get it, OK? Stop hassling us!”

The Rockefeller name, of course, is synonymous with top-hatted gentlemen sitting with their feet up on huge mahogany desks, barking orders down the phone through teeth which are clamped around a mammoth Cuban cigar. But it would seem there is goodness in those very, very wealthy hearts. And, although one is instantly a little cynical when billionaire conglomerates announce planet-friendly initiatives, it’s hard to imagine this sort of thing happening 30 years ago. And for that we should be grateful. At least Geri isn’t involved.

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