Posts Tagged ‘Celebrities’

Di Caprio puts on an act for climate change

September 26, 2014

I am always more than a little suspicious when a “celebrity” starts supporting some “benevolent” cause. My suspicions are directed primarily at the cause – not so so much at the celebrity. The celebrities are celebrities because they want to be. Their narcissistic urges are usually very well developed. But any “cause” which has to enlist the use of celebrities – with no particular qualifications other than being well known – to prop up its justification for existing is demeaned and damaged by the exercise. The celebrities of course get the extra exposure they so yearn for.

Whether it is Victoria Beckham on Millenium goals or George Clooney on Poverty or Arundhati Roy on dams or now Leonard Di Caprio on Climate, I find the causes are damaged while the celebrities satisfy their narcissistic urges. Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger must be the kiss of death for the causes he supportsIn fact studies have shown that the good causes of the famous ‘benefit themselves more than the charities

The chief beneficiaries of star-studded attempts to raise the profile of a good cause are the celebrity themselves, according to sociologists, who say the appearance of altruism makes them more popular with the public.

Two pieces of research by UK academics argue that “the ability of celebrity and advocacy to reach people is limited” and that celebrities are “generally ineffective” at encouraging people to care about foreign causes.

But the publicity surrounding Di Caprio this week has been particularly gratuitous and unconvincing. He attended President Obama’s speech about Climate at the UN on Tuesday:

RCP: ……… But it was President Obama who provided the most visible sign that the talks were heading in the wrong direction. Arriving late, the president looked as if he’d rather be anywhere else. The president’s tone in speaking to his fellow leaders and delegates was as if he were talking to a meeting of congressional Republicans. Five years had passed since the failure of the previous round of talks at Copenhagen, he said. Since then, the scientific understanding had advanced. What was once a distant threat had, the president claimed, moved firmly into the present, although the president did not mention that global temperatures have been flat for a decade and a half and that there had been little scientific advance to explain it.

Those words were prologue to the president’s blunt warning. The U.S. is stepping up to the plate, the president declared. The U.S. must be joined by other nations. Nobody gets a pass, especially the big emerging economies, climate change code for India and China, whose leaders were giving the summit a pass. Solving climate change was a matter of taking a lead, the president said, making the improbable claim that giving a lead is what the United Nations General Assembly is for.

There were quite a number of empty seats in the chamber as the president spoke. Secretary of State John Kerry played with his BlackBerry. Many looked bored. At the end of the president’s remarks, the most enthusiastic applause came from DiCaprio. Perhaps that’s because he’s good actor. The climate change talks might be attracting dwindling audiences. But there’s one thing you can bet on: the climate change show will run and run. 

Ah Well.

Maybe there is a silver lining in the celebrity cloud.

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