Welcome to Quadrant Online | Login/ Register Cart (0) $0 View Cart
Menu
March 02nd 2016 print

Michael Kile

Oscar Snow Job

Actors are a peculiar breed. Ask them to play characters of intellectual depth and the more accomplished deliver convincing performances, no problems. As global-warming worrywart Leonardo DiCaprio demonstrated  at this week's Academy Awards, the trouble starts when they write their own lines

leo and teddyRed-carpet aficionados struggling to figure out how a ‘visceral cinematic experience’ – filmed almost entirely in the snowy landscapes of North America – could prompt a frothy take-home serve of climate alarmism from a leading actor should reflect on Mark Twain’s advice: “Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story, unless you can’t think of anything better”.

Today Twain surely would add: “nor in the way of anthropogenic atmospheric angst or a saving-the-planet pitch, no matter how silly”; especially if you have just won an Oscar for the best bear-ravaged frontiersman this side of Fortress Mountain and are doubling as a UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change.

On the celebrity frontier the mood this week seemed almost as tense – but not as chilly – as it was on location. Plenty of haute-couture and alarming epidermis on display – from Alicia’s ‘fun and flirty’ Louis Vuitton to Kate’s Ralph Lauren ‘garbage bag’. But fewer animal pelts and bear-hugs than last year.

Leonardo DiCaprio was in the front row, just a short walk from his first Oscar after five nominations. In a dignified acceptance speech, the star heaped praise on best director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and his USD165 million ‘transcendental’ film, The Revenant.

Mad Max: Fury Road’s sound editor turned up the contrast with an F-bomb. True, not the end of the world.  But if Mark Mangini did not hear a pin drop, it was probably because it was drowned out by the voice of his spouse, mother or both. “It’s pretty intense up there,” confided co-winner, David White, in Mangini’s defence.  “It’s typically Australians who do the swearing. So the fact that I didn’t swear, I deserve the Oscar just for that.”

But DiCaprio’s speech was scarier than any snarling thing roaring down Fury Road. One bear-hunting man’s ‘epic adventure of survival’ somehow morphed post-production into an eco-allegory about

man’s relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted..” (transcript , Kadeen Griffiths, 29 February 2016; author’s bolding).

To some in the glitzy audience, it sounded like an extract from The Climatobabble Handbook for Beginners. “It’s the politics of greed sayeth the man who flies in private jets, has four houses and is taking a trip on Virgin’s Galactic SpaceShip,” posted Joanne Nova.

Being a suspicious sod myself – and on behalf of all readers ‘out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics’ of climate alarmism – I asked Sam Spade for a quick second opinion. His sleuthing, while preliminary, suggests DiCaprio’s Patagonian palaver is piffle.

Weather -- not climate change – was the major issue with this movie. The original intention was to shoot most of it in Kananaskis Country – 4,211 sq km of impressive wilderness in the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary – with one scene in adjacent Montana. The 16 filming locations are listed here and here.

And weather was an issue only because of Iñárritu’s insistence on shooting snow, snow and more snow in natural light. Days are shorter in winter. Travel-time between sets was slower than anticipated in the rugged terrain, reducing filming to a just couple of hours a day.

Gaia is indifferent to puny human endeavours. She has no concept of what it means to ‘get with the project’. If some folk somewhere on the planet are too busy – or too slow – to notice winter turning to spring and then summer, it is not her problem.

Clue 1: “The snow melted before filming was complete. Given the ‘similitude of Patagonia’ to Canada, it emerged as the ‘perfect place to shoot several scenes there.’

Mr Spade also located an explosive – and authentic – movie-insider statement or three.

Clue 2: “We had tremendous weather problems. It was freezing and snowing when it wasn’t meant to be. And when it wasn’t meant to be, it was. It wouldn’t snow. Our movie was really reliant on snow. That was a huge hit.”

Believe it or not, there was a serious – not a wardrobe, but a – location malfunction.  A lack of snow in Canada at a time of year when there is normally a lack of snow forced the production to move to Patagonia in search of it. A six-day shoot here — in August — cost an unbudgeted $10 million, “an extremely big hit financially.”

So the small Olivia River near Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, became the unlikely final set. With financiers presumably baying for more blood on snow by this time – the initial production budget was USD60 million, with USD30 million funded by Arnon Milchan’s New Regency  — few were surprised when Iñárritu declared he would never make another movie like this one: “I am a crazy man, but not stupid”.

Mr Spade’s evidence is compelling.  August is high summer in the northern hemisphere. So the real reason for going ‘to the southern tip of the planet just to find snow’ seems to have been because production was behind schedule. If so, it had absolutely nothing to do with DiCaprio’s – and the UN’s — ‘climate change’ bogeyman.

As for 2015 being ‘the hottest year in recorded history’, clearly the Oscar winner had not been briefed on the latest research. But then, curiously, this recent article in Nature was not front page news. Indeed, almost none of the outlets that so keenly promote the warming paradigm even mentioned it.

According to Dr David Whitehouse, science editor of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, writing in The Spectator last week, this was no surprise. For it underlined “the sound science behind an inconvenient truth: that there has been a 15-year hiatus in global warming.”

“It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims.”

The UN IPCC also only just had its first “expert meeting” on climate communication in Oslo in February – after two decades in business – probably prompted by a surge in climate-catastrophist fatigue syndrome (CCFS) after Paris 2015.

In DiCaprio’s four-minute address to the UN Climate Summit 2014 in New York on 23 September that year – called to ‘raise political momentum’ for Paris 2015 and ‘to galvanize transformative action’ – he said:

“I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters trying to solve fictitious problems….You do not. The time to answer humankind’s greatest challenge is now.”

Only a supremely talented and tautologically-challenged actor could deliver this observation – “climate change is real, it is happening right now” -- with such gravitas. Another Oscar, please, for the UN’s Hollywood hot guy on climate alarmism. Bravissimo, Leonardo!

As Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences (Emeritus) Massachusetts Institute of Technology lamented last August (here):

“It is difficult to know whether the statements of prominent political [and other public] figures represents dishonesty, ignorance or both.”

Comments [5]

  1. Jody says:

    Oh when are these narcissistic and shallow ‘progressives’ going to stop lecturing us all? Listen up you Hollywood ‘stars’ – you make entertainment, mostly for the lumpen proletariat, and you think this gives you the right to tell the few intelligent people who tune in for 5 minutes to your awards ceremonies that you know what’s best for the world!!?? Seriously? Leo: you’ve made money dressed us as a neanderthal crawling through the slime and making grunting noises. There weren’t really any lines for you to learn. It’s not a Nobel Prize in Physics, man!! They’re not going to put you in charge of the NASA Space Program. It’s all make believe.

    Reality check: your ‘technicians’ make noise with all the crashing, banging, whirring, fizzing, exploding, screeching, whining and clattering that the modern computer is capable of. And for this you think an “Oscar” category is warranted? Give me a break!!

    Just get out there in your frocks and suits and speak politely to the people who keep you in a job (audiences) and try to reduce your pontificating to a minimum. You are a product bought and sold, so please don’t pretend to be otherwise. The fact that you earn more than the CEOs of most corporations with capitalizations in the billions means that you were born lucky, not brilliant

  2. Ian MacDougall says:

    A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now.

    The last of the above three sentences is definitely true. (And the other two are as they may be.)
    Fact 1: The Earth’s atmosphere and ocean are warming. (How do we know? Not from thermometers, and temperatures – which can be disputed till the cows come home – but from sea level rise. The world’s ocean is rising at a rate of 3.3 +/- 0.4 mm/yr (http://sealevel.colorado.edu/). In the absence of comet ice bombarding the Earth, this can only be due to thermal expansion of ocean water, glacial melt, or both.
    Fact 2: Human economic activities put heat-trapping (greenhouse) gases into the air, mainly CO2 – carbon dioxide: but also CH4 -methane, N2O – nitrous oxide, O3 – ozone, and sundry others.
    Fact 3: Many (but not all) of the people who deny any connection between Facts 1 and 2 have connections to fossil carbon industries. For example, the above-cited Richard Lindzen acts as a consultant for fossil carbon companies, and reportedly “charged oil and coal organizations $2,500 per day for his consulting services.” (http://www.desmogblog.com/richard-lindzen)

    Today Twain surely would add: “nor in the way of anthropogenic atmospheric angst or a saving-the-planet pitch, no matter how silly”

    I dispute that. One of Mark Twain’s own favourite quotations was from a young and highly intelligent black slave he knew in his youth. It was: “You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.” http://paulgraham.com/cornpone.html
    If someone like Lindzen get his corn pone from fossil carbon, or just from business-as-usual, his ‘pinion will on AGW and climate change will likely be ‘scepticism’.

  3. en passant says:

    Michael,
    You missed the point with the thrust of your article. Leonardo (I always thought he was a Ninja Turtle) is just an actor who follows scripts others have written for him. To be someone he has joined the UN Climate Con. Therefore, facts, truth, reality, honesty, real scientific data, common sense and logic are all obfuscating encumbrances that fog the ‘The Message’ and must therefore be ignored. Thank you for your research, but I instinctively knew what you have now confirmed.
    Of course the Gregorian Chant message is that there is something out there so horrible, so bad that unless we hand the power of life and death to the elite we will die, or in this case ‘fry first and then die’.
    This sort of death-cultish behaviour has been around for thousands of years and in recent times engulfed Russia and China for many a Dark Year. It is most often found in religion as it is easier to convince people that the Hale-Bopp comet is really a spaceship we can only board by dying first. Was it 49 people who drank the kool-aid? No, that was the near 300 people at Jim Jones Death Camp for Saved Souls.
    What is slightly different this time is that sovereign countries like Australia have voluntarily set up an international body to plan and implement our impoverishment and enslavement. From memory, it is called the United Nations with all its functionaries working towards that goal of power over everything.
    Unfortunately, there are enough Quislings and psychopaths in Australia willing to sell their souls for positions at the elite banquets and the unlimited power it brings in this new rerun of tyranny. Practice makes perfect and they have the previous experience of communism and Nazi-fascism to help improve the updated playbook. Remember the Australian musicologist from Graz who advocated death camps for ‘climate deniers’? When rough, tough musicologists see this as their chance to be someone powerful you can see the attraction. In the gut-wrenching movie ‘Sophie’s Choice’, Dr. Mengele pointed his finger like a metronome with Left for Life & Right for Death. You can see the thrill this would bring to some elite people.
    As I have written in a previous post, there is a light adventure film that covers this scenario very well. It is called ‘The Kingsman’. Just remember when you watch it: it is not a documentary. How do I know that? Well, for a start, it has a happy ending …

    • Alice Thermopolis says:

      en passant

      Thrust of post also about challenging DiCaprio’s claim that “our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow,” allegedly because of ‘climate change’.

      The relocation had nothing to do with it. Production just ran out of time – and snow – due to poor scheduling, weather, terrain and so on.

      “To be someone he has joined the UN Climate Con.”

      Given he was already a celebrity in 2014, UN Secretary-General probably approached him first.

      Jody: “You are a product bought and sold, so please don’t pretend to be otherwise.”

      BTW on payment, officially ‘$1 per year or equivalent’, according to UN guidelines:
      https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/admin-resource/DCS_MOP_GWA.pdf

      March 2015
      Guidelines for the Designation of Messengers of Peace, Goodwill Ambassadors, Champions and Advocates

      “Messengers of Peace and Goodwill Ambassadors shall not be paid a salary, although a symbolic payment of $1 per year or equivalent may be granted to them. They may be given travel and daily subsistence allowances when they are traveling on behalf of the United Nations.”

      And yes. T’was ever thus. Apocalyptic/millennial discourse has a long tradition. Folk apparently became so disillusioned with failure of Old Testament prophets to get it right, they were ignored and their utterances compared to the ‘babbling of children’. When Jesus did not return in lifetime of his disciples – as promised/predicted – well, the rest is history. As for the Twelfth Imam….

      Perhaps our climate prophets will suffer same fate one day, or end up being ignored because of a tsunami of more immediate problems – immigration, population, etc.

      Still plenty around too who insist a talking snake in a Garden is historical fact, not metaphor; and/or that the Prophet really did jump – rather conveniently, it must be said – on a flying camel and ascended to Heaven in the Holy City, not Mecca; and so on and so forth.

  4. DRW says:

    Actors should write their own lines.