Leonardo DiCaprio has revealed what he told the president during a private meeting in New York and claimed the Trump administration will be vilified by history.
“We should not have people in office who do not believe in facts, in truths, in modern science,” the Oscar winner said.
The Titanic star was speaking at a Yale Climate Conference, an event hosted by former Secretary of State John Kerry.
“We are going to look back at this point in history and, frankly, this administration and certain people are going to be vilified for not taking action,” he said Tuesday. “They really are.”
DiCaprio also divulged more details about his December visit to President-elect Trump’s Manhattan office, where he tried to persuade the real-estate magnate about the reality of global warming.
“We presented him with a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change, while also simultaneously harnessing the economic potential of green jobs,” he said, sitting with Kerry on a platform at Yale. “We talked about how the United States has the potential to lead the world in clean-energy manufacturing and research and development.”
But DiCaprio said the meeting was fruitless.
“These facts have been presented to the world time and time again for decades. Quite simply, we are knowingly doing this to ourselves, to our planet, and to our future, and the cost of our inaction is becoming clearer,” DiCaprio said at the conference.
“Yet with all of this evidence—the independent scientific warnings, and the mounting economic price tag—there is still an astounding level of willful ignorance and inaction from the people who should be doing the most to protect us, and every other living thing on this planet.”
DiCaprio also said this week he has pledged $20 million in grants to help combat climate change.
His foundation will dole out the money to 100 environmental organizations, including ones that work for wildlife conservation and marine and ocean conservation. In total, his organization has given $80 million since 1998. This is the largest amount to date donated by the Inception star’s philanthropic arm.
“We are proud to support the work of over 100 organizations at home and abroad,” DiCaprio said in a statement. “These grantees are active on the ground, protecting our oceans, forests, and endangered species for future generations—and tackling the urgent, existential challenges of climate change.”
DiCaprio’s speech—attended by about 2,500 people—closed out the conference, put on by the Kerry Initiative. Speakers at the two-day gathering reportedly included Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, California Gov. Jerry Brown, and former Secretary of State James Baker.
DiCaprio said his fascination with climate change became “somewhat of an obsession” after trekking across the globe to film the documentary Before the Flood.
“When you start talking about chemically changing our planet in an irreversible fashion, that will threaten all life on earth, that was like the most surreal science-fiction movie I could ever imagine,” he said.