Leonardo DiCaprio and Barack Obama Get Real About Climate Change at the White House
The president invited the civic-minded Oscar winner to the South Lawn of the White House for his South by South Lawn festival—a celebration of technology and music inspired by Austin's SXSW—to host a panel discussion between himself and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe from Texas Tech University.
DiCaprio opened the panel by saying that he planned to release his new climate change documentary, Before the Flood (which premiered after the discussion), before the election to highlight the political importance of the issue. The 41-year-old Hollywood A-lister didn't hold back on his own political views either. "If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in facts, or in science, or in empirical truths, and therefore, in my humble opinion, should not be allowed to hold public office," he told the crowd.
The president, however, felt a bit more optimistic about the future. Even though he gave the world an "incomplete" grade on its response to global warming so far, he added that "the good news is, we can still pass the test."
VIDEO: Leonardo DiCaprio at The White House
"Sportsmen and hunters might not agree with traditional environmentalists on gun rights, but they could find common ground wanting to preserve the environment because of their love for the outdoors," the president suggested. "I mean, they might not want to get mauled by a grizzly bear," he said, referring to an infamous scene in The Revenant. "That looked, ah, a little severe."
Watch President Obama and DiCaprio's SXSL discussion in the video above and catch Before the Flood in theaters in New York and L.A. starting Oct. 21, or on the National Geographic Channel starting Oct. 30.