by Tom Harris, Executive Director, ICSC, ©2016

(Oct. 28, 2016) — In an apparent attempt to bolster support for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Leonardo DiCaprio is releasing a new climate change movie just days before the election. To be broadcast in 45 languages in 171 countries, Before the Flood will debut at 9 pm EDT this Sunday on the National Geographic Channel. It will also be available for free on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google Play, iTunes, Amazon, and Hulu.

Judging from the trailers and other pre-release promotions, the public needs to brace itself for an avalanche of global warming propaganda. Like DiCaprio’s short film Carbon, released in the weeks prior to the United Nations’ Climate Summit 2014, Before the Flood is based on the highly debatable hypothesis that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activities is causing catastrophic climate change. Coal, oil, and natural gas, the world’s least expensive and most abundant energy sources, must therefore be turned off as soon as possible, DiCaprio says.

The actor seems unware that the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) lists thousands of scientific papers that either debunk or cast serious doubt on the climate scare. A quick look at the observational data reveals facts highly inconvenient to DiCaprio’s crusade. For example,

  • According to NASA satellites, global warming essentially ceased in the late 1990s. Yet CO2 levels have risen about 10% since 1997, a figure that represents an astonishing 30% of all human-related emissions since the industrial revolution began. This contradicts all CO2-based climate models upon which global warming concerns are founded.
  • The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) admits that the statistical average of surface temperatures across the Earth increased only one and a half degrees between 1880 to 2012. Such modest warming is not surprising given that the Earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age since the late 19thcentury.
  • In 2012, the IPCC asserted that a relationship between global warming and wildfires, rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events has not been demonstrated. The 2013 NIPCC report concluded the same.

And so it goes with DiCaprio’s other climate concerns. Oregon-based physicist Dr. Gordon Fulks explains that the climate campaign has “become a sort of societal pathogen that virulently spreads misinformation in tiny packages like a virus. CO2 is said to be responsible for global warming that is not occurring, for accelerated sea level rise that is not occurring, for net glacial and sea ice melt that is not occurring, for ocean acidification that is not occurring, and for increasing extreme weather that is not occurring.”

Fulks is right. DiCaprio’s new film is just another vector for spreading the virus.

Moreover, the costs of the climate scare are staggering.

According to the Congressional Research Service, between 2001 and 2014 the US Government spent $131 billion on human-caused climate change projects. They also allowed tax breaks for anti-CO2 energy initiatives totalling $176 billion.

The San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative revealed that more than $1 billion is now spent every day across the world on climate finance. Sadly, only 6% of it is devoted to helping vulnerable societies adapt to climate change. The rest is spent trying to stop climatic events that might someday happen.

These extraordinary costs are set to increase still further. Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, wrote in the Wall Street Journal on October 13,At a cost of between $1 trillion and $2 trillion annually, the Paris climate agreement…is likely to be history’s most expensive treaty.”

DiCaprio is right in one respect. The late Bob Carter, former professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia, explained, “Climate change is a moral issue, and there is nothing quite so immoral as the sight of well-fed, well-housed Westerners assuaging their consciences by wasting huge amounts of money on futile anti-global warming policies, using money that could instead be spent on improving the living standards in developing countries.”

Carter concluded, “Denying poor nations, many of whose citizens lack adequate sanitation, schooling, clean water, and health services, the finance to build inexpensive hydrocarbon-fired power stations, and who in consequence suffer millions of premature deaths every year, has been aptly described as technological genocide. And that is where the moral outrage should lie.”

DiCaprio should make a film about it.


Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC).

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  1. Anyone else notice how Rauch shamelessly posits that “Every significant war in the past 104 years has been caused by petroleum oil.” Really?!? Korea, Vietnam (both Chinese and American wars), and Afghanistan (both Soviet and American wars), just to name a few, had absolutely nothing to do with oil at all. But Rauch’s wild claims are understandable in light of his ethanol zealotry (https://www.theautochannel.com/news/2016/02/04/191905-open-letter-to-barry-ritholtz-and-bloomberg-about-ethanol.html).
    But you can see Rauch’s penchant for hyperbole and assertion without evidence for yourself in his comments to petrophysicist Andy May: https://andymaypetrophysicist.com/review-and-summary-of-the-moral-case-for-fossil-fuels/.

  2. I recently published a rebuttal to Alex Epstein’s book titled “The Immorality of Arguing That There’s a Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.” At the same time it also rebuts a book by Kathleen Hartnett White of a similar title and proposition.

    It is preposterous to claim that there is anything moral about fossil fuels, and to claim that we owe any debt of gratitude to gasoline/diesel/coal for enhancing our lives. If a debt of gratitude is owed, it is owed to the inventions that utilize various fuels…regardless of what those fuels are. The inventions were all created without consideration to any specific fossil fuel. Internal combustion engines, for example, were created before the invention of either gasoline or diesel petroleum fuel. The steam engine was not created because coal was available.

    The fact is that fossil fuels have been the cause of wars, disease, and ecological and environmental disasters. Every significant war in the past 104 years has been caused by petroleum oil. Tens of millions of people; no, make that hundreds of millions of people have been killed in these wars. To the war dead-toll we have to add the people who have died as a result of the illnesses caused by the use of petroleum oil fuels. Then there’s the life-long injuries and disabilities suffered by untold millions more. There’s nothing moral about any of this.

    Previous attempts to rebuke Mr. Epstein and Ms. White, such as the one written by Jody Freeman, have failed because the writers have as little understanding of history, fuels, energy, and real solutions as Epstein and White do.

    You can read my complete rebuttal at https://www.theautochannel.com/news/2018/02/19/511177-immorality-arguing-that-there-s-moral-case-for-fossil-fuels.html.

    Marc J. Rauch
    Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher