- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2015

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is being mocked for recent comments he made confusing Canada’s warm chinook winds with the “terrifying” effects of climate change.

Mr. DiCaprio, who was appointed last year as a United Nations representative on climate change, was quoted by Vanity Fair expressing alarm that while in Calgary filming his new film “The Revenant,” there would be “eight feet of snow and then all of a sudden a warm gust of wind would come,” the Canadian Press reported.

Mr. DiCaprio said he was told by locals “this has never happened in our province ever.”

“It was scary,” he reportedly told an audience at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation awards. “I’ve never experienced something so firsthand that was so dramatic.”

“You see the fragility of nature and how easily things can be completely transformed with just a few degrees difference,” he said. “It’s terrifying, and it’s what people are talking about all over the world. And it’s simply just going to get worse.”

Gwen O’Sullivan, an environmental science professor at Mount Royal University, said warm chinook winds are a common and natural occurrence for Calgary, and it’s not atypical for a foot of snow to disappear in just a day, the Canadian Press reported.

Last winter there were even more chinooks than usual, reportedly prompting “The Revenant” production to eventually relocate to Argentina.

Mr. DiCaprio was roundly mocked on social media for his mistake. Others criticized him for being an alarmist on a topic he knows little about.

Sociologist Caroline McDonald-Harker, also of Mount Royal University, said, “When you have that type of influence within the social world, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are informed,” the Canadian Press reported.

Mr. DiCaprio gave a speech Friday at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders at City Hall in Paris, a side event of COP21.

“Our world leaders are here in Paris in an effort to finalize a global agreement 20 years in the making, to finally address the very real threat that climate change poses to our planet,” he told the mayors. “These leaders have met before. They met in Kyoto, they met in Copenhagen, and in cities on every continent, but each and every time, they have come up short. This time must be different, because we are fundamentally running out of time.”

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