LOS ANGELES (WCMH/AP) — Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio praised Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg “as a leader of our time.”
“There are few times in human history where voices are amplified at such pivotal moments and in such transformational ways – but @GretaThunberg has become a leader of our time,” DiCaprio wrote. “History will judge us for what we do today to help guarantee that future generations can enjoy the same livable planet that we have so clearly taken for granted.”
DiCaprio added that because of Thunberg and other young activists’ actions, he’s optimistic about the future.
“Greta’s message is a wake-up call to world leaders everywhere that the time for inaction is over … It was an honor to spend time with Greta. She and I have made a commitment to support one another, in hopes of securing a brighter future for our planet,” DiCaprio wrote.
Like Thunberg, DiCaprio is also an environmental activist.
His Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation supports “innovative projects that protect vulnerable wildlife from extinction, while restoring balance to threatened ecosystems and communities.”
DiCaprio’s posted his comments about 16-year-old activist on Instagram on Friday, the same day Thunberg told a cheering crowd of hundreds at a rally in Los Angele, California that they can and will fight to save their planet from global warming.
Thunberg, who has been traveling across the United States since delivering a passionate speech in New York in September that demanded world leaders do more to combat global warming, spoke at a rally organized by Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles.
The group of young people used Friday’s rally at California’s oil-extraction industry to call for a phaseout of wells and other means of withdrawing petroleum from California’s earth.
Before Thunberg spoke she joined a crowd of about 1,000 in marching from the lawn in front of City Hall to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Los Angeles office to demand that oil drilling begin to stop.
“I will never understand how they can put short-term interests above our lives, above the planet’s future and our future,” Thunberg said of businesses that produce fossil fuels and other products that contribute to global warming.
“But we young people have had enough. We say no more. And if our parents won’t speak up for us, we will,” she added to thunderous applause from the crowd, which, although it leaned toward the young side, contained a cross-section of ages.
In a brief interview with The Associated Press before the rally, Thunberg said she believes young people like herself are becoming more prominent in the climate-change movement because, with almost their whole lives ahead of them, they recognize how great the danger is to their generation.
“Many young people are aware that they will be very much impacted by what we are doing now and that their future will be destroyed,” she said. “We know what is at stake in a way that many older people maybe don’t.”