Obama and DiCaprio join forces to fight climate change

Urgent action needs to be taken on a global scale in order to combat climate change, US president Barack Obama and actor Leonardo DiCaprio have said.

The world is in “a race against time” to combat the worst effects of global warming Obama told a crowd gathered for the South by South Lawn festival of technology and music at the White House.

The president said the world had an “incomplete” grade on its response to global warming so far, but added that “the good news is we can still pass the test”.

“I tend to be a cautious optimist about our ability to make change,” he said.

DiCaprio has recently completed “Before the Flood” which is a documentary film about climate change. He told the White House crowd that he had timed the film to come out before the 8 November presidential election.

Although neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton were mentioned in the discussion, their presence was nonetheless felt.

The actor, who has openly supported Clinton’s campaign, said the scientific consensus about the dangers of climate change was in, and “the argument is now over”.

“If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in facts or in science. And therefore, in my humble opinion, you should not be allowed to hold public office,” he added in a dig towards Trump who has repeatedly referred to climate change as a hoax.

DiCaprio’s film Before The Flood got its domestic premiere on the White House lawn after his discussion with the president and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

The South by South Lawn event was designed to replicate the vibe of the South by Southwest festival held annually in Austin, Texas.

It included panel discussions on topics such as “feeding the future” and “fixing real problems” as well as booths and vendors promoting everything from virtual reality technology to fake tattoos.

The White House tech fest also featured a student film festival, a wall of art made of Post-Its, Lego statues, demonstrations on the science of food and using technology to help the disabled and lots of music.

India, which is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, recently ratified the Paris agreement which was originally signed by nearly 200 countries in December last year. 

The agreement is an attempt to restrict the increase in the global temperature to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

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