Anyone who spends even the shortest amount of time on Twitter can instantly recognize how diplomatic Leonardo DiCaprio’s tweets are about the pressing need for immediate climate action, biodiversity restoration via rewilding, and the dangerous deforestation in the Amazon that not only threatens the survival of endangered wildlife, a cause very dear to DiCaprio’s heart, but also the survival of the entire human species.
Dicaprio is all in on environmental activism and was designated the United Nations Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2014. He plays this role to perfection, right down to his consistently diplomatic social media voice, which is no surprise to millions of fans who have followed his extraordinary Hollywood career for decades.
It’s noteworthy that poisonous troll stalkers never get the best of DiCaprio. He doesn’t rant or strike back at snide insults, which often trend on Twitter. This is remarkable when you stop and analyze it, and it reveals how far above the pettiness DiCaprio is.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is quite the opposite and seems to wallow in the deep, dark recesses of shallow triviality that Twitter is often known for. Friday’s knee-jerk slap back by Bolsonaro to DiCaprio’s harmless tweet is revealing.
“Brazil is home to the Amazon and other ecosystems critical to climate change. What happens there matters to us all and youth voting is key in driving change for a healthy planet. For more on voter registration in Brazil before May 4, visit olhaobarulhinho.com #tiraotitulohoje
Less than 26 hours later, Bolsonaro snarked his response:
“Thanks for your support, Leo! It’s really important to have every Brazilian voting in the coming elections. Our people will decide if they want to keep our sovereignty on the Amazon or to be ruled by crooks who serve foreign special interest. Good job in The Revenant! 👍”
Bolsonaro immediately followed up with a P.S.:
“-By the way, the picture you posted to talk about the wildfires in the Amazon in 2019 is from 2003. There are people who want to arrest Brazilian citizens who make this kind of mistake here in our country. But I’m against this tyrannical idea. So I forgive you. Hugs from Brazil.” (Is that “bear hugs” like the kind we saw in The Revenant?)
Bolsonaro is clearly an insecure autocrat who shows a raw vulnerability to the notion that youth votes could unseat him. His dark tone, mentioning The Revenant (DiCaprio’s stunning achievement which earned him an Oscar for Best Actor in his role portraying Hugh Glass who was left for dead in the wilderness by his buds after being attacked by a bear), gave me the shivers. Bolsonaro’s immediate P.S., mentioning trumped up charges that imply DiCaprio would be arrested if he steps foot into Brazil if not for Bolsonaro’s kindness and forgiveness, which no one believes, turned my shivers to sweat.
The Brazilian President has shown his cards and it’s frightening. He must be replaced. Voting in climate hawks is the only way we can stay below 1.5ºC. And remember, 1.5ºC will be catastrophic. If we exceed 1.5ºC, we’ll lose the icecaps and reach tipping points that will lead to runaway warming.
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Reminding young voters of the importance of registering to vote is something we can all do every single day from here on out. It is the most basic and vitally important climate action we can participate in to ensure our survival.
Thanks, Leo, for all that you do for the environment and for climate! Please stay in the Northern Hemisphere. Guyana seems very close to Brazil. Too close in my opinion. Bolsonaro might have friends there. You won’t be filming the Jim Jones movie there, right?
Bolsonaro is running against former Brazilian President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva who is considered the frontrunner with a substantial lead over Bolsonaro. Brazil’s general election will take place on Sunday, October 2, 2022. Reuters reported on July 7, 2021 that Bolsonaro may not accept the 2022 election results if computers are used rather than paper ballots.
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