Others were a little more blunt in their criticism, pointing out that DiCaprio's actions bely his pro-environment stance. For instance, Gary Lamphier of the Edmonton Journal said yesterday, "DiCaprio and 21 of his friends recently used one of the world's largest superyachts, an energy-guzzling 482-foot behemoth called the Topaz, in order to watch the recent World Cup in Brazil in high style" — hardly behavior that's good for the environment. He added that as the vessel is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, "[i]t's oil money that paid for [it]."Lamphier's main point, however, is that DiCaprio and other celebrities who have decried the oil sands — Neil Young and James Cameron, to name a couple — are finding problems in the wrong place. He believes that their "outsized focus" on the oil sands ignores the fact that across the world, China is responsible for a quarter of the world's emissions. "That's where the real fight will be fought. Not in the oilsands," he concludes. Big picture is key While it's both tempting and easy to point fingers — at DiCaprio, China and elsewhere — in debates about Alberta's oil sands and their environmental impact, it's important to remember that, like it or not, oil is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Summing up that viewpoint, Diana McQueen, Alberta's energy minister, told The Globe and Mail, "[w]e respect people's right to their opinions," but "[a]t the same time, we believe reasonable people recognize the world needs all forms of energy, including fossil fuels, developed responsibly to meet its needs." She's thus in favor of "fact-based conversations" about energy between parties that are willing to listen to — and not cast shade on — each other. That's certainly some food for thought for those involved in the sector, and perhaps DiCaprio. Luckily, it will likely be awhile before they clash again — according to recent reports, DiCaprio will be busy filming The Revenant from September to March.
Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. Albertans Call Foul on Leonardo DiCaprio's Oil Sands Visit from Oil Investing News