President-elect Donald Trump and his advisers had a meeting with actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio on Wednesday. The good news is that DiCaprio, who spends his time focused on climate change when not making movies, is not being considered for a cabinet position. However it seems the meeting was a chance for DiCaprio to pitch his vision of a green energy boom. From the Associated Press:
“Today, we presented the President-elect and his advisors with a framework – which LDF developed in consultation with leading voices in the fields of economics and environmentalism – that details how to unleash a major economic revival across the United States that is centered on investments in sustainable infrastructure,” Tamminen said. “Our conversation focused on how to create millions of secure, American jobs in the construction and operation of commercial and residential clean, renewable energy generation.”
Also at the 90 minute meeting Wednesday was Ivanka Trump, who has been reported to be interested in focusing her attention on climate change. From Politico:
Ivanka, 35, Trump’s avatar among the moneyed left-wing elite, is now poised to be the first “first daughter” in modern history to play a larger public role than the first lady. And she’s positioning herself exactly as she did that weekend — as a bridge to moderates and liberals disgusted and depressed with the tone and tenor of the new leader of the free world.
And the ambitious daughter, who once plotted her career around international brand domination, is planning to take on an even heavier lift. Ivanka wants to make climate change — which her father has called a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese — one of her signature issues, a source close to her told Politico. The source said Ivanka is in the early stages of exploring how to use her spotlight to speak out on the issue.
Ivanka had a previous meeting with DiCaprio in which he gave her a copy of his recently completed documentary “Before the Flood.” DiCaprio also gave Trump a copy of the film at yesterday’s meeting and, according to a source who spoke to the AP, Trump promised he would watch it.
No one seems to be saying it directly but it appears Ivanka Trump might be the person recommending her father meet with DiCaprio and, previously, with Al Gore. Given Trump’s selection of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, it doesn’t seem to have influenced his thinking much thus far, but clearly he’s willing to at least give a hearing to other perspectives.
Generally speaking, the direct approach taken by Gore (who had nothing negative to say after his meeting with Trump) and DiCaprio strikes me as a lot more constructive than the tantrums being thrown by some celebrity environmentalists and politicos. If your only response to Trump is to call him a threat to the planet, you’re probably not going to get a lot of face time in which to make the case for your issue.
If, on the other hand, you can behave like an adult for 90 minutes and take the opportunity to present your case without pulling out your hair like a lunatic, you may find you have an open door. Indeed, the AP reports Trump suggested a follow up meeting as soon as next month.