Bleats

Leonardo DiCaprio Responds To Nutso Claims He Helped Torch The Amazon

Really?

Of all the crazy claims made by Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro during his time in power, his most recent one concerning Leonardo DiCaprio and the savage Amazon rainforest fires really takes the cake. 

According to the Guardian, Bolsonaro told reporters last week: “This Leonardo DiCaprio’s a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.” In an earlier Facebook Live broadcast, the president of Brazil also said, “Leonardo DiCaprio, dammit, you’re collaborating with the burning of the Amazon,” and accused the actor of being part of an international “campaign against Brazil.”

Even Bolsonaro’s son, Eduardo got involved, tweeting earlier last week: “Leonardo DiCaprio donated USD 300,000 to the NGO that set fire to the Amazon, the NGO @WWF paid $70,000 for photos of the burning forest.”

“Macron and Madonna were smarter, just took some pictures taken decades ago of some burning forest on the Internet and actually posted them,” he posted.

It’s no surprise Bolsonaro came for DiCaprio. When the Amazon rainforest fires and deforestation hit the mainstream media earlier this year, Bolsonaro was quick to blame environmentalists and not-for-profit organisations experiencing budget cuts.

DiCaprio, who pledged $5M in funding the help fight the fires, has now been forced to respond to Bolsonaro’s claim he was involved in causing them. In an Instagram statement, the actor wrote: “At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage. They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment.”

“The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them. While worthy of support, we did not fund the organisations targeted.”

“I remain committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and the general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians,” he wrote.

DiCaprio added a statement from Global Wildlife Conservation’s CEO and Chief Scientist West Sechrest, who said he stands by “those falsely accused of starting forest fires in the Amazon,” and supports “those who are dedicated to protecting one of our planet’s most vital and imperilled ecosystems.”

It sounds like it’s time for Bolsonaro to stop shifting blame onto Hollywood stars and start focussing on how to protect the indigenous communities and wildlife of the Amazon rainforest from these devastating fires.

Washing Your T-shirt Is Wrecking The Planet More Than Plastic Straws

"We need to be more critical, and less political.”

How often do you wash your t-shirts? What do you think about when you do your laundry? If it’s how you’re going to pay your next electricity bill, or why you’ve got so many god damn socks, your attention could use a healthy shift – if you care about the environment, of course.

According to new research conducted by apparel brand Icebreaker and the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, over 700,000 synthetic microplastics are currently entering our waterways from just one load of washing.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

For one third of Aussies, laundry day occurs between three and four times a week – and to make matters even worse, 49% of us wash our t-shirts after just one wear. 

The environmental impact of single-use plastic products like straws, shopping bags, coffee cups, and bottles has dominated our headlines and newsfeeds in recent times. However, not many people are aware that 85% of ocean debris is made up of microfibers – synthetic microplastics that are consumed by wildlife, ocean organisms and even humans.

UNSW’s Senior Research Associate Dr. Mark Browne says these common misconceptions about our environmental impact “are often generated by non-government organisations who don’t take the time to look at what’s good, what’s bad and what’s ugly, and then try and find out what we do and don’t know.”

Dr. Browne says these plastic fibres are found “in every single shoreline, in every single sample we look at around the world,” and if consumed by humans or wildlife can cause serious harm. “They can transfer from their stomach or lungs into their tissues,” he says. “The transfer of those plastics and also the additives and pollutants you find in the environment can cause organisms inflammation, fibrosis – if you give organisms bits of plastic, some of them die, some of them grow slightly slower.”

Sadly, there seems to be a lack of awareness around the issue, which Dr. Browne chalks down to information overload. “Consumers are bombarded with lots of information – some of it useful, some of it not so useful. I would imagine when they’re given all that rubbish, they might miss vital points.” 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Scott McNab, Icebreaker’s NZA General Manager says “we believe that with knowledge comes choice, and we aim to educate to create that choice and fuel a movement towards more natural apparel solutions.”

McNab says while we’ve seen the positive impact of consuming organic food and skincare, most of us still wear synthetic clothing on a daily basis. “There has never been a better time to wear your sustainability on your sleeve and live a life less plastic.”

I know what you’re thinking. But where do I start? According to McNab, there are few simple ways we can all minimise our environmental impact. First, we need to start understanding what our clothing is made from and start incorporating natural fibres, like merino wool, into our wardrobes.

Icebreaker is also encouraging consumers to take part in the #7DayTeeChallenge by wearing one t-shirt for seven days with zero washes. 

“Small steps really can provide long-term positive solutions for the environment,” McNab says. “By moving towards clothing made from natural fibres and wearing more but washing less, Aussies can help lead a more sustainable future for our planet.”

While UNSW’s Dr. Browne says he’s “positive” about the future, he says “people need to ask some serious questions of the people who give them information,” including the government and the companies and brands you’re buying products from. 

“Of all the problems we’ve got, we need to understand the priority, and how we’re going to solve them,” he says. “Diverting lots of money into places where there’s not a major problem causes major issues because we don’t have the resources available to deal with more pressing issues.”

Dr. Browne says our planet is working with limited financial and environmental resources so “we need to start taking better care of how we allocate those resources.” 

“We need to challenge the scientists and engineers to come up with the research that will provide answers and guide us in our behaviour,” he says. “There is a lot of blame on the consumer at the moment, but we haven’t got enough information to make an informed choice.”

As for the future? Dr. Browne says if we can “stop with the greenwashing and we can actually get some proper science and engineering done, we can understand the problems and actually solve them.”

“Putting your head in the sand and diverting money into white elephants is not useful. People need to be more critical, and less political.” 

Oh, and for the love of all that is good in the world, stop washing your t-shirts so much.

Demi Lovato's Free Trip To Israel For Insta Posts Ended Just The Way You'd Expect

"This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me."

Demi Lovato wants the world to know her recent holiday was a “spiritual experience” and most definitely not a “political statement.” 

The singer took to Instagram to defend her recent holiday to Israel after fans criticised her for failing to acknowledge the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict in her many social media posts.

Over the past few days, Lovato has posted a variety of images from her trip, including photos of her sightseeing and being baptised. In the caption, she wrote, “I was raised Christian and have Jewish ancestors…The trip has been so important for my well-being, my heart, and my soul. I’m grateful for the memories made the opportunity to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart.” 

Right after Lovato shared the photos, fans flooded Twitter and her comments section to tell the star she should have recognised the current situation, and some even accused her of taking a political stance on it. 

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter

In a story, Lovato wrote, “I’m extremely frustrated. I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts. No one told me there would be anything wrong with going on that I could possibly be offending anyone.”

“With that said, I’m sorry if I’ve hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention. Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return.”

Credit: Instagram

“This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT and now I realise it hurt people and for that I’m sorry. Sorry I’m not more educated, and sorry for thinking the trip was just a spiritual experience.” 

“Going against all advice right now and apologising because it feels right to me and I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people. I love my fans, all of them, from all over,” Lovato wrote.

Yikes. Sounds like Demi’s drama is a friendly reminder to stay woke and always educate yourself before going hard with your vacay on Instagram.

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