Climate Hypocrites and the Media that Love Them

Journalists help promote Hollywood celebrities while condemning average Americans for causing climate change. The same media go out of their way to ignore or excuse the hypocrisy of celebrity “environmentalists” who fly their private jets around the world, rent mega-yachts and live in massive mansions.

Avatar Director James Cameron warned of a future “world that’s in shambles” because of climate change, and said he believes “in ecoterrorism” yet, he owns an impressive private collection of motorcycles, cars, dirt bikes, a yacht, a helicopter, a Humvee fire truck and a $32-million submarine. ABC and CBS even praised Cameron for his submarine purchase, with CBS’s Gayle King saying she loved his “passion and curiosity.”

Leonardo DiCaprio ironically stood in front of the UN warning that “if we do not act together, we will surely perish” – just three months after he had flown to Brazil on a private plane to borrow an oil billionaire’s 470-foot yacht. Yet, ABC News praised him for “not just talking the talk.”

MRC Business studied media coverage of 12 celebrity eco-activists, worth $1.9 billion, and found:

  • Media Outlets Give a Platform to Celebrities: Actors aren’t climate scientists. But when any of the 12 celebrities makes a statement about climate change, the media are quick to promote them. Whether it was DiCaprio’s UN speech calling for more regulations on businesses, or Cameron Diaz’s PSA asking average people to curb their carbon output, print and broadcast media eagerly rushed to interview them. In the last six months of 2014 alone, ABC, CBS and NBC interviewed these specific celebrities 25 times.

  • Overwhelmingly Positive Network Coverage: Not once during the 25 interviews on ABC, CBS and NBC in 2014 did the networks suggest that the celebrities’ lavish lifestyles might disqualify them from lecturing others. Instead, they have referred to them as “incredibly committed,” “responsible” and praised them for “promoting the cause” of combatting climate change.

  • Media Take Outrageous Claims Seriously: Cameron said “I believe in ecoterrorism,” and Entertainment Weekly didn’t bat an eye. Arianna Huffington said that SUV owners were funding terrorism, and then claimed she meant it as satire and no one objected. Yet, none of these claims were even mentioned on the broadcast networks that hyped the eco-activism of these celebrities, and they were still touted as credible voices for change.

Recommendations for Journalists

MRC Business has the following recommendations for journalists who are reporting on the environmental activism or philanthropy of celebrities.

  • Treat Celebrities Honestly: Celebrities may be famous, but that doesn’t mean that they should automatically get a platform to promote their eco-agenda. Journalists need to recognize that just because someone is well known, doesn’t mean they are well informed. Statements made by celebrities should be evaluated with the same scrutiny as statements given by anyone else.

  • Don’t Pick and Choose the News: The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states that journalists should “support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.” It is incumbent upon journalists to analyze the background for groups and individuals on both ends of the political spectrum.

  • Do Some Genuine Journalism and Investigate Celebrity Climate Change Alarmists: Journalists can’t afford to be starstruck. Media outlets should hold celebrities accountable for their actions, and not turn a blind eye when a celebrity’s lifestyle contradicts his or her message.

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Celebrities don’t like to be called out for hypocrisy. Avengers Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo scoffed when a reporter asked whether the lifestyle of some celebrities should disqualify them from being spokespeople “to fight global warming,” during the People’s Climate March in New York City in 2014.

“Oh brother. That is a question you shouldn’t be asking here today because that defies the spirit of what this is about,” Ruffalo said dismissively. Then he added something crucial: “The fact of the matter is Leonardo DiCaprio’s voice carries farther than anyone one of those politicians, even the president. And that is significant and he knows he has a responsibility to the people in the world to get this message out because he feels in his heart it is right.”

Ruffalo’s answer begs two very important questions: Why do some celebrities lecture average Americans on how they’re destroying the environment, while they spare no luxury for themselves? And why do the media continue to promote these celebrities and ignore their hypocrisy?

This report looks at 12 celebrities who are so disconnected from reality that they can’t see the hypocrisy in sitting in their big houses and condemning middle class Americans for driving too much, or for not switching their entire lifestyles to eco-friendly. These celebrities are worth a combined total of $1.9 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

And yet, the news media love them. When DiCaprio stood in front of the UN and suggested taxing the fossil fuel industry out of existence, ABC’s Good Morning America called him “incredibly committed” and praised him for “advocating bold changes to tackle climate change” and for “not just talking the talk.”

Just three months earlier DiCaprio told the UN delegates that “if we do not act together, we will surely perish,” he had flown to South America on a private plane, to cruise around Brazil on the yacht of an Abu Dhabi oil billionaire. But Good Morning America didn’t mention this at all.

Variety praised actor Ian Somerhalder (Boone Carlyle from Lost) for his eco-foundation’s “laser-focused on environmental issues,” while he spent his time flying to exotic countries and his foundation only gave away one-thousandth of the money it got in donations. This doesn’t stop him for blaming average people for global warming.

The 12 celebrities chosen to highlight in this report are: Leonardo DiCaprio, Woody Harrelson, Julia Roberts, James Cameron, Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, Ian Somerhalder, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Damon, Cameron Diaz and John Travolta.

The media have used all of these celebrities to help promote their own climate alarmist agenda, while simply ignoring or glossing over any inconsistencies or contradictions. This report doesn’t focus on every single celebrity hypocrite. Instead, it looks at 12 whose lifestyles contradict their activism.

During the past six months of 2014 alone, ABC, CBS and NBC interviewed the celebrities highlighted in this report 25 times. Not once during any of these interviews did the networks suggest that the celebrities’ lavish lifestyles might disqualify them from lecturing others. Instead, they have referred to them as “incredibly committed,” “responsible” and praised them for “promoting the cause” of combatting climate change.

Climate of Hypocrisy: The Official Impact Rating

MRC Business rated each of these celebrities on a scale of one to five (five being the highest) to determine who was the most hypocritical. The higher the level of hypocrisy, the higher the rating.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Drowning in a Sea of Hypocrisy

Net worth: $220 Million

Houses: Two adjoining properties in the Hollywood Hills, six-bedroom mansion in Palm Springs, California, two apartments in Battery Park City, New York, an apartment in Greenwich Village, New York, beachfront estate in Malibu, California (sold in 2014)

Yachts, planes, cars: Personal party yacht, rented yacht, frequent flier

Foundation: The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (part of the $1 billion California Community Foundation)

Board Seats: World Wildlife Fund, Oceans 5, Pristine Seas, Natural Resources Defense Council, International Fund for Animal Welfare

Eco-awards: United Nations Messenger of Peace, Clinton Global Citizen Award

Famous for: Actor (Titanic, The Aviator, Inception, Shutter Island, The Wolf of Wall Street)

Notable Quote: “I am not a scientist.”

Former Titanic heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio is a classic example of a celebrity climate change phony. DiCaprio is one of the most vocal climate change alarmists in Hollywood. He even created his own climate change documentary, The 11th Hour, and was awarded the status of “UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change.”

But, when he’s not blaming conservatives for destroying the planet, DiCaprio is cruising in his private yacht, or flying among the four houses he owns, scattered on both coasts. DiCaprio seems to think that his own air travel doesn’t affect the environment the way he claims it does for other people, even telling the German daily Bild that he planned to “fly around the world doing good for the environment.”

Addressing the UN in September 2014, DiCaprio argued “I am not a scientist, but I don’t need to be. Because the world’s scientific community has spoken, and they have given us our prognosis: if we do not act together, we will surely perish.”

He added, “we need to put a price tag on carbon emissions and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy. They don’t deserve our tax dollars  –  they deserve our scrutiny. For the economy itself will die if our ecosystems collapse.”

His movie-star charisma and urgent appeals made DiCaprio a news media favorite. On ABC’s Good Morning America on Sept. 24, 2014, Lara Spencer praised DiCaprio’s activism, without even hinting at his hypocrisy.

“Let do some pop news, shall we?” Spencer said. “We begin with Leonardo DiCaprio. He has joined Instagram and not to post selfies. He's using it to advance a cause that he is incredibly committed to. His first post is a snapshot with the UN secretary-general at the United Nations Climate Summit, where he spoke on Tuesday, advocating bold changes to tackle climate change.

“He also posted a picture with climate activist and former Vice President Al Gore. And Leo's not just talking the talk here, people. He launched a nonprofit organization focused on the environment and was recently named a UN messenger of peace for promoting the cause.”

But DiCaprio is absolutely just talking the talk. Despite making a big deal out of flying commercial, DiCaprio took a private plane to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. While there, he stayed on the 470-foot yacht of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahayan -- the chair of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company. DiCaprio had rented the same yacht in April 2014, to co-host an ‘80s themed party with Jamie Foxx and Orlando Bloom.

On New Year’s Eve 2013, DiCaprio and fellow actor Jonah Hill flew from Sydney, Australia to Las Vegas on a chartered 747, according to The New York Post – just to attend two separate parties.

According to The Daily Mail (UK), “even if he flew on a commercial jet for all of flights, his carbon footprint so far [September 23] in 2014 would be a minimum of 40 million metric tons of CO2 spewed into the atmosphere, more than twice the average American output for an entire year.” And that was with three months left in the year!

The same article mentioned that a private jet’s carbon emissions can be more than 37 times higher than those produced by flying commercial. The New York Times also used this statistic, adding that some private jets (the article specifically referred to one that former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Bermuda routinely) can produce up to 130 times the emissions of a commercial flight.

Yet, somehow this hypocrisy didn’t disqualify DiCaprio from becoming a poster child for the environmental movement. According to his foundation’s website, DiCaprio “currently serves on the board of the World Wildlife Fund, Oceans 5, Pristine Seas, The Natural Resources Defense Council, and International Fund for Animal Welfare.” The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is a component fund of the California Community Foundation.

DiCaprio is also a partner and board member at Oceans 5 (which is ironic, since he’s practically the only person in Hollywood who wasn’t involved in one of the Oceans movies). Oceans 5 is a project of the liberal Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and coordinates the donations of several liberal foundations, including Pew Charitable Trusts, the Clinton Global Initiative, EarthJustice, the Environmental Policy Institute and, of course, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

ABC also used DiCaprio in 2000 to interview then-president Bill Clinton during its Planet Earth 2000 special. Among other questions, DiCaprio asked Clinton how the U.S. could “not practice what we preach” in regards to taking action to prevent the climate change apocalypse. He also asked if there was a way to “promote hybrid vehicles and convince people to give up their SUVs.”

James Cameron: Writer, Director, Producer, Eco-terrorism Supporter

Net worth: $700 Million

Houses: 3 houses

Yachts, planes, cars: Motorcycles, cars, dirt bikes, a yacht, a helicopter, a fleet of submarines (including one costing $32 million) and a Humvee fire truck

Foundation: Avatar Global Foundation, Blue Planet Marine Research Foundation

Famous for: Writer, Director (The Terminator, Aliens, Avatar)

Notable Quote: “I believe in eco-terrorism.”

In an interview after Avatar was released, Entertainment Weekly commented that the movie was “the perfect eco-terrorism recruiting tool.” Unphased, James Cameron replied “Good, good. I like that one. I consider that a positive review. I believe in ecoterrorism.”

According to Cameron in an interview with USA Today, the film Avatar was “a cautionary tale about our own environment.” In the movie rogue marines were portrayed as heroes – for turning on and killing their fellow marines to protect the environment of the distant planet Pandora.

Starring in the nine part alarmist Showtime Documentary Years of Living Dangerously, Cameron warned future generations were going to be left with a “world that’s in shambles” because of climate change. Yet, the director owns a collection of motorcycles, cars, dirt bikes, a yacht, a helicopter, a fleet of submarines and a Humvee fire truck.

CBS News promoted this documentary in five separate broadcasts.

Both ABC and CBS praised Cameron for his submarine purchase. On CBS This Morning on August 4, 2014, anchor Gayle King said she loved Cameron’s “passion and curiosity” while correspondent Bill Whitaker used the interview to promote Avatar and what Cameron told him could be “five or six” potential sequels.

Cameron has been outspoken against those skeptical of climate change calling them “swine,” according to Ecorazzi, and “boneheads” that he wanted to “shoot it out with.”

Independent filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney called out Cameron in 2010 for telling TheLos Angeles Times that “[w]e’re going to have to live with less” to combat climate change, while he himself lived in luxury.

The Independent (UK) reported in 2010 that Cameron owned three houses in Southern California (including one in prestigious Malibu) that take up more than 24,000 square feet combined and “each have heated swimming pools,” but were sorely lacking in “a single energy-saving solar panel or windmill.”

The Avatar Global Foundation, created by Cameron in 2010 after the release of his Academy Award winning film, donates each year to environmental causes. Cameron is also the president of the Blue Planet Marine Research Foundation, through which he purchased a $32 million submarine for deep sea exploration.

John Travolta: This is Your Captain Speaking, Asking You to Ignore My Hypocrisy

Net worth: $165 Million

Houses: Mansion in Florida with two runways

Yachts, planes, cars: 5 private jets

Famous for: Actor (Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Hairspray)

Notable Quote: “I'm probably not the best candidate to ask about global warming because I fly jets.”

Even Travolta himself has admitted that “I'm probably not the best candidate to ask about global warming because I fly jets.” He has continued to lecture others about using alternative fuels, but excused himself by saying "I use them as a business tool though, as others do. I think it's part of this industry – otherwise I couldn't be here doing this and I wouldn't be here now."

According to the London Evening Standard (UK), despite telling British fans to “‘do their bit’ to tackle global warming,” Travolta has been “clocking up at least 30,000 flying miles in the past 12 months means he has produced an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions – nearly 100 times the average Briton's tally.”

Travolta has also been an “Ambassador-at-Large” for Australia’s Qantas airlines since 2002. Qantas’ website said that “John Travolta continues to fly his Boeing 707 and represents the Qantas brand both in Australian and overseas.”

Travolta’s solution to climate change? "I'm wondering if we need to think about other planets and dome cities.” He added that "[e]veryone can do their bit. But I don't know if it's not too late already. We have to think about alternative methods of fuel.”

Al Gore: Making Hundreds of Millions off of Greenwashing

Net worth: $300 Million

Yachts, planes, cars: private jet

Foundation/Nonprofit: The Climate Reality Project

Eco-awards: Nobel Prize

Famous for: Former-Vice President of the United States, former owner of Current TV, Actor (An Inconvenient Truth)

Notable Quote: “I wish that I had been wrong.”

Al Gore didn’t start his career as a celebrity, but the media have certainly turned him into one.

On January 29, 2013’s edition of NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer praised the former-Vice President for having "never shied away from the very tough issues" and asked, "after years of calling people's attention to this issue, and now we've seen Superstorm Sandy and tornadoes and drought and extreme temperatures, do you feel vindicated?"

Gore replied, "well, I wish that I had been wrong. And I wish that the scientists whose message I was carrying had been wrong. It's not about me. It's about us and what we do to safeguard our future."

During the interview, Gore eagerly used such disasters to promote his cause: "today is the three-month anniversary of Superstorm Sandy … these storms, it's like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation on the news every day now."

The same month that Gore sat for this interview, he sold his Current TV network to Al Jazeera – the international news network partly owned by the Qatari royal family for $500 million. The entire economy of Qatar is based on oil. Apparently to Gore, $500 million was worth more than the future of the planet. Since Gore personally owned a 20 percent stake in Current TV, this could have meant a $100 million payout for him, according to The New York Times.

Early in that interview, Lauer did ask Gore about this sale and his apparent hypocrisy, but then quickly went back to praising Gore for his climate change alarmism. He even let Gore excuse himself by saying that this sale was justified because Al Jazeera had “established itself as a really respected news-gathering network.”

For someone who claims a climate change apocalypse is just around the corner, Gore doesn’t seem to feel the need to change his own extravagant lifestyle. Gore predicted in 2007, as he accepted his Nobel Prize, that the Arctic ice cap could have as few as seven years left. Despite this, Gore has jetted around to speaking tours all over the world.

Gore’s “Live Earth” concerts are perhaps his biggest hypocrisy. While not accomplishing more than “raising awareness” for climate change alarmism, his concert in 2007 managed to produce as much carbon emissions as 3,000 residents of the U.K. would produce in a year, according to The Guardian. The British news outlet even compared the concert to holding “a hog roast to promote vegetarianism.” Performers at the event flew a combined total of at least 222,000 miles, while the number of cars, planes and other forms of transportation used by attendees undoubtedly far surpassed that.

Gore announced in January 2015 that he plans to host a second concert on June 18. In response to criticisms about the carbon-spewing of celebrities at the last event, co-organizer Pharrell Williams has said that the 100-artist event with locations on all seven continents will “do something very different this time.” Whether or not this concert lives up to that promise remains to be seen.

In 2007, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research (now the Beacon Center of Tennessee) found that Gore’s “20-room home and pool house devoured nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours in 2006, more than 20 times the national average,” according to an ABC News online story. Despite also briefly mentioning this in a newscast, ABC joined the other networks in praising Gore. In 2014 alone, there were five non-interview instances where the networks praised Gore for being a “climate activist.”

Despite this report, Gore told The New York Times on March 16, 2015, that he has reduced the environmental impact of his home, adding “I do walk the walk, and don’t just talk the talk.” How much he has reduced that impact, or whether or not this change was before or after the Tennessee Center for Policy Research report was not mentioned. The New York Times did not ask him for more details, and the only criticism mentioned in the story (which was the main story for the Science Times section) was presented to Gore for rebuttal.

Yet, Gore is outspoken in his insistence that the climate change apocalypse is not only coming, it’s right around the corner. And the media have repeatedly ignored Gore’s hypocrisy.

In his December 10, 2007 Nobel Prize speech, Gore said “Last September 21, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is ‘falling off a cliff.’ One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years.”

Meanwhile, the Antarctic Ice cap has been steadily increasing, although climate alarmists dismissed this increase as actually being caused by warming temperatures.

Arianna Huffington: A Paycheck Signed by Actual Activisits

Net worth: $50 Million

Famous for: Media Mogul (The Huffington Post)

Notable Quote: “There seems to be an epidemic of literal-mindedness at the moment.”

Media mogul Arianna Huffington has committed an entire section of her Huffington Post website to environmentalism and climate change alarmism, yet she herself flies in aprivate jet. According to Huffington, though, it’s not her jet that endangers the climate – it’s soccer moms and their SUVs.

In 2003, she condemned SUV owners for “supporting terrorists,” in a series of television commercials. But when she was asked to clarify that comment by the liberal (and Soros-funded) outlet Mother Jones, she complained that “[t]here seems to be an epidemic of literal-mindedness at the moment.” She claimed she was just creating satire. Not surprisingly, Mother Jones accepted this explanation, and fully endorsed Huffington’s campaign, dubbed the “Detroit Project.”

The “satirical” commercials stated “this is George ... And these are the terrorists who get money every time George fills up his SUV." Huffington compared these commercials to “A Modest Proposal,” in which the famous author Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels) suggested that the poor Irish fatten up their children and sell them to the wealthy Irish as food.

Huffington also attends the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This year alone, an estimated 1,700 private jets flew into Switzerland for the conference.  Ironically, the top article featured on the “Agenda” section of the World Economic Forum website on January 19, claimed that “[d]ecarbonising the global economy in a matter of decades is the number one priority” at Davos.

The Huffington Post admitted that “it's a bit ironic to discuss climate change at Davos, a remote location in Switzerland that requires a tremendous carbon footprint to even get to,” but didn’t call out attendees, including Huffington herself, for attending the conference.

Huffington also ran into trouble when she sold The Huffington Post to AOL. Angry and unpaid Huffington Post bloggers complained about her $100-million payday, demanding a piece of the action. That escalated into a strike that involved the newspaper union and even a law suit against her.

Matt Damon: Oil Money for Eco-causes

Net worth: $75 Million

Famous for: Actor (The Bourne Identity, Good Will Hunting, Oceans Eleven, The Monuments Men)

Notable Quote: “Nobody wants to go see a movie where they get a message at the end.”

Jason Bourne might have his memories back, but Matt Damon can’t seem to remember how to follow his own advice on climate change.

Damon’s 2012 movie Promised Land which attempted to villainize the natural gas industry, was produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi. That company was owned wholly by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the CIA World Factbook, UAE exported $166 billion of crude oil in 2013. UAE is also a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Oil producing nations have been very concerned by U.S. fracking for financial (not environmental) reasons.

Documentary director Phelim McAleer asked Damon about the foreign-oil funding at a December 3, 2012, promotional event for Promised Land in New York. McAleer, who directed the pro-fracking film FrackNation, asked Damon, "how does it feel to be a fully-paid advocate for an oil-rich Middle Eastern government – and doesn't that really negate any artistic credibility... that the Promised Land might have?"

Damon, who served as both writer and producer of Promised Land, claimed that “[t]he first time we were aware that Image Nation was involved with our movie was when we saw the rough cut and saw their logo."

Damon was also in denial about what constituted “bias.” The actor said that he didn’t make a biased movie and claimed he just wanted to start a conversation on the subject. “Nobody wants to go see a movie where they get a message at the end. That really wasn't our intent. It was just to show this moment in time in our country, and what happens when big money collides with real people, people who are struggling on the back end of a recession,” he told The Morning Call, a Lehigh Valley, Pa., newspaper. Damon was right about one thing. Not very many people wanted to see his movie.

Climate alarmists often attack climate skeptics with allegations of fossil fuel funding, but Damon remains a high-profile environmentalist in spite of the connection.

Ian Somerhalder: Tweeting about Climate Change from 30,000 Feet

Net worth: $4 Million

Foundation/Nonprofit: Ian Somerhalder Foundation

Eco-awards: 2012 International Green Awards

Famous for: Actor (Lost, Vampire Diaries)

Notable Quote: “Beautiful morning in LA-sun, breeze but can't open my window b/c of the exhaust coming off of street-time to end conventional gas engine.PLS”

Even among celebrities, there are few people more blatantly out of touch than Ian Somerhalder. The Lost and Vampire Diaries actor has tweeted from an airplane about the evils of taxi pollution. He’s also wished that people would stop driving cars – not because it would hurt the environment, but because it made him not want to open the windows in his apartment.

He whined about the pollution caused by “giant gas-guzzling things we hurl ourselves through the air in” – before going on a globetrotting trip in one of those airplanes that offended him so much. Despite his penchant for air travel, Somerhalder informed his fan base that he would no longer be accepting paper fan mail, because it was “a DRAIN on our earth’s resources” (capitalization his).

Fortunately for us, Somerhalder loves Twitter (all typos are his). “Packing-back to Europe soon.Its crazy those giant gas-guzzling things we hurl ourselves through the air in arent powered by more bio fuels,” Somerhalder tweeted, as he prepared to board one of the same planes he condemned. During the month leading up to that tweet, Somerhalder had flown to China and Amsterdam, as well as to “NY,Spain,Canada,Russia Hungary, Italy,France,Brussels, England(for movie)then back to NY then ATL.”

Just after getting back from his globe trotting trip, Somerhalder complained “Beautiful morning in LA-sun, breeze but can't open my window b/c of the exhaust coming off of street-time to end conventional gas engine.PLS”.

Somerhalder is also a prime example of a celebrity who puts up a facade of doing charitable work. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation, with its website full of pictures of the actor posing with animals, took in $522,384 in 2013, but only gave out $550 in donations. That’s close to 1/1000th of the money it received for environmental causes.

But this didn’t stop Variety from praising Somerhalder, claiming that “His budding Ian Somerhalder Foundation is laser-focused on environmental issues.” Somerhalder also starred along with James Cameron in Years of Living Dangerously, during which he claimed that “within 50 years, half of all species on Earth will be extinct.”

Somerhalder was also named the “Most Responsible Celebrity” by the International Green Awards. In the description on the Green Awards website, with his foundation listed as proof Somerhalder was “known as a prolific environmental campaigner.”

Woody Harrelson: Actor Things the Holocaust is Funny, but Making Paper from Trees is 'Barbaric'

Net worth: $65 Million

Houses: Eco-friendly community in Maui, Hawaii


Famous for: Actor (Cheers, Hunger Games, Zombieland, No Country for Old Men, True Detective)

Notable Quote: “I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie.”

In 2012, Harrelson began taking a play he wrote and directed on a tour of Canada. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bullet for Hitler featured a “one-dimensional motley crew” which traded “insults and often deliberately offensive gags that riff on, among other subjects, the Holocaust and pedophilia.” Those topics might be fodder for jokes to Harrelson, but he has argued that making paper out of wood is no laughing matter.

"I'd like to see it get to the point where we never use trees to make paper because to me it's just a barbaric way to make it," Harrelson said according to CBC news (Canada). "It'd be nice to just stop using the forest. I hope people don't lose their jobs or can transition into other jobs, but to me, we've taxed the forest enough."

This is coming from the same man who attacked a photographer in 2009 because he “quite understandably mistook him for a zombie.”

Harrelson walks the walk more than most of the celebrities in this report, but only when he wants to. At the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, Harrelson realized that he had left his vegan belt and shoes behind. So he had them flown to France from California. Despite living in an “off-grid, eco-village community,” Harrelson’s home on Hawaii requires him to fly to the mainland several times a year for work and climate activism events.

In an interview with Details magazine, Harrelson said “I don't believe in politics. I'm an anarchist, I guess you could say. I think people could be just fine looking after themselves.” He also said that he saw politicians as “a subtle form of prostitution. Or maybe not so subtle.”

But this didn’t stop Harrelson from signing a Sierra Club petition calling for President Obama to use “the strongest resolve in fighting the climate effort on every front” by leading “an effort on the scale and with the urgency we need to phase out fossil fuels and lead America.”

Harrelson also provided voice-over work for a political commercial paid for by NextGen Climate. NextGen president Tom Steyer was the single largest donor in the 2014 election cycle. Steyer spent $74 million targeting conservatives in races across the country, but ended up with most of his candidates losing their elections.

Julia Roberts: The Voice of 'Mother Nature'

Net worth: $140 Million

Houses: Mansion in Malibu, California, house in Venice, California, Ranch in New Mexico, Apartment in Manhattan

Yachts, planes, cars: Part owner of a private jet (as of 2006)

Famous for: Actress (Steel Magnolias, Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich)

Notable Quote:  “ inability to deal with science on a brainiac kind of level.”

Before becoming a world-famous actress, Julia Roberts had initially wanted to become a veterinarian. According to, Roberts “abandoned this dream when she realized that she had ‘an inability to deal with science on a brainiac kind of level.’” Apparently this admission doesn’t exclude Roberts from being an expert on climate science.

In a new PSA for Conservation International, Roberts declared that nature has “fed species greater” than humans and has “starved species greater” than humans.

“Some call me nature. Others call me ‘Mother Nature’,” Roberts narrated ominously. “I’ve been here for over four and a half billion years. 22,500 times longer than you. I don’t really need people, but people need me. Yes, your future depends on me. When I thrive, you thrive. When I falter, you falter. Or worse. But I’ve been here for eons. I have fed species greater than you, and I have starved species greater than you. My oceans. My soil. My flowing streams. My forests. They all can take you or leave you. How you choose to live each day, whether you regard or disregard me, doesn’t really matter to me. One way, or the other. Your actions will determine your fate, not mine. I am nature. I will go on. I am prepared to evolve. Are you?”

Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, told LifeNews that the tone of Roberts’ speech is becoming typical for the environmental movement. “Even conservation groups – a noble cause – now seethe with an unhealthy anti-humanism that is both nihilistic and destructive to the cause of better environmental practices. I mean, who is going to follow a flag proclaiming Humans are Cancer!”

Roberts co-wrote a USA Today op-ed with Hillary Clinton in 2011 advocating for cleaner cooking stoves for third world nations – to prevent climate change. According to the op-ed, the greatest danger from unsafe cooking stoves wasn’t from smoke inhalation or the risk of fire.

“The impact goes beyond people's health. Burning these fuels produces carbon dioxide, methane, and black carbon, which contribute to climate change. And cutting down trees for fuel causes natural habitats to dry up, forests to disappear, and soil to erode,” Roberts and Clinton wrote. Lower down on the priorities for replacing the stoves were imminent health risks or freeing up time so that women could get educations.

But Roberts owned at least part of a private jet through "pioneering fractional ownership company NetJets," according to NBC News in 2006. Roberts has also been spotted boarding private jets with her family as recently as December 2013.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Out of Touch Obama Fangirl

Net worth: $60 Million

Houses: House in London, UK, six bedroom, eight bath home in Los Angeles

Famous for: Actress (Emma, Great Expectations, Iron Man, The Avengers)

Notable Quote: "Cameron, do you turn your thermostat down to 65 degrees and wear a sweater?"

Gwyneth Paltrow teamed up with fellow actress (and fellow star of this MRC report) Cameron Diaz to encourage Americans to switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs and hybrid cars, in order to combat global warming. This team effort was part of a PSA from the Environmental Media Association. To show solidarity, the actresses added that they turn off their lights when they leave their bedrooms, and turn their thermostats “down to 65 degrees and wear a sweater” to conserve energy. But even if these actresses do turn off lights, it doesn’t offset the rest of their lifestyle choices.

The two also collaborated on Act Green, an environmental website that now redirects to the League of Conservation Voters.

Paltrow and ex-husband Chris Martin of Coldplay were criticized for insisting on being driven .06 miles between two celebrity get-togethers in 2012. Other celebrities, including Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr, Jane Fonda and Amy Smart, had no problem walking between the two events.

Despite stunts like this, Paltrow was 9th most influential climate change celebrity in 2011, according to The Guardian. Time magazine also listed her as one of “The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet.”

Paltrow’s London, England house with Martin used 1,020 kWh of heat a year, according to a report by the British news outlet, which used a thermal imaging camera to calculate electricity consumption. For perspective, according to the UK government, the average electricity consumption for a British household in 2013 was 4,170 kWh. The couple also bought a $14 million Malibu estate, before splitting up in 2014.

Paltrow has also been known to fly frequently, and has traveled on Steven Spielberg’s luxury yacht.

Even the media have criticized Paltrow for being out of touch – just not about climate change. In October 2014, Paltrow’s neighbors complained that a fundraiser she held for President Obama at her house had massively inconvenienced them. According to The New York Times, “[t]raffic stood still, children were stranded at school, residents could not leave their own driveways. That’s not the way life is supposed to be lived in Mandeville Canyon.”

One neighbor was quoted as saying that Paltrow’s behavior was “more than poor planning, it’s an abuse of power and, most importantly, unneighborly.”

This was the same fundraiser where Paltrow proclaimed that Obama was “so handsome that I can't speak properly.”

On NBC’s Today on March 24, 2013, Paltrow was criticized for suggesting “fashion essentials” that totalled nearly half a million dollars. NBC agreed with critics of Paltrow that this was “a clear sign she`s out of touch with real women.”

Mark Ruffalo: Hulk Smash Anyone Who Criticizes Climate Change Alarmist Hypocrites

Net worth: $20 Million

Famous for: Actor (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Shutter Island)

Notable Quote: “Anyone who attacks Leonardo DiCaprio is either a coward or an ideologue.”

This May, Ruffalo will reprise his role as The Incredible Hulk. In real life, his climate change activism hides a not-so-green hulking monster.

When Climate Depot asked Mark Ruffalo at the 2014 People’s Climate March if people like Gore and DiCaprio are really the best spokespeople to “fight global warming,” since they have huge “carbon footprints,” the actor was nothing short of dismissive.  

“Oh brother,” Ruffalo responded. “That is a question you shouldn’t be asking here today because that defies the spirit of what this is about.”

He added that “[a]nyone who attacks Leonardo DiCaprio is either a coward or an ideologue.” Apparently there is no room for thinking poorly of DiCaprio’s habits of flying around the world to attend multiple parties in the same night, or borrowing the yacht of a Middle East oil billionaire twice.

Ruffalo has also been an outspoken critic of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a process for extracting natural gas from shale deposits deep underground. To further his cause, Ruffalo promoted flawed “facts” about how fracking causes water pollution and how it can cause tap water in nearby houses to catch on fire.

In reality, some people have been able to light their water on fire since the 18th century, long before hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling were used to capture natural gas. And many reports of contaminated water and other environmental impacts have proved inaccurate or overblown.

Popular Mechanics wrote in a series on fracking myths that a particular example of a flaming tap used repeatedly by the media “appears a damning indictment of the gas drilling nearby. But Colorado officials determined the gas wells weren’t to blame; instead, the homeowner’s own water well had been drilled into a naturally occurring pocket of methane.”

Climate isn’t the only area where Ruffalo is a hypocrite. Despite joining the Occupy Wall Street protesters to rant against wealth and the financial industry, Ruffalo himself is worth $20 million.

Cameron Diaz: Envying the Third World from the Comforts of Beverly Hills

Famous for: Actress (Charlie’s Angels, The Other Woman, Shrek)

Notable Quote: "Let me tell you about hybrid cars. I have one”

Diaz told Marie Claire in 2009 “The planet needs a publicist. I had this cartoon in my head a couple of years ago when Paris Hilton was going to jail and Britney Spears was falling apart. There’s a woman at a desk talking to planet Earth, and she’s like, ‘I’m going to make you a star!” And it says, ‘But I’m a planet. And she’s like “No, I can tell, you’re going to be bigger than Paris and Britney. When I’m done with you, everyone’s going to know who you are!”

As part of her faux-eco campaign, Diaz joined other celebrities in 2008 to make the MTV series Trippin’, which praised the planet’s most primitive lifestyles as being earth-friendly despite their high infant mortality rates and short life expectancies.

The 32-year-old Diaz, who earns a reported $20-million a movie, boasted that the cow-dung slathered walls of a Nepalese village hut were "beautiful" and "inspiring," and she called the primitive practice of "pounding mud" with sticks to construct a building foundation "the coolest thing."

"I am going to go pound some mud, baby! Mmm," Diaz said to the cameras. "It was the coolest thing to be a part of," she added. This was probably easier to say since it wasn’t necessary for her survival.

Despite the celebrities' praise for the primitive life, Trippin' showed them flying on multiple airplanes and chartering at least two helicopters and one boat to reach remote locations over the course of the first four episodes.

The series tried to explain the celebrities' use of pollution-generating planes and SUVs to get from one remote location to another by featuring a program note at the end of each show which stated: "To reduce global warming, Trippin' offset all of the energy used to make this show by supporting renewable energy products."

Yet, on January 11, 2007, meteorologist Sam Champion praised both Diaz and DiCaprio on ABC’s Good Morning America for “practicing what they preach” about climate change. He said this while promoting these and other celebrities eco-activists including Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Champion made sure to mention that Diaz “drives her own hybrid car” (a point Diaz herself brought up in her environmental PSA with Gwyneth Paltrow in 2001) as an example of her dedication to the cause.


Not every celebrity climate change hypocrite was included in this report. These 12 celebrities are in good company.

At the 2014 UN Climate Summit, the speakers alone (not the attendees or notable guests for the summit) traveled a grand total of 1,036,537 miles from locations as distant as China, India and Peru. That's enough miles to circle the equator 41.6 times.

According to the UN itself, in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, "more than 95 percent of our total carbon footprint resulted from air travel." A 2014 study by the British government even found that “[people who claim to worry about climate change use more electricity than those who do not.”

Hollywood has many more climate change alarmist hypocrites who weren’t included in this report). Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, commuted more than 300 miles to work by jet, multiple times a week). Paul McCartney once had his Lexus hybrid car flown from Japan to the UK, which The Huffington Post admitted caused its “transport footprint” to be “over 100 times greater than it should have been.” Not only did Live Earth Concert star Madonna fly all over the world to promote her career, The Daily Mail (UK) reported that she owned “a collection of fuel-guzzling cars, including a Mercedes Maybach, two Range Rovers, Audi A8s and a Mini Cooper S.”

Trudie Styler, the wife of Sting, even admitted in 2008 that the couple were climate change hypocrites. According to The Daily Mail (UK), “[e]nvironmental experts labelled Sting's band, The Police, the dirtiest in the world because of the amount of pollution created during last year's reunion tour of the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan.”

The media’s, and particularly the broadcast networks’, lack of coverage of this hypocrisy is inexcusable. The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states that journalists need to “Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.” Yet, in covering for these celebrities, the media broke this rule in order to promote a liberal, climate change alarmist agenda.


For this report, MRC Business looked for examples of celebrities who were prominent climate change alarmists, and compared their message to their lifestyles. All net worth information came from Celebrity Net Worth. Both Nexis and the Internet were used to search both all English language news sources, as well as specifically ABC, NBC and CBS news broadcasts.

In determining who should be included in this report, MRC Business looked for examples of celebrities who were looked to as experts on climate change, by using lists including one from The Guardian (UK).

This report also only looks at people who advocated living with less for the sake of the planet, but who failed to follow their own advice. Celebrities who actually made a determined effort to live a “green” lifestyle were excluded from this list, even if they were vocal climate change alarmists.

Recommendations for Journalists

MRC Business has the following recommendations for journalists who are reporting on the environmental activism or philanthropy of celebrities.

  • Treat Celebrities Honestly: Celebrities may be famous, but that doesn’t mean that they should automatically get a platform to promote their eco-agenda. Journalists need to recognize that just because someone is well known, doesn’t mean they are well informed. Statements made by celebrities should be evaluated with the same scrutiny as statements given by anyone else.

  • Don’t Pick and Choose the News: The Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics states that journalists should “support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.” It is incumbent upon journalists to analyze the background for groups and individuals on both ends of the political spectrum.

  • Do Some Genuine Journalism and Investigate Celebrity Climate Change Alarmists: Journalists can’t afford to be starstruck. Media outlets should hold celebrities accountable for their actions, and not turn a blind eye when a celebrity’s lifestyle contradicts his or her message.