Yahoo chat with Leo DiCaprio and Sir Arthur C Clarke
Posted by Pax, typed by Pitssymoon - September 27, 2001

Yahoo: Hey folks.... Keep sending your questions... for Leonardo DiCaprio... and Sir Arthur C Clarke.

Yahoo: We'll be chatting about what can be done to protect gorillas in their natural habitats... Leonardo will be joining us from Southern California... and Sir Arthur will be in Sri Lanka... So, this will be a global event!

Yahoo: We're getting lots of great questions for Leo... Please send some in for Sir Arthur C. Clarke as well!

Yahoo: Welcome to Yahoo Chat. Our chat with Leonardo DiCaprio and Sir Arthur C. Clarke will start in a few minutes... Keep sending in your questions!

Arthur C. Clarke: test

Yahoo: It looks like Arthur is rarin' to go... We'll get started in a few minutes

Yahoo: As many of you know... Leonardo is passionately committed to helping the environment... and he's particularly interested in the plight of endangered gorillas...

Yahoo: Sir Arthur C. Clarke is the author of 2001... and he too, is committed to preserving the environment...

Yahoo: Please send in your questions now! We'll get started in a few minutes.

We have to end the fossil fuel age as soon as possible, use solar energy and other forms of energy...
Arthur C. Clarke

Yahoo: OK, folks... Let's get started with Sir Arthur C. Clarke! Welcome to Yahoo! Chat

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: This is Arthur Clarke standing by ready to, here in Colombo.

Question: C. Clarke and Leo, how do you feel about global warming and the constant problems with our environment?

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: That's a trillion dollar question!

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: They are still arguing whether global warming is happening, but the consensus is it is.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: We have to cut down on the causes - we have to end the fossil fuel age as soon as possible, use solar energy and other forms of energy...

Question: Sir Clarke - 2001 was a fantastic look into the future - now that the "future" is here, how is it different from what you had envisioned?

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: I've often been asked this. Stanley and I made 2001 before men had even landed on the moon, though it was on the way.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: We had to make a movie that wouldn't look ridiculous after we did land... we had to look into the future.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: Where we were wrong was that the space program ground to a halt after the moon landing, we didn't go to mars and jupiter.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: It's hard to realize that in the 1960's they were talking about human beings on mars in the 1980's!

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: So these ideas didn't seem fantastic when we wrote the movie.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: We've only explored the solar system with probes.

Yahoo: OK, and Leonardo DiCaprio is now in the room!

Yahoo: Welcome to the chat, Leo!

Leo DiCaprio: Hello all. Glad to have you with us!

Question: Leonardo, as an environmentalist, what made you focus on the endangered gorillas as opposed to any other endangered species?

Leo DiCaprio: It's a complicated question. Partly because they're so closely linked to us. Virtually our cousins.

Leo DiCaprio: Animals on the verge of of the saddest things in the world to have them wiped off the earth.

Leo DiCaprio: It's affected me since I was a young boy.

Leo DiCaprio: In no way do we want to make light of the situation in America by talking about gorilla conversation. We discussed postponing the chat... this is a desperate situation.

Leo DiCaprio: These gorillas are being killed off at an alarmed rate. Everyday, they get closer to extinction.

Leo DiCaprio: Experts say these gorillas are THE most endangered mammals on Earth!

Leo DiCaprio: Thank you everyone for being here and trying to give some attention to the subject, especially with all other situations going on around the world.

These gorillas are THE most endangered mammals on Earth!
Leo DiCaprio

Question: How can we help save these gorillas from our own little corners of this world?

Leo DiCaprio: Well, it's seriously complex issue. One that gets into politics in the Congo, but the main thing we're trying to push is that any donations to this effort would be fantastic. It would help people be able to create "Gorilla friendly technology from leading companies"

Leo DiCaprio: People demand this from companies like Motorola, Nokia, Intel, the items in consumer electronics.

Leo DiCaprio: What's going on the Congo... and why they're being killed off...

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: The situation is rather complicated. There's a material based on the element Tantalum which is used in computers, all your cell phones, it's absolutely vital to out technology, and the main source is in the Congo and the gorilla habitat.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: The locals collect this element and in the process cut down their habitat, their trees, and in the process, also kill the gorillas for meat, it's a terrible situation.

Leo DiCaprio: Stopping these would be more harm to the Gorillas than not. We have to find a way to work with the people who are involved in mining it.

Leo DiCaprio: Gorillas can actually benefit from having this material in their back yard.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: Everyone needs to benefit - we can't stop the production, it would bring down our civilization with no cell phones, but we have to make everyone benefit.

Question: Hi Leonardo. What projects - apart from this chat - are planned to gain international awareness of the illegal mining of coltan, the unnecessary use of same for high tech products and the fatal result in respect to the gorillas? Until recently I didn't personally have the slightest idea that my cell phone could contain such stuff and have any connection what so ever to the gorillas - trust this goes for most of us...

Leo DiCaprio: Neither did I until I started to understand about the issue.

Leo DiCaprio: It's important to understand we want to urge the public to look for gorilla friendly technology. Write to your organizations for cellular phones to find out where this Coltan is coming from. Help make it a positive thing for gorillas.

Question: What can learn from people like Dian Fossey?

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: The reverence for all forms of like, and particularly those, of course, closest to us.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: On a personal note, I hope you've seen Gorillas in the Mist. Sigourney Weaver who played her, she reminded me as a 11 year old girl, she saw her first copy of Playboy magazine, when she was riffling my briefcase while I was visiting her father!

Question: Is the use of Tantalum going to affect technology in the way you use it in your life, Leo?

Leo DiCaprio: I think it's up to organizations to figure out a way for people to be aware whether or not their products are gorilla friendly.

Leo DiCaprio: I wanted to get into some surprising things I learned recently with Penny Patterson and Koko. The subject of how closely we are related to them. How it's almost a form a specesism, the same as racism or sexism.

Leo DiCaprio: By killing these animals off, we're placing ourselves on a higher plane. Like Genocide.

Leo DiCaprio: Koko's reaction to WTC attack. She said, she felt very sorry about what happened!

Leo DiCaprio: She gave an audible sigh. She responded to things like life and death. Here's a conversation where an interviewer asked animals for when they die. Her answer was, 'A comfortable hole, bye bye'

Leo DiCaprio: "When do they die?", her answer was "When they are unhappy or old."

By killing these animals off, we're placing ourselves on a higher plane. Like Genocide.
Leonardo DiCaprio

Leo DiCaprio: Very profound things come from this gorilla. Almost like the closest thing to contacting alien life forms, communication with another species that has a moral belief system.

Leo DiCaprio: To lose these animals would be an insane tragedy.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: If one day any superior alien comes to earth, we may be judged the way we've treated the other inhabitants of our planet.

Question: Do you see American government role in this cause?

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: Obviously governments have to play some role, but private individuals will start it, and then convince their governments.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: It all starts with the individual.

Leo DiCaprio: Absolutely. More active in all walks of the environmental struggle, from Global warming to endangered species.

Leo DiCaprio: As an economic superpower, we could make some dramatic changes. I want to really thank everyone for being a part of this Chat. It means American Citizens are focused on these kinds of issues. It shows you know it's important.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: I'm glad to have joined you for this, and I hope the work we're doing will make the world a better place for human beings and all the life forms.

Leo DiCaprio:

Sir Arthur C. Clarke: Thank you Leo for the bottle of Tammany Hall wine you sent me, with the note that says, "I hope you live to drink this in 3001!"... I think that's a bit optimistic, but thank you!!

Leo DiCaprio: Goodbye Arthur. Thank you so much!

Question: Leo and C. Clark, what are your main goals for out future? What do you hope to achieve by 2003?

Leo DiCaprio: Well, considering that the gorilla population was, two years ago, the Eastern Lowland Gorillas, were around 8000. With 400 being killed off a month, it's down to 800. This is a crisis situation for these animals. By doing this chat and being further involved, we can bring an awareness to this issue.

Leo DiCaprio: When you buy a can of tune, it's dolphin safe. When we buy our cellphones, I want to see that they're gorilla friendly. These "animals" are not so closely liked to us and similar trains of thought, but they took over 7 million years to develop into these perfections of nature and we can't afford to wipe them out in the blink of an eye.

Leo DiCaprio: Anything we can do to preserve these lifeforms for generations to come... would be wonderful.

Question: What could I do in my club at school to help save the gorillas?

Leo DiCaprio: You could write to the mobile phone companies, or have your school write a letter. It would make quite and impact to them. Nokia Motorola Intel...

Leo DiCaprio: It would really help to drive this matter home. The other thins is to go to my web site

Question: Wouldn't it be a good idea to start an organization like the red cross for these types of animals?

Leo DiCaprio: The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is an organization LIKE that. There have been calls for an UN Agency for Endangered Species. There's a lot of scope for that. At the moment there is not one... but

Leo DiCaprio: It would be very useful.

Question: What goal do you have set for yourself regarding to preserving the lives of gorillas?

Leo DiCaprio: I'd like to just find any way possible to ensure their survival. It starts not just me but anyone out there to look forward to what they buy as consumer and what they can do, donation wise.

Leo DiCaprio: The goal is to bring these gorillas OUT of the Endangered List... they are the MOST endangered mammal on earth.

Leo DiCaprio: When numbers drop that far down, you don't have that many dominant males and that makes you unable to ensure the survival of the species. To fight off disease for example, it's important to have strong members.

Leo DiCaprio: We need to get these animals to a comfortable population again. If people come BACK to my site in any few days, we'll have the address posted where you can send the letter.

If one day any superior alien comes to earth, we may be judged the way we've treated the other inhabitants of our planet.
Arthur C. Clarke

Leo DiCaprio: Tomorrow

Leo DiCaprio: Do it TOMORROW!

Question: Question for both Arthur C. Clarke and Leonardo DiCaprio. Have either of you had any up-close and personal experiences with these Gorillas, and if so, please describe them.

Leo DiCaprio: NO, I've not met these animals in the wild. I plan on going to National Park and trying to have some sort of experience. Like the rest of you, I've seen Gorillas in zoos. But you can ask that if people east them in the wild as bushmeat, why can't we just move them to preserves? Why? It's because they don't migrate and don't transplant.

Leo DiCaprio: There is no place to take them, or any way to get them there.

Leo DiCaprio: Unfortunately, the misfortune of the cards has made this mineral found in their homeland.

Question: Leo: Do you ever consider incorporating issues such as these into your movies?

Leo DiCaprio: Specifically, I'd love to do an environmental film. It would have to be done very well. It's a hard subject matter to take on. It's very morbid. It would certainly be depressing film, considering how sad and what's in store for us in the future.

Leo DiCaprio: But I would absolutely be enthusiastic as along as it was well made and hit important issues. So far, I haven't seen a real environmental film since Gorillas in the Mist.

Question: I've read that there are only 650 gorillas believe to be left in the wild. How much time will it take for them to become extinct if nothing is done to save them?

Leo DiCaprio: If nothing is done to save them?

Leo DiCaprio: It could be as little as 2-3 months!

Leo DiCaprio: Once again, this is why we decided that this chat had to be done today. And addressed now.

Leo DiCaprio: It couldn't wait another day.

Question: Why can't we take these Gorilla's out of their habitat and breed them somewhere else as they are doing with the pandas?

Yahoo: Greg is answering this one...

Leo DiCaprio: There's only 2 or 3 mountain gorillas ever in captivity They're very high strung. If we tried to relocate them, wed lose a good portion due to stress and trauma of the operation. It would be counterproductive.

Question: Would you consider doing and hosting a documentary on the subject Leonardo?

Leo DiCaprio: Absolutely!

Leo DiCaprio: I just wish that people would watch these. I did something on the subject matter of Global Warming.

Leo DiCaprio: I would be up to it and I wish people would pay more attention to these subjects. We can't lose sight of these issues and the future of Mother Earth.

Question: Do you think that schools do enough to educate children about environmental issues?

Yahoo: Greg answering this one, too...

Leo DiCaprio: The idea of schools "twinning" with other schools in faraway places... by linking the schools together. One in North America and one in Africa, for example. They communicate and discuss the issues they're dealing with.

If nothing is done to save them, they may be extinct within as little as 2-3 months!
Leonardo DiCaprio

Question: Do you think more education need to be made on this matter Leo?

Leo DiCaprio: Absolutely.

Leo DiCaprio: Anything we can do to bring up public awareness is ESSENTIAL. Anyone who wants to contribute, please go to

Leo DiCaprio: We wouldn't be as involved in this if we didn't believe in it. We can learn a lot from these gorillas. They have learned to coexist with each other in a peaceful and fair way. We can learn a lot from them.

Leo DiCaprio: About interacting with each other. We haven't even tapped into it yet.

Question: Leo I think you have what it takes to make a difference! Never give up a good cause is how I think. Would you ever consider running for governor?

Leo DiCaprio: I actually have a campaign next year! I was going to keep it a surprise. Yes.

Leo DiCaprio: I'm just kidding.

Question: Leonardo, I want to congratulate you for your commitment to the environment... even in your official web page, you dedicate more space to it than yourself.

Leo DiCaprio: Thank you so much.

Leo DiCaprio: Thanks for the compliment and I hope to do that as long as I live. It's a lifelong committment. There must be many of you out there who take this as serious as I. A lifelong pursuit.

Leo DiCaprio: Here's one more quote from KOKO...

Leo DiCaprio: A conversation between Koko and his trainer - She asked for a quote, saying she couldn't come up with any ideas. Koko said "Bad", and the trainer asked about what gorillas know that people done, "Don't know."

Leo DiCaprio: Then the trainer asked what is the meaning of life. Koko's answer was, "Polite people. People help good"

Leo DiCaprio: It proves once and for all how closely we are to these fast diminishing creatures. And I hope and urge you all will do something about it.

Leo DiCaprio: Thank you ,

Leo DiCaprio: Peace on Earth.

Thanks to Pitssymoon!