The president, a climate scientist, and a '90s heartthrob walk onto the White House South Lawn. - Grist

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We Need To Talk

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

The president, a climate scientist, and a ’90s heartthrob walk onto the White House South Lawn.

What follows is a wide-ranging discussion of climate change and how to deal with it. The conversation — between President Obama, climatologist Katharine Hayhoe, and actor/moderator/bear victim Leonardo DiCaprio — was part of the White House’s SXSL conference Monday.

“If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in science or facts or empirical truths, and in my opinion should not be allowed to hold public office,” DiCaprio said while introducing the panel.

Obama went on to prove himself worthy of said office: “Climate change is happening even faster than five years ago or 10 years ago. What we’re seeing [today] is the pessimistic end of what was possible … which means we’re really in a race against time. We can’t put up with climate denial or obstructionist politics for very long, if we want to leave for the next generation beautiful days like today.”

Hayhoe agreed, adding, “On average, every year 200,000 people die from air pollution from burning fossil fuels. Air pollution alone gives us all the reason we need to shift toward clean energy, let alone climate change.”

Watch the full conversation here: