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Sunday
Feb282016

Hollywood Specializes in Fiction -- Beware of Following Its Policy Advice

Robert RedfordA still from Redford's video

As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences meets tonight in California to give awards to itself, it is as good a time as any to remind ourselves that there's a reason Hollywood specializes in fiction.

Example #1 is a press release by the green Natural Resources Defense Council touting a Robert Redford video for supposed words of wisdom about climate change.

Redford is a guy who recently tried to do a movie about Rathergate -- an event orders of magnitude less complicated than the global warming theory -- and he couldn't even get that right.

Redford's Rathergate movie, "Truth," was mocked (see here and here or just Google it) for its failure to understand the basics of that scandal.

It's likely Redford and his cohorts made "Truth" based on what they wanted to be true, not what really happened. If that's the case, why would we not assume Redford's judgement on climate change is colored by his desire to believe there is a crisis?

Here's the press release for those interested. Believe it, and Redford's little video, at your own risk.

Robert Redford: World Leaders Should "Take Bold Action" in Paris Climate Agreement

WASHINGTON - "With a crucial climate summit beginning soon in Paris, Robert Redford has released a video kicking off a citizen petition drive calling on world leaders to 'take bold action' to avoid the damaging impacts of climate change.

"We're running out of time. But as a husband, a father and a grandfather, I do have hope," Redford says in the 90-second video released today on social media. "If we want to leave our children, grandchildren and future generations a healthy planet, we've got to respond now to the challenge of climate change.

"This is our only planet," Redford adds. "This may be our last chance. So let's protect the most important thing in the world: our children's future."

In the video - featuring scenes of drought, fierce storms, and melting glaciers - the actor, producer, environmentalist and trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council says the world must come together now to slash dangerous carbon pollution making us and our planet sick.

"Moderate weather is virtually extinct - and global instability, poverty and conflict are rising along with the temperature," he says. "We can prevent this disaster, if we work together to do something different."

In December, world leaders hope to do so when they gather in Paris to hammer out an international climate accord. The U.N. announced it would go ahead with the 21st Conference of the Parties, known as COP21, after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

Robert Redford, a highly respected leader on environmental issues, has spoken out repeatedly for strong action to address climate change.

In 2013, he worked with NRDC on a TV and online ad calling on President Obama to rein in carbon pollution from the nation's biggest source, coal-fired power plants. The ad is here: https://vimeo.com/67822369

Last June, Redford delivered an impassioned speech on climate change at the U.N. here: http://www.ew.com/article/2015/06/30/robert-redford-climate-change-united-nations.

NRDC worked with Redford to produce the Paris climate video, which will run on NRDC social media channels and be sent to NRDC supporters and activists.

Redford's video is here: https://youtu.be/89xuO7k8ccM

The text of his comments in the video follows:

"We're running out of time. But as a husband, a father and a grandfather, I do have hope.

"If we want to leave our children, grandchildren and future generations a healthy planet, we've got to respond now to the challenge of climate change.

"You know as well as I do how serious the threat is.

"The carbon pollution that drives climate change is making us sick - it's poisoning the air we breathe and the water we drink.

"It's making our planet sick, too. Moderate weather is virtually extinct - and global instability, poverty and conflict are rising along with the temperature.

"We can prevent this disaster, if we work together to do something different.

"Everywhere we look people are beginning to take action on their own - in their homes, in their cities, in their own lives.

"And this December, leaders from every nation in the world will gather in Paris to work for change, too.

"They know that we've all contributed to this crisis, and therefore we've all got be part of the solution.

"If we stand together, we can change the course of history.

"I hope you will stand with me and others - by signing a global petition at NRDC.org calling on world leaders to take bold action now.

"This is our only planet. This may be our last chance.

"So let's protect the most important thing in the world: our children's future."

###

Interestingly, Redford's video lobbies President Obama -- something the press release doesn't mention. I surmise the NRDC does not trust Obama. I'm beginning to wonder if anyone does.

The extent of Redford's qualifications to analyze climate science is unstated. The NRDC calls him a "leader," but mentions only that he has given a speech and appeared in videos, and serves in the board of the NRDC. Just a guess, but I doubt he'd be on the board if he were not a rich and famous actor. Same for the speech and videos. So he's an actor, and if he's more than that, they're not telling.

So why should we believe this, again?

Note: The press release arrived in my in-box with garbage symbols throughout. I had to guess where the NRDC wanted to place quotation marks, hyphens and other punctuation marks. I may not have guessed correctly in all instances, but I did not change any words.

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