Robert Redford and the environment...
mobbsey at gn.apc.org
Sun Feb 20 22:21:47 GMT 2011
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I've only just gotten around to watching this --
(see also the article below)
Pretty boring video, but it highlights an important point.
Too many "environmentalists" are excusing the existing economic process by
complaining about aspects of its operation whilst benefitting from the more
questionable aspects of its operation. That compromise not only degrades the
individual's efforts, but it allows the movement as a whole to be attacked.
What's the point of 'gestures' when all it does is give the anti-change
brigade ammunition to attack the ideas these people profess to stand for?
Isn't it far better to stand against the "the problem" altogether in order, in
Gandhi's terms, to "be the change you wish to create"?
As this video shows, such contradictions are a problem for the movement in the
USA, which has a more polarised media -- but tactics over there are often
replicated over here in time. And whilst in the USA they play upon dodgy
financial deals, over here they're more likely to play upon class and affluence
to drive a wedge between the public and leading environmental icons.
Of course, we've been here before; see Matthew 16:26, or 6:24. 2000 years
later the same problem is still playing itself out!
Robert Redford is an eco-hypocrite, film claims
Hollywood A-listers love to trumpet their green credentials. Guy Adams reports
on a film-maker who's out to expose them
The Independent on Sunday, 30th January 2011
For years, they've preached green living while travelling the world in SUVs,
limousines and private jets. But now Hollywood's foremost tree-huggers face
the prospect of being exposed as eco-hypocrites – in the very medium that
finances their extravagant carbon footprints in the first place.
Robert Redford became the latest movie star to have his environmental
credentials publicly ridiculed on film this week, when a hostile documentary
was released in which he stood accused of failing to practise the
environmentalism that he so vehemently preaches.
The short film, Robert Redford: Hypocrite, was released on Friday, via YouTube,
to coincide with the closing days of his Sundance Film Festival. Depending on
your point of view, it represented either a cheap hatchet-job or a stunning
evisceration of a pioneering green activist who was once lauded on Time
Magazine's list of environmental "superheroes".
According to the film, Redford recently sold a dozen plots of land near to the
Sundance ski resort in Utah, which he owns, to developers seeking to build
luxury homes there. The revelation is especially contentious because each of
the sites sits on an undeveloped ridge, in what was previously wilderness.
Ironically, Redford recently stuck his head above the parapet to lobby against
a similar project in California's Napa Valley, where he keeps a home. Mind
you, the film points out, the nimby-ish actor did not stand to profit from the
Napa development. The plots of land near Sundance, by contrast, fetched him
around $2m each.
"It's the hypocrisy that gets me," said the film's Irish director, Phelim
McAleer. "He's taking a lovely virgin ridge and building McMansions on it.
Granted, they're nice, lefty, eco-McMansions. But they're McMansions all the
same. At the same time, he's trying to stop other people from building houses
in a nice spot." The film also points out that Redford, 74, has often called
for the world to reduce its carbon footprint, while simultaneously accepting
the shilling of United Airlines, for which he performed voiceovers in aTV
advert proclaiming that "it's time to fly".
Yet the Sundance Kid won't be the last Hollywood liberal to face the howitzers
of McAleer, who became a known figure among climate change deniers in 2009,
when he released the controversial feature-length documentary Not Evil Just
Wrong, which disputed global warming science.
In a previous short film finished two months ago, McAleer, ridiculed the
environmental credentials of James Cameron. The Avatar director preaches
"living with less", it noted, while owning a helicopter, a fleet of submarines,
three Harley Davidsons, four sports cars and a private yacht.
Aerial footage of Cameron's Malibu estate in the film revealed several large
houses, at least three heated swimming pools, a fire engine, but not one solar
panel or wind turbine.
McAleer now has a "hit list" of other celebrities he regards as hypocritical.
He intends to make and release a new film laying into one of them every two to
three months. He also plans take aim at some US politicians.
"As a film-maker, this is the gift that keeps on giving," he says. "We have a
hit list, and as well as the usual Hollywood suspects it has people like John
McCain on it – a man who has backed climate-change legislation, while being
unable to remember how many homes he owns."
Unlike many independent film-makers, who can find themselves in dire financial
straits, McAleer says his short pictures are self-financing. On YouTube, they
drive traffic to his website, where fans purchase DVDs of Not Evil Just Wrong.
The Cameron film clocked up 175,000 "views".
"There seems to be something about the environmental movement that attracts
hypocritical people," he added. "Most are rich, and while they don't want to
give up what's made their life happy, they're happy to tell other people not
to, say, drive an SUV. Making films that knock them is basically like shooting
fish in a barrel."
"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')
Paul's book, "Energy Beyond Oil", is out now!
For details see http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/ebo/
Read my 'essay' weblog, "Ecolonomics", at:
Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
email - mobbsey at gn.apc.org
website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml
public key - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/mobbsey-2011.asc
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