200 Leading Artists and Scientists Urge Politicians to Act 'Firmly and Immediately' to Solve Climate Crisis
Planet earth just got the star treatment.
Two hundred of the world's leading artists and scientists signed a letter written by French actress Juliette Binoche and astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau and published in leading French paper Le Monde Sunday, calling for urgent action on climate change.
"It is time to get serious," the letter said, according to a translation provided by France24. "The sixth mass extinction is taking place at unprecedented speed. But it is not too late to avert the worst."
Famous signatories included American actors like Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke and Bradley Cooper, British film stars like Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, Kristin Scott Thomas and Charlotte Rampling, iconic French actresses Isabelle Adjani, Marion Cotillard and Catherine Deneuve, internationally-acclaimed directors Pedro Almodóvar, Jane Campion, David Cronenberg and Wim Wenders, singers Marianne Faithful, Patti Smith and Rufus Wainwright, as well as many leading scientists and thinkers including astrophysicist Hervé Dole and climate scientist Jean Jouzel.
The letter urged politicians to act "firmly and immediately," according to France24, and to do whatever necessary to avert a climate crisis, even if unpopular.
The signatories referred to climate change and the "collapse of biodiversity" as the "greatest challenge in the history of mankind," France24 reported.
The letter opened with a reference to the resignation of French environment minister Nicolas Hulot last Tuesday.
"I don't want to lie anymore," Hulot said in his announcement. "I don't want to create the illusion that my presence in the government means that we are on top of these issues and therefore I take the decision to quit this government."
Macron named French Parliament President François de Rugy as Hulot's replacement Tuesday, POLITICO reported.
De Rugy was first elected to French parliament over ten years ago with the European Greens. He quit that party and founded his own green party in 2015, POLITICO reported.Greenpeace France tweeted de Rugy Tuesday to remind him he had once said he was "fed up" with delays in the phase out, POLITICO reported. France was supposed to reduce nuclear power from 75 percent to 50 percent of its energy by 2025.
13 Climate Justice Leaders Imagined as Comic Superheroes https://t.co/UTaFzTxnDP @ClimateReality @foodandwater @350… https://t.co/S9JgQWycso— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1524579205.0
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By Ilana Cohen
Four years ago, Jacob Abel cast his first presidential vote for Donald Trump. As a young conservative from Concord, North Carolina, the choice felt natural.
But this November, he plans to cast a "protest vote" for a write-in candidate or abstain from casting a ballot for president. A determining factor in his 180-degree turn? Climate change.
Fractures Among Young Climate Conservatives<p>While young conservatives have united around the urgency of climate change, they remain divided over how to bring their concerns to the ballot box. Some embrace right-wing <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-attacks-republican-convention/2020/08/24/434e5b46-e66d-11ea-970a-64c73a1c2392_story.html" target="_blank">attacks</a> painting Biden as a "tool of the left" and find his climate agenda "radical." Others can't find a way to justify voting for Trump, even if it means breaking with their party.</p><p>Patrick Mann from Orange County, California, voted for Trump in 2016. But today, he's leading Aggies for Joe at Texas A&M University and is co-founder of Texas Students for Biden. </p><p>Mann grew up watching wildfires ravage his home state, nearly forcing his family to evacuate in 2017. The GOP is failing to "meet the moment" for climate action, Mann said. He's hoping Biden will deliver on a promise to "<a href="https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/caucus/2020/01/06/joe-biden-democrat-president-iowa-caucus-restore-soul-our-nation/2806422001/" target="_blank">restore the soul of our nation</a>." </p><p>Taylor Walker from Pensacola, Florida, is also determined to make her voice heard on climate, including by casting her first-ever vote for president—but not for Biden.</p>
A False Equivalency<p>Young climate conservatives may fear climate denial and delayed climate action, but more than that, they fear the growing political momentum around the Green New Deal, the massive spending it entails and <a href="https://joebiden.com/climate-plan/" target="_blank">Biden's citing of it</a> as a "crucial framing for meeting the climate challenges we face."</p><p>Many don't want to split with their party to support a Democrat whose <a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/757220130/joe-biden-on-bipartisanship-gun-control-and-regrets-over-inaction-after-a-traged" target="_blank">allegedly bipartisan intentions</a> they doubt. If stymieing what they consider a radical green agenda means re-electing a climate change denying president, so be it. </p><p>"I'm scared of climate change, but I'm also scared of the Green New Deal and what it means for America," said Ben Mutolo, a republicEN spokesperson and junior at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. </p><p>Mutolo felt encouraged by former Ohio Governor John Kasich's <a href="https://www.rollcall.com/2020/08/17/kasich-speech-to-democratic-convention-follows-years-of-building-conservative-credentials/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">appearance</a> at the Democratic National Convention, but he still struggles to see himself voting for Biden. Though the candidate paints himself as a <a href="https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-08-12/harris-biden-different-generation-similar-political-instinct" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">centrist,</a> Mutolo believes he's "cozying up to the ultra-progressive left." </p><p>Mutolo, who wants to see market-based climate solutions like a carbon tax, feels torn between a candidate whose climate plan relies on taking an "<a href="https://joebiden.com/environmental-justice-plan/#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">All-of-Government approach</a>," and one with no efforts to reign in global warming at all. <span></span></p><p>Leiserowitz said he appreciated how a conservative might feel Biden's climate plan "doesn't jive with their limited government, free-market approach."</p><p>But he sees a strong distinction between voting for a presidential candidate with a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/us/politics/biden-climate-plan.html" target="_blank">$2 trillion climate plan</a> that includes large renewable energy investments, which have <a href="https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/politics-global-warming-april-2020/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bipartisan support</a>, and a candidate trying "to take the country in the opposite direction, towards more fossil fuels."</p>
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