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200 Leading Artists and Scientists Urge Politicians to Act 'Firmly and Immediately' to Solve Climate Crisis

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Signatories include (from left, front row) French actress Catherine Deneuve, Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar and French actress Isabelle Huppert and (top right) Juliette Binoche (top right) at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP / Getty Images

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.

Hulot announced his decision on live radio, saying the government of French President Emmanuel Macron had not done enough to reduce pesticides or protect soil and biodiversity.

"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.

De Rugy supported Macron's decision to delay a phase out of nuclear energy last year, France24 reported, a move that Hulot opposed, according to EcoWatch.

However, 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.


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As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.


Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.

AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.

"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."


The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.

"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.

As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."

"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

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