Iconic Superman Actress Was a Hero for the Environment
Margot Kidder, the iconic actress who passed away Sunday at age 69, was most famous for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in the Superman films as an intrepid journalist who didn't let her lack of superpowers stop her from fighting for what she believed in. In real life, Kidder was similarly heroic in her commitment to protecting the environment.
Climate action activist and 350.org founder Bill McKibben took to Twitter Monday to honor her contributions to the movement.
Mourning Margot Kidder who laid it on the line at the outset of the #nokxl fight. H/t @Agent350 https://t.co/gVISz16Mpj— Bill McKibben (@Bill McKibben)1526337639.0
In 2011, Kidder was arrested outside the White House as part of a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline designed to pipe crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to the Gulf Coast of the U.S., The Huffington Post reported.
The movement against the pipeline claimed a victory when President Barack Obama rejected it in 2015, but President Donald Trump reversed that decision upon taking office.
Kidder, who lived in Montana in latter life, protested the pipeline by refusing to leave a White House sidewalk with three other self-described "Montana grandmothers."
"We're the first state the pipeline goes through," Kidder said at the time.
"It's bound to leak, there's no way it's not going to ... they always assure us these things are safe, and they never are safe," Kidder said.
In the video, Kidder spoke out against the fossil fuel industry as a whole.
"The problem is not just fracking," she said. "It's that the energy companies, oil and gas in particular, have been given pretty much a free reign to do whatever they want, even if that means destroying people's lives, their livelihood and the planet as we know it."
At the end of the video, she urged action based on a concern for future generations.
"My grandchildren's lives are going to be much tougher and much less beautiful than mine was, and so are yours, so join us in trying to save our planet before it's too late."
Kidder was born in Canada in the Northwest Territories. In a video explaining her participation in the Keystone XL protest, she mentioned her Canadian upbringing. "This affects me in two ways," she said, referring to her experience in both Northern Canada and Montana. She became a U.S. citizen in 2005.
In addition to supporting environmental causes, she also spoke out against the Gulf War in the early 1990s and the Iraq War in the early 2000s.
She died quietly in her sleep in her home in Livingston, Montana, Variety reported.
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One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.
Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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