In a first of its kind partnership, Spider-Man will be the first Superhero ambassador for Earth Hour, the global movement organized by World Wide Fund (WWF) with a message to inspire individuals to use their power to become Superheroes for the planet.
Andy Ridley, CEO and co-founder of Earth Hour, and Jeff Blake, chairman of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment, made the announcement in conjunction with the launch of Earth Hour Blue—a radical new digital crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platform for the planet, launched to engage people around the world and participants in the famous lights out event, which will be held on Saturday, March 29 at 8:30pm.
This year, Earth Hour and the hero of the highly anticipated motion picture The Amazing Spider-Man 2—along with the film’s stars, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and director Marc Webb—are throwing their support behind Earth Hour Blue, which aims to harness the power of the crowd to raise funds for on-the-ground environmental projects from across the world.
“I’m proud Spider-Man is the first Superhero ambassador for Earth Hour because he shows we can all be Superheroes when we realize the power we all have,” says Andrew Garfield, who plays Spider-Man in the upcoming film. “Earth Hour is a movement that has created massive impact around the world, so imagine what we can do this year with Spider-Man by our side.”
The crowdfunding section of the new platform will allow participants to help deliver energy efficient stoves to families in Madagascar, help communities in the Philippines build fiberglass boats to withstand climate impacts like Typhoon Haiyan and raise funds to expand and conserve the iconic Table Mountain National Park in South Africa, with many more projects to come.
“Earth Hour gives you the power to inspire anyone, even if you’re just one person, and Earth Hour is much more than an hour," said Emma Stone. “There are great projects from the crowd, for the planet, happening all over the world.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb is the first celebrity ambassador to announce the Earth Hour Blue project he is backing, which aims to provide better equipment for WWF Rangers protecting Indonesia’s endangered wildlife such as the Sumatran Tiger, Elephant, Rhino and Orangutan and their forest habitat.
“Earth Hour is a movement full of Superheroes—people harnessing the power of the crowd to inspire change for the good of the planet, imagine the possibilities when we come together and do more,” said Webb.
Earth Hour has grown to involve hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life across 7,000 cities and towns and 154 countries and territories. Jamie Foxx, who plays the villain Electro in the film said, “Earth Hour isn’t just about lights off; it’s about people across the world coming together throughout the year to join forces to improve the planet. Never underestimate your power, never underestimate what you can do.”
Individuals can also use Earth Hour’s crowdsourcing platform for Earth Hour Blue, which will call for people to add their voice to some of the biggest environmental campaigns across the world; including an Instagram campaign for people to share their love of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, as part of WWF-Australia’s Lights Out For The Reef theme for Earth Hour 2014.
Global participants in the movement will also be able to sign the Shark Saver’s “I’m FINished With FINS” pledge, which engages celebrities and public figures throughout Asia to help end shark finning in marine waters for the consumption of shark-fin soup.
“The idea of Earth Hour has grown beyond anything we could have dreamed," said Ridley. "This year with the help of Spider-Man by our side, we are taking the movement to the next stage. We hope that Spider-Man will empower individuals to be Super Heroes for the planet, and use their voice or their dollar to support projects or campaigns around the world. It’s about harnessing the power of the crowd—that’s what Earth Hour Blue is all about.”
Sony Pictures Entertainment will join by contributing to a WWF-China and Earth Hour Blue project that provides efficient cookstoves to prevent deforestation in the habitat of the Giant Panda. Through its efforts, the studio will receive Gold Standard carbon offsets that render the entire physical production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as well as its publicity tour, carbon-neutral.
Expanding on many sustainability efforts over the years, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 became the most eco-friendly tentpole production in the history of Columbia Pictures. These environmental efforts, on set and off, were supported at every level—from producers, studio executives and cast and crew, as soon as the film went into pre-production.
“Spider-Man’s always been a very relatable Super Hero," Blake added. “Peter Parker is a hero to all people, and an inspiration, so it seems very fitting that he should join forces with Earth Hour to empower every single individual to help save the planet.”
“I’m also very proud of the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is entirely carbon-neutral," Blake continued. "We made a commitment to be as eco-conscious as possible during production itself, when we took a special effort to think green and avoid waste; now, completing that process with Earth Hour Blue is a wonderful testament to what we can achieve when we all work together.”
Earth Hour and its Superhero ambassador Spider-Man remind us that “with great power comes great responsibility,” so get involved and use your power.
Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.
By Jessica Corbett
A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."
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Returning the ‘Three Sisters’ – Corn, Beans and Squash – to Native American Farms Nourishes People, Land and Cultures
By Christina Gish Hill
Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.
Abundant Harvests<p>Historically, Native people throughout the Americas bred indigenous plant varieties specific to the growing conditions of their homelands. They selected seeds for many different traits, such as <a href="https://emergencemagazine.org/story/corn-tastes-better/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">flavor, texture and color</a>.</p><p>Native growers knew that planting corn, beans, squash and sunflowers together produced mutual benefits. Corn stalks created a trellis for beans to climb, and beans' twining vines secured the corn in high winds. They also certainly observed that corn and bean plants growing together tended to be healthier than when raised separately. Today we know the reason: Bacteria living on bean plant roots pull nitrogen – an essential plant nutrient – from the air and <a href="http://www.tilthalliance.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">convert it to a form that both beans and corn can use</a>.</p><p>Squash plants contributed by shading the ground with their broad leaves, preventing weeds from growing and retaining water in the soil. Heritage squash varieties also had spines that discouraged deer and raccoons from visiting the garden for a snack. And sunflowers planted around the edges of the garden created a natural fence, protecting other plants from wind and animals and attracting pollinators.</p><p>Interplanting these agricultural sisters produced bountiful harvests that sustained large Native communities and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eam.2015.0016" target="_blank">spurred fruitful trade economies</a>. The first Europeans who reached the Americas were shocked at the abundant food crops they found. My research is exploring how, 200 years ago, Native American agriculturalists around the Great Lakes and along the Missouri and Red rivers fed fur traders with their diverse vegetable products.</p>
Displaced From the Land<p>As Euro-Americans settled permanently on the most fertile North American lands and acquired seeds that Native growers had carefully bred, they imposed policies that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/87.2.550" target="_blank">made Native farming practices impossible</a>. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the <a href="https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act" target="_blank">Indian Removal Act</a>, which made it official U.S. policy to force Native peoples from their home locations, pushing them onto subpar lands.</p><p>On reservations, U.S. government officials discouraged Native women from cultivating anything larger than small garden plots and pressured Native men to practice Euro-American style monoculture. Allotment policies assigned small plots to nuclear families, further limiting Native Americans' access to land and preventing them from using communal farming practices.</p><p>Native children were forced to attend boarding schools, where they had no opportunity to <a href="https://doi.org/10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.1.0145" target="_blank">learn Native agriculture techniques or preservation and preparation of Indigenous foods</a>. Instead they were forced to eat Western foods, turning their palates away from their traditional preferences. Taken together, these policies <a href="https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-0802-7.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">almost entirely eradicated three sisters agriculture</a> from Native communities in the Midwest by the 1930s.</p>
Reviving Native Agriculture<p>Today Native people all over the U.S. are working diligently to <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reclaim Indigenous varieties of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and other crops</a>. This effort is important for many reasons.</p><p>Improving Native people's access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods will help lower rates of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aian-diabetes/index.html" target="_blank">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/native-american/obesity" target="_blank">obesity</a>, which affect Native Americans at disproportionately high rates. Sharing traditional knowledge about agriculture is a way for elders to pass cultural information along to younger generations. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them.</p>
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
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An extremely rare North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead off the North Carolina coast on Friday.
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