RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Hollywood heavyweights threw their star power behind environmental causes on Thursday, advocating for the creation of an Arctic reserve and the protection of animal and plant species.
Actor Edward Norton, the United Nations goodwill ambassador for biodiversity, appeared at a news conference at the U.N.'s Rio+20 earth summit to raise awareness of the fight to preserve the planet's rich variety of species at a time when flora and fauna are going extinct at an alarming rate.
"Loss of biodiversity is a very difficult form of environmental degradation for people to wrap their minds around," the "Fight Club" star told participants at the news conference, held on day two of the United Nations' Rio+20 earth summit. "They don't see species disappearing in front of them in a short time-frame. They don't necessarily see and feel every day their reliance on biodiversity."
He said people often don't realize how biodiversity touches their daily lives, from the bees and other insects and birds that pollinate the fruits we eat to the predators that keep other species in check. Norton added that it was his role as goodwill ambassador to highlight to what extent human survival is linked to that of the planet's other animals and plants.
"You can't protect something that people don't value. So we have to work to make sure that people value biodiversity and see how it has value in their own lives," he said.
Robert Redford, Penelope Cruz and former Beatle Paul McCartney were among a host of other A-listers to sign Greenpeace's petition for the creation of a global sanctuary around the North Pole, with a ban on offshore oil drilling and an end to unsustainable fishing.
The environmental group said the North Pole should have the same sorts of protections given the Antarctic more than 20 years ago. No single nation has sovereignty over Antarctica, and the continent is reserved for scientific research, off-limits to commercial projects.
The Arctic, which is believed to hold up to a quarter of the Earth's undiscovered oil and gas, is currently considered the high seas, but several nations have recently made plays to establish their sovereignty over the Arctic seabed, a move that could open the area to deep-sea oil drilling.
Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark and Norway have all been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic. In 2007, Russia staked a symbolic claim to the region by dropping a canister containing the Russian flag on the ocean floor from a small submarine at the North Pole.
Greenpeace's campaign plays off the Russian move. The group said that after 1 million people sign the petition, it plans to plant the document on the Arctic seabed, some 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) beneath the ice.
Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo was quoted in a statement as saying, "The Arctic is coming under assault" and urging public support for the campaign.
"A ban on offshore oil drilling and unsustainable fishing would be a huge victory against the forces ranged against this precious region," he said. "And a sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the pole would in a stroke stop the polluters colonizing the top of the world."
Although she may be one of the <a href="http://www.askmen.com/celebs/women/models/15_gisele_bundchen.html" target="_hplink">most beautiful women in the world</a>, Gisele Bündchen is much more than just a pretty face. Named the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/27/gisele-best-green-celebrity_n_1115242.html#s429728" target="_hplink">2011 Greenest International Celebrity of the Year</a>, Bündchen devotes an extraordinary amount of her time and money to environmental causes. She has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the <a href="http://www.unep.org/" target="_hplink">United Nations Environment Program</a> since 2009, works with the <a href="http://vimeo.com/32243308" target="_hplink">Brazilian movement A Drop Of Water (Gota D'água)</a>, and is involved in her <a href="http://hqweb.unep.org/gwa/ambassadors/gisele/" target="_hplink">hometown's Clean Water Project</a>. And with the Amazon rainforest as one of her main passions, Bündchen co-hosted the Rainforest Alliance annual gala in 2009. For more information on how <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20261937,00.html" target="_hplink">Mrs. Bündchen-Brady</a> stays eco-friendly, <a href="http://blog.giselebundchen.com.br/en/" target="_hplink">check out her green blog</a>!
Video: Stunning Gisele Bundchen Helps the Environment
Gisele Bundchen stays fashionable to represent at a UN environmental summit in New York.
Actor <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000602/" target="_hplink">Robert Redford</a> is a long time environmental advocate and a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council and founder of <a href="http://www.sundance.org/about/" target="_hplink">the Sundance Institute</a>. <br> A <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/" target="_hplink">long time blogger for HuffPost, Redford</a> has written many pieces dissecting the impact of fracking on our planet, and the cozy relationship Big Oil has with the government. <br> In a June blog piece, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-redford/fossil-fuel-subsidies_b_1605146.html" target="_hplink">Redford wrote about energy subsidies</a> and the Rio+20 conference. "We should not be subsidizing the destruction of our planet," Redford affirmed. "Fossil fuels are literally cooking our planet, polluting our air and draining our wallets. Why should we continue to reward companies to do that?"
Top 10 Fun Facts About Robert Redford
Learn 10 fun facts about actor Robert Redford. Redford played on the University of Colorado baseball team as a pitcher. He hates watching his own films. He was originally considered for the part of ‘Michael Corleone’ in ‘The Godfather’. Redford founded the ‘Sundance Film Festival’.
Adrian Grenier may share good looks and acting chops with his <a href="http://www.hbo.com/entourage/index.html" target="_hplink">Entourage alter-ego Vince</a>, but the similarities end when it comes to extracurricular activities. Unlike the hard-partying Vince, Grenier is an activist who uses his fame to better impact the world around him. He created <a href="http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/alter-eco/alter-eco.html" target="_hplink">a TV show called "Alter Eco"</a> for Discovery Channel's Planet Green, <a href="http://www.shft.com/" target="_hplink">the website SHFT.com</a>, which promotes sustainable living through various multimedia, and <a href="http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/blogs/adrian-grenier-gets-eco-fashionable" target="_hplink">supports eco-friendly fashion</a>. In addition, <a href="http://oceana.org/en/about-us/people-partners/celebrity-supporters/adrian-grenier" target="_hplink">he is an Oceana ambassador</a> and works with <a href="http://www.charitywater.org/" target="_hplink">charity:water to bring safe drinking water to third world countries</a>. And did we mention that <a href="http://www.ecorazzi.com/2008/03/10/adrian-grenier-wins-blue-sky-award-for-environmental-activism/" target="_hplink">he won the Blue Sky award in 2008</a> for his environmental activism?
Entourage's Adrian Grenier Makes a Splash at Charity Event
Adrian Grenier, model and activist Lauren Bush, actress Kristin Chenoweth and a ballroom of glamorous New Yorkers show up at a December 2009 ball to support charity: water, an organization created to help bring clean drinking water to communities around the world.
While Streep is often considered one of the greatest screen sirens in history, her passion for environmental health is no act. In 1989, she created <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/spotlighthealth/2002-10-18-streep-healthy-kids_x.htm" target="_hplink">Mothers and Others, after reading a Natural Resources Defense Council report</a> regarding pesticides in produce, according to USA Today. The group taught consumers about chemicals and toxins that have become commonplace for non-organic foods. <br> Although <a href="http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1594/is_4_12/ai_76020609/" target="_hplink">the organization shuttered in 2001</a>, Streep's <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/spotlighthealth/2002-10-18-streep-healthy-kids_x.htm" target="_hplink">fight for environmental food awareness</a> continues today. She is involved with <a href="http://healthychild.org/about/" target="_hplink">Children's Health Environmental Coalition</a>, a group that aims to protect children from toxins in water and food sources.
Top 10 Fun Facts About Meryl Streep
Learn 10 fun facts about actress Meryl Streep. While filming "Death Becomes Her," Meryl unintentionally scarred Goldie Hawn's cheek with a shovel. She inadvertently left her Academy Award for Kramer vs. Kramer" on the back of a toilet. Streep was raised in New Jersey and graduated from Vassar and the Yale School of Drama. As a teen, she was a cheerleader and homecoming queen.
A longtime green advocate, things got personal for Mark Ruffalo when hydraulic fracturing or "hydrofracturing" began to disrupt his hometown in upstate New York's Sullivan County. Ruffalo educated himself on the complex practice and has been using his fame to call attention to this destructive method of natural gas extraction. The A-list activist, who founded <a href="http://www.waterdefense.org/" target="_hplink">Water Defense</a>, even landed himself on a U.S. terror watch list for organizing screenings of a documentary about natural gas drilling. <br> Ruffalo specifically <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-rose-levy/northeast-fracking_b_968907.html" target="_hplink">seeks to fight gas companies' positive spin</a> about the arguably destructive practice. In one memorable forum, he challenged their claim that the extraction method would bring much-needed work to low-income communities. "You don't put everyone else in jeopardy just because its going to bring jobs," he said on the local news, "you don't bring your daughter to the red light district because you're having hard times."
Actor Mark Ruffalo on Hydraulic Fracturing
In an interview for All Terrain, actor Mark Ruffalo discusses his opposition to the natural gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Actor and activist <a href="http://www.alecbaldwin.com/" target="_hplink">Alec Baldwin</a>, know for his role on the sitcom "30 Rock" and for movies like "<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318374/" target="_hplink">The Cooler</a>" and "<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407887/" target="_hplink">The Departed</a>," is a a staunch advocate for clean energy. <br> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/02/alec-baldwin-nuclear-power-dirty-energy_n_946555.html" target="_hplink">Baldwin told HuffPost's Lynne Peeples</a>, "The biggest problem in the anti-nuclear movement is the constant big lie, and the constant assertion, metronomic assertion, in the industry, that nuclear is clean power." <br> He also tackled the oil industry, saying, "In fairness, the oil industry is ... a bunch of a very, very smart, very shrewd, very necessary, industrialists who did their part and did what was asked of them to get us to where we are now. Now it's time for them to step aside in terms of their primary role." <br> In April 2011, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alec-baldwin/the-big-lie-of-clean-nucl_b_844161.html" target="_hplink">Baldwin blogged for HuffPost about nuclear power</a>, writing, "Fukushima shows us that utility companies reap all of the benefits, while we assume all of the risks."
All Terrain: Alec Baldwin
Portman, a vegetarian since childhood, turned full-on vegan after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book "Eating Animals" last year (although she went back to being a vegetarian during her pregnancy) . <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-portman/jonathan-safran-foers-iea_b_334407.html" target="_hplink">She blogged on The Huffington Post</a>, "The human cost of factory farming -- both the compromised welfare of slaughterhouse workers and, even more, the environmental effects of the mass production of animals -- is staggering." <br> She traveled to Rwanda to film <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/10/natalie_portman.php" target="_hplink">a documentary about endangered gorillas</a>, she's designed her own <a href="http://www.ecorazzi.com/2007/12/25/razzi-snap-natalie-portman-announces-new-vegan-shoe-collection/" target="_hplink">vegan shoes</a>, and is now even sporting <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/07/natalie-portman-reveals-e_n_805946.html" target="_hplink">an eco-friendly engagement ring</a> from husband Benjamin Millepied. Portman's passion for the environment began at a young age - she can even be seem dancing in a very...<em>unique</em> <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/06/vintage_video_n.php" target="_hplink">environmental video as a World Patrol Kid</a>.
Natalie Portman Quits Vegan Diet
Natalie Portman's pregnancy cravings take over as the star ditches her uber strict vegan diet for vegetarianism
Although he is not the family <a href="http://www.un.org/works/goingon/refugees/angelina_story.html" target="_hplink">UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador</a>, Brad Pitt is one of Hollywood's leading green men. The award-winning actor supports many different facets of green activism, namely animal rights, sustainable living, and green building. Pitt co-founded the "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/31/brad-pitts-make-it-right-_n_699620.html" target="_hplink">Make It Right</a>" foundation, which rebuilds homes in Katrina-torn New Orleans using affordable eco-friendly technology. <br> He also hosted a <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/culture/brad-pitt-hosts-pbs-series-on-green-design.html" target="_hplink">PBS series</a> focused on green design in 2006, and, together with Angelina Jolie, <a href="http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/brad-pitt-angelina-jolie-donate-2m-to-african-wildlife-sanctuary" target="_hplink">donated $2 million to the African Wildlife Sanctuary</a>, says MNN.
Kanye and Rihanna Join Brad Pitt to Help the “Make It Right” Foundation
Rihanna, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Cheryl Crow join Brad Pitt to help the “Make it Right” foundation raise vital funds for the completion of 150 environmentally friendly homes for victims of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.
When it comes to green activism, George Clooney doesn't mess around. "You don't want to be a spokesperson unless you are absolutely committed to a cause," <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1668446,00.html" target="_hplink">the actor said in an interview</a> with TIME magazine. And according to his own logic, Clooney is a total environmental buff. MSN reported that after his role in Syriana, Clooney helped launch <a href="http://news.uk.msn.com/environment/green-living/photos.aspx?cp-documentid=150371643&page=5" target="_hplink">Oil Change</a>, a campaign to diminish America's oil dependence. He is also a major human rights activist, protesting in favor of aid for Sudan and Darfur, and even going so far as to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/george-clooney-arrested-dc-_n_1353441.html" target="_hplink">get arrested at a protest in March 2012</a>. Clooney drew <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinehoward/2012/03/16/george-clooney-arrested-protesting-darfur-sudan/" target="_hplink">a parallel between human rights issues and climate disasters</a> in 2010, when he asked <em>Today Show</em>'s Ann Curry "If you knew a tsunami, or Katrina or a Haiti earthquake was coming, what would you do to save people?" The rugged actor also tries to stay green in his everyday life. According to MSN, <a href="http://green.in.msn.com/gallery.aspx?cp-documentid=3680004&page=4" target="_hplink">he drives two electric cars</a>, and was the cover photo for <a href="http://www.hollywood.com/news/Clooney_and_Roberts_Go_Green_for_Vanity_Fair/3488954" target="_hplink">Vanity Fair's first green issue.</a>
George Clooney Arrested
Actor George Clooney has been arrested following a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington DC.
DiCaprio is a long-standing environmentalist, who sits on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Global Green USA. He has created <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/05/dicaprio200705" target="_hplink">the environmental documentary "The 11th Hour,"</a> where he said, "It's clear humans have had a devastating impact on our planet's ecological web of life. Because we've waited, because we've turned our backs on nature's warning signs, and because our political and corporate leaders have consistently ignored the overwhelming scientific evidence, the challenges we face are that much more difficult. We are in the environmental age whether we like it or not." <br> And just this winter, DiCaprio made headlines for surviving a plane scare in order to get to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/23/vladimir-putin-leonardo-d_n_787800.html" target="_hplink">a summit on saving the world's tigers</a>, donating $1 million to the World Wildlife Fund.
Top 10 Fun Facts About Leonardo DiCaprio
Learn 10 fun facts about actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Originally, Leo's agent wanted him to change his name to Lenny Williams. He revealed he has OCD. He can speak some German. He was named Leonardo after kicking his mom in the womb, while she stared at Leonardo DaVinci's art. As a child, he was fired from the show 'Romper Room' for bad behavior.
Once known as the archetypical valley girl Cher in the movie "Clueless," Alicia Silverstone now makes her name as the face of vegan beauty. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Kind-Diet-Simple-Feeling/dp/1605296449" target="_hplink">She wrote a diet book</a> called "The Kind Diet" <a href="http://www.thekindlife.com/about" target="_hplink">which she says</a> "is about living your healthiest and happiest life to the fullest, while taking care of mama Earth at the same time." She also regularly updates her blog, <a href="http://www.thekindlife.com/" target="_hplink">The Kind Life</a>, with vegan recipes, beauty tips, and other Earth-friendly finds from the celebrity fashionista. Silverstone recently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/alicia-silverstone-pre-chewing_n_1458678.html" target="_hplink">created a cyber-windstorm for pre-chewing her son Bear Blu's food</a>. "It's natural," <a href="http://www.etonline.com/news/121146_Silverstone_Responds_to_Mouth_Feeding_Controversy/index.html" target="_hplink">she defended herself</a> to <em>Entertainment Tonight</em>.
Alicia Silverstone's Vegan Food Ideas
Alicia Silverstone shares some of the simple, healthy, delicious meals from The Kind Diet.
Sting and Trudie Styler
In 1989, Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, formed the Rainforest Foundation Fund to preserve rainforests and protect indigenous populations within them. "Sting and I founded the Rainforest Fund after seeing with our own eyes the destruction of one of the world's most precious resources," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/elton-john-sting-james-taylor-revlon_n_1299749.html" target="_hplink">Styler was quoted as saying in a HuffPost article</a>. "If we all take action, we can help save the planet and prevent further harm to the rainforests and indigenous people who live there." <br> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/trudie-styler/why-sting-and-i-set-up-th_b_98252.html" target="_hplink">Styler blogged for HuffPost</a> that she and Sting founded the Rainforest Foundation Fund after flying over the Amazon and meeting people on the ground there. She said, at first, "Sting was criticized for daring to be a rock star who wanted to change the world." But she says their group has worked to successfully protect over 115,000 square kilometers of rainforest.
Biodynamic Wine with Trudie Styler
Trudie Styler discusses biodynamic wine.
Actress <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000435/" target="_hplink">Daryl Hannah</a>, known for films such as "Blade Runner" and "Splash," has lent her name to several environmental causes. <br> In 2009, she travelled to West Virginia and was arrested while protesting mountaintop removal coal mining. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daryl-hannah/why-i-was-arrested-in-coa_b_224531.html" target="_hplink">She wrote for HuffPost</a>, "I was honored to be joining an inspiringly brave group of concerned Americans." <br> More recently, she was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/30/daryl-hannah-arrested-keystone-protest_n_942072.html" target="_hplink">one of over 1,200 people arrested</a> in August in front of the White House as part of a Keystone XL pipeline protest.
Daryl Hannah Arrested For Environmental Protest
Actress Daryl Hannah’s arrest sparks conversation about a planned oil pipeline in Canada.
This <a href="http://www.unicef.ie/Content.aspx?PageDetailId=24&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1" target="_hplink">UNICEF ambassador</a> is known in Hollywood for his Earth-friendly ways. While Brosnan stays environmentally aware on a daily basis by <a href="http://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities-news-in-pics/19-05-2009/51565/general/" target="_hplink">driving a hybrid car</a>, according to Hello! Magazine, he has advocated for sustainable government legislation as well as publicized himself as a major supporter of environmental charities. <br> He's <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1549375,00.html" target="_hplink">protested natural gas facilities</a> near his Malibu home, and according to Treehugger.com, spoken in public forums <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/culture/pierce-brosnan-at-epa-markey-waxman-markey.html" target="_hplink">in support of the EPA and green legislation</a>. In 1997 he was given an Environmental Leadership Award by Mikhail Gorbachev, and in 2008 Brosnan and his wife Keely Shaye Smith were inducted into the <a href="http://www.ecorazzi.com/2008/10/30/pierce-brosnan-to-be-inducted-into-environmental-hall-of-fame/" target="_hplink">Environmental Hall of Fame</a>.
Top 10 Fun Facts About Pierce Brosnan
Learn 10 fun facts about actor Pierce Brosnan. He once worked in the circus as a professional fire-eater. He is claustrophobic. Pierce is an avid supporter of same-sex marriage and gay adoption. Pierce was nicknamed 'Colonel Chunky' by the cast of 'Mamma Mia!'.
Actor <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000437/" target="_hplink">Woody Harrelson</a> has reportedly been <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/23/woody-harrelsons-vegan-ac_n_295765.html" target="_hplink">a vegan for nearly 25 years</a>. In fact, for the 2009 film "Zombieland," Harrelson ate a special vegan Twinkie instead of the real thing. <br> Harrelson has also <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20070927/people-woody-harrelson/" target="_hplink">called for greater activism against oil</a>. Speaking at a media and technology conference in Amsterdam in 2007, Harrelson said, "Certainly (oil companies) just want to get as much out of the ground and make as much money as possible before they transition into anything else. So I still think it's time for some strong activism, especially as it relates to our dependency on oil."
Woody Harrelson Talks Rampart Transformation
The veteran actor opens up about being a jerk and dropping weight to play a corrupt LAPD cop. Costars Robin Wright and Ben Foster also weigh in.
According to the Mother Nature Network, <a href="http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/ecollywood-glenn-close-dwayne-the-rock-johnson-eric-stoltz-lucy-lawle" target="_hplink">Glenn Close is a major puppy activist</a>. She works with not one, but two organizations devoted to helping her canine companions. Close and husband David Shaw founded <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/www.fetchdog.com" target="_hplink">Fetchdog.com</a>, an online shopping site for doggie treats which donates a portion of the sales to dog related charities. In addition, <a href="http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Puppies-Behind-Bars-Helps-the-Disabled/3" target="_hplink">Oprah.com reported that Close is also a staunch supporter</a> of <a href="http://www.puppiesbehindbars.org/about.asp" target="_hplink">Puppies Behind Bars</a>, a program that helps service dogs and prisoners have a symbiotic, educational relationship. Close also supports non-canine causes. In 2009, <a href="http://www.ammado.com/nonprofit/45792/articles/10064" target="_hplink">the ocean conservation group Oceana</a> honored her at their annual Sea Change Summer party, noting the actress's <a href="http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/ecollywood-hanging-with-celebs-at-the-oceana-fundraiser" target="_hplink">dedication to ocean conservation</a>.
One Mind For Research Interview With Glenn Close
Glenn Close discusses the impact of Stigma on those with Mental Health disorders.
Who would've thought Mr. Darcy could be a shopkeeper? Colin Firth has set up various eco-themed shops in Britain. He opened two fair trade cafes called Progreso (<a href="http://www.standard.co.uk/news/new-fears-for-portobello-as-sam-cams-favourite-butchers-join-the-casualty-list-6424931.html" target="_hplink">at least one of which closed in 2010</a>), and <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/colin-firths-eco-store.html" target="_hplink">an ecological store called Eco in Chiswick</a>, offering ethical, fair trade goods, as well as expert energy efficiency advice for homeowners. As <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/about/ambassadors/colin-firth" target="_hplink">an Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign supporter</a>, Colin Firth raises awareness on behalf of Ethopian coffee growers, and lobbies for fair trade in the coffee markets. <a href="http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article2856825.ece" target="_hplink">According to <em>The Times</em>, Firth said</a> that "rather than being a luvvie with a lofty opinion preaching to people, I prefer to do things, to get involved, put my money where my mouth is and learn along the way."
The Life and Career of Colin Firth
No lady can resist this Academy Award Winning Brit’s sensitivity and charm. Join WatchMojo as we take a look at the career of Colin Firth.