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Climate Change documentary wins two Oscars

February 26, 2007:

For some in America it might be a most Inconvenient Oscar, but last night former US vice president Al Gore picked up an Academy Award for his shocking documentary on Climate Change, with another award picked up for the film’s original theme song.

The documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” started life as a powerpoint presentation about the alarming statistics behind, and predictions for, the issue of climate change. It was never an ordinary powerpoint presentation however, calling on resources like Matt Groening’s animation studio, to depict the negative forces of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere an ironically comic way.

"People all over the world - we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue," he said as he accepted the award. "We have everything we need to get started with the possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource - let's renew it."

Link here for Melissa Etheridge's Oscar-winning eco-song.
Gore received the award from actor Leonardo di Caprio, who has been one of the Hollywood role models for driving hybrid, less gas-guzzling cars. For several years di Caprio has driven a Toyota Prius car and in 1998 he started the DiCaprio Foundation to promote environmental issues.

To mark the event Reuters last night published a list of other celebrities who have publicly gone green.

* ROBERT REDFORD: has been on board the Natural Resources Defence Council for 30 years; was the winner of 1993 Earth Day award, the 1987 United Nations Global 500 award. Is launching a weekly three-hour environmental programme called "The Green", on his Sundance TV channel in spring 2007.

* BRAD PITT: co-created a design competition to build 20 affordable, environmentally friendly homes in New Orleans.

* ALANIS MORISSETTE: winner of 2003 Environmental Media Association Missions in Music Award; campaigns against oil drilling in Alaska; has solar panels on home.

* STING: founded the Rainforest Foundation to protect forests and their indigenous peoples.

* HARRISON FORD: vice chair of Conservation International, winner of the Global Environmental Citizen Award in 2002.

* PIERCE BROSNAN: focuses on marine mammal and wetland protection, headlined Natural Resources Defence Council campaign against effects of Navy sonar on whales, awarded 1997 Green Cross International Environmental Leadership Award.

* CATE BLANCHETT: plans to equip Sydney Theatre Company building with solar panels etc to make it eco-friendly. Her Sydney home is fully powered by solar energy.

* EDWARD NORTON: launched the BP Solar Neighbours Program in 2003 matching each celebrity purchase of a solar energy home system with a solar installation in a low-income family home in LA.

* RICHARD BRANSON: a former global warming sceptic, who in September 2006 pledged to spend all profits from his airline and rail businesses (est. $3 billion over 10 years) on investments in biofuel research and projects to tackle emissions.

* JOSH HARTNETT, ORLANDO BLOOM, MAROON 5, KT TUNSTALL: promoting 2007 Global Cool initiative to cut carbon emissions by encouraging people to turn off TVs, mobile-phone chargers and other energy-draining gadgets.

In addition, celebrity drivers of hybrid cars include: Cameron Diaz, Charlize Theron, Carole King, Kirsten Dunst, Billy Joel, Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, Julia Roberts, Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Alanis Morissette, David Duchovny, Patricia Arquette, Jackson Browne, Larry David, Danny DeVito and Bill Maher.

"Whether it's fashion or cultural trends, the entertainment industry has the ability to communicate to a global audience ideas that set forth actions and create change," said Debbie Levin, president of the Environmental Media Association which promotes green issues through the entertainment industry.

"Early adapters, like Cameron Diaz, led the way and now with everyone from Kirsten Dunst to Maroon 5 to Will Ferrell driving hybrid cars, (it) sends the message that it's cool to think and buy green," Levin told news agency Reuters.

Links

To the film website.

To a background interview about the documentary.

To ten things to do to combat global warming.

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