The 22nd of April every year is Earth Day. Star of the Aliens and Ghostbusters series and more recently Avatar, actress Sigourney Weaver, may not have won an Oscar (in spite of being nominated thrice). She might have conquered space and travelled through time only through CGI, but here in harsh reality she attempts to preserve our space and time for our future generations. She has appealed to Congress, urging lawmakers to help oceans by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. A 60 year old Weaver who in spite of her age in a typically man’s world has a great career going, didn’t choose to rest on her laurels. Instead she has shown true purpose and added meaning to the power of celebrity. Following a report that found that the ocean chemistry is changing because more carbon is being absorbed into the seas from the atmosphere, Sigourney Weaver has been pitching to the Congress in a bid to speed up environmental reforms.
The voice of the groundbreaking BBC documentary Planet Earth, Weaver urged senators at a hearing to pass climate change legislation that would limit carbon released into our oceans. Genuine heartfelt efforts from corporations would have been great PR opportunities, for any company of any size. They could have pledged to change their production practices by a given deadline. It was definitely a big loss for anyone who didn’t use Earth Day as a platform to promote their environmental CSR and its goals of achieving a sustainable environment for the future.
“Ocean acidification eats away at coral reefs, interferes with some fish species’ ability to find their homes and can hurt commercial shellfish such as mussels and oysters by reducing their ability to make their protective shells. When carbon dioxide is absorbed by the oceans, it reacts with sea water to form carbonic acid. Unless human carbon dioxide emissions are curbed, oceans will grow more acidic, the report said. Oceans absorb about one-third of all human-generated carbon dioxide emissions, including those from burning fossil fuels, cement production and deforestation”, the report said.
Earth Day was first started as an American political demonstration, very similar to the ones against the Vietnam War, on April 22 1970 with more than 20 million Americans, mostly students. This year an estimated 1.5 billion people undertook more than 31 billion “acts of green” organised by 19,000 organisations in 190 countries. Among the illustrious 58 members of its Global Advisory Committee are Al Gore, the former US Vice President, Sir Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio, who is co-chairman, Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, Barbara Streisand, the singer and Martin Scorsese, the acclaimed director. Yesterday Earth Day 2010 coincided with the World People’s Conference on Climate Change, to be held in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and with the International Year of Biodiversity.
President Obama has urged people to write to him with their Earth Day stories while US politicians are expected to release their long-awaited climate change bill in four days time. In a bid to increase awareness about achieving carbon neutrality in an otherwise wasteful industry; Hollywood is producing 40 million pounds less trash as a result of the day, while a film called Carbon Nation is showing how people across America have successfully moved to a low carbon economy.Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day’s founder was a Democrat Governor of Wisconsin as well as a US Senator for the state. He died in 2005 aged 89.
Entertainment Weekly has stated that Sigourney’s character in Aliens, Ripley as “one of the first female movie characters who isn’t defined by the men around her, or by her relationship to them”. Sigourney carries her role well into reality, this time in flowing dresses rather than skivvies and pulse-gun. Angelic voice included.