Environmental Celebrities

There are many different methods of communication that have been used to discuss the environment. These include newspaper articles, blogs, news on television, videos on the internet, public hearings and more. One subset of these communication methods is the usage of celebrities in order to gain popularity for an environmental cause.

I believe that celebrities have a great influence in gaining awareness on environmental issues. These celebrities are in the news for almost everything they do (good or bad) and have many followers that look into these things. One such example of a celebrity doing something negative and gaining attention is Justin Bieber who can get into the news for just asking someone to leave his party and doing other stupid things. A more positive example would be Angelina Jolie getting a double mastectomy which eventually led to many more women testing the BRCA gene.

These celebrities tend to have many admirers that want to be like them. I believe that this is especially true for younger people as they want to grow up and be like their heroes. According to a 2006 study, about 60% of college students surveyed admitted to being influenced by celebrities. In order to see if my views are shared with other people my age, I have interviewed several students that are studying fields that are relevant to this subject. Their views are very similar to mine on the subject.

Two of the students I have interviewed have claimed that they haven’t seen a celebrity endorsement for an environmental cause. The third, claimed that she has seen several celebrities endorse environmental causes which has helped her gain awareness in addition to learning about it in school. I personally have seen one by Will Ferrell, however I have completely forgotten about it until I’ve seen it again in my environmental science course. However, I am not personally too big on what celebrities do in their free time. So, for me, this is not relevant for the most part unless a celebrity does a movie or video on an environmental issue.

I have come across a list of celebrities who are environmentalists as well. Up until seeing this list I didn’t know most of the celebrities listed were environmentalists. One really amazing project that I haven’t heard of until specifically looking at this list was Brad Pitt’s environmentally friendly home community.

One of the students I have interviewed claimed that he was not influenced by celebrities. However after some questioning he admitted that he would have been influenced if the right celebrity would have advocated for an issue. This student mentioned later in the interview that you’d need quite a bit of celebrities to be able to influence people to do what you want. This website displays a list of over 200 names of “green celebrities” which is extremely helpful for raising environmental awareness. I feel like the reason many people have not heard of all of these celebrities as being environmentalists is that the media may not be covering it or that they aren’t giving their message loud enough. Here are some pictures of celebrities and captions on what they do for the earth. I, personally, was surprised to see many of them (that were in the provided link). However, I didn’t grow up watching all of these celebrities and I was never really raised to be influenced by the media.

matt-damonbrad-pittEmma-WatsonWoody-HarrelsonJessica-Alba1

If one would like to maximize the influence of their campaign I would definitely advocate for the usage of celebrities. If a comical campaign by Will Ferell can get over 193 thousand views, I believe a real campaign with the above list of “green celebrities” can have a much greater impact that can make a huge change in the world.


Bryan Fleishman – Junior – Psychology                            Screenshot 2015-03-17 at 11.56.04 PM


TC: What do you already know about the environment?

BF: I know that there is global warming. I know that there is a big concern on whether we’d have enough resources moving towards the future. I know that there already are noticable differences in the earth’s atmosphere and that in the next 40 years our resources will be dwindling everywhere. I know that there is the LEED practice that our university is getting engaged in and it’s good and I’m all for it. I’m trying to be as environmentally friendly as I can

TC: How do you know these things?

BF: How do I know about this? I’ve learned about sustainability tactics just through high school and different things like that and reading the paper which is not environmentally friendly. 

TC: Do you know of any celebrities that have endorsed environmental issues?
BF: I don’t know of any celebrities that have endorsed the environment. I’m sure there are I just can’t think of any off the top of my head.

TC: Do you think an endorsement would help?
BF: I think a celebrity endorsement of an environmental issue would help make sure there is awareness. I don’t know about me I’m not too impacted by pop culture per se. I’m just not big on celebrities. For me it’s a different kind of thing. I do feel like it would help create an awareness for others though. I just feel like it would help create more awareness for other people, just not with me and thats for any topic. I’m a big baseball fan. If Babe Ruth came forward in time and said we should care about baseball for reasons 1,2, and 3 then I would and a lot of others would listen too. But for people not interested they’d need someone from a different background. So, I feel like there would need to be a large variety of celebrities to endorse these things. If you get people invested in a certain thing then it becomes more valuable to them. If you get someone they like then they would at least give it a try. I’m not saying everyone who likes the celebrity would go out and do what the person is saying, but it’s more likely that they would go out and do something if they have a celebrity that they like and admire. God forbid if a celebrity gets cancer, then people who like the celebrity will go out and look up cancer and donate to the cause.


Noah Feingold – Junior – ESE            10694476_10152676262442778_3377911501035649149_o


TC: Where did you learn most of what you know about the environment?

NF: I learned most of it from high school teachers and my own independent research during the first year of college

TC: Did you learn anything from tv and or celebrity endorsements? If so which ones?

NF: Yes, I’ve watched documentaries and features about the environment on TV. No celebrity endorsements tho

TC: Do you think a celebrity endorsement would gain awareness for an environmental issue? For you? For others? 

NF: Possibly for others not for me. Celebrities are not scientists and thus it’s important to separate their views from those professionals. That being said, their status could theoretically bring attention to environmental issues.


Alma Puts – Sophomore – Linguistics  IMG_0823


 

TC: What do you know about the environment and do you feel like you know a lot about it?

AP: I feel like I know more about the environment than the average american does because I am european and we don’t have the whole “we don’t believe in global warming because we’re right wing and we believe that god does blah blah blah.” So basically we have to watch al gore’s movie in schools and our geography classes in high school were like a whole year’s module on global warming. We talked a lot about it in school. But maybe, thats obviously not the only aspect of the environment. 

TC: Did you learn anything from tv and or celebrity endorsements? If so which ones?

AP: Al Gore’s movie. Also Scarlett Johansson did a movie which was oscar nominated about melting in the polar ice and only because it was her that was nominated I kind of watched that movie. Also isn’t morgan freeman narrating an environmental movie. Maybe it was Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry narrates a lot of environmental movies. He is an english person who narrates a lot of things.

TC: Do you think a celebrity endorsement would gain awareness for an environmental issue? For you? For others?

AP: For me its not that I don’t think about environmental issues just because of environmental issues. But it helps that it brings it to the foreground and not the background. It might not make them think about it more, but they’ll be more exposed.

Images from: http://www.babble.com/entertainment/green-celebrities-20-of-our-favorite-eco-friendly-celebs/

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Begone climate change deniers!

There are very few things that I have heard that are just so ridiculous that I have had to point them out. Of them, climate change denial is one of the top ones. Not only does this position seem insane to me, it also uses an odd amalgam of science and fiction (mostly the latter) to carry out their point. Climate change deniers are purposely denying rather than communicating the dangers that we face and we are all susceptible to the dangers that can happen if we go about our ways without change. In order to prove how ridiculous the climate change denial phenomena is I have compiled a variety of sources that show how absurd it is to deny climate change and how important it is to properly communicate the dangers of global warming:

Below, you will find a video that shows how the climate change denial machine. I think it is ridiculous that people that are as wealthy as the Koch brothers (who each have about 21 billion dollars to their name) think it is acceptable to destroy the earth just to make more money. Watch the video below to see how they do it:

Below you will find a video of Bill Nye The Science Guy debating climate change with Joe Bastardi. While many people know and love Bill, I believe that in this specific video Joe was the better communicator as he was much more passionate and made it seem like Bill did not know what he was talking about. This goes to show the importance of proper communication when it comes to climate change.

In the video below, former GM exec Lutz shows his blatant climate denial in action and Bill Maher and Neil DeGrasse Tyson show the audience just how wrong Lutz is. My two favorite parts are when Lutz denies that the consensus among scientists agree that global warming is a thing, which for the record NASA states that 97% of scientists agree that it is. Later on Lutz denies that consensus means anything in science. Another thing I found interesting was that republicans in the past came up with the cap and trade program, and now many of them deny it. Neil’s challenge for Lutz that if he really believes climate change is a hoax to invest in companies that think global warming is a hoax (so that in 50 years he’d be broke) was also a bright idea. This goes to show how ridiculous the climate change denying argument is.

here is a short article featuring a video that shows how a republican webcast cut out a part of Obama’s State of the Union address. The webcast cut him off right as he said “I’m not a scientist.” Obama went on to finish his point on how it made sense to him and many other actual scientists, yet this was never featured to the viewers of the webcast. miseducation is one of the few reasons climate change denial even exists.

In this article GOP congressman and climate change denier Dan Benishek says he believes in peer reviewed science. The article goes on to say that 97% of scientists agree that global warming is a thing and over 12,000 peer reviewed papers have concluded that Global Warming is a thing and that it is caused by humans

This article features a video with Al Gore and Jason Linkins show the true motivation behind climate change denial. Jason summarizes it as they’ve been lied to, they’ve been bought off, or they are just stupid.

My Favorite article features Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse putting climate change deniers in their place. My favorite part of this is where Sheldon states that deniers said the government was colluding. He goes on to say how we trust each government organization in everything that they do except for when it comes to climate change. My favorite example of when he says we trust NASA to bring a rover to Mars and stream video, yet not when it comes to global warming. I also like how he put the petition against global warming in its place too as 2/3 of the signers of the petition weren’t scientists and the petition included the spice girls among other people who weren’t science authorities. My final favorite part is where Sheldon says that young Republicans view climate change deniers as ignorant, out of touch, or crazy.

There are two main messages to this compilation. The first is that communication is key to bringing climate change reform to the government. In Chernobyl, the communications occurred after the destruction had already occurred. While humans have created a lot of destruction to the environment and many lives have been lost, there is still a lot more work to be done and even bigger disasters and destruction can be prevented with proper communication and preventative measures.

The second message is that there are consequences to every action. One could lose their credibility and companies can lose their funding. However,the biggest dangers of climate change are include damage that is difficult to imagine. All due to misrepresenting the facts and endangering the world. To summarize, be careful about the message you are communicating as there is much more at stake than you may have imagined.