Robert Redford told the United Nations at a general assembly yesterday, “This may be our last chance” to curb the damage of greenhouse gases on the planet. Redford was responding to this December’s climate conference in Paris, where environmentalists hoped an agreement would be reached by developing and developed nations to rein in greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet.Redford, an active environmentalist for years, said:
Unless we move quickly away from fossil fuels, we’re going to destroy the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health of our children, grandchildren and future generations.
The current talks at UN HQ in New York have been attended by representatives from all over the world, and come in the wake of a groundswell of opinion urging for a change in how we consume energy. Earlier this month, Pope Francis ratcheted up his environmental rhetoric in a 184-page encyclical, saying we need “to reject the magical conception of the market,” as a way of dealing with the issue, which caused a — not so unpredictable — backlash from conservatives.
In a CNN op-ed on Sunday, Redford addressed this, saying: “I know the fossil fuel industry and its political cronies are saying the Pope’s no expert on science. Please. The science speaks for itself.” And presumably dropped his pen (or keyboard), instead of mic, and walked away.
There’s no doubt Redford has a point when he says “It may be our last chance.” But, of course, we’ve been many times since the Kyoto protocol, and all proceeding talks have produced a litany of failures on the part of international governments to reach any meaningful agreement. The consequences of an agreement not being reached this December are hardly worth thinking about.
Watch his full speech: