MANILA, Philippines – Seven Hollywood celebrities have taken on their most difficult role yet: Nature.
In their new role, these A-List celebrities seek not to win prestigious awards such as the Oscars or the Golden Globes. Instead they seek to win the hearts and minds of people and convince them that they have to do better to take care of nature because “nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.”
Conservation International’s advocacy campaign, dubbed “Nature is speaking” (#NatureIsSpeaking), features the voices of veteran actors Harrison Ford, Edward Norton, and Julia Roberts, among others.
They speak as various forms of nature — such as soil, ocean, rainforest, etc. — and tackle how human activity has adversely affected them. Read more about the campaign here.
1. Julia Roberts as Mother Nature says:
“How you choose to live each day whether you regard or disregard me, doesn’t really matter to me. One way or the other, your actions will determine your fate not mine. I am nature. I will go on. I am prepared to evolve. Are you?”
Roberts said that she has always been an environmentalist but realized there was much more at stake after she had children. “I realized that I wasn’t doing enough to protect the planet. People need nature and of course I want my children to have the best opportunity in life.”
“I also realized how important it was for me to raise them to be conscientious people (who) are aware of their impact on the Earth,” she said.
2. Edward Norton as The Soil says:
“Do you realize that I am just a thin skin on this planet? And that I am actually alive? Full of organisms that grow your food. But I am broken, aching, overused, sick, because of you.”
Norton said he has deep roots in conservation because his father was a conservation movement leader for 30 years. He recalled how his father accompanied him in hiking, camping, and rafting trips.
“He also taught me that the spiritual value of the outdoors alone is not enough to save nature against economic interests. We must realize that nature is absolutely essential for our survival, and we must act on that premise now,” he said.
3. Harrison Ford as The Ocean says:
“Humans, they’re no different. I don’t owe them a thing. I give, they take. But I can always take back. That’s just the way it’s always been, it’s not their planet anyway. Never was, never will be.”
Ford has been with Conservation International for 23 years. He said that when he first joined, he found the importance of improving “human well-being through the care of nature.”
“The message was simple: People need nature. More than 20 years later, this simple message is more important then ever. The environment has become a political, polarizing issue. It’s time to change the conversation about nature to focus on what we all have in common: our shared humanity,” he said.
4. Penelope Cruz as Water says:
“To humans, I’m just water. Just there. Where will humans find me when there are billions more of them around? Where will they find themselves? Will they wage wars over me like they do over everything else?”
Cruz said that she has personally seen how “millions of people are already living in a true water crisis.”
“If we continue on the path we’re on, there simply won’t be enough fresh water for everyone,” she said. “We must act now to make sure fresh water is available to everyone, no matter where they live. The consequences of doing nothing will be even more catastrophic.”
5. Kevin Spacey as The Rainforest says:
“I have always been there for them and I have been more than generous. Sometimes I gave it all to them. Now, gone forever.”
Spacey underlined the importance of humanity shifting to “clean sustainable energy” in order to save the Earth.
“Nature’s message is clear: we can’t keep doing what we’re doing now. Clean sustainable energy is crucial and cannot wait… we have to start listening to nature now.”
6. Robert Redford, with Lena Redford, as The Redwoods says:
“[Humans] started using the planet like it was put there just for them. Act like they’ve got an extra one laying around.”
Redford recounted how his work at Yosemite National Park when he was a teenager had changed him by becoming more aware of his part within nature.
“At the same time I would see my hometown Los Angeles change. Green spaces and orange groves gave way to cement, freeways flooded with traffic, and air pollution, all in the name of ‘progress’,” he said. “It had a profound effect on me, and I realized just how important nature was to my spirit, my soul, my point of view.”
7. Ian Somerhalder as The Coral Reef says:
“I am the protein factory for the world. Yet you raise the temperature of the ocean so I can’t live here anymore. And when big storms and tsunamis barrel through the ocean, I am your fortress. Yet you tear me apart with dynamite and poison me with cyanide.”
Somerhalder said that coral reefs can be likened to the heart of the planet and water to blood, which courses through rivers, streams, and oceans.
“We simply cannot survive without our heart, therefore it’s mandatory we heal and protect our coral reefs now,” he said.
To contribute to their advocacy, visit their site here.