- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Robert Redford is sounding an environmental alarm, saying the planet is changing and that “our opportunities are shrinking.”

Redford spoke during a one-on-one session with Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales on Tuesday that packed a performing arts center in Santa Fe, The New Mexican of Santa Fe reported (https://bit.ly/1cmrI4Z ).

The 78-year-old actor and director is no stranger to Santa Fe; he owns a home in the city. During the session, the topics included the arts, Sundance Film Festival, activism and his interest and involvement in environmental issues.

Redford told the crowd that it’s difficult to combat the idea perpetuated by energy companies that cost savings related to coal and oil and natural gas drilling take priority over finding ways to avoid ripping up the Earth.

“The energy companies are not going to go quietly into the night,” Redford said when Gonzales asked him how to influence policymakers or at least counter the view that “cheaper is always better” when it comes to extractive industries.

He said he’s committed to looking at New Mexico as a “rich possibility for the future” when it comes to balancing energy development with conservation of the landscape.

“But it’s not going to be easy,” said Redford, who owns a home in Santa Fe. “I think young people are going to be the ones to really move it along.”

Redford said he decided to live in Santa Fe because he had visited many times over the years and finally realized “I was coming here so often that there must be something more to it than I was imagining.” He pointed to the land, sky and history.

“The history itself was fascinating to me because it was putting together three cultural elements: Anglo, Native American and Mexican.”

Glenn Schiffbauer, who has known Redford for decades and is the executive director of the Santa Fe chapter of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, said Redford’s attendance demonstrates his commitment to the city.

“Arts, environment and activism - you can’t find somebody who epitomizes all three of those any more so than Robert Redford,” he said.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, https://www.sfnewmexican.com


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