Hollywood icon Robert Redford says the coronavirus pandemic has produced a number of “pleasant surprises” for environmentalists who are faced with the “daunting” task of saving the planet from climate change.
The long-time activist penned an an NBC op-ed with his son James on the green lessons Americans can learn from the deadly contagion.
“What has the scourge of COVID-19 revealed to us?” he asked Thursday. “Will any of these hard-won lessons help us as we turn to face the potential calamity of climate change that looms on the horizon?”
The actor pointed to President Trump as an example of “failed leadership” before pivoting to a global economic shutdown’s effect on the environment.
“There have also been some pleasant surprises,” the pair continued. “As many of the world’s transportation and industrial sectors have reduced operations, there has been a remarkable decline in global levels of carbon dioxide emissions. Of course, the cost in life and livelihood negates any celebration. Nonetheless, there is no denying that we have gotten a very real glimpse of the potential for global environmental repair. … Clearly, inertia [on green activism] is unacceptable.”
Mr. Redford then said that “the power of collective action” must be applied because “global entities unwilling to adjust their profits for the greater good” are a continued obstacle to environmentalists.
“[We need] to wrest control of environmental policies held hostage by stakeholders desperately clinging to their profits and power,” he said. “If we come together to do what we can, we can and will blunt the curve of climate change and create a better world for the many generations to come.”