Climate change has become a global issue and, as such, spreading awareness about it is no longer the domain of just politicians and environmental experts.
People from many walks of life are getting involved, organizing marches and establishing foundations to look more deeply at the problems and consider solutions.
Numerous celebrities, knowing their platform as popular figures can be powerful, are among those taking the initiative. When receiving his 2016 Oscar for best actor, environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio referred to climate change as “the most urgent threat facing our entire species.”
And now an eco-superhero audiobook features the voices of actor Entourage’s Adrian Grenier and actress Alicia Silverstone – both strong environmental advocates – as they narrate author Leslie Landis’ novel Chendell: A Natural Warrior.
“Climate change is a reality and the evidence is everywhere,” says Landis, whose book focuses on two young people who acquire special powers and are compelled to save the environment from ruin.
In the book, Landis tells a story that addresses some of today’s most pressing issues. She uses Chendell, a supernatural protagonist, to bring the topics of ecocide and biocide to the forefront of young adult fantasy.
Landis holds an M.A. in psychology and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Landis also has been a legislative assistant to a U.S. senator, a teacher, financial planner, a bank trust officer, and an associate director in television.
“Entertainers and celebrities with such passion for saving our planet have huge followings, and from their financial support for eco-initiatives to spearheading awareness campaigns, their influence has never been more important. They are inspiring people to create the kind of change that can save our world.”
Silverstone and Grenier are just two more examples of celebrities taking action on climate change.Landis lists four different platforms celebrities are using to influence more people to take action as well:
Making documentaries. “These are powerful vehicles for creating mass-audience awareness and spurring action,” Landis says. “High-profile people documenting in detail the impact of climate change around the world, and passionately presenting the need for solutions, gets people’s attention.” Two well-known documentaries in this genre were former vice president Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before The Flood.
Posting on websites and social media. The California wildfires in the fall of 2018 caused some celebrities to lose their homes, including musician Neil Young, who posted on his website, “We are vulnerable because of climate change.”
Landis tells Reel 360, “Social media gives immediate attention to a critical problem and hits a huge audience due to the celebrity’s image as a strong activist,” Landis says. Celebrities such as Harrison Ford and Mark Ruffalo have used video and social media to speak out about climate change. “It’s up to you and me to act – now, to face the greatest moral crisis of our time,” Ford said.
Starting foundations. Numerous foundations have been started by celebrities to combat various aspects of climate change around the world, raising millions of dollars toward possible solutions to protect land, water, and air. At the same there’s a surge in philanthropic institutions making climate change a priority. “Money is the big game-changer in shifting our environmental habits through new technologies,” Landis says. “The globally conscious wealthy and famous are vital in leading the way.”
Supporting eco-friendly products. More celebrities are taking a stance for environmentally-friendly fashion. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, for example, partnered with Amour Vert for an eco-fashion line of shirts made from organic fabrics and printed with low-impact dyes. Actress Emma Watson launched a website dedicated to sustainable fashion. “Celebrities are making us question the story behind some of the products we purchase today,” Landis says.
“Celebrities can make a profound, positive impact on climate change,” Landis says. “We were in need of a wake-up call for a long time, and with well-known faces of our generation shouting from their platforms, more people are hearing it and heeding it.”