Climate Change, COP17 & Champagne Environmentalists

Pop the Champers for COP17!

Days away from COP 17 and the media is abuzz with which celebs will be making an appearance in support of COP17. Apparently  Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Bono, Arnold Schwarzenegger and probably a score of others are scheduled to attend COP 17 in Durban.  This got me thinking…

  1. Is the celeb support helping fight climate change
  2. Is the support worth the GHG emissions
  3. Do the celebs make a difference to the people most affected by climate change and environmental degradation?
  4. Is celeb support of climate and environmental issues simply perpetuating the consumerist model (the you can have it all mentality) that has helped to get us to this position of ecological debt, climate change and environmental degradation that we are tying to solve…. think greenwash, the eco-fashion bandwagon, environment as advertising and publicity stunts, inequality in resource use etc….
  5. Will the celebs be flying economy class (first class=more emissions)? will they (and their entourage) be using public transport? will they walk to all their public appearances? or maybe they will offset their emissions by planting a tree or two… or three (hopefully indigenous to the environment that they plant it in….)

Please do not for a minute think that am totally against celebrities helping out with a “good cause”. I do however believe that quite a few celebs are rather involved with greenwash and publicity as opposed to actually making a difference…… they need to really look at the impact of their lifestyles, the cause that they are promoting and the actual message that they are communicating. Some reading about the contradictions in celeb champagne lifestyles and their environmental messages….

Hypocrisy of champagne environmentalists is deceitful and distracting

Enviro-celebs attending COP17

Luxury brands must wake up to ethical and environmental responsibilities

This also brings us back to the question of whether COP17 is worth all the carbon miles?… could we not have the same or a better result through just agreeing on what needs to be done and doing it instead to flying around the world year after year and going through the same arguments again and again….

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3 thoughts on “Climate Change, COP17 & Champagne Environmentalists

  1. Dear Saphira,
    I´m sorry to contact you by a public reply, but I need to contact you.
    I am a 22 year old Brazilian, bachelor of laws and pursuing my MSc in Housing. I´m currently researching how to integrate adaptations measures to climate changes in urban development projects, and one of the answers is green infrastructure – which my advisor is especialized. So, I was watching youtube videos of green projects to cities, and then I saw your interview. Well, what a coincidence! We have the same name, and interested in the same subject. Here in Brazil, neither my name nor green infrastructure are very popular, so it is really a surprise for me find you!
    I would love to know more about you and your projects. Feel free to contact me through facebook, e-mail, skype, linked-in, etc!
    Best regards,
    Safira

  2. Pingback: Aid, Development & The Development Set ! | ECOCRED

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