November 04, 2009

How Green Celebrities Helped Save Our Planet This Summer

Don't get us wrong -- we're fully aware that a plethora of celebs took pauses for causes this summer. There were Myanmar fundraisers, stars entertaining the troops, Miley Cyrus helping children and the Jonas Brothers working for diabetes. Even Leonard Nimoy championed thin-challenged women with a book of his photographic collection called "Full Body Project."

While Spock was lending his support to the fleshiest, who was helping save the environment?

Harrison Ford whipped in to Oceana's SeaChange Summer Party where, he and actor Sam Waterson were honored for their conservation efforts. The evening's event raised a cool million, and played host to Ford's longtime gal pal Calista Flockhart, eternal Annie Hall-turned L'Oreal model Diane Keaton, Jurassic Jeff Goldblum (whose new flick "Adam Resurrected" just wowed at the Telluride Film Festival), Diane "Unfaithful" Lane and "My Name is Earl" Daddy Beau Bridges.

sigourney weaver at wall-e premier in los angeles

Ford, fresh off his "Indiana Jones" blockbuster, was joined by sustainability entrepreneur John Picard and Oceana board member Ted Danson, who divulged to Variety that 70% of the world's fisheries are on the brink of collapse.

Danson, who's heading to HBO in the new show "Bored to Death," also cites seafood contamination as an Oceana concern: "One out of every six women of childbearing years has too much mercury in her system to safely give birth to a child without the possibility of neurological damage." Scarier than a Sci-Fi horror tale.

Sci-Fi queen Sigourney "Leave her alone, bitch!" Weaver emceed a New York City Audubon Society lunch honoring Bette Midler. Each year, Midler throws a Hulaween bash in support of the New York Restoration Project.

Weaver, who voiced the space resort's omnipotent computer in the summer smash "WALL-E," told the UK Mirror: "[The movie] is very entertaining but it does have this important message to us Earthlings, that not only MUST we do something but we CAN do something about the fate of the planet. Everyone should see it -- it's not just for kids."

Weaver calls President George W. Bush's environmental record a disgrace and says, "Thank God we are getting a new administration... but it will be a challenging job for whoever takes over. I hope it will be President [Barack] Obama. We must work together and be part of a global approach."

Thinking on a more local scale (and outside his Jersey boy box) is rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who is helping build five Detroit homes for his Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation and Habitat for Humanity. The 46-year-old intends to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing in America.
brad pitt and george clooney

Brad Pitt remains doggedly dedicated to doing just that, in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, where his Make It Right organization is busy building 150 environmentally friendly homes. Hurricane Katrina leveled the region in 2005 and more recently Hurricane Gustav ripped more damage into the Gulf Coast.

George Clooney not only supports his "Burn After Reading" costar's cause, he sponsored building two New Orleans homes for Make it Right, to the tune of $300,000.

Meanwhile, the G-8 Summit, held July 7-9 in Tokyo, is not making it right. In fact, it was declared a failure by most environmentalists. Oxfam International Executive Director Jeremy Hobbs said: "Never was more urgent action needed by the G8 than this week in Japan. Accelerated climate change, runaway food prices and growing poverty are depriving millions of people of their livelihoods and, in many cases, their very lives.

"In the end this summit did not deliver the breakthroughs that are so urgently needed. The consensus reached was shallow at best, especially on climate."

So what was the shallow consensus? From the official summit report: "With respect to the goal of achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050, the G8 leaders agreed to seek to share and adopt it with all Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."

Cut global emissions in half by 2050? Can we seriously afford to wait that long?

Leonardo DiCaprio won't wait -- not only is he behind "Greensburg," the Planet Green series about the green rebuilding of the Tornado-demolished Kansas town, this summer he announced "Time to Care," a partnership with Swiss watch company Jaeger-LeCoultre.

The "11th Hour" producer will put his signature on two special-edition watches and all proceeds will fund the California Community Foundation, supporting Leo's own org, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Global Green.
jon bon jovi

Other celebs doing their green star turns this summer:
--"Dark Knight"'s Maggie Gyllenhaal will be judging you, if you want. It's for Brighter Planet's "The Climate Matters" video contest. Final entries due September 22, 2008; go to for more info.
--Rachel Bilson and Olivia Newton John are hoping to convert Americans from using some of our 88 million clothes dryers to going au natural, by hanging clothes on the line. Even "Brothers and Sisters" star Matthew Rhys insists, "Hang out your clothes to dry...not the planet."
--Actor David Spade donated $10 grand to a Lakeside, Arizona animal shelter where his mom volunteers. Aw.
--Musicians Dave Mathews, Elton John, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp and Neil Young will join Willie Nelson at Farm Aid on September 20. For 23 years, the benefit has helped raise funds and awareness for farmers in crisis; after this past recession year, the need is even greater.

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