Robert Redford - father, grandfather, and a concerned citizen

Robert Redford is in the news today, but not as an actor. He has something to say on issues that have long been a concern for him.

The cinema heartthrob has appeared in films since 1959, first as an actor, and later as a director, winning the 1980 Best Film Oscar with the first film he directed, Ordinary People. His has been a stellar acting career, with roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Great Gatsby, All The President’s Men, Out of Africa, and so very many more.

He has also long had concerns about the environment. His 1972 film Jeremiah Johnson had something of an environmental theme, and indeed led to him buying land in Utah, where the film was shot. He made his Utah his home, and where he based his annual Sundance Film Festival, an important event in the film world.

And it is the environment that has the actor in the news today. Redford appeared as a speaker at a climate change event at the United Nations, in New York. The event is expected to “deliver a new, ambitious and universally binding agreement” from the international community.

“I’m here today as an environmental advocate, but also a father, grandfather, and a concerned citizen.

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“I’m an actor… I’m sorry about that” he said self-deprecatingly. “I’m an actor by trade, but I’m an activist by nature.

“Your mission here is as simple as it is daunting. It’s to save the world before it’s too late.

“Every day we don’t act, the crisis gets worse — and the cost of inaction goes up. But there are three things that we can do as a global community”.

It’s a passionate seven-minute speech, and no mere stab to be talked about. He absolutely means every word.

Earlier in the week he wrote an opinion piece for CNN.

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Last year was the hottest since we began taking global measurements 135 years ago. The 16 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1997. As Pope Francis has told us, we have a moral obligation to be responsible stewards of the earth and all it supports. That means protecting future generations from the dangers of climate change.

Here is the video of Redford’s speech to the United Nations:

 

 

What do you think of what Redford says in the video? Do you think more notice will be taken, and more action on the problem, because of celebrities as spokespeople? Do you think real solutions to climate change will happen soon?