We all know what a green screen is. It’s that solid-color screen actors stand in front of while being filmed, in order that a scene may be digitally added behind them later. James Cameron uses them quite a bit in his films. But there’s another “green screen” that’s just as ubiquitous in Hollywood.
For example, we’ve discussed here before James Cameron’s environmental hypocrisy; a “green screen” covering his lavish lifestyle. It’s something altogether common in the “movement.”
For today’s episode, we’re talking about so-called environmental “superhero” Robert Redford. Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer recently released a new short film about Redford’s particular green hypocrisy. Watch this, then click below the fold for more details:
Redford is one of the main opponents of a plan by the Pacific Union College to build an eco-village in Angwin California. The college says it needs the funds because of a dire financial situation. The village is close to Redford’s vineyard in the Napa Valley. However whilst publicly opposing this development “to preserve the rural heritage” Redford has been quietly selling development lots in the Sundance Preserve for $2 million. These lots are intended for vacation homes close to Redford’s Sundance Ski Resort.
The actor joined the group Save Rural Angwin and released a statement in 2009 in opposition to the development. Since that time, the college revised its plans for the scope of the project before apparently abandoning them, according to a Save Rural Angwin newsletter from October of 2010. And though the fight seems to be over for now, the hypocrisy remains as plain today as it was to a green admirer of Redford talking to the New York Times in 2009:
“I don’t want to use the hypocrisy word here,” Mr. Johansen said. “I don’t think he’d be in opposition to this if he knew the whole story.”
“It’s the hypocrisy that gets me,” said the film’s Irish director, Phelim McAleer. “He’s taking a lovely virgin ridge and building McMansions on it. Granted, they’re nice, lefty, eco-McMansions. But they’re McMansions all the same. At the same time, he’s trying to stop other people from building houses in a nice spot.”
Of course, as the video shows, there’s yet more to Redford’s two faces of environmentalism. In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Redford was part of the media blitz to declare that this must be the beginning of the end for big oil. He was featured in this video produced and promoted by environmental group National Resources Defense Council, along with this blog post expanding on the point of view in the video. He also appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to elaborate on both.
Naturally, this didn’t stop him from putting his personal profits “ahead of people and the environment,” when working as a paid narrator of United Airlines commercials. Planes, McElhinney and McAleer point out, run on oil.
We are so often harangued to make do with less by those who have more than anybody that it’s almost become pointless to point out. The constant spectacle of Hollywood and the extravagant lifestyles of its elite are everyday fodder for gossip websites and television shows without end. Yet those same mansion-owning, yacht-driving, luxury condo selling stars never stop piously intoning that Americans have to “do better”, “make do with less”, and on and on. And the green movement will keep humoring and indulging them. Because just like United Airlines, the greens have a product to sell. And they want celebrities to sell out. Err, it. Thankfully, we have Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney to continue to expose the rank hypocrisy.
As a parting thought, consider this. When you see a commercial for some new prescription or OTC medication, do you feel more comfortable hearing from actual doctors, or actors playing doctors on TV? So why should we accept hysterical global warming claims when all their spokespersons are just actors playing scientists on TV? Food for thought. Processed, injected, preservative-filled food.
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