Environmental – Activist – Hollywood – Celebrities

13 Apr

Director James Cameron who directed Avatar has urged the Brazilian President, Lula, to halt the construction of an $11 billion Belo Monte hydroelectric dam. The project is predicted to be the world’s third-largest of its kind and has been opposed by environmentalists who says the dam would destroy biodiversity and the livelihoods of 40,000 people who live around it.

In an interview with AP, Cameron said, ‘What’s happening in ‘Avatar’ is happening in Brazil and places like India and China, where traditional villages are displaced by big infrastructure projects,’. He also urged the North to take responsibility for global warming.

Another Hollywood celebrity who has taken up the environmental cause is Alec Baldwin. Writing in the Huffington Post, the celebrity has questioned the negative health and environmental impacts of nuclear power plants, specifically, on the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. Alec talks about the work he has done with advocacy groups such as the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) which claims that there are ‘no safe levels of exposure to the byproducts created by the generation of reactors currently in use’.

An interesting but often sidestepped claim of nuclear is its true cost, which is propagated by the industry as a solution to climate change. The hidden costs are astronomically higher and anything but clean. For example, the process of extraction,

‘… Other problems inherent in nuclear power generation, they simply ignore completely. One such issue is the impact of mining and processing radioactive materials into actual fuel. The mining and processing of material like uranium is one of the most carbon intensive processes used in creating energy. To mine, mill and refine uranium and to then submit the material to the enrichment, or gaseous diffusion, process takes vast amounts of energy. In sites around the US, massive coal burning plants pollute the air while providing the energy for uranium enrichment. Add to that the power needed to fabricate the enriched UF6 into fuel rods, and the resources needed to store the byproduct, reduced or depleted UF6. You begin to see that everything that leads up to a utility reactor going on line is anything but clean…’.

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