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Redford tweets for the Arctic, Hemingway films against Monsanto

Greenpeace Save the Arctic
Ever protested the actions of a big company? It can feel kind of hopeless: They’ve got money and power, and unless the word spreads widely, big businesses can just ignore those pesky protesters outside. Without some kind of “force multiplier,” activists can easily become disillusioned.

Fortunately, there are also people out there with money and power who are concerned about the actions of big companies, and they can fill that role of force multiplier. Getting a celebrity (or two) on board can help spread the world widely, especially when social media’s thrown into the mix. One person with hundreds of thousands (or millions) of Twitter followers can get a message out quickly! Given those dynamics, we’re hopeful about the prospects for these campaigns:

Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign is based on a simple premise: Give the Arctic the same protections from development that Antarctica has enjoyed for decades. The organization wants to gather 1 million petition signatures in support of this effort (and to stop companies like Shell from drilling for oil in the region). To speed up the process of gathering those signatures, Greenpeace has gone to its celebrity Rolodex for help, recruiting folks like Paul McCartney, Penelope Cruz, Jude Law and our own Robert Redford (or, as I like to call him, “that other green blogger guy“) to contact their social media followings about the petition. As of this writing, they’ve gathered just over 600,000 signatures — consider adding your own. (via Living Green Magazine)

Vicious Circle – narrated by John Hurt from Greenpeace UK on Vimeo.

If food’s your thing (and we all eat), you may want to check out #stopmonsanto, a film project with actress Mariel Hemingway in the Executive Producer’s chair. While the film will focus on Monsanto’s efforts to stop the labeling of genetically modified organisms and other practices that support its particularly industrial vision of food production, it won’t do so in documentary format. Rather, Hemingway and producers Blythe Metz and Priscilla Woolworth have created a story of five young activists and their attempts to challenge the company’s agricultural practices. The film’s currently raising funds through Indiegogo to get started. Check out Metz’s pitch for the film:

No doubt, the presence of some well-known names will help these projects get a bit more support and attention, and maybe even level the playing field. If you know of other interesting environmental campaigns with celebrities out front, share them with us.

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Image credit: Screen capture from Greenpeace’s “Vicious Circle” video