Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson has written a new opinion piece urging immediate action on climate change among world leaders and ordinary citizens alike.
“We have weaponized our planet. All over the world life forms are experiencing weather that attacks rather than sustains. Unseasonal heat that kills, rain that instead of sweetening, inundates and destroys, hurricanes that devastate,” Thompson wrote on CNN.com Tuesday.
“Half of the man-made CO2 in the atmosphere was emitted in the last few decades — after scientists, governments and oil companies all knew where fossil fuels were taking us. Since Al Gore‘s film ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ we have produced more emissions than ever before,” she continued.
Thompson specifically called out oil firms and conservative lobbies, like the American Enterprise Institute, accusing them of spending billions on “misinforming the public” and “lying about the truth of our situation” to “protect the interests of the few who gain from the exploitation of the planet’s resources.”
She also called on world leaders, “those who have the power to change course,” to act collectively to address climate change, especially in the wake of the raging wildfires in the Amazon rainforest and the rapid melting of Greenland’s ice sheet.
“Personal commitments, whilst vital, are not enough. We need to come together, talk to each other about our fears, and then act, and act collectively,” Thompson wrote.
“Big government and corporate power have to be harnessed. The US and China, the two most powerful nations and the ones that cause the most damage through their emissions, can lead the way. They will have to cooperate. This is a new politics — a system-change for nothing less than the survival of the planet and all life forms that exist upon it,” she continued.
But Thompson also called for small-scale changes that all people can implement in their daily lives, like eating less meat and supporting companies or other food suppliers that wrap and ship their food using less plastic.
“We only have one home, one place in the universe that can sustain human life, and it’s the Earth,” Thompson wrote. “We wrote this story, and we are in charge of how it turns out.”
“Everything depends upon what we do now,” she added.