Joaquin Phoenix Isn’t Joking: It’s Time to Take Climate Change Seriously

Rainn Wilson wants you to cut back on meat consumption.
Susan Sarandon is using reusable bags, straws and cups, and she’s hoping you will, too. 
Michael Greyeyes is urging you to compost and donate your old clothing. 
And they’re not the only celebrities encouraging you to combat our climate crisis. 
A new campaign, “The World Is in Our Hands,” captures celebrities in black and white photographs holding a pristine globe in their hands. Each photo is paired with action items anyone can add to their daily life. Whether it’s traveling sustainably, using less energy or demanding action from leaders, the featured celebrities are advocating for everyone to take matters into their own hands. 
“We chose people from all walks of life, from all different ages and different ethnicities,” Justin Wu, the photographer behind the campaign, told NationSwell. “I think if they can all come together for one unified message … that is amazing.”
Launched on September 18, the campaign is a partnership between Wu, the UN Environment Programme, social impact company The Krim Group and Accor, a hospitality company. 

Celebrities came together for the “The World Is in Our Hands” campaign, which urges individuals to adopt eco-friendly practices to combat climate change.

The campaign builds upon the UN’s ActNow initiative, a global call to raise awareness and spur action around climate change.
“With climate change, the world really is in our hands,” Todd Krim, president and CEO of The Krim Group, told NationSwell. “It’s up to those of us that are old enough to actually do something active to save the planet.”
In a pop-up studio at the Toronto International Film Festival, Wu and Krim recruited actors and actresses who are already invested in tackling climate change.
From there, interest in the campaign snowballed, Wu said. Word spread and other celebrities were eager to get involved. 
The end result is a series of photographs featuring Antonio Banderas, Joaquin Phoenix, Rosario Dawson, Neve Campbell and Alfre Woodard, to name a few.
Krim and Wu both have a history of working with celebrities and know the influence they can have on the general population.
“There’s a connection they’ve already made with the audience because they’ve already made audiences cry, they’ve made audiences laugh, and intrinsically, the audience already feels that much closer to the celebrity and so that kind of bond really resonated,” Wu said. 
But Krim stressed that this is just the beginning. 
Krim and Wu plan to continue the photo series through the fall and into 2020. This week, at UNEP’s Champions of the Earth gala, they’ll be taking photographs of individuals from grassroots and corporates sectors. 
“We don’t just view this as a ‘campaign’. We’re trying to create a movement here,” Krim said. “We want to inspire action.”
More: ‘Climate Apocalypse Chic’ and 7 Other Ways Art Tackles Climate Change 

Can Food Change People’s Opinion of the Refugee Crisis?

Disappointed by the selection of hummus sold in supermarkets, Manal Kahi, a native of Lebanon, started making her own, using her grandmother’s recipe. Then, during the height of the 2015 refugee crisis, a light bulb went off in Kahi’s head: What if refugees could share their local cuisines and earn a living by doing so?
Last November, Kahi and her brother launched Eat Offbeat. Watch the video above to see how this ethnic food delivery company hires refugees from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Nepal who are talented home cooks and trains them to be professional chefs. 
MORE: Would Your Opinions of Criminals Change If One Cooked and Served You Dinner?

The Best Narrator on the Planet Takes on the World’s Most Important Issue

From documentaries about marching penguins to Visa Olympics commercials, Morgan Freeman’s deep, soothing voice has brought gravitas to everything. Now, the famous actor is lending his vocal chops to one of the most pressing issues facing humanity: climate change.
Freeman narrates “What’s Possible,” an inspiring four-minute-long documentary directed by Louie Schwartzberg about how clean energy and worldwide cooperation can be used to solve global warming. Appropriately, the short was shown before world leaders and dignitaries at the recent United Nations Climate Summit in New York.
Amid daunting images of a quickly shrinking coastline and a floor of dying honeybees, the video’s overall message is one of hope. As Freeman says, “We have never faced a crisis this big, but we have never had a better opportunity to solve it. We have everything we need to wake up to a different kind of world.”
Check out the video below, and let’s help save the planet.
DON’T MISS: Watch What a Climate Change Debate Should Really Look Like

Yet Another Reason to Love Leonardo DiCaprio

After marching with more than 400,000 individuals at the history-making People’s Climate March on the streets of Manhattan, Leonardo DiCaprio urged world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit to take action.
“As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters, often solving fictitious problems,” says the newly-appointed U.N. Messenger of Peace. “I believe mankind has looked at climate change in that same way, as if it were fiction, as if pretending climate change was not real it would somehow make it go away. But I think we all know better than that, now.”
The “Wolf of Wall Street” star isn’t just bringing a little Hollywood pizazz to a room full of suits and politicians. DiCaprio is a noted philanthropist and environmental activist, who started the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation that’s dedicated to protecting the planet.
In his speech, he urged the leaders to enact taxes on carbon emissions, as well as eliminating government subsidies for coal, gas and oil companies. “We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy, they don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny,” he says. “For the economy itself will die if our eco-systems collapse.”
Someone give this man an Oscar already.
The full transcript:
Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, your excellencies, ladies and gentleman, and distinguished guests. I’m honored to be here today, I stand before you not as an expert but as a concerned citizen, one of the 400,000 people who marched in the streets of New York on Sunday, and the billions of others around the world who want to solve our climate crisis.
As an actor I pretend for a living. I play fictitious characters often solving fictitious problems.
I believe humankind has looked at Climate Change in that same way: as if it were a fiction, happening to someone else’s planet, as if pretending that Climate Change wasn’t real would somehow make it go away.
But I think we know better than that. Every week
, we’re seeing new and undeniable Climate Events, evidence that accelerated Climate Change is here now. We know that droughts are intensifying, our oceans are warming and acidifying, with methane plumes rising up from beneath the ocean floor. We are seeing extreme weather events, increased temperatures, and the West Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets melting at unprecedented rates, decades ahead of scientific projections.
None of this is rhetoric, and none of it is hysteria. It is fact. The scientific community knows it, Industry and Governments know it, even the United States military knows it. The Chief of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that Climate Change is our single greatest security threat.
My Friends, this body – perhaps more than any other gathering in human history – now faces that difficult task. You can make history…or be vilified by it.
To be clear, this is not about just telling people to change their light bulbs or to buy a hybrid car. This disaster has grown BEYOND the choices that individuals make. This is now about our industries, and governments around the world taking decisive, large-scale action.
I am not a scientist, but I don’t need to be. Because the world’s scientific community has spoken, and they have given us our prognosis, if we do not act together, we will surely perish.
Now is our moment for action.
We need to put a pricetag on carbon emissions, and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies. We need to end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy, they don’t deserve our tax dollars, they deserve our scrutiny. For the economy itself will die if our eco-systems collapse.
The good news is that renewable energy is not only achievable but good economic policy. New research shows that by 2050 clean, renewable energy could supply 100% of the world’s energy needs using EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES, and it would create millions of jobs.
This is not a partisan debate; it is a human one. Clean air and water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation – if, admittedly, a daunting one…
We only get one planet. Humankind must become accountable on a massive scale for the wanton destruction of our collective home. Protecting our future on this planet depends on the conscious evolution of our species.
This is the most urgent of times, and the most urgent of messages.
Honored delegates, leaders of the world, I pretend for a living.
But you do not. The people made their voices heard on Sunday around the world and the momentum will not stop. And now it’s YOUR turn, the time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet… is now.
I beg you to face it with courage. And honesty. Thank you.
DON’T MISS: Watch What a Climate Change Debate Should Really Look Like

3 Reasons Why Sunday’s Historic Climate March Could Be the Start of Something Huge

Thousands of protestors will cram the streets of New York City this Sunday, calling on world leaders to help stop climate change. But they’ll also have another message: “Welcome to a new chapter in the fight against global warming. This time it’s going to work.”
The People’s Climate March is expected to be the biggest-ever collective action against global climate change, and organizers are hoping the protest will mark a watershed moment in their fight.
For years, scientist and activists have been pleading for coordinated action to halt the warming of the planet, but world leaders have repeatedly failed to rise to the challenge. Since the disastrous United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen in 2009, global summits have not forged worldwide consensus on how to achieve the U.N.’s stated goal of restricting any future global temperature increase to no more than two degrees Celsius.
This weekend’s march is set to coincide with another one of these global meetings: The U.N. Climate Summit 2014. No decisions will be made at the event, which will be attended by 125 world leaders, including President Obama. But the summit will lay the groundwork for landmark U.N. climate conferences this December in Lima and next year in Paris.
Despite the failures of the past, organizers of the People’s Climate March see at least three reasons to hope this year.