Hollywood, California – The world’s best known environmental groups, representing eight countries along with First Nations, are running a full-page ad today in Hollywood’s Variety, read by the who’s who of the entertainment industry, praising Canadian-born filmmaker James Cameron for bringing to light in film what is playing out in reality in Canada’s controversial Tar Sands.
The ad, part of a special Oscar edition, has the headline “James Cameron and Avatar – You Have Our Vote”. The ad shows a 797B Heavy Hauler, one of the first trucks used to mine the Tar Sands, which is identical to some of the trucks used in Avatar. It also shows the vast open pit mines and tailings ponds that cut across what was once pristine Boreal forest – the same forest that stretched across Cameron’s hometown in Ontario.
“We want Hollywood, and the powerful thought leaders there, to know Avatar does a great job of exposing the Tar Sands,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada, one of 55 groups that signed the ad. “It’s the world’s most destructive project – Pandora’s unobtanium is Canada’s Tar Sands.”
The ad is part of a mounting campaign in the United States to stop Tar Sands expansion. The campaign also exposes the Canadian government as an environmental laggard trying to prevent the transition to a clean energy economy by keeping Americans addicted to dirty oil. Environmental groups and U.S. communities are increasingly concerned about the massive network of pipelines and refineries proposed to bring Tar Sands oil into the U.S.
“Avatar is like one big advertisement for our fight against Canada’s Tar Sands oil,” said Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope. “This is one of the most destructive projects on earth and we can’t let it expand into the U.S.”
The group is calling on Americans to send an email to President Obama asking for clean energy, not dirty fuels like Tar Sands oil.
The complete list of groups and the ad can be viewed at www.dirtyoilsands.org
For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence Canada, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280 9521(cell)
Kristina Johnson, Sierra Club, (415) 977-5619