After a major United Nations scientific report on biodiversity was released on Monday, the hope was that its release could spark a “Paris moment” and bring a coordinated global effort to tacking the extinction of species much like the Paris Climate Agreement did for climate change. It was rightfully alarming to countless people that up to a million of Earth’s estimated eight million species face extinction and many within decades. When you’re dialed into the environmental media like Monica and I are it might be difficult to assess if anyone beyond our world noticed but I’m starting to feel hopeful that they have. Members of Congress, leaders in British Parliament, actors, activists, and countless NGOs have expressed their dismay and it seems like cultural icons are beginning to listen. What stood out to me was that several people compared Monday’s Met Gala to the “Last Days of Rome” as celebrities were being critiqued on their embodiment of camp on the same day that such a crucial report was released. However, my favorite reaction may have been actor George Clooney’s announcement on Jimmy Kimmel Live! of a “new initiative” he’s spearheading to raise awareness about the dismissal of climate change and scientific facts by a swath of Americans. You can watch it above.
Why This Matters: If you read ODP then you likely already acknowledge that humans must act to curb climate change and alter our behavior so that we have a sustainable planet to leave the next generation. However many Americans aren’t willing to give up much to ensure this mostly because they don’t view these issues as being dire. It’s going to take the media, entertainers, artists, politicians, and anyone else with a platform to continue to talk about the topics of climate and biodiversity loss with the urgency that they warrant. We have to work to make these issues mainstream if we want Americans to care about them and to vote in favor of action. Here’s my challenge to you, talk about the findings of this recent UN report with one person this week with whom you wouldn’t ordinarily broach such a subject. Let’s make climate and biodiversity something we talk about with as much enthusiasm as a Starbucks cup being left in a scene of Game of Thrones.