Years of Living Hypocritically: Five Alarmist Celebs and Their Double Standards
They may be good at making movies, but Hollywood celebrities’ lifestyles are far from an environmentalist’s dream. Their globetrotting, multiple mansion owning ways are inconsistent with the environmental agenda they loudly promote.
Showtime’s new climate change series, “Years of Living Dangerously,” premiered April 13, 2014, slightly more than a week before Earth Day 2014. It relies on several wealthy, Hollywood celebrities to spread fear about climate change. While these actors and directors talk a lot about reducing carbon footprints and saving the world, they haven’t given up their own enormous mansions and private jets.
Director James Cameron, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and actors Harrison Ford, Matt Damon and Ian Somerhalder who are worth a collective $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth, were just some of the Hollywood types involved in Showtime’s nine-part series.
Through “Years of Living Dangerously,” each of these men sound the alarm about environmental threats, yet -- by their own standards -- their lifestyles do more harm to the environment than that of the average citizen. Cameron maintains multiple estates and a fleet of fossil-fuel burning vehicles, while Somerhalder boasts online about his frequent international flights while complaining that the conventional gas engine needs to go and London cabs need to be retrofitted and made cleaner.
These are the top five environmental hypocrites from “Years of Living Dangerously.”
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger Linked to Deforestation, Criticized for Private Jet Commuting
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who joined the Showtime series as both executive producer and an on-screen correspondent, has a long history of both climate alarmism and environmental hypocrisy. Incidentally, the former governor is worth $300 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
One of the first stories in “Years of Living Dangerously” decried the role of deforestation in contributing to climate change. Specifically, the series blamed Indonesian deforestation on its government and on companies involved in the palm oil industry.
But Schwarzenegger must have ignored the episodes featuring Harrison Ford addressing the problem of deforestation. On March 27, 2014, Business Insider cited a report from the non-profit Global Witness which claimed Schwarzenegger profited heavily from palm oil-related deforestation and that he was invested in one of these companies.
“Ironically, some of the same companies that are responsible for the worst abuses are among the holdings of Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA), the $US338 billion fund of which Mr. Schwarzenegger is estimated to own some 5%,” Business Insider wrote.
But that isn’t the only instance of eco-hypocrisy on the part of the Governator. As governor of California his actions didn’t reflect a desire to reduce his personal carbon emissions. Rather than living in the state capital of Sacramento, Schwarzenegger continued to live in his massive Southern California mansion, commuting over 300 miles to work. This commute wasn’t too difficult for him since he flew his private jet to work multiple times a week, according to Ecorazzi.
The Los Angeles Times, in 2008, reported estimates from the Helium Report noting that Schwarzenegger’s jet “does nearly as much damage to the environment in one hour as a small car does in a year.”
2. James Cameron Lives Lavishly While Saying ‘Live With Less’
James Cameron, worth $700 million thanks to a successful film career with highlights like “Titanic” and “Avatar,” was an executive producer of “Years of Living Dangerously.” Cameron has been outspoken against those skeptical of climate change calling them “swine,” according to Ecorazzi, and “boneheads” that he wanted to “shoot it out with.”
More troubling still, in 2010 Cameron said, “I believe in ecoterrorism,” according to Breitbart.
Cameron has also pushed an eco-friendly lifestyle, at least in public remarks. In 2010, he said, “it will be a dying world if we don’t make some fundamental changes about how we view ourselves and how we view wealth,” the Los Angeles Times reported. He continued, “We’re going to have to live with less.”
But Cameron certainly doesn’t appear to be living with less. The Independent (UK) reported in 2010 that he owned three houses in Southern California (including prestigious Malibu) that take up more than 24,000 square feet combined and “each have heated swimming fuels,” but they are sorely lacking in “a single energy-saving solar panel or windmill.”
Similarly, filmmakers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer said Cameron owns “a JetRanger helicopter, three Harleys … a collection of dirt bikes, a yacht, a Humvee firetruck” and most preposterously “a fleet of submarines.”
This certainly doesn’t sound like a man personally committed to “living with less.”
3. Harrison Ford Loves to ‘Fly Up the Coast for a Cheeseburger’
Harrison Ford, beloved by many as movie fans for his roles as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, appears conflicted between his love of flying and his worship of nature.
In the first episode of “Years of Living Dangerously,” Ford declared “I needed something outside of myself to believe in and I found in nature a kind of god.” This conviction apparently led him towards climate alarmism and concern about carbon emissions.
This same reverence must not be present, however, when he burns literally tons of fossil fuels piloting his fleet of aircraft. According to Breitbart, Ford gave a 2010 interview with Live magazine where he revealed that he is “passionate about flying” and will “often fly up the coast for a cheeseburger.”
Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported in 2010 that Ford, who is worth $210 million, owns “several aircraft.” The Mirror (UK) revealed in 2013 that this fleet was joined by a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter. That extravagance is hypocritical given Ford’s warnings about the danger of fossil fuels and carbon emissions.
4. Matt Damon: Bashes Natural Gas with Foreign Oil Money
Matt Damon, who has starred in many films including the Bourne trilogy, is yet another green hypocrite on the team of “Years of Living Dangerously.” In an upcoming episode, Damon will discuss climate change’s supposed role in heat waves. He has a history, however, of inaccurately and hypocritically promoting environmentalism.
Damon, who is personally worth $75 million, co-wrote and starred in a widely hyped anti-fracking film called “Promised Land” which opened on Dec. 28, 2012. The film portrayed greedy and ruthless natural gas companies, intent on extorting drilling rights from poor farmers.
“Promised Land” was produced “in association with” Image Media Abu Dhabi which was owned wholly by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the CIA World Factbook, UAE exported $166 billion of crude oil in 2013. UAE is also a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Climate alarmists are quick to attack climate skeptics with allegations of fossil fuel funding, but Damon was somehow able to remain a high-profile environmentalist in spite of the connection.
5. Ian Somerhalder Tweets His Love for ‘Global Trotting’
Ian Somerhalder, most famous for his role as Boone on “Lost,” is also involved with “Years of Living Dangerously.”
He’s thrilled to be working on Showtime’s documentary and tweeted, “Couldn’t be more proud to watch this dream come true. CHECK OUT EPISODE 1 OF YEARS #YEARSProject,” celebrity website Wetpaint said.
Reports suggest he will bash the coal industry in his climate alarmist portion of the program. Although not nearly as wealthy as many of the other celebrities on this list, with his $4 million net worth, Somerhalder is just as hypocritical.
Twitchy reported a series of embarrassing tweets that expose Somerhalder’s elitism and environmental double standards.
On May 7, 2013, Somerhalder complained in a tweet about airlines’ carbon output, saying “Airlines should look at their carbon output&plant trees to offset pollution. Anyone want to calculate what aBoeing 777 puts into the air?”
Surrounding this tweet, however, Somerhalder excitedly documented his personal flights to China, Spain, Canada, Russia, Hungary, Italy, France, Belgium, England and both coasts of the United States. While admitting that these flights emitted large amounts of carbon emissions, he gushed over this “Whirlwind of global trotting” just a day earlier on May 6.
Somerhalder’s also used his tweets to call for other people to make expensive changes in order to benefit the environment. While in London in June 2013, Twitchy said he tweeted “I LOVE London but you guys have got to get cleaner-burning engines in these Black London Taxis. Retrofit the old ones please-its not right…”
Similarly, Somerhalder declared on May 7, 2013, that it was “time to end conventional gas engine” simply because he “can’t open [his] window b/c of the exhaust coming off of street.”
— Sean Long is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Sean Long on Twitter.