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Leaders who deny climate change are ‘on the wrong side of history’: Harrison Ford

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Actor attacked Trump and other leaders at World Government Summit for denying science to justify not facing the ‘moral crisis’

Harrison Ford has launched a scorching attack on Donald Trump and other world leaders, for denying science in order to justify doing nothing to face the “moral crisis” of climate change.


The actor best known for fighting off Imperial stormtroopers as Han Solo and writhing in snake pits as Indiana Jones has now taken on the combined might of climate change deniers, with Trump a top target. Though Ford did not mention the US president by name, the subject of his speech at the final day of the World Government Summit in Dubai was beyond doubt.

“Around the world,” he said, “elements of leadership including in my own country to preserve their state and the status quo, deny or denigrate science. They are on the wrong side of history.”

Ford, at 76 four years Trump’s senior, has long been a campaigner for global environmental protection. He prefaced his speech at the summit with a short film, narrated in his trademark lion’s growl, featuring the character of Nature speaking about the future.

“If I’m not kept healthy, humans won’t survive, simple as that,” Nature says. “I could give a damn with or without humans, I’m the ocean. I covered this entire planet once, and I can always cover it again.”

Climate change denial and skepticism about established scientific truth have long been embraced by Trump. He has been propagating conspiracy theories about global warming since at least 2012, when he claimed it was a ruse by China to gain an unfair manufacturing advantage over the US.

In June 2017 Trump withdrew the US from the Paris agreement to limit global pollution levels and control temperature rise. Last November he responded to a dire US climate assessment by 13 government agencies and top scientists with the blunt words: “I don’t believe it.”

Only on Sunday, Trump issued yet another denigrating tweet in which he sought to mock the Democratic senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar, who had just launched a 2020 presidential bid, but ended up mocking climate science. He noted that Klobuchar had addressed global warming in her speech as snow fell around her.

“Bad timing,” Trump said.

In an interview with CNN before his Dubai appearance, Ford criticized directly the Trump administration for being “bent on dismantling all of the gains we’ve made in the protection of the environment”.

He lamented the “isolationism, nationalism that’s creeping into governments all across the developed world. The problems require attention on nature’s scale not on the scale of the next election.”

In his address to the summit, Ford called climate change “the greatest moral crisis of our time. We need nature now more than ever because nature doesn’t need people, people need nature.”

The story was first published in The Guardian, Feb 12, 2019

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