The Climate Crisis

Hollywood is stepping up to fight environmental destruction through storytelling and activism – but is it enough?

“Warming No. 6,” by Tim Bower
© Tim Bower

With time running out to avert catastrophe, environmental activists urge Hollywood to create stories about the climate crisis that can accelerate the global discussion and bring about change

By Cynthia Littleton

Illustrations by Stephane Manel

Entertainment’s environmental warriors are leading the charge

Variety Staff

“Tipping Point,” by Craig Cutler

“My gut is telling me there’s an awareness of the problem that is increasing. More and more people around the world, particularly younger people going into political power, are seeing a picture that our current leadership is refusing to see. That’s why I’m hopeful about the future.”

Robert Redford

Actor-director-producer, activist and Sundance Institute founder

Dave Matthews performs during the Global Action Climate Summit in San Francisco, Calif. (Eric Risberg/AP/Shutterstock)

Striking the Right Balance

I can’t in good conscience tell people the planet is in peril and they should do something about it — unless I’m doing everything I think is possible.

By Dave Matthews

“Tomorrow,” by Mark Weaver
© Mark Weaver

Here are a few suggestions for how to lower your carbon footprint, starting with one of the hardest ones.

By Michael Zelniker

“Smouldering Reel Study No. 72,” by The Voorhes

“(Trump) is pouring kerosene on the problem instead of grabbing a hose or even admitting the house is one fire.”

Bill Weir

Chief climate correspondent, CNN

Illustrations by Jason Lee based on maps provided by Climate Central

Sea level rise could have a significant impact on the cities where much of film and television is made

By Daniel Holloway

“Tribute to Ice No. 79,” by Jamie Chung
© Jamie Chung

For Gen Z, It’s Already Zero Hour

Younger voters, who face the consequences of inaction, are backing bold initiatives like the Green New Deal

By Gene Maddaus

“The Burden,” by Cleon Peterson
© Cleon Peterson

“A huge way we can be impactful in this world is not using our voices to tell people what to do, but using our platforms to connect people on the ground with our audiences.”

Shailene Woodley


Elon Musk has proposed sending humans to Mars if the Earth becomes uninhabitable.
John Raoux/AP/Shutterstock

Out of This World

Is big tech doing enough to help save the planet?

By Janko Roettgers

Paul Morigi/Getty Images/WireImage

Edward Norton talks about how to be an effective activist: "We’ve got to get these nihilists out of the way and in the rearview mirror of history."

By Pat Saperstein

“Exile,” by Cleon Peterson
© Cleon Peterson

“All the little things we do, recycling, are obviously important but there isn’t anything that one person can do until policy changes. If the governments don’t do anything, the world will end. No joke.”

Cara Delevingne


“Wildlife Warriors”, Discovery Channel, 2020

Hollywood Struggles to Strike the Right Note of Climate Urgency

By Elaine Low

Todd Williamson/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

"I’ve lived inside the climate-communications conundrum for 20 years, working with scientists, academics and activists to find ways to convince Americans that something they couldn’t see or feel was nevertheless a looming catastrophe worth upending their lives to fight."

By Marshall Herskovitz

“Home” by Harry Campbell

“If it’s a Tesla or a Prius driving to McDonald’s, you’re not helping."

Suzy Amis Cameron

Activist; co-founder, Verdient Foods

For Screen Gems’ “The Possession of Hannah Grace,” starring Shay Mitchell and Nick Thune, production designers built sets with reusable Emagispace blocks.

From battery-powered sets to cutting red meat from craft service, here’s how Hollywood is reducing its carbon footprint

By Matt Donnelly

Courtesy of Elizabeth Fisher/CBS

The set of CBS’s “Evil” is a fully “green” production, working with sustainability consulting firm Earth Angel to assess the production’s waste levels and ultimately lower its carbon footprint.

By Elaine Low