Posted at 1:05 PM ET, 06/ 4/2010

Robert Redford calls spill a wake-up call

By Garance Franke-Ruta
It's not at Katrina levels yet -- have you seen a telethon? -- but a steadily growing chorus of Hollywood celebrities is angling for a role in the response to the oil spill more than a month after the blowout at BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling station opened a gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.

Actor Kevin Costner, star of "Waterworld," in mid-May donated to BP six experimental oil-extraction machines from Ocean Therapy Solutions, in which he is a major investor, having developed an interest in oil spill clean-up technology in the wake of the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. "Titanic" and "The Abyss" director James Cameron organized a meeting of deep-sea experts at the Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday and has spoken candidly about his feeling that efforts to stop the spill were run by "morons."

Now actor Robert Redford, an oil-field "roustabout" worker in his teens, has released a video for the Natural Resources Defense Council, of which he is a trustee, calling the oil spill a wake-up call and asking viewers to write their congressional representatives in support of clean energy and climate change legislation.

"Maybe we needed it to be that bad to wake us up and put pressure on these companies and the government," he said in the ad "The Fix," which railed against the public relations efforts of oil companies to rebrand themselves as conservation or human-energy businesses and politicians who are "in collusion" with the energy companies. Such rhetorical flourishes make him "want to throw up," he said.

"We have to stop listening to the self-interested propaganda of oil companies and their parrots in Congress. It's bad for our health. If there's a lesson in all of this, its that we have to get off of our dependence on oil," he said.

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Posted at 1:04 PM ET, 06/ 3/2010

James Cameron says 'morons' charged with fixing Gulf oil spill

Updated 4:39 p.m.
By Garance Franke-Ruta

"Avatar" and "Titanic" director James Cameron on Wednesday evening criticized those responsible for stopping the geyser of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico and again offered the assistance of the private team of deep-sea experts with whom which he has worked on several underwater films and exploration efforts.

"Over the last few weeks I've watched, as we all have, with growing horror and heartache, watching what's happening in the Gulf and thinking those morons don't know what they're doing," Cameron said at the D: All Things Digital conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal near Los Angeles.

Cameron developed expertise in deep sea robotic vehicles and submersibles over a period of 22 years, he said. That's led to the filming of two documentaries about the Titanic, as well as the feature film of that name, which at the time was the highest-grossing feature film ever. He also directed "The Abyss."

"Wait a minute, I know a lot of smart people in deep submergence," Cameron said he thought as the Gulf crisis deepened. "Why don't I just get all these people that I know together for a brainstorming session?"

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