Video: Robert Redford, environmental hypocrite?
posted at 3:00 pm on January 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
Ann McIlhenny and Phelim McAleer, the producers of the feature-length documentary Not Evil Just Wrong that exposed many false global-warming claims of environmentalists — and the damage done by them — have decided to focus on short films that look at the individual hypocrisies of environmental activists. In their latest edition, they feature Robert Redford, who used the earnings from his film career to buy a large preserve in Utah, a vineyard in Napa Valley, and a reputation for environmental activism. Only McIlhenney and McAleer note that the activism seems to be the do-as-I-say variety:
Redford is one of the main opponents of a plan by the Pacific Union College to build an eco-village in Angwin California. The college says it needs the funds because of a dire financial situation. The village is close to Redford’s vineyard in the Napa Valley. However whilst publicly opposing this development “to preserve the rural heritage” Redford has been quietly selling development lots in the Sundance Preserve for $2 million. These lots are intended for vacation homes close to Redford’s Sundance Ski Resort.
The double standard is revealed in a short film Robert Redford Hypocrite which has just been released.
Film director Ann McElhinney said the film is not criticising Redford for selling his property.
“It is great that in a recession Mr Redford can find so many buyers. I am delighted that those houses will be built, creating jobs and vitality in a remote area but it is shocking that Mr Redford would deny others similar opportunities to make a profit and create jobs.”
The film’s co-director Phelim McAleer said the film was highlighting the double standards of so many celebrities and environmentalists. “This is just another example of environmental elites telling the rest of us how and where we must live and what we are not allowed to do, but thinking that those rules don’t apply to themselves. Robert Redford has shown himself to be a hypocrite – plain and simple,” said McAleer.
The film – released on YouTube – also shows how Redford has campaigned against “dirty fuels” and wants to end the use of oil whilst promoting flying by doing lucrative voice overs for a series of United Airlines commercials.
Actually, if you want a Sundance home, better get your $1.97 million together quickly; they only have two lots left. One is almost two acres; the other just under one. In contrast, when environmentalists wanted to build “eco-homes” (with presumably slightly smaller footprints and price tags) near his Napa Valley vineyard, he organized to stop them:
Actor and environmentalist Robert Redford has stepped out against the controversial Angwin eco-village, announcing that he will join the local group Save Rural Angwin.
An eight-year resident of the Napa Valley, Redford will serve on SRA’s 13-member Advisory Council, leading the group in its efforts to defeat the eco-village proposal.
“I believe that the citizens of Napa Valley, from American Canyon to Calistoga, care about preserving our beautiful agricultural and rural heritage,” Redford said in a prepared statement. “That is why I am happy to join the Advisory Council of Save Rural Angwin in its efforts to preserve this naturally carved land-basin from development.”
The San Francisco Chronicle pointed out the NIMBYism, as well as the fact that the eco-home project would have provided around 40 units of “affordable housing” to the Napa area and a hundred assisted-living units:
Robert Redford, who was in town last week to accept movie plaudits at the San Francisco International Film Festival, has done more than his fair share to raise awareness of the sustainability agenda. But he recently faced a thorny green issue in his very own backyard.
Redford, who has lived in Napa for the past eight years, has lent his not inconsiderable support to a campaign that opposes a proposed eco-friendly housing development on 63 acres in the wine country village of Angwin.
If approved, the Angwin Ecovillage would consist of 275 housing units, 15% of which would be affordable, and a 105-unit retirement/assisted living center. Green features include solar energy, wastewater reuse, an electric car-sharing program and an organic farm cooperative.
Lending his voice to United Airlines certainly must have been a lucrative deal for Redford, too, but as the film points out, Redford has been railing against Big Oil for years. In May 2006, he wrote a cliched, insubstantial piece for CNN urging the US to “kick the oil habit”:
Today the American people are way out in front of our leaders. We’re ready to face our toughest national challenges, and we deserve new and forward-looking solutions and leadership.
The recent surge in gas prices has touched a raw nerve for many around the country, reminding us of an economy that is increasingly uncertain for the middle-class, a growing addiction to oil that draws us ever closer to dictators and despots, and a fragile global position with a climate that is increasingly out of balance. I believe America is ready to kick the oil habit and launch a new movement for real solutions and a better future.
Something is happening all across the country. People are coming together and demanding new answers. A grassroots movement is gathering today to promote solutions, like renewable fuels, clean electricity, more efficient cars, and green buildings that use less energy — all of which are exciting alternatives that rebuild our communities even as they cut pollution and create good jobs. And, when people come together to invest themselves in building a better future, we are not only helping to solve our energy crisis, but we are taking back our democracy itself.
Is Redford aware that United Airlines jets use oil-based fuel, just like every other airline? If they write a big enough check, does he care?