'Avatar' Director James Cameron: Climate Change as Great as Any Threat Since World War II

By Nicholas Ballasy | April 21, 2010 | 6:40 PM EDT

‘Avatar’ Director James Cameron poses with the award for best motion picture drama backstage at the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

 (CNSNews.com) -- Academy Award-winning Director James Cameron said that climate change is “as great as the threat” the United States faced in World War II. His comments were made during a panel discussion about environmental policy on Capitol Hill with columnist Tom Friedman of the New York Times, actress Sigourney Weaver, and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.  

“I spoke to leaders today that said we can’t use the term climate change,” Cameron said on Apr. 15. “It’s death. It’ll kill the bill. It’ll be still-born, strangle it in its crib by calling it, associating it with climate change. I say, ‘We have to wake up. We have to wake up and call it what it is.’”
 
He continued: “We’re facing a threat that is as great as the threat that we as a nation faced in World War II. But that was a very, very defined evil and there was a starting gun with Pearl Harbor, and there was no argument but what did we do? Like the Apollo program, we mobilized on a national scale, and we need that greatest generation again. We need a greater generation.”


 
Cameron also said that in his film Avatar -- the highest grossing film in history with revenues over $2.7 billion worldwide -- the earth is portrayed as the “dying world.”
 
“The critical thing to understand with Avatar is that it’s meant to be a call to action,” said Cameron. “At the end of the film, the main character and voice over says the aliens return to their dying world.”
 
“Earth is never seen in the film but it’s referred to as the dying world,” said Cameron. “Avatar is not meant to be a prediction. It’s meant to be a warning about what is happening, what is in the process of happening.”
 
The panel discussion on Capitol Hill that James Cameron participated in was sponsored by Rep. Diane E. Watson (D-Calif.). Cameron won the “Best Picture” Academy Award for Titanic in 1997. He lost the award this year to Hurt Locker but won in the categories of “Best Art Direction,” “Best Cinematography,” and “Best Visual Effects” with Avatar
 

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