Actor Mark Ruffalo challenged President Obama’s record on climate change at a rally in Los Angeles Sunday, calling the president an “immoral” hypocrite for referring to himself as a “climate change leader.”
The environmental activist and Avengers star joined roughly 800 people at the rally in MacArthur Park Sunday evening, including fellow actors Susan Sarandon and Shailene Woodley, to protest against man-made climate change and against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.
“President Obama, it is immoral for you to keep drilling in our state lands, in our federal lands, off our federal waters, while at the same time calling yourself a climate change leader,” Ruffalo said at the rally, according to AFP.
Meanwhile, Woodley — who was arrested at the Dakota pipeline site earlier this month and charged with trespassing and engaging in a riot — warned of the dangers that the project poses to indigenous people in the area. Woodley joined other environmental activists and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota to protest the 1,100-mile pipeline project, which advocates say would allow for safer and more reliable transport of Bakken shale to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
Sarandon, herself a longtime environmental advocate, said the problem was not limited simply to climate.
“The world is a mess. We’ve got wars, we’ve got the Mother Earth being raped constantly,” Sarandon said, according to AFP. “Not only is it an environmental, but it’s a problem in terms of social justice. We can do it. We can stop fracking. We can stop the pipeline.”
Ruffalo, in particular, has been a fierce critic of President Obama’s climate change record. In an interview announcing the production of a climate change documentary called Dear President Obama: The Clean Energy Revolution is Now last year, Ruffalo called the president and California Gov. Jerry Brown “almost worse than climate change deniers.”
“When you have the president saying that climate change is absolutely for real and we must do something about it, and then in the next breath he says we must start drilling in the Arctic circle even, there’s a huge disconnect, a cognitive dissonance,” the actor told the Hollywood Reporter.
In an op-ed for Variety earlier this year, Ruffalo wrote that he was “gravely disappointed” by Obama’s “cheerleading for the oil and gas industry over his two terms in office.”
“Because of Obama’s complicity, more than 17 million Americans now live within one mile of drilling and fracking operations,” the actor wrote. “These non-consenting victims of Bush/Obama’s energy policy have had their drinking water poisoned, their air polluted and their families made sick.”
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