Actor Edward Norton's Misleading Earth Day Manifesto

Actor Edward Norton's Misleading Earth Day Manifesto

It must take chutzpah to work in one of the most extravagant industries on the globe and lecture others about the need for earth-saving lifestyle reductions.

But Edward Norton, the man too irascible to hang on as The Hulk, is up to the challenge.

Norton posted an urgent Earth Day essay today over at The Huffington Post, and to be fair, he shouldn’t be held responsible for the gas-guzzling actions of his peers. If only Norton hadn’t delivered the usual enviro doom and gloom he might have preached to more than just the green choir.

Norton praises his father, a man deeply involved in the conservation movement, before talking about the next wave of earth savers.

This also happens to be the moment that Dad’s generation is passing the baton to mine and it doesn’t seem too dramatic to suggest that what we do with it in the next 40 years is going to define the next era of human experience on Earth … Let’s say this bluntly: We need a national, bi-partisan commitment to legislation curbing carbon emissions here at home and we need it to have teeth and we need it immediately.

Not a word here about a failure of leadership from the man who promised, “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Hey, didn’t Norton produce a documentary about President Obama’s ascent to the White House? How could he write such a piece without laying some blame directly on the one president best poised to take some of the actions he suggests, especially when Obama had two years of a Democratically controlled House and Senate to do his bidding?

Instead, the actor offers up more talk of a need for leadership and that the green movement is simply “common sense.”

Norton brings up those mythical green jobs, too, as if he has been on another planet while stories about Solyndra and other massive green energy boondoggles hit the press.

The Oscar-nominated actor certainly cares about the environment, and there’s nothing wrong with people modulating their behavior to be more energy efficient, more cautious of how they use materials we often take for granted. But essays like this seem so detached from reality they ultimately do little good, no matter what day of the year it happens to be.