June 21, 2010

Robert Redford Reflects on the Gulf Oil Disaster

Posted: 06:49 PM ET


Robert Redford laments the Gulf oil disaster but says it was perhaps necessary to "wake us up" and get us to force the "politicians in the government that are in collusion with the energy companies" to move America towards a clean energy future.


Filed under: Gulf Oil Spill

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John H   June 21st, 2010 7:49 pm ET

I don't usually find much in common with Hollywood but in this case I've got Robert Redford's back. Hey Robert, how about forming some sort of an organization of like minded individuals to put some real pressure on Congress.

Shirley   June 21st, 2010 7:52 pm ET

Right on, Robert. Thank you, thank you! They should put this on every night news. We are wasting our planet for our children and grandchildren. How very sad that money and greed seem to lead the way. Some of the rich never have enough. Thank you for using your talent to tell the truth!!!

Smith in Oregon   June 21st, 2010 7:55 pm ET

The American Taxpayers stand to lose 190 BILLION dollars in this SINGLE Oil Spill thru lost jobs, lost industry and lost tourism. And these Republican wing-nuts are already screaming to Drill baby drill which invariably leads to Spill baby spill. The question is not 'IF', it is only a question of 'WHEN' the next horrific toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic gushing spill of crude Oil occurs.

Ethanol production is on-tap to produce more immediately usable fuel than that created from the crude Oil America purchases from Saudi Arabia! Every gallon of Ethanol directly replaces a full 6 gallons of crude Oil. President Obama should immediately remove the crass, callous and heavy handed Bush-Cheney tariff on Brazil's Ethanol exports and immediately purchase as much Ethanol from Brazil as Brazil is willing to sell to America.

Ethanol doesn't kill sea life, doesn't contaminate the beaches and doesn't poison the water table, no wonder Republican lawmakers are lock step against Ethanol based alternative fuel for America!

Crude Oil Spills = Ecocide, there is no positive spin on that. It is Toxic to breathe, Poisonous to eat, Carcinogenic to drink, Toxic to swim in, Carcinogenic to your skin. It directly brings Death to aquatic life, Death to mammals, Death to birds and it Poisons the water table.

kathleen, 29   June 21st, 2010 8:39 pm ET

They should SKIP the telethon and just have the RICH &Famous chipin &thoses rich reg, folk who had tax cuts under the 8 yrs of GW Bush chip in also& the bp guys who cause this in the 1st place! Thoses should be ONLY Ones chipping in since they all have tons of $.Cause all thoses actors &singers &hollywood directors have enough cash already to last them a life time.Espically Bill Gates for most richest regular working guys.Since none of these actors/singers NEVER have to look for 9 to 5 job

Smith in Oregon   June 21st, 2010 8:51 pm ET

If these 'Gulf Keepers' and Environmental Keepers of the Ocean want to actually 'save' the Dead and Dieing Gulf of Mexico region, they would in Force, demand a Permanent Moratorium to Oil Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and in America's territorial waters. There is no safe Oil Well in the Ocean, there is no impossibility of another enormous Oil Spill. The Only question is 'WHEN' the next immense Oil Gushing Spill is going to occur.

Bethany in Wisconsin   June 21st, 2010 9:26 pm ET

We owe much thanks to Robert Redford and his work for the environment. He is the perfect spokesman for this and I hope people will listen. I also hope this is a wake up call for the people of the U.S. and our government to find a more environmentally friendly energy source. It will cost more money to change our system but it will save us money not to mention our planet in the long run.

Sandra on the Coast   June 21st, 2010 9:34 pm ET

Tonight is not a political issue – it is a people issue. Later on it will be a political issue. Families have lost not only their way of life, but their ability to earn an income and provide for their families. I see much information about Louisiana, but nothing about families in Alabama. I work for a non-profit in Mobile and we are being asked to provide services at an unprecedented level, but with no additional funding. Giving to United Way would be greatly appreciated.

David Quick   June 21st, 2010 9:40 pm ET

Thank you Robert Redford for once again offering thoughtful insights about our environment. You're one of my heroes. And not too shabby of an actor either.
As oil-a-holics, we've hit rock bottom. It's time to go to OA. Drive less. Drive smarter. Don't drive SUVs, mini-vans, our pick-up trucks (unless your work depends on it) Live closer to work, school, grocery stores. Bike. run, walk. Buy locally grown and/or organic food. Think about what YOU can do to be more efficient.

john thompson   June 21st, 2010 10:03 pm ET

poor choice for an ending song on your telethon. If there was no religion, they why should I care what happens to others? I would go by my own moral compass. If there is no Heaven in the afterlife, then nothing matters and why should anyone care what happens in the gulf. POOR choice for an ending song.

Sylvia on the East Coast   June 21st, 2010 10:11 pm ET

What have we done since the last oil crisis in this country? Nothing except for going backwards and insisting that cheap oil is the answer. In America you get an impression that you MUST consume oil because where would your energy come from otherwise. Those who support big oil keep saying that renewable energy is not a realistic solution but they say this to brain wash Americans. But it has been 3 years since gasoline was above $4 a gallon and how much have we learned and how much have we done in this time to free ourselves from the oil curse? If we don't change our energy mentality now, WHEN will we?
I want my tax money to support new national electric grid and solar panels everywhere, on every house in sunny states and on every car roof, every building, every laptop, every cell phone. Why do we insist to rely upon fossil fuels while sun is the ultimate source of energy? Why aren't we smarter? How can so many countries be so far ahead of us in sustainable living? Why can they build sidewalks and bike paths everywhere, drive super efficient cars and we cannot? Why do Americans insist to be so uniquely ignorant and oblivious to the beauty of this country and why do they destroy the environment through their lifestyles? And why do they call themselves patriotic?
What I see is that businesses in Gulf Coast want to have their losses recovered and money paid out. They deserve it but America deserves much more – change the way we live to preserve this country for future generations! Change we MUST and change we must soon.

John H   June 21st, 2010 10:18 pm ET

@kathleen 29...Word is that both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are going to be giving half of their wealth to charity. Not certain what charities but Bill Gates for one has been a real contributor to worthy charities for many years. And, we are not talking chump change here either.

Corinne in Sedona   June 21st, 2010 10:32 pm ET

It was so great to see you looking so good! Our champion to the cause of the Global Environment! Who better to help us connect the dots! To my very favorite Actor, Director, Environmentalist! I Salute You!
Thankyou for all your efforts!

Renee Meehan   June 21st, 2010 10:45 pm ET

Thank you for all you have done for the environment. i can understand why you keep blaming Cheney but the truth of the matter is we've been talking about alternative energy for Decades. In this disaster however, we must look at the steps prior to when it occured. Our Regularors did not do their job. In fact they gave the Deepwater Horizon a Safety Certificate. The Director of MMS Elizabeth Birnbaum (an Obama appointment) has since resigned. She should be up there in Court with BP. After the disaster, our government did not waive the Jones act immediately to allow the ships in who offered help. Why are foreign Countries allowed in to drill but not allowed to come and help when this disaster happened? I have to wonder had the Dutch ships been allowed in back in April, would the Gulf be filled with oil right now or would much of ithe oil been collected as it was gushing out? Now the people of the Gulf are being asked to wait till Mid-July for the ships to come! Ships that should have been deployed Two Months ago. BP is 100% responsible for what happened on April 20th, but our Government is responsible for every day after that by their in action until it was too late. If this doesn't warrant a State of Emergency, I don't imagine what would. The Governments job is to look out for America...they really let us down here.

Renee in Central WA   June 21st, 2010 10:58 pm ET

We live so far away from the oil spill but it has been on our minds and hearts. The pictures of the birds, turtles and other sea creatures are just heart wrenching. I've been praying for God to help everybody to get on board and make something happen! It's been so frustrating just sitting here and not being able to do anything about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill.
I'm so thankful for Robert Redford coming forward and heading us, the American people, in the right direction. I know it's not our job to take care of people hit in a disaster, but it is the right thing to do.

Texas 101   June 22nd, 2010 12:26 am ET

OMG!! I just saw you on CNN. You gave the Gulf Coast a bad name. Just how do you expect folks to run their cars or heat their homes without oil? I guess if we have to scrimp and save for oil we won’t be paying tickets to see you in the movies. You, have just cut your throat to your Southern fans.

I suggest you get your tight-drawn face to the Southern Coast before you spout about energy/oil reform.

Third Coast Resident,
(BTW…electric cars; when and how do you expect us Southerner to buy them, we have no income now? Speak when you make sense.)

Smith in Oregon   June 22nd, 2010 1:42 am ET

Every Commercial Ethanol Plant produces more immediately usable fuel than any currently producing toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic crude Oil fossil fuel well produces gasoline in America.

It takes at least 6 gallons of toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic crude Oil to produce a single gallon of gasoline, unlike a bio-renewable Ethanol plant, when that pocket of fossil fuel in the crude Oil deposit is gone, it's gone period and the carbon released must be artificially compensated unless you want to super saturate the worlds Oceans with carbon more than they are already.

Funny, I don't see any of these Republican Big Oil corporations planting tree's to offset all the carbon fumes their product is spewing into America's atmosphere. Isn't it time to call Big Oil into account for the toxins, poisons and pollution their product produces?

Ethanol is carbon-neutral, it doesn't produce more carbon than the feedstock captured. Pressuring America's automakers to have full Flex-Fuel capable autos and trucks should be already in place and taking place.

E30 and E50 mixtures of Ethanol-Gasoline would almost immediately ween America from its dependence on ALL foreign crude Oil and those 'Oil Wars' that come with pouring 1 Billion dollars per day into the greedy hands of Middle East country's for their 'Oil'.

Automakers can simply change the car and truck's fuel 'chip' to enable them to run on E30 and E50 mixtures at minimal costs (far less than 100 dollars).

Federal Government should subsidize and give tax breaks to stations which add Ethanol-Gasoline mixing pumps which allow the consumer to adjust whatever Ethanol blend their vehicle can handle.

ShelleyL   June 22nd, 2010 1:44 am ET

Geez Jenny Texas 101, you should educate yourself and make sure your brain is in gear before engaging your mouth....

To Robert Redford, thank you so much for your support of our beautiful Earth Mother and working hard for clean, renewable energy and resources. I have supported your efforts for years and will continue to do so. As you know, we have to change now. We don't have the luxury of procrastination. We must work even harder to change the thinking of the people and move quickly toward clean energy or we won't have a planet to live on. What we have done already will cause our grandchildren to hate us for the legacy we are leaving. I give you these words of wisdom and anyone else reading this: There is an old
warriors' saying which goes, "On the plains of hesitation lie the
blackened bones of countless millions who on the dawn of victory lay
down to rest, and while resting, died."

There is no rest. Our Earth Mother is
dying. I implore you, if you hear her voice
then do anything to save her but do not run away.

Susan Watkins   June 22nd, 2010 9:05 am ET

Thank you Mr. Redford. This is a wonderful, heartfelt message and i hope millions of people around the world get to hear it. Helping to save our planet will be your greatest legacy. I agree with John H.'s comment:
"how about forming some sort of an organization of like minded individuals to put some real pressure on Congress." We need to take this oil disaster and try to make something positive out of it. If we could come together by the thousands to put major pressure on Congress for clean energy, we might be able to accomplish it or at least make a good start. I just don't know how to begin such a big campaign. I feel helpless.

caryn   June 22nd, 2010 12:54 pm ET

Thank you Robert for your insight, articulation and dedication to the environment. I don't understand why BP hasn't been forced to stop using the toxic dispersant and forced to start using bio remediation in the marshes. It worked in Texas in the 80s.

Scott from N. Californa   June 22nd, 2010 3:10 pm ET

The time for change is now. A new direction down a positive road is the way to our future. There are plenty of safer, kinder, healthier options then oil for our energy needs. Please support and encourage a better tomorrow, for our children and all life on this sacred planet.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   June 22nd, 2010 5:30 pm ET

@Smith in Oregon June 21st, 2010 7:55 pm ET

Sometime ago, I think I saw a documentary on TV highlighting how they were destroying forests probably in Brazil to produce this Ethanol. It is quite a process.

Some of the cars in our country (mainly Taxis) run on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), which is stored in a cylinder in the boot of the car. It was a big thing when it was first introduced, but I haven't heard much about it now and how it is going.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   June 22nd, 2010 5:49 pm ET

Great to see Robert Redford speaking out about this. He makes you really want to listen. Actors are human beings also don't forget and we all have a stake in this world. We all have to live here.

Thank you Robert Redford and for your concern.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   June 22nd, 2010 5:54 pm ET

@Renee Meehan June 21st, 2010 10:45 pm ET

Well said.

Tom Sarasota, FL   June 22nd, 2010 6:49 pm ET

Someone needs to figure out a way for the politicians to make more money on clean, renewable, alternative energy than they make on oil and we will have clean, renewable, alternative energy in two years.

David Hart, American Artist   June 22nd, 2010 7:28 pm ET

I find it odd that after one of the largest man made disasters the world has ever seen, that none of the people's faces and names who were on that rig when the
"accident" occured has not been put on the air!!! Do you find this odd?
David Hart
Charleston, Illinois

Judy Miller   June 22nd, 2010 8:49 pm ET

Here you are begging for money from the people who pay everything. I thought BP was going to pay for cleanup and lost jobs? Why is it every time we have a catastrophe they come knocking at our door for money. Wise up people!

Larkin   June 22nd, 2010 9:04 pm ET

Dear Larry,

Why isn't any one in the news media talking about the oils spill in the exact same area with the same failed fixes and the same danger, that took 9 months to contain "31" YEARS AGO. Its maddnes that we never learn ONLY DIFFERENCE was that it was in 200 feet of water. To violate the moratorium against drilling is beyond stupid and it makes me loose all the compassion I was feeling for the people in the region.

They want it all! They made damn good money for a long time they should have saved like the rest of the people with out a job in this country. I feel really bad about the environment and peoples way of life but when they talk out of both sides of there mouth then I am done.

Donna Schuppenhauer   June 22nd, 2010 9:33 pm ET

General Stanly McChrystal should not be fired. If so, then maybe a few more should follow him, like maybe Joe Biden for his terrible language and the rest of the two ring circus that are leading this country into more devastation in DC. And I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats.

This country has lost it's morals and ethics and we have lost so much due to extravagent change. I hope McChrystal's troops follow suit and they are asked to resign peacefully.

Joe   August 7th, 2010 2:46 pm ET

Taking advice from the "Sundance Kid" on energy policy is like asking your dry cleaner to perform open heart surgery.

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