With the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative, New York will see a flood of entertainment figures this week who are pushing global causes.
The first was Harrison Ford, who helped kick off a new campaign today to save the planet, appearing on morning talk shows, penning a Huffington Post op-ed and headlining a Manhattan press conference to launch an initiative aimed at reducing tropical deforestation.
Ford is a board member of Conservation International, the org that has achieved much notoriety for its expeditions to remote regions Indonesia, where it has discovered new species and those thought extinct.
Ford's effort is called TeamEarth, with an initial goal of garnering support for forest protection in advance of the Copenhagen climate negotiations in December. Their goal is to collect some 1 million e-mail signatures calling for emergency action funding by the time of the summit.
Ford writes, "To succeed, we will need the support of the governments and communities of rainforest nations, meaningful involvement from private investors and the governments of major developed countries -- and the citizens who can force them to act."
Such companies as Dell, Harrah's, SC Johnson, Starbucks and Wrigley are partners in the effort. The Team Earth campaign will take on climate change, water, health, waste and food, with a goal of motivating people to take action.
I can't help but flashback to 2007, when Al Gore announced the formation of the Alliance for Climate Protection and a series of concerts that summer called LiveEarth. While it undoubtedly pushed the message, it's been difficult to sustain it as a pressing issue with the faltering economy and as the climate bill fades into the background during the healthcare debate. In fact, Ford addressed this very point on MSNBC, saying that it was up to the Obama administration to "step up to the plate."