His Last Crusade is Far From Over.

Photo by -Eric | flickr.com

For anyone who is a diehard Indiana Jones fan (like myself!), you’ll know that actor Harrison Ford is iconic in those films, and his performance is a major part of what makes those films a success. I can only hope that he translates his acting abilities into his work at Conservation International as a member of the board of directors. 

That’s right – the guy who we’ve seen sling whips and race boulders in his youth is at the forefront of conservation issues.  He serves as one of three vice chairs on the organization’s board and has been instrumental in leading some successful programs, including the “Lost There, Felt Here” campaign for combating climate change.

One thing I was surprised to know is that he’s been doing this for quite some time. He’s won awards such as the World Ecology Award and the Global Environmental Citizen Award (while being in eleven films that grossed over $100 million USD at the box office). Who knew?

The part about this I’m most excited about is the power behind people like Ford, and using that to speak out about environmental concerns. His understanding of the situation, his commitment to the project, and his presence within the media only assist us in getting the word out about these pertinent and pressing issues.

He’s not the only one who has been an advocate for ecological change. Leonardo DiCaprio also has a long run of advocacy for conservation and the environment. Also, Edward Norton has been recently appointed the Goodwill Ambassador for 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity.

Some believe we must be weary – as green ideas and technologies emerge, people (celebrities included) may see this as a great way to be “trendy”, or to reach a greater demographic of people. However, we can’t look at green promotions which such a pessimistic lens. Ford demonstrates that there are celebrities (and people alike) that work hard for the cause because they want to, and they are truly passionate about that.

Remember that many celebrities do charity work to, in fact, set a tone for their fans. However, the celebrity chose the cause for a reason – a green celebrity is one who has concerns about our environment and is asking their grand fan base to make a change. That in itself, to me, is rather admirable.