As a Canadian and a celebrated actress known for her roles in Lost and The Hobbit, Evangeline Lilly has a lot to contribute to current conversations about Canada, the country’s international reputation, and recent criticism leveled against the Harper government for its failure to meaningfully address climate change.
Critics expressed concern when Stephen Harper announced he would not be attending the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City, beginning tomorrow, even though world leaders are gathering to discuss international commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide in preparation for U.N. climate talks taking place in Paris in 2015.
Lilly said Canadians deserve to know their country is represented in the global movement to reduce emissions and limit climate impacts.
“I’m here in New York City at the People’s Climate March and I feel that I’m here as a representative of all those Canadians who care about their natural wilderness and care so much about global warming, and who don’t have a government representative here to represent them on a worldwide stage.”
“Of course, Mr. Harper has decided to avoid the event and he’s not here to make any commitments on behalf of Canada to do our part in making the world a greener, safer, healthier, more beautiful place. But I know at the heart of Canada is a massive groundswell of people who care so much about this issue.”
“And I stand here as a Canadian saying: as Canadians we care, and we’re here and we’re represented.”
Lilly told a massive crowd gathered on the street that she wants to lend her celebrity to support the individuals within the movement: “I’m showing my face in support of all of you people who are gathered here.”
Addressing the crowd at the march, Lilly said being a part of the environmental movement is about celebrating.
“One of the things I love the most about being part of an environmental movement is that a lot of us in this group are really angry, we’re really mad about a lot of the things we see going on in the world, a lot of the injustices and a lot of the horrible abuses of our natural world. And yet somehow we always manage to show up with smiles on our faces and love in our hearts.”
“I think it’s because we remember at the core of all of this what we’re really doing is we’re celebrating the beauty of mother nature, we’re celebrating life on planet earth,” she said.
“We say, let’s do it right, let’s be positive, let’s focus on the future, let’s focus on our children, let’s focus on clean energy.”
Lilly said she was recently asked by a journalist what she hopes to accomplish by attending the march.
Lilly said “with conviction, I was able to look him in the eye and say I’m actually not here for the people who are listening or who aren’t listening. I’m not worrying about whether my action is the most powerful action in the world that will change the course of history. What I’m worrying about is looking my son in the eye when he’s 15 and saying, ‘I did what I was convicted to do. I did everything I knew how to do in that moment.’”
Lilly ended by encouraging march attendants to get involved with the organizations behind the event.
“And don’t forget to smile, and dance and kick up your feet,” she said. “Don’t forget to love mother nature through your joy, because I think she’s joyful right back at us today.”
Image Credit: Carol Linnitt