Will James Cameron slam Chevron at tonight’s Oscars? Rebecca Tarbotton, Acting Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network, is hoping for just that.
Drawing a comparison between the story of Avatar and the real-life drama of the Indigenous Ecuadorean people who are battling Chevron, Tarbotton is calling on the award winning director to stand by his promise to use the movie to inspire mass environmental activism. If Avatar wins an Oscar, she hopes Cameron will expose Chevron’s actions in Ecuador during his acceptance speech.
According to ChevronToxico, from 1964 to 1990 while drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Texaco – which merged with Chevron in 2001 – dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater and spilled approximately 17 million gallons of crude oil in the region. Illegal environmental practices resulted in contamination of soil, groundwater, and surface streams which has caused the indigenous people to suffer cancers, birth defects, and miscarriages. Through the largest environmental class-action lawsuit of all time, Ecuadorians are demanding that Chevron clean up the mess it inherited.
Tarbotton writes, “If Director James Cameron accepts an Academy Award … he should also let his legions of fans know that while Pandora is fictional, what is happening to communities in Ecuador because of Chevron’s actions is as real as it gets.”