Last week, the National Audubon Society honored actress Sigourney Weaver with the Rachel Carson Award at the organization’s annual Women in Conservation Luncheon.
In Weaver’s acceptance speech, she traced her path to fighting for the environment via her work in film. She explained that her time with mountain gorillas in Rwanda for “Gorillas in the Mist” taught her the importance of saving habitat and that her role in “Avatar” as a botanist who champions the natural world pushed her further into protecting the earth.
Weaver told her female audience that family planning is crucial to earth conservation. She cited two studies that found that by meeting women’s needs for voluntary family planning, carbon emissions can be reduced by between eight and fifteen percent — the atmospheric savings that could occur if all deforestation practices ended at once.
She encouraged the women of the Audubon Society to insist that their political candidates address environmental concerns with concrete agendas. But she told the audience not to solely rely on politicians to heal the earth. I heard echoes of Ellen Ripley when she proclaimed, ”We need to go out there ladies and kick some serious ass. It’s time.”
Despite the “a” word in her speech, Weaver gave one of the most classy speeches on Rachel Carson and the legacy she leaves women of today. You won’t see her in Avatar for at least a year, so get your Dr. Grace Augustine fix with this video recording of her acceptance.