|Actress Sigourney Weaver is interviewed by Associated Press on issues concerning climate change on Thursday, April 22, 2010, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)|
Sigourney Weaver urges action to protect oceans
WASHINGTON—Proponents of climate change legislation usually invoke the need to reduce global warming, but actress Sigourney Weaver is coming to the defense of something that's often out of sight -- oceans.
"One secret the oceans have kept very well is their sensitivity to carbon dioxide pollution," Weaver said at a Senate hearing Thursday, as she urged lawmakers to pass climate legislation that would limit carbon emissions.
She made her pitch on the same day that a report from the National Research Council found that ocean chemistry is changing faster than it has in hundreds of thousands of years because of the carbon dioxide being absorbed from the atmosphere. The resulting increased acidity of the oceans poses a serious threat to shellfish and other marine life.
Ocean acidification has been dubbed global warning's "evil twin."
"My hope, one shared by millions of Americans, is that you, our legislators, will put aside your differences and enact climate and energy legislation that will move America to a clean energy economy," Weaver said. She also urged other steps such as protecting marine and coastal habitats and reducing pollution.
It was Weaver's second Capitol Hill visit this month. Last week, the "Avatar" star and the movie's director, James Cameron, participated in a panel discussion on global environmental policies and sustainable approaches.
"I, like a lot of concerned citizens, feel a kind of urgency about these climate questions," Weaver said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think I've ever felt more passionately about anything than this because I feel we're already at a tipping point."
Weaver also appeared at a Capitol Hill luncheon to screen a documentary she narrates, "Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification," which was produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council.