During a trip to the Arctic aboard a Greenpeace ship, Actor Emma Thompson has spoken out about what she describes as a ‘culture of guilt’ around what’s needed to protect the Arctic and deal with global warming.The two time Oscar-winner urges people who feel powerless about the problem to stop feeling guilty and to use their voices to call for solutions that are already available.Speaking from the deck of the Greenpeace Esperanza, Emma said: “We’re told that it is all our fault, global warming — we want the fuel, we want our cars, and that the oil industry is merely responding to the needs of a greedy public. But that’s simply not fair. Most of us want to live cleaner lives, but our governments don’t make these things easily available.“The changes we need, that the Arctic needs, must come from the top as well as the bottom. We need electric cars to be cheaper and more accessible. We want safer bike lanes in every big city. We want plastic bags to be banned for good. We need governments to stand up to the dirty industries that have for so long funded and controlled them, and to give us all an affordable chance to live our lives in a more sustainable way.”The multi-award-winning actor and writer has embarked on a mission to the Arctic with her 14-year-old daughter Gaia, on the Greenpeace ship Esperanza. Along with Canadian Cree actor Michelle Thrush and her 14-year-old daughter Imajyn, the group has visited retreating glaciers, heard lectures on climate impacts in the north and the plastic crisis in our oceans, encountered walruses, seals and reindeer, and walked on the precarious sea ice.Emma continued: “Yes, keep recycling; keep using your own shopping bags, taking transit and using your bike. But also use your voice. Know that you have power and you can make your government listen. Above all, I hope that people stop feeling so guilty and powerless about climate change. That’s the lie that keeps us paralyzed when really together, we are so much more powerful.“But bear in mind that politicians often lose sight of issues that aren’t in front of them all the time. They can end up ignoring even something like climate change, which is possibly the most pressing challenge of our time. So we all need to be bold. Attend a rally, write to your local leaders. If tens of millions of us wrote to our leaders demanding action on the Arctic and climate change, well – that could change everything.”Emma’s trip to the Arctic is part of a global Greenpeace campaign that has attracted over five million people in just two years.During the journey, Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hugh Grant, Rita Wilson and Stephen Fry have taken to twitter to voice their support for fellow actor and friend, who has been tweeting for the first time using the handle @savethearctic.Greenpeace is calling for a ban on dangerous oil drilling and industrial fishing in the Arctic, as well as the creation of a protected sanctuary in the international waters around the North Pole.Emma is also calling on Americans to attend the world’s largest climate march in New York this September, on the eve of Ban Ki-moon’s climate summit there.Emma is asking people to join the campaign at www.savethearctic.org/emma.
APTN National NewsOTTAWA–Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt says the department will immediately cut funding and begin court action against any First Nation that refuses to comply with his government’s transparency law.Valcourt told reporters his department would be withholding funding for non-essential services like chief and council salaries, administrative costs and economic development projects. He also said the department would begin preparing the groundwork for court action against the non-compliant First Nation to force them to reveal their audited financial statements online. The deadline for complying passed Thursday at midnight.“First thing we are going to do is withhold funding; the process starts today,” said Valcourt. “The court order is a legal matter. In the next few days we will take steps to seek court orders against those who willfully refuse to follow the law.”Valcourt said funding for social services, health and education would not be impacted by the cuts.“We will not penalize the membership of the First Nation whose leadership refuses to comply with the law,” he said.The department released numbers on Thursday showing 52 First Nations had refused to comply with the law. The department said 529 First Nations have submitted their financial reports for posting by the department.Thunderchild Chief Delbert Wapass said his Saskatchewan community would not be complying with the law.“We are refusing to submit as well,” said Wapass.Onion Lake Cree Nation filed a $50 million court action against Ottawa Wednesday over the law. The oil-rich Saskatchewan First Nation’s statement of claim provides a glimpse at the department’s planned punitive steps against non-compliant First Nations.The document said the department planned to initiate two rounds of cuts to non-essential service, the first scheduled for Thursday and the second for Dec. 12. The document also alleges the department plans to terminate Onion Lake’s contribution on agreement also on Dec. 12. The contribution agreement includes funding for essential services.Valcourt would not comment on Onion Lake’s claim on termination of the funding agreement, saying the matter was before the [email protected]@APTNNewsThe ListDownload (PDF, Unknown)