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Question of the Week: Do celebrities who champion the environment influence your decision making, and if so, how?

2008 August 11

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Many people feel that protecting the environment is important. Celebrities sometimes use their high public recognition to raise awareness for causes they support: for example, things you should do (or not do) to protect the environment.

Do celebrities who champion the environment influence your decision making, and if so, how?


En español: Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

Muchas personas consideran que la protección ambiental es importante. A veces las celebridades usan su renombre público para crear conciencia sobre causas que ellos apoyan, por ejemplo, las cosas que se deben hacer (o no hacer) para proteger el medio ambiente.

¿Las personas que abogan por el medio ambiente influyen la toma de sus decisiones? ¿De ser así, cómo lo hacen?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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176 Responses leave one →
  1. Ann permalink
    August 20, 2008

    Al Gore is the biggest fool on the planet. Why would anybody listen to him?

  2. Jim permalink
    August 20, 2008

    Absolutely not, unless they have a Doctorate in the field about which they are pontificating! They are superficial, erroneous and generally pandering to what they consider the ignorant masses. It takes about 6 weeks for me to reverse the brain-washing they inflict on my University students. Let them stick to their areas of competence and otherwise shut up.

  3. Nora permalink
    August 20, 2008

    Not really. Celebrities are usually controlled by marketing managers who guide them on creating a positive image. Many will adopt children or give to charities to keep their name in the limelight, so championing the environment is an easy thing for them to do as they jet set around the world shopping, partying and pushing products and services that are negative to the environment.

  4. RDR permalink
    August 20, 2008

    I listen to people who back up their statements with verifiable facts and data, such as in the cases where I personnally pay attention – backed by University studies headed by an environmental scientist / professor. I appreciate and acknowledge your position and agree that some “celebrities” do – in fact comment and opine in matters in which they are not educated – but more importantly – issues of which they do not possess an intimate knowledge. However, not achieving a PHD – presumably in an environmental field does not implicate that one does not have enough knowledge to comment. Celebrities that I listen to are simply mouthpieces for those who haven’t the skills to orate in a potentially dramatic setting such as a news conference. Recognizing that you are an extremely learned man presumably in the environmental field – I will answer your question preemptively – a BS in Facilities Management, Masters in Construction Engineering and my wife is a PHD in Applied Psychology as a civilian contractor to the DOD.

  5. MikeS. permalink
    August 20, 2008

    not really. I agree with what “Nora” says. Also, I think most celebrities champion environmental causes because it’s the “in” thing to do. Kind of like “everyone else is doing it so I should too”. Remember when the Prius was new? When one celeb has one many were getting them. Trend followers! I don’t need some celebrity to make up my mind or to influence my thought or opinion. I have enough sense to form my own opinion thank you very much.

  6. August 20, 2008


  7. Joseph Frye permalink
    August 21, 2008

    Absolutely not. Most pop culture celebrities are so out of touch with reality that they have no real idea whatsoever what is best for other people’s lives, much less global economics and weather patterns. They can’t hardly take care of their own marriages, much less anything else of real importance in the world.

  8. Jim DiPeso permalink
    August 21, 2008

    I take no notice of what celebrities think, say, or do about the environment. Just because someone can sing a song or act in a movie doesn’t make him or her an environmental policy expert.

  9. Daryl Knowles permalink
    August 22, 2008

    The only thing that they know about is making films etc. When I want to know about the environment I will follow the advise of a good, non biased scientist not someone who spends their life in make believe land.

  10. Taisha Venort permalink
    August 22, 2008

    I am not a statistic beleiver but the truth remains that celebrity can definitely impact us ,average people. It is spectacular how Oprah Winfrey’s position on Obama’s side got millions of Americans changing their minds . Of course Celebrity play a big role in how our world revolves, they are many people examples ,role models and obsessions.It is funny how The “fan” factor impacts .
    Now speaking of celebrities ,who are the real ones ?,the ones that are supposed to be known?.Funny is that these people, environmentalists ,engineers etc.. those who are doing great change in our world right now are the one who keep low profiles.
    Those who are beeing mediatized cheat only by letting TV channels waste so much energy (lol? on them and those who are selling eco-products do only by usic plastic emballages.
    Now seriously,that ‘s how it has always been .We cannot change anything.Personnaly they don’t impact me.The most important is that anybody ,everybody should make it because they feel concerned not because some celebrities said so….

  11. Anonymous permalink
    August 23, 2008

    Todays youngsters are so much influenced by the celebreties that they like to do each and everything they do. Today the media is also playing a great role in publicizing each and everything they are going to do.So if the celebreties are involving in such social activities for protecting the environment it is very good,whether they are doing this for their own needs for becoming the public figure and publicizing their own productions .

  12. India Duncan permalink
    August 23, 2008

    Absolutely not!

  13. Mike permalink
    August 23, 2008

    Administrator of the EPA Stephen L. Johnson, During his Senate confirmation hearing, Johnson was criticized for his support of using human subjects in pesticide testing. In April, 2005, a hold was placed on his confirmation vote after he refused to cancel the Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study, which advocated recording the effects of pesticides on children from infancy to age 3. On April 8, Johnson canceled the study. His nomination was confirmed by the Senate on April 29.

    That is a REAL issue, Not your silly Celebrity Questions.

  14. Govind warier permalink
    August 25, 2008

    Hello every one..

    I believe that celebrities do influence my decision making related to environment. eg: excellent talk by Mr. Al Gore on Global warming. Today it has become a fad to talk of and champion for environmental causes is a different issue. Whether this threat is real or spiced up remains a doubt. Almost all environmental firms have jumped into GHG related projects because these are very much profitable. In the current decade, with out any doubt environment is the most sought after topic in the media, both print and TV. But for not-so-rich nations, environment comes only after all the needs of poor are met.

    With Love

  15. Govind warier permalink
    August 25, 2008

    Hello…Mich… i love your say..”Live the Talk”

  16. Mark permalink
    August 25, 2008

    Since most of them did not complete the 10th grade and all have some sort of chemical dependancy, why would any sane person waste their time ? Granted, next to a “journalsit” from the media, they look like geniusus, but in the final analysis, they are simply marionettes put here for our entertainment. I wish they would just shut up and sing, dance , or act.

  17. Anonymous permalink
    August 25, 2008

    No datgum way. Only in their dreams

  18. Paris Clooney-Pitt permalink
    August 25, 2008

    Yes, I always take advice on complex mathematical, scientific, technological, and engineering problems from actors and musicians. I mean, who is better qualified to evaluate various climate models or develop new techniques for solving chaotic nonlinear systems? Future breakthroughs will be made possible only by the pioneering work being done by todays actors and musicians!!!

  19. Karen T permalink
    August 27, 2008

    Normally I don’t but I was home with a sick kid and ended up flipping past OPRAH’s show on going GREEN. I ended up learning about these products and how the Shaklee Corporation has been a green company for over 50 years. I ended up buying Shaklee’s Get Clean non-toxic cleaning products to use for my family. I love them.

  20. oscar permalink
    September 1, 2008

    No. The last thing I want to do is to listen to a “celebrity”. They are usually empty headed millionaires who studied theater or some such and never took a class in economics or physics or organic chemistry. I suspect they adopt their positions based on what the percieve to be the current politically correct sentiment and probably would not even do that, if they didn’t feel they had to talk about somehting on a talk show.

  21. oscar permalink
    September 1, 2008

    well said

  22. oscar permalink
    September 1, 2008

    Wait! Do you mean to say celebrities only THINK the universe revolves around them?

  23. david permalink
    January 9, 2009

    I mean, who is better qualified to evaluate various climate models or develop new techniques for solving chaotic nonlinear systems? Future breakthroughs will be made possible only by the pioneering work being done by todays actors and musicians!!!

  24. ZipBox Media permalink
    April 26, 2010

    As much as I would like to say “no”, I know that it wouldn’t be truthful. With these celebrities in the media so often, I’m sure they influence all of us more then what we know. At least they are “championing” positive ideals right?

    Johanna Lasserton

  25. Santa Suit guy permalink
    September 8, 2010

    Absolutely not. They’re actors, not social geniuses, and their attempts to help look to sway only the mentally feeble. Grossly overreaching….

  26. Gardening Birmingham permalink
    March 30, 2012

    i dont associate celebrities with intelligence, so i dont think they have too much influence on me. I dont think everyone thinks like me though and many people are very influenced.

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