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James Cameron on Climate Change: "People Need to Wake the F**k Up"

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Legendary Hollywood producer-director James Cameron has long been an advocate for environmentalist causes, but when it comes to climate change he’s no longer mincing words. Speaking with Variety on the efforts of he and his wife to invest in and champion plant-based food companies, Cameron said the following about society’s apathy toward the coming climate change catastrophe.

“People need to wake the f*#k up,” Cameron said. “We’re going the wrong direction as fast as possible. I like to say that we’re like Thelma and Louise. We’re driving straight toward the canyon at 90 miles per hour with the radio cranked up and the top down.”

Cameron’s personal solution, alongside wife Suzy Amis Cameron, has been to invest in plant-based food producers. After surveying the different economies that affect greenhouse gas emissions, the Camerons decided to focus on food in particular because it was less well-served than transportation and renewable energy.

“We tried to find something that was less well understood and was a major lever that could effect change,” said the director of the upcoming Avatar sequels. “Food is a good one. It’s probably the second-biggest one. Well ahead is transportation. We all drive around in our Teslas and our Priuses and think we are doing a great job, but really we’re all assuaging our liberal guilt. The real solution is: change the way you live.”

The first step, Amis Cameron says, is building a business that is “vertically integrated”—which is to say, one that has as neutral an environmental impact as possible on all levels of production. Only in that way can producers of meats such as beef successfully reduce their carbon footprint in a meaningful way.

“Look at the amazing success of Beyond meat and the stock market,” she said. “I mean, it’s not a trend—it’s actually the way the world is going. If you look at what the beef industry is investing in and what the dairy industry is investing in: They’re investing in plant-based milk and cheeses and yogurt and meat products.”

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