Following in the footsteps of Haiti telethon, CNN’s Larry King Live will host another such event aiming at raising money for the victims of the BP Oil Spill. The telethon called Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help is scheduled to air tonight from 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. This two hour special edition has lined up big names to support their cause – Justin Bieber, Ted Danson, Cameron Diaz, Randy Jackson, Robert Redford, Deepak Chopra, Kathy Griffin, Lenny Kravitz, Tim McGraw, a special performance by Sting and much more. The funds being raised will go to the United Way, National Wildlife Federation and the Nature Conservancy.
True experts, attention seekers and almost all celebrities you can think of have joined the mission of raising money and providing support to help clean up the mess BP has made in the Gulf of Mexico. Director James Cameron has been summoned by the Environmental Protection Agency for his unique expertise in deep water filming which can help providing a better, clearer view of what’s actually going on at the spill site. And he is not the only celebrity who can provide relevant knowledge.
Actor and director Kevin Costner has offered his assistance to BP and eventually signed a contract with them enabling Ocean Therapy Solutions, Costner’s company and technology, to provide 32 units that will clean the spill by separating oil from water. Each of these machines, V20 as they are called, can separate 210,000 gallons of oily water a day. Costner is not a beginner in this industry or a star looking for another moment of fame. He has been working for years to develop the technology needed in such situations and has up to now invested 20 million dollars of his own into development.
While the majority of stars focus on cleaning up the present mess, Robert Redford chose to focus on the future. The actor made an ad addressing the Obama administration and stated:
“The Gulf disaster is more than a terrible oil spill. It’s the product of a failed energy policy…one that puts oil company profits ahead of people and the environment.
America needs safe, clean and renewable energy — not more oil spills.”
Redford’s idea is simple: the public should encourage the administration and finally move past beyond oil and to other types of energy sources.
While all these approaches focus on what can be done, others thought punishing BP is the thing to do right now. Lady Gaga, Creed and Backstreet Boys are just a few of those who have joined the boycott organized by Jonathan Davis of Korn. Choosing not to buy from BP and their affiliates is indeed a form of protest but I am not really able to grasp how this will help solve the problem or prevent future spills, unless they start boycotting all gas stations in the world.
But as it happened in the case of Haiti a while ago, there will be some who will actually do some good, from micro-loans to tweets urging people to donate, and some who will make it all about themselves, like Tila Tequila who claimed it was all he hand of God, a well deserved punishment. Note that the statement came from someone saying they are God’s Angel!
Regardless of the reason behind their involvement, be it their actual desire to help or the need to capitalize on a major disaster to get some more media attention, the stars do influence their fans, they keep the story on the front pages and will probably help raise the funds needed to clean up after BP’s grand screw up. So let’s watch the telethon, donate and hope our money go to those who have the expertise and training to finally stop this disaster from spreading.