A group of more than 200 high-profile artists, scientists, and thought leaders are urging citizens and leaders to take measured action to avoid ecological disaster. In a letter penned by actor Juliette Binoche with French physicist and philosopher Aurélien Barrau and published in French newspaper Le Monde, they ask that society reconsider its value systems and look beyond consumerism before returning to normal life. The letter’s signatories include Robert De Niro, Cate Blanchett, Joaquin Phoenix, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Marion Cotillard, Adam Driver, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Paolo Sorrentino, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Pedro Almodóvar, Guillaume Canet, Penelope Cruz, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Nathalie Baye, Monica Bellucci, and Willem Dafoe.
“The pursuit of consumerism and an obsession with productivity have led us to deny the value of life itself: that of plants, that of animals, and that of a great number of human beings,” the letter reads. “Pollution, climate change, and the destruction of our remaining natural zones have brought the world to a breaking point. For these reasons, along with increasing social inequalities, we believe it is unthinkable to ‘go back to normal.’ The radical transformation we need—at all levels—demands boldness and courage. It will not happen without a massive and determined commitment. We must act now. It is as much a matter of survival as one of dignity and coherence.”