Avatar’s James Cameron: “Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass Im not sure they could hear me.”

AvatarJames Cameron’s eco-pic has become the top grossing film of all time (see “Post-Apocalypse Now“).  And that did not endear him to the anti-science crowd.  Glenn “brainless frog” Beck said Cameron “is officially running for Antichrist.”  Cameron has now responded, as Brad Johnson reports in this repost:

Avatar director James Cameron thinks global-warming deniers are “boneheads” who are “going to have to be answerable” for their denialism. With a global box office of $2.7 billion, Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time. Conservatives unnerved by the environmental themes of this sci-fi action-and-romance popcorn flick are complaining that it’s a “sanctimonious thud of a movie,” a “three-hour lecture on war, imperialism, and green awareness,” “every militant global warming supporter’s dream come true,” and “socialism-disguised-as-nonsense enviro stuff.” Cameron fought back in a press conference, offering to debate Glenn Beck (who he calls “a f””ing asshole”) and other “boneheads”:“I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads. Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I’m not sure they could hear me.”

Glenn Beck had previously bashed Avatar as “an anti”‘U.S. human thing.” Cameron said, “But you know they’ve got to live in this world too. And their children do as well, so they’re going to have to be answerable to this at some point.” He explained that he will make the environment the theme of his home video release plan. “Look, at this point I’m less interested in making money for the movie and more interested in saving the world that my children are going to inhabit. How about that?”

And yes, Cameron does get global warming, having said recently, “We need to mobilize like we did during World War II” to fight global warming. The threat to our country and children is “that severe.”

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64 Responses to Avatar’s James Cameron: “Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass Im not sure they could hear me.”

  1. mike says:

    As much as like many of James Cameron’s movies, and as much as I support reducing GHG emissions and preventing catastrophic climate change, James Cameron is a pompous ass and needs to stop talking. Just stop talking.

  2. prokaryote says:

    This is a national security threat – where is the task force to take down those denial networks?

  3. Barry says:

    Cameron’s Avatar tells a story of hope, beauty, healing nature, and building bridges between cultures. It was beloved by millions worldwide.

    Beck and Co are telling a story of hate, division, cultural walls and ignoring the sufferings of mother nature. It fires up the ever-shrinking GOP base.

    Hmmm, maybe conservatives are the ones botching the messaging for a change.

    Of course if the deniers really do have their heads in a high-methane, no-solar-insolation world it helps explain why they consistently misunderstand even the basics of atmospheric science.

  4. Of course.

    The big problem now is CO2 deniers and the human cause deniers.

  5. Mark Shapiro says:

    I appreciate Mr. G. Beck being exposed as much as the next guy, and I suppose it is marginally useful for well-known and well-informed people like James Cameron to take up the cudgel for AGW.

    I’m most disappointed by the fact that Avatar is owned by 20th Century Fox, so it’s making money for News Corp and Rupert Murdoch. Oh well.

  6. Rick Covert says:


    It’s street fighting man time and as much as Cameron is course and blunt its probably what is called for at this point in time. What we witnessed with the T Klux Klan on Sunday is exactly what is in store with the climate legislation when it comes up in the Senate for a vote. We will have to be equally militant without descending to their racial epithets, spitting and vandalism.

  7. kenshin says:

    just stop talking? i’m sure they’d like us all to stop talking. it’s cutting into big oil’s and killer coal’s profits, all of our noise.

  8. Fredo says:

    Awesome. This is how we all need to be talking and we need to link denierism to fossil profit$$$ at every opportunity and in every possible medium. Go James Cameron!

  9. Fredo says:

    PS don’t forget to set your homepage to include “global warming” search results (pick various different search engines tho)—and get your comments out there on every newspaper and blog on the Internet.

    Remember—repetition is the key to good messaging!

    Trillion-dollar industries have declared war on your epistemology—and your children’s future. They will gladly destroy both if they can. Don’t go down without a fight.

  10. lgcarey says:

    Good – this shows how the “climate disruption really is a big problem” is likely to get into the cultural mainstream. Cameron has some crucial attributes: he’s just made another fortune (we love winners), he is blunt and brutal in his comments (not a sissy tree hugger), he has access to the kind of media attention activists can only dream of (let’s admit that Joe Romm is not likely to wind up on the cover of “People”), and he has access to the resources to create his own climate publicity pieces (if he chooses to). We desperately need some key opinion leaders who are not “the usual suspects” to step up. So good on Cameron for putting his comments out there, unvarnished.

  11. paulm says:

    I don’t know what the issues are… Government and people in power should just move on and start to execute drastic action now on the changes needed for climate action.

    People kind of know that the situation is bad, but no one or no group is going to change their behavior unless pushed. Everyone is just waiting for someone to tell them what to do.

    Now that Obama is on a roll, I think that is what is going to happen in the next 18mth or so.

    The situation is gone way past normal economy driven climate action.

  12. Dano says:

    Say it, bruddah. More like this from more people, please.



  13. GFW says:

    If there’s one guy who knows about communicating to a wide audience, and has the money to do it … I hope James goes all in on this. We need someone with his kind of executive drive. (I also hope he gets real scientists to keep him accurate so he doesn’t get discredited for one accidental overstatement.)

  14. Jeff Huggins says:

    I haven’t seen Avatar (although I look forward to seeing it), don’t know much about the Director, and am not familiar with the recent comments.

    But …

    On the climate change issue and some other issues, and in terms of their general tone and disregard for facts, what Fox News is doing is downright dangerous. It is way past time for people to boycott and point fingers at Fox News, AND at NewsCorp, AND at Murdoch.

    On that note, although I’m not up to speed on this (perhaps he has signed already?), Conan should NOT sign with Fox or NewsCorp, period. These days, you simply cannot be “cool” or credible or supportive of humankind or a friend of youthful generations, AND make money for NewsCorp, AND consider those two things as being consistent in any way. Period.

    Addressing the NewsCorp and Fox News problems means, among other things, not working for them and not making millions of dollars for them.


    Be Well,


  15. paulm says:

    In all the kuffufle did anyone notice this…

    New Moore Island DISAPPEARS Into The Sea

    School of Oceanographic Studies at the university have noted an alarming increase in the rate at which sea levels have risen over the past decade in the Bay of Bengal.

    Until 2000, the sea levels rose about 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) a year, but over the last decade they have been rising about 5 millimeters (0.2 inches) annually, he said.

  16. MapleLeaf says:

    GFW @ 12,

    “(I also hope he [Cameron] gets real scientists to keep him accurate so he doesn’t get discredited for one accidental overstatement.)”

    Good point.

  17. Rob says:

    Well done James Cameron.
    Avatar will do much by placing environmentalism in a good light. That murcdocs fox empire profits from it is unfortunate but we all know there is one thing murdoch values above all else, and if his ego is stroked by this we could even see a slight lessoning of the anti environmentalism bias that drives his corporations anti global warming bias. One can hope at least

  18. And Cameron is Canadian, too… how ’bout that!

  19. mike roddy says:

    What Dano said.

  20. NathanS says:

    I worked on this film, and it is a very nice feeling to see its huge success with the message it delivers. I take great pride in watching the climate crisis deniers squirm and reveal their true nature (even though I had nothing to do with the story).

    I personally feel what Fox’90%opinion’News is saying about the carbon crisis is a direct assault on my children. It scares me to see so many people who oppose the science and the solutions.

    This impending disaster should undoubtedly be the primary concern for everyone alive today! there won’t be anyone unaffected by climate change in the future!

  21. We should really begin to hammer home the real and increasing threat to our national security caused by the deniers and Big Oil.

    For example:

    The Climate Denial Machine is a threat to national security!

  22. From Peru says:

    Treat to Global Security?

    Forget Al Qaida. Big Money(maily Big Oil and Big Coal) is the true enemy!

  23. Richard Brenne says:

    Kudos to James Cameron for his masterful filmmaking and equally masterful and blunt comments! We all need to be James Camerons and Joe Romms – and there’s an odd script in there somewhere.

    Come to think of it with Jameses Cameron, Kunstler, Lovelock and Hansen we have the four Jameses of the Apocalypse and more pertinent knowledge communicated more expertly than all of the rest of the mainstream media put together. (I’d add Joe to the this list, maybe “Joe and the Four Jameses” that I think Fred Willard mentioned was playing at a nearby Holiday Inn in the movie “Spinal Tap.”)

    Since we’re intent on making Earth the new Venus (says Jim Hansen, who knows more about the atmospheres of both than about the rest of us put together), all that will be left of us is what we leave on the moon.

    I’d like to send “Avatar” to the moon (along with the entire Fox News team, but that’s another story) to be played in all formats for all eternity so that any and all future visitors could see what we’ve done.

    Plus they’d wonder if we were the small and pale or large and blue people, and thus we’d really play with their heads. . .presuming they have heads.

    So all of the history of human and all life on Earth would add up to one pretty lame interstellar practical joke. Oh well, American Idol is on.

  24. If there’s one guy who knows about communicating to a wide audience, and has the money to do it … I hope James goes all in on this. We need someone with his kind of executive drive. (I also hope he gets real scientists to keep him accurate so he doesn’t get discredited for one accidental overstatement.)

  25. avatar indir says:

    If there’s one guy who knows about communicating to a wide audience, and has the money to do it … I hope James goes all in on this. We need someone with his kind of executive drive. (I also hope he gets real scientists to keep him accurate so he doesn’t get discredited for one accidental overstatement.)

  26. ScruffyDan says:

    Funny how the deniers (typically on the right) failed to pick up on the strong property rights issues in the movie

  27. Dan B says:

    ZERO ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS have passed out leaflets, tweeted, or posted anything on their Facebook accounts about Avatar.


    Librul elitists!?

    Gay Liberation got thousands of members leafletting at offensive movies. WTF, they were great movies. They were attractive. Boys in the Band, etc. I leafletted, paid for a ticket, and watched.

    Thousands who had not thought about what the movie meant engaged and changed.

    Get a clue – enviro’s, idealists, wonks. Culture changes masses. Always has, always will.

    Ride the wave. Culture trumps all.

    Make your own.

  28. Ed-words says:

    Most of these deniers are probably creationists. Evolution

    challenges their Bible. But climate change does not. So what’s

    theit problem? They should be celebrating this gradual Armageddon.

  29. mike says:

    The ridiculous thing is that Murdoch believes in climate change. “Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats.”

  30. mike says:

    To Ed:

    Actually, I’ve seen fundamentalists cite the passage in Genesis that says that god promised to never raise the sea levels again after the flood… They claim that is proof that CC isn’t happening.

  31. Leif says:

    … “god promised to never raise the sea levels again after the flood”… well one or two hundred feet in the big picture is really not all that much. I am sure HE/She/It left in a little fudge factor. We lose a little land here and there, Florida, Bangladesh, what the hell, look at all we pick up. Greenland, Antarctica, do the math we may just come out net winners on this.

  32. asterisk says:

    Hey guys,

    I have been reading this site and it seems that the posters on here are among the most knowledgeable I have ever seen with regards to GW. I would like to have the following question answered that has been nagging at me…

    Over the past year, I read several books on global warming as well as everything I could find online. One common thread in everything I read was the following: if the permafrost begins to release it’s methane….LOOK OUT!

    Then last night I found the following on this site:

    I realize that we can’t know for certain whether this is a new phenomenon or something that has been going on for awhile unnoticed. Assuming that this is something new, could we theoretically be talking about a massive spike in temperature over the next year or 2, dramatically increasing the myriad known (and unknown) positive feedbacks?

    Apparently none of the models to date have considered methane release in their calculations, and since it is by far the most worrisome of the feedbacks (at least that I’ve read about)…well you get the point.

    Combine that with the melting arctic and the fact that 2010 is supposed to break all temperature records, could we be talking about a massive spike in temperatures this year (a la James Locklove)?

    I really look forward to your responses because the more I read about feedbacks and the recent methane release discovered, the more it’s looking….well, let’s just say BAD.

    Thanks so much for your time.

  33. Dean says:

    I remember something that Alec Baldwin recently said in an interview. To paraphrase: Conservatives particularly hate a liberal who knows how to punch back.

  34. hollergirl says:

    Great quote and so true. WAy to go James!!!!!!!
    I expect some climate deniers would ooh and ahh like a neanderthal – or is it really “protected stupidity” so they won’t have to actually do anything to change.

  35. Lewis W. says:

    Ed-words says:
    March 25, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Most of these deniers are probably creationists. Evolution

    challenges their Bible. But climate change does not. So what’s

    theit problem? They should be celebrating this gradual Armageddon.

    But Climate Change does challenge the Bible. It says that man can destroy and is in fact destroying God’s creation. A few run ins I’ve had with deniers suggest that this idea wigs them out. I consider AGW to have a similar spiritual corollary as Evolution Theory — God’s not running the show, if there’s a god at all.

  36. mike says:

    @ Rick

    James is a pompous ass, and I would bet he knows very little about climate change. There’s a reason why conservatives deney CC so much… It’s because obnoxious liberals have become the only spokes people for action instead of the scientific community. He’s probably doing more to hurt the cause than help it.

    This is comming from a left-leaning moderate btw. The debate can’t be in the realm of celebrities and ridiculous pundits (Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Olbermann etc.) anymore. The science community needs to step up. If Cameron debated Glenn Beck I would expect Beck to appear to win. Conservatives have some pretty “scientific” sounding talking points that “prove” AGW is exagerated or false. I don’t think Cameron would have the knowledge to counter those arguments (most people wouldn’t).

  37. Richard Miller says:

    To Nathan S #20 and all:

    It would be good if Cameron would follow up Avatar with another movie, a documentary. His name would give it immediate press. Here is what it should contain.

    1. Update the science – the IPCC Fourth Assessment has underestimated the problem on nearly every major indicator.
    2. Speak to the food and water shortages and the resultant climate refugess and wars that our coming
    3. Show the potential of renewable energy (e.g. we can power our economy 7 times over with concentrated solar power alone)
    4. Shows the economic savings for households and the economic savings of energy independence and a resultant reduction in the cost to human life (i.e. no more oil wars).
    5. Shows how powerful the public is and how we could force politicians to do the right thing if we mobilized. Also indicate in the movie that never in history have we had the power to mobilize as a result of the internet.

  38. Åsa says:

    Ahhh….how refreshing to see this emotional outburst. About bloody time that these deniers where “attacked”.
    They definately have there heads up somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine.

    Deep in coal/oil/egoism/greed/denial!!!!!

    Where are all the eco-warriors!??!?!

  39. prokaryote says:

    Avatar’s DVD Release to be Environmentally Themed, Thanks to Climate Deniers

  40. fj2 says:

    Like many here, James Cameron’s response made my day.

    Ironically, the environmental crisis is on such a daunting scale that bringing it under control it will be more of an amazing story than any science fantasy.

  41. fj2 says:

    James Cameron might even be the perfect person to pitch the concept of 24-hour global media coverage of the crisis to the President and Bloomberg.

  42. Kim Falcone says:

    To fj2 #42, Richard Miller and Nathan S. #20,

    I challenge all of you to make something like 24 hour global media climate crisis media coverage happen! A concept not unlike the Weather Channel, hmmm.

  43. polyorchnid octopunch says:

    Someone pointed out he’s a Canadian, and that’s related to why he’s more up on this. It’s a lot easier for us to see some of these effects, as we’re a northern country. They are seeing dragonflies in the high arctic; according to the Inuit, these have never been seen up there before. Ever. Completely new creatures to that place. They can see the ice changing, and that’s been widely reported here… because it really matters to us as a country.

  44. Lewis W says:

    re #45, AH1

    It isn’t so much the Academy Awards being pro-war as anti-sci-fi. Artistically there is still a tendency to look down on sci-fi. The Hurt Locker is a very fine movie and I’d hardly describe it as glorifying war. But aside from technical awards, effects, make-up, editing, sound and things just to huge to ignore like LOTR sci-fi doesn’t really take home awards.

    I enjoyed them both but Avatar was a very familiar experience in movie going for me while Hurt Locker took me places I’d never been. Cameron is a great director and his craft is beyond reproach but Bigelow showed me something new. I can still feel the knot in my stomach from Locker.

    I’d point out that the Academy passed over Saving Private Ryan for the fluff of Shakespeare In Love.

    Hollywood does not prefer War over peace.

  45. Opal says:

    Well here’s my question to all the “We are destroying the Earth” greenies. Exactly how many resources does CAM NAM use everytime he makes one of these epic films? For that matter, how much resources is he using jet setting all over the world in private jets. Please, HANKS, CAM NAM, and all these hollywood elites need to give up their lifestyles and then preach.

  46. fj2 says:

    43. Kim Falcone, “I challenge all of you to make something like 24 hour global climate crisis media coverage happen! A concept not unlike the weather Channel”

    Yes, this is something long overdue.

    Do include yourself in the challenge!

  47. Chris Winter says:

    Opal, If Cameron gave up his “Hollywood lifestyle”, would you even hear him preaching? It may be crass, but making a blockbuster film gives him the means to capture the attention of a whole lot of people that his pro-environment message would never reach otherwise.

    That said, I think there are better pro-environment movies that Avatar. One that comes to mind is Silent Running, if only because it relates more directly to Earth, and because it devotes more than two lines of dialog to Earth’s environmental problems.

    Disney’s Pocahontas was mentioned in the other thread on Avatar, and that too may be better. (I haven’t seen it.)

    Of course, Silent Running was never a blockbuster, and it’s now decades in the past. Avatar is here now, and though it may have shortcomings on an intellectual level, its theme of respect for the natural world has an immediate and widespread emotional impact. That alone makes it valuable as a wake-up call.

  48. Chris Winter says:

    While I’m on the subject of Avatar, I’d like to comment on its roots.

    In the other thread (now closed), Daniel J. Andrews remembers an Asimov story about human consciousness linked to android or robot bodies. Frm his other comments, I suspect he may be thinking of Clifford Simak’s Desertion. In that 1944 short story, humans are transformed into “lopers”, animals that can live on Jupiter. Their mission is to observe and report, but the five sent out never come back. It turns out that the loper body and senses are vastly superior to the human ones they started with. In essence, they go native. Jake Sully is in a similar situation — with some additional incentives to go native.

    As for the world of Pandora, that’s a close parallel to the one in Alan Dean Foster’s 1975 novel Midworld. Midworld is the third level of a six- or seven-level worldwide rain forest. Human-like aliens live on that relatively safe level; the others are filled with monsters. One day, Earthlings arrive bent on plundering their world’s biological resources. The rest you can guess.

  49. Chris Winter says:

    For what it’s worth, I heard this morning that James Cameron announced there will be an Avatar sequel.

  50. DirtCrashr says:

    Dances with Smurfs was high-budget soft-core with plot holes bigger than a Linda Lovelace knit-sweater, and you guys take his planetary credibility seriously? Sheesh.

  51. John Travis says:

    Well, of course we have global warming, James. We’ve had it for about 15,000 years now, give or take a century. It ended the last ice age, and the ice age really isn’t over yet because we’ve still got ice and glaciers. If the globe hadn’t warmed up, you’d probably have an ice sheet a half-mile thick on top of Savannah by now…and you’d be out huntin’ Wooly Mammoths for supper instread of poppin’ over to Mickey D’s for a quarter-pounder with fries.


    [JR: Huh? The global climate has been pretty stable for 11,000 years.]

  52. John Travis says:

    Stable? Nothing on this planet is stable. It’s constantly changing, and it will continue to change until the sun expands and burns it to a cinder. You just think it’s stable because it happens slowly…on our time anyway. We don’t live long enough to see much change. On a geological time frame, a hundred years isn’t a tick of the clock.

    Don’t worry, though. It’ll take a few billion years for the sun to do that.

    So, it changes, and one day, all the ice will be gone. Then, in about 50,000 years or so…it’ll be back. Next time, it may go all the way to the Equator.

    But, hey! The Global Warming set nearly got their wish about 12,000 years ago when the Younger Dryas almost put us back into the deep freeze.

    Yes. We have global warming. No doubt about it. The earth has frozen and thawed out a half-dozen times in the last couple billion years…and it’ll do it again. See…That’s just nature.

  53. JB says:

    “I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads…”

    Name the place – I’ll be there…

  54. John Travis says:

    No need to start shootin’, JB. *grin*

    If we consider that…in a single day…Mount St. Helens pumped more methane, carbon dioxide, and other toxic substances into the atmosphere than we have since the Industrial Age began…we can start to put this “Man-Made Global Warming” theory into perspective. And…St. Helens was akin to a pimple compared to Vesuvius and Krakatoa…and they were like campfires compared to the million-year eruption that occurred in Siberia a billion years ago. (See Siberian Traps)

    And! There are no less than twenty lesser volcanic eruptions that are occurring every day…belching out volumes of greenhouse gasses that we can’t even approach. We start to understand that the Earth is warming itself to a far greater degree than we can.

    Yes…We add to it. Anything that inhales and exhales creates carbon dioxide…but methane is a far more efficient greenhouse gas than C02…and it bubbles up from the ground and from the ocean floor in huge volumes…every single day. This has also been an ongoing event that predated Homo Sapien Sapien by a few hundred million years.

    If we also consider that life thrives in warmth and suffers in cold…as evidenced by the proliferation of life in the tropics as compared to say…Antarctica…and it starts to dawn on us that warm is the way to go if we want life…or at least life as we know it.

    Other topics of interest that Google up in a flash are:

    Younger Dryas Event

    Snowball Earth

    Ice Age (There have been many.)

    Little Ice Age (There have been many of those, too.)

    Yellowstone Caldera (aka “Super Volcano”) This one erupts roughly every 600,000 years…and it’s about 40,000 years past due. If that thing blows, a little global warming will seem like a blessing from on high. Krakatoa is a firecracker compared to a Caldera.

    Stable you say? No stability here, m’fren. Not even the continents stand still.

  55. tanksoldier says:

    Just say when & where Jimmy boy.

    I carry a gun every day everywhere I go. Does James Cameron even own any guns?

  56. Don Meaker says:

    The Navier Stokes equations are highly non-linear. Temperature ranges in many locations are as much as 40 degrees in a single day. In many locations in a year normal temperature variation is over 120 degrees.

    With nonlinear functions the average is not a useful predictor of the future. Any particular average is an accident, driven completely by the accident of when the selection was made. Non linear differential equations can not be predicted long term, because of the non-linearity.

    The Sun is much much bigger than the Earth. Small changes in the sun have a large effect on Earth climate. The Sun’s output is also described by nonlinear differential equations, which can also not be predicted.

    Global warming is bunk, utter codswollop.

  57. Don Meaker says:

    Avatar Part deux: Smurfs vs. Woad Warriors….

  58. John Travis says:

    No, Dan! Global warming is real! It’s just that when one does a little research into the past…say 2 billion years or so…and sees the scientific evidence of ongoing climate shifts throughout the eons, this sheepdip about it all being caused by the bad old human beings starts to look…a little thin.

  59. Kristopher says:

    Montana and Washington have no laws forbidding dueling ( except state police are forbidden to duel in Washington ), and allow assisted suicide.

    So, Mr. Cameron … there are two good venues for facing the folks you wish to “high noon” with.

  60. The ranting loons have come out in force. Incapable of dealing with scientific facts that are all but entirely beyond the possibility of reasoned dispute, we are showered with infantile threats by strutting self-defined heroes who are altogether incapable of any action that might, by even the most reckless stretch of the imagination, ever be mistaken for rational thought.

    How utterly typical.

  61. Michael says:

    Just say when and where Jimmie Boy, and I’ll even let you choose the implements of your own destruction.

  62. John Travis says:

    And so, what could have been a rational debate…with two sides contributing…it has devolved into chest-thumping and empty threats.

    We all know that Mr.Cameron’s statement wasn’t an open challenge to a gunfight, and we all know that…even if it was…that nobody with an IQ above 50 would take him up on it. Montana and Washington may not have laws on the books making dueling verbten, both states certainly have laws pertaining to murder, and attempted murder.

    Ya’ll step back and take a breath…please.

  63. Kristopher says:

    If both participants sign waivers claiming the other is assisting them with suicide, then it is legal in those states.

    No, James Cameron probably didn’t want to really fight a duel over this … but even making death threats as Hyperbole is pretty damned stupid.

    As for the advisability of dueling, and how to handle a deulist, I suggest looking up Mark Twain’s comments on the subject.