Celebrity 'fractivists': True advocates or NIMBYs?
NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ The scene: a Manhattan art-house theater. The cause: a campaign against the gas drilling process known as fracking that's being led by more than 100 celebrities, including Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Robert Redford, Mark Ruffalo and Mario Batali.
Outside, demonstrators in hazmat suits circle the theater. Inside, actress Scarlett Johansson attends a benefit screening of "Gasland," the documentary film that has become the movement's manifesto. Johansson tells The Associated Press that her "Avengers" co-star Ruffalo introduced her to the cause, and that she found the film "incredibly shocking."The campaign has galvanized hundreds of thousands of followers, but as with many activist causes, the facts can get drowned out by the glitz. Now, some experts are asking whether the celebrities are enlightened advocates or NIMBYs â¿¿ crying "Not in my backyard!" â¿¿ even as their privileged lives remain entwined, however ruefully, with fossil fuels. ___ Storm halts Midwest flights, heads for Washington A late-winter storm barreled through the Midwest, snarling air travel in and out of Chicago, and it will soon take aim at busy airports around Washington, D.C. By late morning Tuesday, more than 1,200 flights had been canceled, almost all at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports. The airlines were already looking one day ahead and cutting flights in the storm's path. They had already canceled about 450 flights on Wednesday, mostly at Dulles and Reagan National airports in the Washington area, according to FlightAware.com. Daniel Baker, CEO of the flight-tracking service, said he expected the numbers to rise. ___ China plans for slower, consumer-driven growth BEIJING (AP) â¿¿ Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday pledged to transform China into a consumer-driven economy but gave no indication what Beijing will do about big state companies that reformers warn could handicap future growth.