I must admit I was a little baffled to read in the Province newspaper that our local airport wants Ryan Reynolds to act as its celebrity endorser.
Vancouver International Airport Authority president and CEO Craig Richmond reportedly isn't interested in Michael Bublé, Seth Rogen, or any of the other luminaries who were born in the Lower Mainland.
No, it had to be Reynolds because he has a great sense of humour.
So why was I befuddled by this?
It's because Reynolds has been very public with his grave concerns about climate change.
And the City of Vancouver has declared a climate emergency.
In the videotaped interview below, Reynolds makes it very clear that he's worried about his children's future.
“Right now, in this time, it’s a really critical time," the actor says. "We’re at a place where we’re going to look back in history and see whether we did the right thing or the wrong thing.”
Then there's this about Reynolds from the EcoWatch website: "He has been an environmental activist for 25 years."
"I've solarized my home, I drive an electric car—these are just the things that I do," Reynolds is quoted as saying on the website. "But I also recognize that the prices for these sorts of things are falling dramatically, and I love to see that. I'm in a position where I can afford to do this sort of thing—not everyone is. As we see these prices going down, I think it's important to create infrastructure and to create systems in which people can afford this. And not just in ways that they're incentivized to get a tax break or something like that, but it's just absolutely affordable to everyone across the country."
The airport's pursuit of Reynolds as a spokesperson comes just as airline carbon emissions are becoming a hotter political topic.
Exhibit 1: Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg is urging rich people to fly less often.
Exhibit 2: A Quebec woman has launched a Flight Free 2020 Canada campaign to curb emissions.
Exhibit 3: Academics, including several in Vancouver, have signed a public petition pledging to greatly reduce their flying to reduce their carbon footprints.
According to the International Air Transport Association, aviation accounts for two percent of worldwide global human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. That amounted to 859 million tonnes in 2017.
The industry hopes to offset 2.6 billion tonnes between 2021 and 2035.
However, not everyone is convinced that this industry is doing enough to address the problem.
"Analysis by U.K.-based Carbon Brief found that, under business as usual, a growing commercial-aviation industry could contribute 27 percent of allowable emissions between 2015 and 2050 if the world is to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement’s aspirational target of 1.5-degree C for global average-temperature increase," wrote environmentalist David Suzki in 2016.
He then added "that other factors, such as nitrogen oxide and water-vapour emissions and contrails, could exacerbate climate impacts".