Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is such a big fan of nature that her environmentally-friendly home includes a retractable roof that provides natural cooling -- while giving her an unobstructed view of the outdoors and the local birds. And this week, she partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association for radio spots that draws attention to the threats facing the National Park system, from climate change and pollution to development and lack of funding. The spots are airing in conjunction with a new report from the NPCA that looks at a decade of research on the health of the park system -- and isn't all good news. "Our national parks have inspired Americans for nearly 100 years," she says. "As we approach the centennial of the National Park Service in 2016, please join us in helping to protect our National Park legacy."
No Malibu Development for U2 Guitarist
U2 guitarist The Edge has been fighting locals since 2006 for permission to build a five-mansion neighborhood on the mountains of Malibu's Sweetwater Mesa -- but the California Coastal Commission has now officially blocked him from moving forward with the development, reports the Los Angeles Times. The proposed plan was rejected 8-4 because of the effects it would have on the area's wildlife and plants. "In 38 years of this commission's existence," said Peter Douglas, executive director of the commission, "this is one of the three worst projects that I've seen in terms of environmental devastation. It's a contradiction in terms -- you can't be serious about being an environmentalist and pick this location." Evans and the other property owners have said they plan to build houses that "meet the highest environmental standards by incorporating recycled and renewable materials, rainwater catchment systems, solar panels, and native landscaping."
DiCaprio and Friends Encourage Ban on Shark Finning
First Leonardo DiCaprio joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund to save tigers; Now he's speaking out to save sharks. DiCaprio and a long list of celebrities -- including Ben Stiller, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, and Anthony Keidis -- added their names to a letter from WildAid, the NRDC, and the Humane Society encouraging California senators to ban the sale of shark fins. "All attempts at regulation thus far have been ineffective and there is no evidence that any further attempts at regulation would be successful," said the letter. "Many shark populations do not have time for costly experiments." This week, the bill moved forward, with DiCaprio Tweeting, "Thx to all who tweeted and reposted our plea about the shark fin ban in Cali. #AB376 passed key vote thx to you!"