Leave it to a comedy A-lister and a legendary actor to help make a PSA-style video about a river basin and climate change worth watching. Will Ferrell and Robert Redford have teamed up to help out Raise the River, a coalition of groups working to restore the Colorado River Delta after decades of overuse that have nearly bled it dry.
A stoic Redford explains the coalition’s goal: restore the environment and wildlife of the Colorado River basin by adding a little water (less than 1% of annual flow) to the river. Ferrell plays his typically absurdist character with the counterpoint: Why not simply bring the ocean to the river?
Conservationists have documented the river’s decline for years, and the demands of the 30 million people who rely on its waters have sapped it to the point that it no longer consistently flows to the ocean.
Redford has decades of environmental work under his belt. And Ferrell has become increasingly active in advocacy work. The series of river-focused videos is his third attempt this year at using comedy to help draw attention to a cause. He teamed up with first lady Michelle Obama twice in the last month to help promote her “Let’s Move” initiative, donning drag in aTonight Show sketch to play a teen girl discussing healthy habits. He joined her again to host a “focus group” discussing healthy eating with kids.
Grist previously reported on the video featuring Ferrell and Redford.