Is top-billing action movie director James Cameron someone with an environmental message people should pay more attention to?

Well, he’s enormously successful, has shown himself an avid champion of earth-friendly causes, including, he says, making the highest grossing movie with an environmental message interlaced, and he happens to drive a Chevy Volt.

"There is no studio anywhere in the world who would say an environmental message would make $3 billion,” Cameron was quoted as saying of "Avatar," a science fiction film of indigenous tribal people concerned for their natural world. “I can't think of any other really commercially successful ones, can you?"


ABC Nightline provided James Cameron and his Volt with major league exposure as he explains his off-the-grid lifestyle writ large at his ocean-side California ranch.

Cameron came to our attention recently when Volt Vehicle Line Director, Tony Posawatz forwarded a video of him giving an exclusive interview with ABC that included him driving around his eco-sensitive ranch in his Volt.

The filmmaker says he has always been a nature lover, has woven environmental messages of one degree or another into several of his films, and he is surely a high profile advocate for the Volt – and what it represents.

He says humankind is presently at a point where if it does not significantly change its ways, “we’re not going to make it.”

Last year during the BP oil spill in he Gulf of Mexico, he presented a solution that was initially rejected, then he says, implemented (without being credited) to successfully stop the massive leak.

When he was first rebuffed by BP, the reportedly hot-tempered and demanding Cameron was quoted as saying, "Over the last few weeks I've watched ... and [been] thinking, 'Those morons don't know what they're doing'."

When he's not having his solutions shot down by oil companies, Cameron – Canadian born in 1954 to an artist mother and electrical engineer father – definitely knows what he is doing when it comes to making billions worldwide in the box office.


Cameron discusses a scene on the set of "Titanic," with actress Kate Winslet and that other EREV-loving Hollywood environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Film titles he has been behind include "The Terminator," "The Abyss," "Aliens," "Titanic," and the aforementioned "Avatar."

Along the way, his fiery style of interacting with actors and others has caught him a fair amount of criticism for being too demanding and tough to work with.

But then again, Steve Jobs has had people make similar observations of him too, but he arguably did great things, and his personality and character were part of what made him able to do what he did.

Highly skilled and insightful people who also happen to contribute enormously may therefore not be so easy dismissed even if some would recommend they enroll in a refresher course on "How to win friends and influence people."

No, when you are successful, talented, and passionate, quirks aside, you stand to influence people just the same.

ABC’s reporter was obviously influenced. Upon seeing Cameron's home-made windmill, solar arrays, plans to build a deep-sea submarine and other proofs of creativity, he rather generously compared Cameron to Leonardo Da Vinci.

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While Leonardo DaVinci was a certifiable genius, time will tell whether ABC’s sound bite holds water, but it’s at least safe to say Cameron rubs shoulders with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Kidding aside, Cameron could be worth paying more attention to in part because he is putting his thoughts into action, and has shown capable talent in other endeavors he's been involved with.

“You can either stand for nothing or you can stand for something,” Cameron says.

Just as his interview caught Tony Posawatz’s attention, we think it’s a positive thing that Cameron is pushing for greater causes the Volt is inherently a part of.

But then his advocacy has not been without harsh criticism , so again we shall see how Cameron fares in contributing as he says he wants to.

While he has yet to prove he can do as much for the real world as he has for fictional films, his potential to share an important message in this media-focused society is likely greater than most.