In a letter to “the World” that was published in the French daily newspaper Le Monde, a group of 200 international celebrities, including Madonna, Cate Blanchett, Penélope Cruz, Adam Driver, Robert De Niro and dozens of other actors, singers, and Nobel Prize winners, and other influential personalities all asked that we not return to the “normal” that led us to the brink of this pandemic, and instead reconsider our “new normal” to be more thoughtful, less consumer-driven and healthier.
The opinion piece, initiated by Juliette Binoche and Aurélien Barrau, was addressed to world leaders and citizens alike and called for us all to deeply consider the impact of our consumer lifestyles, our habits, and the impact we have on the planet with our lifestyle choices.
Called “Non á un Retour á la Normale,” it means, “No to a Return to Normal.”
The letter reads in part: “The Covid-19 pandemic is a tragedy. This crisis, however, has the virtue of inviting us to face the essential questions.
“The assessment is simple: the “adjustments” are no longer enough, the problem is systemic.
The letter calls for a new way of thinking that includes a radical change in the world rather than “a return to normal” after the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
This is a wakeup call, the letter says and our existence is at stake.
“The current ecological disaster is part of a “meta-crisis”: the massive extinction of life on Earth is no longer in doubt and all indicators point to a direct existential threat. Unlike a pandemic, as serious as it is, it is a global collapse whose consequences will be beyond measure.
The signers include Hollywood stars Jane Fonda, Marion Cotillard and Monica Bellucci as well as Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. The authors pleaded for an end to unbridled consumerism and a “radical transformation” of economies to help save the planet.
“We believe it is unthinkable to ‘go back to normal’,” said the letter which was also signed by Nobel laureates for medicine, chemistry, and physics along with other influential thinkers. They call the pandemic “a tragedy” but it is also a chance for humanity to “examine what is essential” in our lives.
“Adjustments are not enough. The problem is systemic,” the letter stated. “The ongoing ecological catastrophe is a meta-crisis. Unlike a pandemic… a global ecological collapse will have immeasurable consequences,” it said. The 200 signatories said this was the time for our leaders “to leave behind the unsustainable logic that still prevails and to undertake a profound overhaul of our goals, values, and economies.
“The pursuit of consumerism and an obsession with productivity has led us to deny the value of life itself: that of plants, that of animals, and that of a great number of human beings,” it added. “Pollution, climate change, and the destruction of our remaining natural zones have brought the world to a breaking point.”
Here is a list of the Letter Signers in Alphabetical Order:
Lynsey Addario, senior reporter; Isabelle Adjani, actress; Roberto Alagna, lyric singer; Pedro Almodovar, director; Santiago Amigorena, writer; Angèle, singer; Adria Arjona, actress; Yann Arthus-Bertrand, photographer, director; Ariane Ascaride, actress; Olivier Assayas, director; Josiane Balasko, actress; Jeanne Balibar, actress; Bang Hai Ja, painter; Javier Bardem, actor; Aurélien Barrau,astrophysicist, honorary member of the Institut universitaire de France; Mikhail Baryshnikov, dancer, choreographer; Nathalie Baye, actress; Emmanuelle Béart, actress; Jean Bellorini, director; Monica Bellucci, actress; Alain Benoit, physicist, Academy of Sciences; Charles Berling, actor; Juliette Binoche, actress; Benjamin Biolay, singer; Dominique Blanc, actress; Cate Blanchett, actress; Gilles Bœuf, former president of the National Museum of Natural History; Valérie Bonneton,actress ; Aurélien Bory, director; Miguel Bosé, actor, singer; Stéphane Braunschweig, director; Stéphane Brizé, director; Irina Brook, director; Peter Brook, director; Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, actress, director; Khatia Buniatishvili, pianist; Florence Burgat, philosopher, research director at Inrae; Guillaume Canet, actor, director; Anne Carson, poet, writer, Academy of Arts and Sciences; Michel Cassé, astrophysicist; Aaron Ciechanover,Nobel Prize in Chemistry; François Civil, actor; François Cluzet, actor; Isabel Coixet, director; Gregory Colbert, photographer, director; Paolo Conte, singer; Marion Cotillard, actress; Camille Cottin, actress; Penélope Cruz, actress; Alfonso Cuaron, director; Willem Dafoe , actor; Béatrice Dalle, actress; Alain Damasio, writer; Ricardo Darin, actor; Cécile de France, actress; Robert De Niro, actor;Annick de Souzenelle, writer; Johann Deisenhofer, biochemist, Nobel Prize in chemistry; Kate del Castillo, actress; Miguel Delibes Castro, biologist, Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences; Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota, director; Claire Denis, director; Philippe Descola, anthropologist, CNRS gold medal; Virginie Despentes, writer; Alexandre Desplat, composer; Arnaud Desplechin, director; Natalie Dessay, lyric singer; Cyril Dion, writer, director; Hervé Dole,astrophysicist, honorary member of the Institut universitaire de France; Adam Driver, actor; Jacques Dubochet, Nobel Prize in chemistry; Diane Dufresne, singer; Thomas Dutronc, singer; Lars Eidinger , actor; Olafur Eliasson, plastic artist, sculptor; Marianne Faithfull , singer; Pierre Fayet, member of the Academy of Sciences; Abel Ferrara, director; Albert Fert , Nobel Prize in physics; Ralph Fiennes, actor; Edmond Fischer, biochemist, Nobel Prize in medicine; Jane Fonda, actress;Joachim Frank, Nobel Prize in chemistry; Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, actor; Marie-Agnès Gillot, star dancer; Amos Gitaï, director; Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu, director; Timothy Gowers, Fields Mathematics Medal; Eva Green, actress; Sylvie Guillem, star dancer; Ben Hardy, actor; Serge Haroche, Nobel Prize in physics; Dudley R. Herschbach, Nobel Prize in chemistry; Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize in chemistry; Rob Hopkins, founder of cities in transition; Nicolas Hulot,Honorary President of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Man; Imany, singer; Jeremy Irons, actor; Agnès Jaoui, actress, director; Jim Jarmusch, director; Vaughan Jones, Fields Mathematics Medal; Spike Jonze, director; Camélia Jordana, singer; Jean Jouzel, climatologist, Vetlesen Prize; Anish Kapoor, sculptor, painter; Naomi Kawase, director; Sandrine Kiberlain, actress; Angélique Kidjo, singer; Naomi Klein, writer;Brian Kobilka, Nobel Prize in Chemistry; Hirokazu Kore-eda, director; Panos Koutras , director; Antjie Krog, poet; La Grande Sophie, singer; Ludovic Lagarde, director; Mélanie Laurent, actress; Bernard Lavilliers, singer; Yvon Le Maho, ecophysiologist, member of the Academy of Sciences; Roland Lehoucq, astrophysicist; Gilles Lellouche, actor, director; Christian Louboutin, creator; Roderick MacKinnon, Nobel Prize in chemistry; Madonna, singer;Macha Makeïeff, director; Claude Makélélé, footballer; Ald Al Malik, rapper; Rooney Mara, actress; Ricky Martin, singer; Carmen Maura, actress; Michel Mayor, Nobel Prize in physics; Medina, rapper; Melody Gardot, singer; Arturo Menchaca Rocha , physicist, former president of the Mexican Academy of Sciences; Raoni Metuktire , Raoni’s Indian chief; Julianne Moore , actress; Wajdi Mouawad , director, author; Gérard Mouroux, Nobel Prize in physics;Nana Mouskouri, singer; Yael Naim, singer; Jean-Luc Nancy, philosopher; Guillaume Néry, freediving world champion; Pierre Niney, actor; Michaël Ondaatje, writer; Thomas Ostermeier, director; Rithy Panh, director; Vanessa Paradis, singer, actress; James Peebles, Nobel Prize in physics; Corine Pelluchon, philosopher; Joaquin Phoenix, actor; Apple, singer; Iggy Pop, singer; Olivier Py, director;Radu Mihaileanu, director; Susheela Raman , singer; Edgar Ramirez, actor; Charlotte Rampling, actress; Raphaël, singer; Eric Reinhardt , writer; Resident, singer; Jean-Michel Ribes, director; Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk; Richard Roberts, Nobel Prize in medicine; Isabella Rossellini, actress; Cecilia Roth, actress; Carlo Rovelli, physicist, honorary member of the Institut universitaire de France; Paolo Roversi, photographer; Ludivine Sagnier,actress ; Shaka Ponk (Sam and Frah), singers; Vandana Shiva, philosopher, writer; Abderrahmane Sissako, director; Gustaf Skarsgard, actor; Sorrentino Paolo, director; Sabrina Speich, oceanographer, Albert Defant medal; Sting, singer; James Fraser Stoddart, Nobel Prize in chemistry; Barbra Streisand, singer, actress, director; Malgorzata Szumowska, director; Béla Tarr, director; Bertrand Tavernier, director; Alexandre Tharaud, pianist; James Thierré,director, dancer; Mélanie Thierry, actress; Tran Anh Hung , director; Jean-Louis Trintignant, actor; Karin Viard, actress; Rufus Wainwright, singer; Lulu Wang, director; Paul Watson, navigator, writer; Wim Wenders, director; Stanley Whittingham, Nobel Prize in chemistry; Sonia Wieder-Atherton, cellist; Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize in physics; Olivia Wilde, actress; Christophe Willem, singer; Bob Wilson, director;Lambert Wilson, actor; David Wineland, Nobel Prize in physics; Xuan Thuan Trinh, astrophysicist; Muhammad Yunus, economist, Nobel Peace Prize; Zazie, singer.