Indiana Jones’ real-life crusade


We have just weeks to go until the debut of Harrison Ford’s first Indiana Jones movie in nearly two decades, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull To celebrate, National Geographic Adventure magazine interviewed Ford and put him on their April cover. The interview was just in time for Earth Day, and emphasizes Ford’s work as a strategic guide for Conservation International (CI) for a period almost as long as the stretch since the last Indy movie. Here’s what I learned about the man the mayor of San Francisco Gavin Newson recently dubbed “sort of the original celebrity on environment.”

When asked if there would be any green themes in Dr. Jones’ latest chapter, Ford laughed, “No, we just stuck to running, jumping, and falling down.” He added, “There have been a lot of people involved in trying to use film to influence people in a positive way, dispose them toward protection of the environment. And I think that's all useful, but I think that people can become inured to it.”

When discussing his youth in suburban Chicago, Harrison recalls a displaced fox friend he made in the small woodsy area near the former agricultural land his home had been built on. “I think there's something about that experience that tilted me toward nature in a different way than a visit to a national park or something would. I was struck by the fact that these houses we were living in, these streets we were driving down, had displaced something. That more than us belonged there.”

Ford also talks about camping in Idaho’s Franch Church Wilderness, and he mentions the exotic obscure locales he’s visited through his CI work, like tepuis, freestanding jungle mesas, in Venezuela which are only accessible by helicopter. Ford does admit in the interview to a not very green fondness for air travel, but occasionally his reason for flying is volunteering to help rescue, say,  an explorer in peril in the Teton wilderness. The man is more appropriate for the cover of this mag than I realized.

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