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Does Avatar’s environmental message accomplish what it should?

James’ Cameron’s Avatar may not have won for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year, but it has received a few nods for its environmental message. It’s undeniable that Avatar is a movie that helps shed light on many global environmental issues, and in doing so, reaches a greater audience of people who watch it for the cinematography and leave the theaters enlightened.

If you look at the movie with a critical eye, however, it’s easy to see that perhaps this Blockbuster hit might not have accomplished everything it should. At an estimated total cost of somewhere in the range of $250 million to $500 million, it’s money that could have gone directly towards environmental efforts. Or, with the recent natural disasters that have ravaged countries like Chile and Haiti, funds that could be donated to relief.

On the other hand, in some ways it’s important that people look at a movie like Avatar as a mass marketing plan for the environmental movement. Right or wrong, millions are spent upon shedding greater awareness on products and services that are not essential. A greater public interest in the environment inarguably is.

So do you think that Avatar is money well spent towards environmental awareness, or should it have funded direct efforts to improve the state of the world? While we’re on the subject: do you think it was deserving of best picture, too?