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Hollywood actor Michelle Yeoh: more an activist than actor

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Photo: www.cobaltss.net

Kathmandu: She’s a global face as a Hollywood actor, action heroine, and a humanitarian. For Malaysia-born Michelle Yeoh, famous for her role in Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning martial arts love story “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” every day is a gift and she looks forward to another good tomorrow.

She also acted in James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies” in 1997.

Yeoh was in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, accompanying fiance Jean Todt for the Federation Internationale De L’Automobile (FIA) Asia-Pacific Sports Regional Congress when the earthquake hit on April 25 last year.

The temblor killed over 8,000 people, injuring thousands and causing widespread destruction.

The actor has made helping rebuild lives in Nepal a priority.

“Raising awareness for Nepal was and still is an important role for me. What’s happening is very real and there is so much work to be done to help rebuild the lives of the Nepalese,” the 53-year-old Malaysian actor, who believes her best performance is yet to come, told reporters in an email interview.

Yeoh and Todt have raised money for post-earthquake reconstruction in Nepal.

“Yes, of course, I would always encourage Hollywood celebrities to join and support such a wonderful cause (Nepal disaster). It’s very important for us all to understand that we are interconnected and we need to hold hands together, especially when the going gets tough.”

A month after the natural disaster, the actor was in the Himalayan nation again, not as a tourist but as the brand ambassador of the ‘Live to Love’ foundation of globe-trotting Buddhist leader Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual head of the 1,000-year-old Drukpa Order based in India.

Quoting the spiritual leader, she said: “Without appreciation, our life is like plastic. Not only we have to remove the non-biodegradable rubbish from our external environment, we have to clear that from our mind too.”

“Every little positive step we make individually, collectively we can make a huge difference. For me, this is what ‘Live to Love’ is about,” Yeoh, who made her name as an action star in Hong Kong in 1990, added.

The actor, who stars as Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi in “The Lady” directed by Luc Besson, also wants to focus on climate change.

“Global warming is a big issue now, it’s threatening humanity. All this can be changed if we begin to have a little appreciation and a little more understanding about interconnectivity between nature and us.”

About her reel or real role that is more challenging, she said: “Both are as real as ever, but in terms of challenges, the real life is, of course, more challenging and continuously full of surprises.”

“In the movies, the emotions are as real as the circumstances. The difference is that in a film, we have the script all plotted out, so you know what to expect and you are also given time to rehearse.”

In real life, though, she says, the plot unfolds day by day. “No chance to rehearse. You feel that you need to proact or react, and are kept on the toes,” she added.

Her latest film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny”, the sequel to the early successful film, has just hit the theatres.

Asked about her role in Aung San Suu Kyi’s biopic, she said: “Out of deep respect for Daw Suu (Suu Kyi) and the people of Burma, we did our utmost to stay true to her story,” although for better story-telling, “some liberties had been taken.”

The former Miss Malaysia has also been involved in the fight against AIDS for many years. (IANS)

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Arctic permafrost may unleash carbon within decades: NASA

Plants remove carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis, so increased plant growth means less carbon in the atmosphere

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NASA to release two missions focused on moon soon in 2022. Pixabay
NASA positive about next planet-hunting mission. Pixabay
  • Permafrost in Northern Arctic can potentially become a permanent source of Carbon
  • It was previously thought to be safe from the effects of Global Warming
  • Rising temperature in the Arctic can cause severe carbon emissions

Permafrost in the coldest northern Arctic — formerly thought to be at least temporarily shielded from global warming by its extreme environment — could thaw enough to become a permanent source of carbon to the atmosphere in a few decades, warns a NASA-led study. This will happen in this century, with the peak transition occurring in 40 to 60 years, said the study.

Permafrost in Northern Arctic can become a permanent source of carbon in this century itself, according to NASA. Wikimedia Commons
Permafrost in Northern Arctic can become a permanent source of carbon in this century itself, according to NASA. Wikimedia Commons

Permafrost is soil that has remained frozen for years or centuries under topsoil. It contains carbon-rich organic material, such as leaves, that froze without decaying, NASA said in a statement on Tuesday.

As rising Arctic air temperatures cause permafrost to thaw, the organic material decomposes and releases its carbon to the atmosphere in the form of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.

The researchers calculated that as thawing continues, by the year 2300, total carbon emissions from the coldest northern Arctic will be 10 times as much as all human-produced fossil fuel emissions in 2016.

Warmer, more southerly permafrost regions will not become a carbon source until the end of the 22nd century, even though they are thawing now, said the study led by scientist Nicholas Parazoo of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

That is because other changing Arctic processes will counter the effect of thawing soil in these regions.

The finding that the colder region would transition sooner than the warmer one came as a surprise, according to Parazoo. The researchers used data on soil temperatures in Alaska and Siberia and a numerical model that calculates changes in carbon emissions as plants grow and permafrost thaws in response to climate change.

They assessed when the Arctic will transition to a carbon source instead of the carbon-neutral area it is today — with some processes removing about as much carbon from the atmosphere as other processes emit.

World is under threat due to Global Warming. Wikimedia Commons

They divided the Arctic into two regions of equal size, a colder northern region and a warmer, more southerly belt encircling the northern region. There is far more permafrost in the northern region than in the southern one.

Over the course of the model simulations, northern permafrost lost about five times more carbon per century than southern permafrost.

The southern region transitioned more slowly in the model simulations, Parazoo said, because plant growth increased much faster than expected in the south.

Also Read: Global warming portends ill for India’s flourishing Dairy sector: Experts

Plants remove carbon dioxide from the air during photosynthesis, so increased plant growth means less carbon in the atmosphere.

According to the model, as the southern Arctic grows warmer, increased photosynthesis will balance increased permafrost emissions until the late 2100s. IANS