The Sierra Club today sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging his administration to lead new efforts to combat the growing climate crisis. Naturally, the environmental organization enlisted the help of over 20 Hollywood heavyweights and entertainers to back the appeal — including Alec Baldwin, Adam Levine, Morgan Freeman, Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson, Yoko Ono, Ian Somerhalder and Jason Mraz. 

“Your legacy as 44th president of the United States rests firmly on your leadership on climate disruption," the group wrote. "Only the president has the power to lead an effort on the scale and with the urgency we need to phase out fossil fuels and lead America, and the world, in a clean energy revolution.”

The letter also appears as a full page ad in the political newspaper The Hill and comes ahead of a Feb. 17 rally called ForwardOnClimate. Organizers hope to make the event the largest climate rally in history — with thousands in D.C. demanding a first step be the rejection by the Obama administration of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. For the first time in its 120-year history, the Sierra Club board has approved the "one-time" use of civil disobedience to further elevate its protest. 

“For civil disobedience to be justified, something must be so wrong that it compels the strongest defensible protest,” Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director, said in a statement. “We are watching a global crisis unfold before our eyes, and to stand aside and let it happen — even though we know how to stop it — would be unconscionable. As the president said in his inaugural address, ‘to do so would betray our children and future generations.'

“The Sierra Club has refused to stand by," he added. "We've worked hard and we have had great success — helping establish historic fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, stopping more than 170 coal plants from being built, securing the retirement of another 129 existing plants, and helping grow a clean energy economy. But time is running out, and the stakes are enormous. We can't afford to lose a single major battle. The burning of dirty tar sands crude is one of those major battles.  That's why the Sierra Club's Board of Directors has for the first time endorsed an act of peaceful civil disobedience.”

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Alec Baldwin, Morgan Freeman ask Obama to act on climate change
Actors join over 20 entertainers and celebrities in signing a letter sent by the Sierra Club to the president.