No Lack of Initiatives

California debates a thicket of environmental proposals

As the television camera closes in on his solemn face, film director Oliver Stone instructs viewers to hold their breath. "Every instinct will start to shout and scream for air," says Stone, comparing the feeling to the "choking of the planet" from global-warming gases. "O.K., breathe," he commands seconds later. "Remember, you just ran out of air. And we're running out of time."

Stone's is the first of 15 famous faces -- interspersed with gripping footage of felled redwoods, fish deformed by ocean dumping and smokestacks belching black clouds of toxins -- that appeared in a half-hour television ad seen this...

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