Global environmental challenges
Hollywood’s greenest stars honor U.S. environmental group
Dozens of the world’s top movie, television and music stars showed off their green cred on Saturday night at a Hollywood-style fundraiser honoring the Natural Resource Defense Council‘s 20 years in Southern California.
The event at Beverly Hills’ Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel was a who’s who of Hollywood environmentalists, including actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Redford, and Laurie David, a global warming activist and producer of the Al Gore movie “An Inconvenient Truth.” All three are trustees of the NRDC’s Southern California office. In 2003, the group even dedicated its new building to Redford.
It’s no secret that the environment and climate change is a hot cause in Hollywood, and it’s hard to imagine another social issue drawing as much star power to one event. The party also raised a hefty $2 million.
“Mad Men” star Jon Hamm and designer Tom Ford also attended the party, which was hosted by “Seinfeld” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and included a musical performance by Grammy-winning rockers Maroon 5. Actress Rosanna Arquette deejayed the after party.
On stage, Redford recalled why he joined the NRDC in the 1970′s, saying it was “because they had the power to sue.”
Many attendees echoed that refrain throughout the night, with Louis-Dreyfus bluntly stating: “I love lawsuits.”
The evening also included a list of the group’s legal victories in the region, including helping to stop inadequately treated sewage from being dumped into the Santa Monica Bay and testing children for lead poisoning in the 1990s. More recently, NRDC and other environmental groups last year reached a deal with land holder Tejon Ranch to permanently protect 240,000 acres of California land from development.
But the group also suffered a setback in the region last year after the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. navy can conduct sonar training exercises off the southern California coast without restrictions to protect whales, dolphins and other marine mammals.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the evening was as green as could be, with a vegetarian, locally sourced menu, organic wine, and trees and bushes as decoration. Even the table centerpieces didn’t require watering, instead featuring asparagus and artichokes and tulips planted in stones.
Photocredit: Reuters (Maroon 5 performs at the NRDC’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in Beverly Hills on April 25, 2009)