Rolling out the green carpet: Friend or foe of the Earth?

Rolling out the green carpet: Friend or foe of the Earth?

Rolling out the green carpet: Friend or foe of the Earth?

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This weekend marks the end of the traditional Hollywood awards season as millions tune in for the Oscars tomorrow night, recognizing the best movies of 2014. In the same mode, we would like to take a moment to reflect on some of last year’s winners and losers for the environment. And of course, we’ll keep in line with the traditional Oscar awards categories.

First off: the losers.


1. Worst Picture – Grocery Manufacturers Association
The member companies of the Grocery Manufacturers Association outperformed themselves by spending over $100 million fighting against GMO labeling and our right to know what is in our food since 2012.


2. Worst Actor – Arnold Schwarzenegger
In his debut as host of Showtime’s Years of Living Dangerously, Arnold Schwarzenegger may have appeared concerned about the human impacts of climate change and forest loss, but his investments in Dimensional Fund Advisors, itself a financier of deforestation, proves otherwise.


3. Worst Supporting Actor(s) – Koch Brothers
Charles and David Koch have already announced that they plan to spend nearly $900 million in the upcoming 2016 election — equivalent to each party’s presidential nominee. The Koch brothers have also been active advocates of continued tax breaks for fossil fuel companies and legislation opposing climate change action.


4. Worst Adapted Screenplay – The American Legislative Exchange Council’s anti-climate legislation
In early 2014, ALEC published two resolutions opposing climate regulations outlines by the EPA. The conservative group, supported by the Koch brothers, intends to enact this legislation in attempt to roll back clean energy standards.


5. Worst Short Live-Action Film – Senator Landrieu’s Hail Mary 
After turning her back to Senate Democrats in a short-lived attempt to save her re-election campaign, then-Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) failed to muster up 60 votes in support for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Just a month later, she lost to Rep. Bill Cassidy in runoff elections.


6. Worst Costume Design – Bayer
Last year Bayer continued its elaborate PR campaign, dressing up its bee health campaign with stuffed animals, sculptures, and even a children’s book to diminish the role of its own neonicotinoids pesticides in bee die-offs.


7. Worst Visual Effects – Carnival Cruise 
After receiving a failing grade in this year’s Cruise Ship Report Card, Carnival Cruise Lines released an $8 million Superbowl ad. The ad, featuring President Kennedy’s “Back to Sea” speech, glibly erased the 210,000 gallons of sewage or 2,137 lbs of CO2 produced each week on one of its ships.

Thankfully, we had some true friends of the Earth last year. Here are a few winners:


8. Best Foreign Language Film – Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s moves on palm oil
After announcing a four-to-six month moratorium on new logging concessions in Indonesia, President Jokowi publicized his commitment to protecting forests from large palm oil companies. We hope his commitment remains resolute as he faces tough opposition domestically and internationally.


9. Best Original Screenplay – The Inclusive Prosperity Act
The “Robin Hood Tax” bill, written by Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), offers an overdue and just way to provide funds for climate adaptation and other programs for the public good. A small sales tax on stocks, bonds, and other financial speculation could generate $300 billion per year.


10. Best Directing – U.S Fish & Wildlife Service
The United States Fish & Wildlife Service decided to not allow genetically modified crops and bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides within national wildlife refuges, making these areas a safer place for bees and other pollinators.