Another award for Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Global Green recognizes “environmental hero” despite controversy over her support of sealing
Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, will receive an award from the international conservation group, Global Green, on Saturday night, April 1, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
For the past 10 years, Global Green has presented its “Green Cross Millennium Awards” — made out of sustainable materials — to “a cadre of environmental heroes,” according to a spokesperson.
But this year’s choice of Watt-Cloutier has stirred up controversy as opposition grows to Canada’s annual seal hunt among animal rights groups.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for “protecting marine life worldwide” is calling for a boycott of tomorrow night’s awards ceremony because it says she “denounced Sir Paul McCartney and Lady Heather Mills McCartney’s visit to see the newborn seals in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.”
“At the same time that Watt-Cloutier accepts her ‘environmental’ award, the heads of tens of thousands of young seals will be bashed in by Canadian sealers,” says the group’s Web site. “How can a woman who openly advocates the largest mass slaughter of marine mammals on the plant get a Global Green Millennium Award? That makes a complete mockery of this award.”
Global Green is the non-profit arm of Green Cross International, founded by former Russian president, Mikhail Gorbachev.
Gorbachev will not be able to personally attend this year’s gala. However, Jake Gyllenhaal, the star of the hit movie, Brokeback Mountain, who was in Iqaluit last year to promote Global Green and ICC’s “Arctic Warning” sea ice event, may be one of the award presenters.
The evening of the gala, celebrity participants and nominees, wearing semi-formal attire, will roll up to the hotel in hybrid cars, fueled by a combination of bio-fuels, solar energy, electricity and conventional gasoline.
The gala evening’s agenda includes an eco-auction, where a variety of organic products and a resort trip to Mexico will be auctioned off. The banquet follows, with a menu of elegantly-prepared organic foods.
The awards ceremony portion of the evening features videos on the nominees who are called up to receive their awards — just as at the annual Academy Awards ceremonies, also held in downtown LA.
The other award recipients include designer and environmentally-conscious architect William McDonough, sustainable development promoters Nina Simons and Kenny Ausubel, contractor Thomas C. Lepper and a Los Angeles politician, Fran Pavley, who has tried to call attention to climate change and who submitted the first “climate bill” ever in the United States.
Global Green’s Web site says “the most effective solutions to climate change are only adopted when they are effectively communicated to policymakers and the public.” The site notes the group’s success at reaching “hundreds of millions of people” through its recent celebrity campaigns around the Academy Awards that have featured actors Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Morgan Freeman, Natalie Portman, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon and Salma Hayek.
To show the human impact of climate change, Global Green led celebrities, including Gyllenhaal and Hayek, scientists and political leaders to Iqaluit last year on Earth Day for the “Arctic Warning” event.