Ed Begley Jr., one of the first Hollywood celebs to promote environmental causes, didn't seem at all surprised that Saturday's Environmental Media Awards ceremony had mushroomed over the last 20 years from a casual event at an old L.A. club into an elaborate cocktail party and roving dinner at Warner Bros. Studios backlot.
Fresh off the green carpet, the board member and former chairman of the Environmental Media Assn., which recognizes film and television that spreads an environmental message, was chatting with friends while he waited for the ceremony to begin.
"When you see people dying on an oil rig and there are environmental disasters in the gulf, people want to do something," he told the Ministry. "It's like World War II, when people planted victory gardens. People want to do something because they see the writing on the wall. Why don't we subsidize renewable energy like China? Gandhi said, 'People lead and governments follow.' We vote with our dollars."
With Begley's passion for environmentalism, it wasn't surprising that his Planet Green reality show, "Living With Ed," picked up an EMA later that evening.
Another slam dunk was "Avatar," which won yet another feature-film award. Filmmaker James Cameron talked about how his efforts to save the environment had continued after the film left theaters.