Vanity Fair's Green Issue Party

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Vanity Fair’s party for their green issue was so much fun that I was still recovering from it 24 hours later. (It was the green martinis the amazing bartenders whipped up, and the red ones…and the wine….and not enough of the delicious raw and vegan food from Pure Food and Wine).

But now (finally!) I can look back on the night with a clear head and declare that it was a success. A successful party that is. I’m not sure how much world-saving got done, but hell, we all need a good party sometimes!

After an hour of mingle, a few speakers came on, including Gov. Pataki, Graydon Carter, and Paulette Cole, who is the President of ABC’s Home and Planet Foundation. Paulette introduced Robert F. Kennedy, who went hoarse during a rousing speech that touched on the nastiness of the Bush Administration, pathetic press coverage of environmental issues, and the necessity for closing down Indian Point nuclear power plant. Having grown up upriver but still very near Indian Point, I had enough nightmares as a child to get fully behind that last point. My town had giant (like several stories tall) sirens that would go off ‘just in case’ we had to evacuate. Talk about terrifying.

I’d heard RFK was a passionate speaker, and that’s no lie:

[The environmental movement’s] biggest problem is an indolent and negative press…which leads to a public that doesn’t understand the connections between things like coal-burning power plants and the fact that fresh-water fish shouldn’t be eaten by children and pregnant women…

This is the worst administration of any in history, with over 400 rollbacks of environmental rules, a deliberate eviceration of thirty plus years of environmental regulations, and who puts known polluters in charge of public offices.

RFK also cited a CDC report that says that 1/6 of American women’s children are at risk because of pollutants in their bodies. He told the crowd that they should all get their blood checked, and admitted that he has twice the recommended limits of certain toxins in his own blood.

Naturally, after that sobering speech, it was necessary to drink more. (And I’m sure I’m not the only organic vegetarian in the room that wondered if our veg-only choices meant our bodies were at least a little less toxified. But then swilled the alcohol, which was NOT (boo!) organic. Where’s Orange V when you need it?)

Talking to fellow bloggers and other green press helped me feel a little better; we’ve certainly not been ignoring the environment, and in 20 years the kids will look up at us as the only ones who were reporting the truth. It’s too bad that we’re consistently relegated to the independent press when everyone needs to hear the Earth’s message loud and clear: “Yes Virginia, there is global warming, and it’s your fault.” Though at least Time Magazine stepped up a few weeks ago with their global warming issue. But when the heck is a major magazine going to tackle the 100,000 chemicals in our lives (less than 10% of which have been tested). Doesn’t that bother anyone in the mainstream?

Though Vanity Fair did not print on recycled paper (double boo!!) props to them for covering the issue; there are some great articles in the magazine, which will reach a lot more people than any party could. You should pick it up just to see the fabulous photos of all your green heros.


Commentary on the party at E Magazine and at Grist, and opinions on the magazine at Treehugger here and here.

Photos, (l. to r.) VF Cover; Remy C. (Greenburbs) and Starre Vartan (Eco Chick); green friendOlga Sasplugas, Brian Howard (E Magazine) and Nick Denton (Gawker); Robert F. Kennedy (Riverkeeper); Graham Hill (Treehugger) and friendRandy Hayes (ED of the Int’l Forum on Globalization); group including Graydon Carter (editor of VF) and Paulette Cole (President of ABC Home and Planet Foundation), our fearless bartenders, Summer Rayne Oakes (Eco Chick) and Adam Black (SustainabiliTV)

Photos by Remy C. and Emily Gertz. See all the party pics by Remy C. here.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick.com and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.