The City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Library gave out the Third Annual Green Prizes for Sustainable Literature at the Main Library earlier this month. The prizes commend authors, illustrators, and publishers “who broaden public awareness of sustainability,” meeting “current environmental, economic, and social needs without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.”
The notable thing about this year’s ceremony was that, of the eleven awards given, only one award was accepted in person.
The reason cited by some of the no-shows was that, in a world striving for sustainability in transportation, travel has to be kept at a minimum. The absentee winners sent videos or acceptance statements, with their thanks and apologies.
Debi Gliori, a Scottish author, who won the Youth Picture Book for The Trouble with Dragons, wrote in her acceptance statement, “Not so long ago, I would have caught a flight across the Atlantic… That was back when flying was cool, oil supplies limitless and, looking back, we appeared to be sleepwalking towards our own extinction. That was then, and this is now. Now there is a growing awareness of green issues.”
Ed Begley Jr. accepted his award for Living Like Ed with a video in which he acknowledged the authors who had inspired him: Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, and Rachel Carson’s The Silent Spring.
Also accepting via video for winning the Pioneer Award was anthropologist Jane Goodall, famous for her work with chimpanzees and other endangered species. “I hope that receiving this will give even more momentum to the message” of the “harm that we have inflicted on this planet,” said Goodall.
The two authors who did appear were Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly, who won the Adult Local Impact award for their book Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles (Overlook Press).
Kelly’s acceptance speech noted: “Hopefully, our book will do something to make people more aware of the long battle against air pollution in Los Angeles.”
The winners were:
Adult Non-Fiction: Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis, by Rowan Jacobsen (Bloomsbury).
Adult Reference: Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life, by Ed Begley Jr. (Clarkson Potter).
Adult Local Impact: Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly (Overlook Press).
Adult Honorable Mention: The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems by Van Jones (HarperOne).
Youth Fiction: Grow: A Novel in Verse by Juanita Havill (Peachtree).
Youth Non-Fiction: True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do To Save the Planet by Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin (National Geographic Society).
Youth Picture Book: The Trouble with Dragons by Debi Gliori (Walker & Company).
Youth Reference: Earth Matters: An Encyclopedia of Ecology by Dorling Kindersley Limited (DK Publishing).
Youth Fiction Honorable Mention: Exodus by Julie Bertagna (Walker & Company).
Youth Non-Fiction Honorable Mention: 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh (Candlewick Press).
Pioneer Award: Jane Goodall.