Talent 2010: The environmentalist, Ben Stewart
Saturday 26 December 2009
The battle to save the planet sometimes comes down to a battle to be heard, and amid the din of the information superhighway, that is becoming harder and harder. But one environmental campaigner is showing superlatively how it should be done.
Ben Stewart, media director of Greenpeace UK, is one of the main forces at work in keeping the environmental agenda in the headlines in Britain. He does it by understanding how the British press and the rest of the UK media operate, with all their widely differing sympathies and attitudes, and working pragmatically across all of them. The result is usually acres of publicity, when Greenpeace embarks on one of its imaginative (and always non-violent) stunts – from buying a piece of land in the middle of Heathrow Airport's proposed third runway, to climbing the 600ft chimney of Kingsnorth power station in Kent in order to highlight the environmental dangers of continuing to burn coal.
Ben, aged 35, dresses in old-fashioned green-activist style, and was himself one of the Kingsnorth climbers in October 2007. He was put on trial for criminal damage a year later, but was famously acquitted with the rest of the "Greenpeace Six" – and ended up on the front pages, which of course, from his point of view, was the object of the exercise.
Ben's view of his trade is a subtle one. He says: "It's not good enough for your line to be, 'I'm going to say what I want the world to look like, and say it again and again till it happens.' It's a three-dimensional business you have to play." He is definitely one to watch in 2010 – and although you may not actually see him, you'll see the headlines. And he'll be happy with that.
Investigation launched after manatee drowns at Paris zoo
Melting glaciers are caused by man-made global warming, study shows
The butterfly effect: climate change ‘forced species to adapt’
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Animal Extinction - the greatest threat to mankind
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
- 4 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 5 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, J2EE, JAXB, ...
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading Financial Services orga...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...
£250 per day: Orgtel: Network Engineer (CCNP), Cisco Gold Partner, Farnborough...