Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Monbiot Fumes Over a List

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJanuary 20, 2011 1:05 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

I don't get George Monbiot's problem with this list of 20 "Green Giants" singled out by the Guardian's Sunday Observer. Are such lists arbitrary and pure fluff? Sure. But Monbiot's beef goes way beyond that:

Much of the list was a catalogue of rich and powerful people who have now added green "“ or some nebulous semblance of green "“ to their portfolios.

That's just flat wrong. But Monbiot is all bent out of shape because the list includes the likes of Prince Charles, Jay Leno and Brad Pitt. Big deal. It's a freakin' list. It also includes 12 people who I knew little about (and I thought I was up on all this stuff). Here's just one example of Monbiot misrepresenting the Observer's list to air his own grievance:

First, it reinforces the story, endlessly told by those who hate environmentalism, that it is the preserve of toffs and princes (Prince Charles, inevitably, features on the Observer's list).

I challenge anyone to read the list and tell me they walk away with that impression--that environmentalism "is the preserve of toffs and princes." (You could be somebody who believes that already, but I can't see how your belief would be reinforced by the list.) Monbiot is equally miffed at The Observer's headline for its article: Green giants: the eco power list He writes:

To me, eco and power occupy different spheres. The environmentalism I recognise is a challenge to power. It confronts a system which allows a handful of people to dominate our lives and capture our resources.

Oh..kay. So about those stereotypes you don't want to reinforce....

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In