Wednesday, Sep. 24, 2008

Protectors of the Planet

It should be the title of a game: Where in the World is Bryan Walsh? Our chief environment writer, who is based in New York, flits all over the planet — this summer he spent time in Greenland — looking for great stories. So I was more than usually pleased that he found time to help out with our annual special issue on Heroes of the Environment. Bryan, together with the other correspondents and guest writers whom we invited to join our ranks, produced 30 profiles for this report, which — for the second year running — was skilfully edited by William Green in London. Paul Mumby and Cecelia Wong designed the pages, and Cecelia created the lovely cover. Mike Bealing and Julius Domoney marshaled the tremendous pictures that make the package come alive. I'm enormously grateful to all of them for the hard work and long hours they put in.

As ever, correspondents found stories that were as inspiring as they were informative. Andrew Lee Butters wrote about Friends of the Earth Middle East, a group of Israelis, Palestinians and Jordanians. They understand, says Andrew, that "the road to sustainability, like the road to peace, is going to be a slow, messy human project of community organizing, education and trust-building."

Bryan himself has a soft spot for Kevin Conrad, who represented Papua New Guinea at the U.N. conference on climate change in Bali last year. (Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz wrote our profile of Conrad.) Conrad's the sort of man, Bryan says, who could be working in finance, but who feels that he has no choice but to be engaged in the key environmental debates of our time.

Where's Bryan now? Madagascar. See what I mean?

Michael Elliott