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Ebtekar among 50 People “Who Could Save the Planet”

Monday, January 28, 2008

The daily Guardian in its January 5 issue has shortlisted 50 people who could save the planet from environmental threats. The list includes the name of Masoumeh Ebtekar, a former Iranian vice president and former head of the Iranian Department of Environment.

To come up with a list of 50 people most able to prevent the continuing destruction of the planet, the Guardian consulted key people in the global environment debate. The panel included scientists - former World Bank chief scientist and now the British government's scientific adviser on climate change, Bob Watson, Indian physicist and ecologist Vandana Shiva, Kenyan biologist and Nobel prize-winner Wangari Maathai; activists - Guardian columnist George Monbiot and head of Greenpeace International Gerd Leipold; politicians - Green party co-leader and MEP Caroline Lucas, and London mayor Ken Livingstone; sustainable development commissioner for the UK government Jonathon Porritt and novelist Philip Pullman.

Then the Guardian's science, environment and economics correspondents met to add their own nominations and establish a final 50.

The paper wrote, “The final list includes an Indian peasant farmer, the world's leading geneticist, German and Chinese politicians, a novelist, a film director, a civil engineer, a seed collector and a scientist who has persuaded an African president to turn a tenth of his country a national park. There are 19 nationalities represented. Nearly … one in three is from a developing country, suggesting that grassroots resourcefulness will be as important as money and technology in the future.”

The Guardian also noted, “It's not a definitive list and there are no rankings, but these 50 names give a sense of the vast well of people who represent the stirrings of a remarkable scientific and social revolution, and give us hope as we enter 2008."

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