Prof. David Bellamy is Great Britain's best-known environmentalist, and has been for most of the last four decades.
He has written and presented some 400 television programs on environmental issues, written 45 books, and published more than 80 scientific papers, in addition to holding down teaching posts in botany at two universities.
He has founded or been president of prominent national organizations such as The Conservation Foundation, The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, Population Concern, Plantlife International, British Naturalists' Association, and Galapagos Conservation Trust, in addition to numerous grassroots bodies operating at the local level.
Among his many honours has been the United Nations Environment Program Global 500 Award, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award for Underwater Research, Diver of the Year Award and the Order of the British Empire.
No mere academic and establishment man, this larger-than-life figure also has a striking record as an activist campaigner for green causes, starting with the 1967 Torrey Canyon supertanker disaster off the coast of England. He has led high-profile protests against needless road building and the loss of moors, and has been jailed for blockading the construction of a hydro dam that would have destroyed a Tasmanian rainforest.
But Prof. Bellamy is not green enough for much of Britain's environmental establishment, not since July 9, 2004, the day a full-page article by him appeared in London's Daily Mail, disputing the conventional wisdom on global warming. Prof. Bellamy has since been stripped of some of his prominent positions and become an environmental pariah to many.
The article, entitled "What a load of poppycock!," was written in Prof. Bellamy's characteristic no-holds-barred style: "Whatever the experts say about the howling gales, thunder and lightning we've had over the past two days, of one thing we can be certain. Someone, somewhere -- and there is every chance it will be a politician or an environmentalist -- will blame the weather on global warming," his article began. "But they will be 100% wrong. Global warming -- at least the modern nightmare version -- is a myth."