The final speaker in the winter series of talks organised by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society is respected environment journalist Fred Pearce.
His most recent book – published in 2012 – was The Landgrabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns The Earth and the title of his talk in Galashiels on Tuesday (March 25) will be the Rise of the Land Grabbers.
A Cambridge geography graduate, the 62-year-old award-winning author has reported on the environment, popular science and development issues from more than 80 countries.
London-based Mr Pearce won a lifetime achievement award for his journalism from the Association of British Science Writers in 2011, and was voted UK Environment Journalist of the Year in 2001.
The freelance writer told The Southern: “I do think environmental issues are the great agenda of the 21st century. We are messing with the planet on a huge scale now, messing with the planet’s life support systems. We are not doomed, but we are in peril. I also think the massive divide between rich and poor, the powerful and powerless is a major threat and that is mainly what Landgrabbers is about.”
He said he wasn’t sure about his proudest achievement ,“but way back when, my expose of dirty beaches in Britain cost the government a billion pounds to fix. That was when a billion pounds was a lot of money”.
The former news editor of the UK-based New Scientist has been that magazine’s environment consultant since 1992. He also writes for the Yale e360 web site in the US, the Guardian and other newspapers in the UK.
Other books, When the Rivers Run Dry and Confessions of an Eco Sinner, like Landgrabbers, have been translated into 22 languages. When the Rivers Run Dry was listed among the all-time Top 50 Sustainability Books by the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Sustainable Leadership. And he is a previous winner of the Peter Kent Conservation Book Award.
His talk at the Netherdale campus of Heriot-Watt University starts at 7.30pm