Where it all started
I’ve just been sorting through some old photos and slides (remember them?) for the presentation for my book launch. I came across this one of Monchegorsk in arctic Russia showing the cloud of acid rain lurking above the nickel smelter which dominates the town. Harder to see because of the contrast is the complete desolation that surrounds the town for miles and miles – a shaley desert with only a few scrubby plants clinging to existence. This land should be classic taiga – covered in birch trees – but there is nothing.
It was here in 1997 that I had my Damascene moment. It was seeing all at once the source, pathway and receptor of this pollution, and of course its enormous scale, that made me change careers. At that moment I dedicated my life to try and stop these things happening in the first place. Not by tying myself to a factory gate – I’m too much of a coward for that – but by leading people and organisations towards a sustainable future – a place where this does not happen.
So that’s how it started.