Roger Martin

Roger Martin was a first-year VSO in Africa, did other volunteer jobs in Algeria and Hong Kong, was a 1963 civil rights campaigner in Alabama, and a founder member of the UK Campaign Against Racial Discrimination. He became a diplomat, serving in Asia, the UN, Middle East and Africa, before resigning in fury as a Deputy High Commissioner to become an environmentalist in Somerset. Over 22 years, he has been elected and appointed to numerous local, regional and national environmental NGOs and quangos (Regional Assembly, National Park, several Environment Agency committees, Wildlife Trust Director, regional chair and Trustee CPRE, Water Framework Directive Panel etc).

He progressively realised, and began saying, that indefinite population growth, though never mentioned, dooms all these bodies’ worthy efforts at achieving sustainability to long term failure. (Normal response: a short pause; everyone stares at their papers; Chairman moves on; and then many say over coffee how right he was to raise it). Chairman Optimum Population Trust since 2009, giving workshops and presenting papers on population and climate change in Geneva, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Oslo, Kampala, Washington and New York.

He has an Honorary Doctorate in environmental science from UWE; and a very multi-racial extended family.

Related Sessions
Saturday 30 October 2010, 5.15pm Upper Gulbenkian Gallery

Festival Buzz

The Credit Crunch Demystified

"Only the Battle of Ideas could provide the platform for a discussion about a GCSE Science exam where the atmosphere was so electric. It felt like a battle for the soul of British education."
Philip Walters, chairman, Rising Stars educational publishers