|David Bellamy OBE|
David Bellamy in 1981
18 January 1933 |
London, England, UK
|Education||Sutton County Grammar School; Chelsea College of Science and Technology (now part of King's College London); Bedford College (now part of Royal Holloway, University of London)|
|Known for||botanist, author, broadcast presenter, environmental campaigner|
|Spouse(s)||Rosemary Froy (m. 1959)|
Bellamy went to school in London, attending Chatsworth Road Primary School Cheam, Cheam Road Junior School and Sutton County Grammar School, where he initially showed an aptitude for English Literature and History; he then found his vocation because of an inspirational science teacher, studying at faculty of Biological Sciences: Zoology, Botany, Physics and Chemistry in the sixth form. After he left school he worked as a laboratory assistant at Ewell Technical College before studying for an Honours degree in Botany at Chelsea College of Science and Technology. In 1960 he became a lecturer in the Botany department of Durham University.
He first came to public prominence as an environmental consultant at the time of the 1967 Torrey Canyon oil spill; he wrote Effects of Pollution from the Torrey Canyon on Littoral and Sublittoral Ecosystems, which was published in Nature . He has written and presented some 400 television programmes on botany, ecology, and environmental issues. Bellamy is the originator, along with David Shreeve and the Conservation Foundation (which he also founded), of the Ford European Conservation Awards and has published scientific papers (between 1966 and 1986) and many books.
During the early 1980s he was a popular television presenter. He was parodied by Lenny Henry on Tiswas with a "grapple me grapenuts" catchphrase. He once lent his distinctive voice to an advert for the blackcurrant drink Ribena, which claimed that 95% of British blackcurrants were used in Ribena. (This has now been changed to "Nearly all British blackcurrants are used in Ribena".)
During the 1980s he replaced Big Chief I-Spy as the figurehead of the I-Spy range of children's books, to whom completed books were sent to get a reward. In 1980 he released a single written by Mike Croft with musical arrangement by Dave Grosse to coincide with the release of the I-Spy title I Spy Dinosaurs, a title exploring the subject of dinosaur fossils, entitled "Brontosaurus Will You Wait For Me?" (backed with "Oh Stegasaurus"). He performed it on Blue Peter wearing an orange jump suit. It reached number 88 in the charts .
In 1983 he was jailed for blockading the Australian Franklin River in a protest against a proposed dam. On 18 August 1984 he leapt from the pier at St. Abbs Harbour into the North Sea. In the process he officially opened Britain's first Voluntary Marine Reserve, the St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve. In the late 1980s he fronted a campaign in Jersey, Channel Islands, to save Queens Valley, the site of Bergerac's cottage, from being turned into a reservoir because of the presence of a rare type of snail, but was unable to stop it. In 1997 he stood unsuccessfully against the incumbent Prime Minister John Major for the Referendum Party. Bellamy credits this campaign with the decline in his career as a popular celebrity and television personality, stating in 2002:
"In some ways it was probably the most stupid thing I ever did because I'm sure that if I have been banned from television, that's why. I used to be on Blue Peter and all those things, regularly, and it all, pffffft, stopped."
He is a prominent campaigner against the construction of wind farms in undeveloped areas. This is despite appearing very enthusiastic about wind power in the educational video Power from the Wind produced by Britain's Central Electricity Generating Board.
In 2011 David Bellamy made a guest appearance for the BBC's Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage in the episode on Corfu and Greece.
David Bellamy is currently the President of the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) and is a strong supporter of the BICSc plan to educate young people to care for and protect the environment. The David Bellamy Awards Programme is a competition designed to encourage schools to be aware of, and act positively towards, environmental cleanliness. The 2010/2011 Awards are now accepting applicants and further information on this can be found on the BICSc website.
Views on global warming
In his foreword to the 1989 book The Greenhouse Effect Bellamy wrote:
"The profligate demands of humankind are causing far reaching changes to the atmosphere of planet Earth, of this there is no doubt. Earth's temperature is showing an upward swing, the so-called greenhouse effect, now a subject of international concern. The greenhouse effect may melt the glaciers and ice caps of the world causing the sea to rise and flood many of our great cities and much of our best farmland."
Bellamy's later statements on global warming indicate that he subsequently changed his views completely. In 2004, he wrote an article in the Daily Mail in which he described the theory of man-made global warming as "poppycock". A letter he published on 16 April 2005 in New Scientist asserted that a large percentage (555 of 625) of the glaciers being observed by the World Glacier Monitoring Service were advancing, not retreating. George Monbiot of The Guardian tracked down Bellamy's original source for this information and found that it was Fred Singer's website. Singer claimed to have obtained these figures from a 1989 article in the journal Science, but no such article exists. Bellamy has since stated that his figures on glaciers were wrong, and announced in a letter to The Sunday Times in 2005 that he had "decided to draw back from the debate on global warming".
His opinions have changed the way in which some organisations view Bellamy. The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts stated in 2005 "We are not happy with his line on climate change", and Bellamy was succeeded as president of the Wildlife Trusts by Aubrey Manning in November 2005.
In October 2006 the New Zealand Herald reported that Bellamy had joined the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, a group trying to refute what they believe are unfounded claims about man-made global warming In May 2007 Bellamy and Jack Barrett jointly authored a paper in the refereed Civil Engineering journal of the Institution of Civil Engineers entitled 'Climate stability: an inconvenient proof'. In this report they argue that the widely prophesied doubling of carbon dioxide levels from natural, pre-industrial levels was not only unlikely but would also amount to less than 1 degree C of global warming.
In June 2007, The New Zealand Centre for Policy Research (founded by Muriel Newman formerly an MP in the neo-liberal ACT Party) published an opinion piece by Bellamy stating amongst other things that "There are no facts linking the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming".
Bellamy complained in November 2008 that his dissent from global warming has resulted in rejection for his BBC TV programme ideas. However, The Guardian newspaper has pointed out that Bellamy stopped making television programmes in 1994, some ten years before his first public statement showed scepticism about climate change.
Bellamy also holds or has held these positions:
- Patron of Recoup (Recycling of Used Plastics), the national charity for plastics recycling.
- Professor of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Durham.
- Hon. Prof. Central Queensland University, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Systems
- Special Professor of Botany, (Geography), University of Nottingham.
- Honorary degrees:
- Honorary Dr. of Science, Bournemouth University
- President of:
- FOSUMS - Friends Of Sunderland Museum
- The Conservation Foundation, UK
- The Wildlife Trusts partnership
- The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country
- Durham Wildlife Trust
- Population Concern
- Coral Cay Conservation
- National Association for Environmental Education
- British Naturalists' Association
- Galapagos Conservation Trust
- British Institute of Cleaning Science
- Hampstead Heath Anglers Society
- The Camping and Caravanning club
- Vice President:
- Patron ; The Space Theatre, Dundee
- Hon Fellow Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
- Chairman of the international committee for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
- Patron of Butterfly World Project, St. Albans, UK http://www.butterflyworldproject.com/about-us/people/
- Honorary member:
- Patron of Tree Appeal
- Patron of RECOrd (Local Biological Records Centre for Cheshire)
- The Dutch Order of the Golden Ark
- Patron of Southport Flower Show
- the U.N.E.P. Global 500 Award
- The Duke of Edinburgh's Award for Underwater Research
- BAFTA, Richard Dimbleby Award
- BSAC Diver of The Year Award
- BSAC Colin McLeod Award, 2001
Bellamy has written at least 45 books:
- Bellamy on Botany (1972) ISBN 0-563-10666-2 (A short and accessible introduction to botany)
- Peatlands (1973)
- Bellamy's Britain (1974)
- Life Giving Sea (1975)
- Green Worlds (1975)
- The World of Plants (1975)
- It's Life (1976)
- Bellamy's Europe (1976)
- Botanic Action (1978)
- Botanic Man (1978)
- Half of Paradise (1978)
- Forces of Life (1979)
- Bellamy's Backyard Safari (1981)
- The Great Seasons (with Sheila Mackie, illustrator; Hodder & Stoughton, 1981)
- Il Libro Verde (1981)
- The Mouse Book (1983)
- Bellamy's New World (1983)
- The Queen's Hidden Garden (1984)
- I Spy (1985)
- Bellamy's Bugle (1986)
- Bellamy's Ireland (1986)
- Turning The Tide (1986)
- Bellamy's Changing Countryside (1987)
- England's Last Wilderness (1989)
- England's Lost Wilderness (1990)
- Wilderness Britain? (1990, Oxford Illustrated Press, ISBN 1-85509-225-5)
- Moa's Ark (with Brian Springett and Peter Hayden, 1990)
- How Green Are You? (1991)
- Tomorrow's Earth (1991)
- World Medicine: Plants, Patients and People (1992)
- Blooming Bellamy (1993)
- Trees of the World (1993)
- The Bellamy Herbal(2003)
- Fabric Live: Bellamy Sessions (2004)
- Jolly Green Giant (autobiography, 2002, Century, ISBN 0-7126-8359-3)
- A Natural Life (autobiography, 2002, Arrow, ISBN 0-09-941496-1)
- Conflicts in the Countryside: The New Battle for Britain (2005), Shaw & Sons, ISBN 0-7219-1670-8
Discovering the Countryside with David Bellamy
- Coastal Walks (1982; ISBN 0-600-35588-8)
- Woodland Walks (1982; ISBN 0-600-35658-2)
- Waterside Walks (1983; ISBN 0-600-35636-1)
- Grassland Walks (1983; ISBN 0-600-35637-X)
Bellamy has contributed forewords or introductions to:
- It's Funny About the Trees a collection of light verse by Paul Wigmore Autolycus Press Publishers, ISBN 0 903413 96 5 (1998)
- Chris Packham's Back Garden Nature Reserve New Holland Publishers, Chris Packham, (2001) ISBN 1-85974-520-2
- The Cosmic Fairy Arthur Atkinson [pseudonym for Arthur Moppett] [Colin Smythe Limited Publishers], 1996, ISBN 0-86140-403-3
- British Naturalists Association Guide to Woodlands J L Cloudsley-Thompson
- While the Earth Endures Creation, Cosmology and Climate Change Philip Foster [St Matthew Publishing Ltd]. (2008)
A Celebration of Flora and Fauna of the Bible
- Thompson, Elspeth (3 May 2006). "Counties of Britain: Durham by David Bellamy". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- Daily Mail, 14 April 2012, Weekend Magazine p.12.
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/6598056/Eco-hero-David-Bellamy-botanist-and-campaigner.html Daily Telegraph interview. Retrieved 14 April 2012
- Bellamy, David (2001). A Natural Life. Century.
- "David Bellamy: I was shunned. They didn't want to hear". The Independent on Sunday. 13 January 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Hattenstone, Simon (2002-09-30), The Green Man, London: The Guardian, retrieved 2008-11-07
- Jenkins, N. (September 1990), "European Wind Energy", The Environmentalist 10 (3): 230–231, doi:10.1007/BF02240360.
- Boyle, Stewart; Ardill, John (1989), The Greenhouse Effect, London?: New English Library, ISBN 0-450-50638-X
- Global Warming? What a load of poppycock! by David Bellamy, Daily Mail 9 July 2004.
- Monbiot, George (2005-05-10), Junk Science, London: Guardian.co.uk, retrieved 2008-11-07
- Bellamy, David (2005-05-29), In an Adverse Climate, London: Times Online, retrieved 2008-11-07
- Leake, Jonathan (2005-05-15), Wildlife Groups Axe Bellamy as Global Warming 'Heretic', London: Times Online, retrieved 2008-11-07
- Kiong, Errol (2006-10-19), Bellamy Warms to Scientists Scepticism on Climate Change, New Zealand Herald, retrieved 2008-11-07
- Bellamy, David; Barrett, David (2007-05-01), "Climate stability: an inconvenient proof", Civil Engineering (Thomas Telford Journals) 160 (2): 66, doi:10.1680/cien.2007.160.2.66
- Bellamy, David (2007-06-24), The Global Warming Myth, The New Zealand Centre for Political Research, retrieved 2008-11-07
- David Bellamy, The price of dissent on global warming, The Australian 25 November 2008
- Randerson, James (4 December 2009). "Coalition of denial: The sceptics who are trying to reshape the climate debate". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 5 December 2009.
- "Nature in Art – Trust". Nature in Art Trsut. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- "Colin Mcleod Award". British Sub Aqua Club. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
|Non-profit organization positions|
|President of Plantlife
|President of the Wildlife Trusts
- Barrett Bellamy Climate climate science web site of Drs. David Bellamy and Jack Barrett
- David Bellamy Awards for Sustainability in Schools
- David Bellamy Conservation Awards
- Simon Hattenstone, The Guardian, 30 September 2002, "The green man" – Interview with David Bellamy
- New Scientist: 11 June 2005, British conservationist to lose posts after climate claims – Issue 2503, page 4
- Correspondence between David Bellamy and George Monbiot, 2004
- George Monbiot, The Guardian, 10 May 2005, "Junk science:David Bellamy's inaccurate and selective figures on glacier shrinkage are a boon to climate change deniers"
- Radio broadcast, Bellamy, David Suzuki, Janet Earle on marine conservation, RRR 102.7fm, Melbourne, 2002
- St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve, Britain's first Voluntary Marine Reserve opened by David Bellamy in August 1984.
- Today's forecast: yet another blast of hot air, The Times, 22 October 2007.