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Suzuki tops Guardian's 'eco power' list

The world's most widely read centre-left news site has anointed David Suzuki the "eco warrior's eco warrior," and affixed the Canadian icon atop its sixth annual "eco power" list of activists, celebrities and politicians expected to set the global environmental agenda this year.

The Observer Ethical Awards (named for the Guardians's sister paper) have recognized both ecological and social crusaders. This year's list predicts "the coming year might best be described as 'take your partners' time, as activists and corporates scramble for power – and we're predicting some unlikely marriages ahead."

That's as close as the Guardian and Observer come to explaining the eclectic selection, which also includes such unlikely bedfellows as the newly unemployed California Governor Arnold Schwarzegger and perpetually unemployable Prince Charles, not to mention Bolivian President Evo Morales on the same page as Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally.

Of Suzuki, the award writes:

The eco warrior's eco warrior, Suzuki is a scientist and author of dozens of books (his latest is The Legacy) who has long been frustrated by time-wasting over the planet's precarious position: "We're in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone's arguing over where they're going to sit." Now his radical conservation methods are the subject of a film, Force of Nature, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson. Billed as Suzuki's last definitive lecture (let's hope not: he's only in his 70s and the planet could do with him for a good while longer), it also charts how Pearl Harbour changed the course of his Japanese family's history and how Suzuki was one of the first scientists to become a counter-culture folk hero. It is the first green film of 2011 and may turn out to be the most important.

Brad Pitt also made the list, in recognition of his efforts to build game-changing affordable green homes in New Orleans.

The Guardian boasts the second largest online readership of any English-language newspaper in the world (after the New York Times).

Monte Paulsen reports on sustainability for the non-profit Tyee Solutions Society.

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