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In the last week of August, a corner of Blackheath in southeast London became home to Climate Camp 2009, a gathering of environmentalists and activists from across Britain under the umbrella of various green and left-wing causes.

On Sunday I ventured up to the camp and found myself in the midst of a hive of activity, with everything from craft workshops, lectures, activist group counselling sessions and even speed-dating on offer. But by far the biggest crowd was reserved for Tristram Stuart, historian…

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