Nationality: German and American
Country of residence: United States of America
Current Position: Associate Director, Heinrich Böll Foundation North America
What prompted your early interest in the environment?
I grew up in politically conservative Southern Germany, home of German car maker Daimler Benz. In the early 1980s, the company wanted to build a race track for testing its cars in our rural neck of the wood. Local farmers were put under pressure to sell their land and some community forests were razed in preparation for the track even before the final legal decision was made. Local farmers, most of them older conservative voters, and young environmentalists, “green hippies”, worked together to defeat the proposal and proved that concern for the environment can cut across political lines, age or income class.