TimeAccording to MIT alumnus Joe Romm, Time magazine recently did two rather surprising things: One, it named him a 2009 Hero of the Environment. And two, it had a reporter named Bryan Walsh profile him.

On the first account, Romm ’82 PhD ’87 wrote on his blog that he was surprised to be named a hero because, “I certainly don’t see myself as a hero.” But the blog Romm was writing on, Climate Progress, is widely considered to be one of the most influential global warming blogs on the Internet. On it, Romm writes from what he calls a climate realist perspective— “the emerging scientific view that on our current greenhouse gas emissions path we will destroy the livability of the climate for 1,000 years.” His topics include greenwashing, extreme weather, and the clean energy economy, and he has been successful at stoking important debates in each of these areas.

The choice of reporter surprised Romm for more personal reasons. As Walsh says in his profile, Romm “takes particular pleasure in targeting mainstream journalists who’ve written something he deems stupid. That’s been me occasionally — like the time Romm took me to task for referencing an analysis on energy research and development he found wanting.” Curious what Romm found wanting? Read the post from August 2009 in which Romm asks, “Did Time magazine’s Bryan Walsh cut-and-paste a faulty critique of Obama’s clean energy efforts?”

View the full list of Heroes of the Environment 2009.

Zipcar founder Robin Chase SM '86 advocates clean transportation policies.

Zipcar founder Robin Chase SM '86 advocates clean transportation policies.

An alumna and a professor both made the 2009 Time 100, the magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people.

Zipcar founder Robin Chase SM ’86 was chosen for her work promoting sustainability in transportation and community service in business. Both Zipcar and her new venture, GoLoco, which helps match ride sharers with one another, demonstrate her ability to encourage people to use the Internet in cooperative, useful ways. Read a profile of Chase.

Daniel Nocera, MIT’s Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy and Professor of Chemistry, was selected for his discovery of a simple, inexpensive method to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can be stored to power a fuel cell.