Wanted: Green spooks
Bored with the same old office nine-to-five routine? Looking for something a bit more unusual and - well - daring?
Happy if potential rewards include uncovering the latest Mr Big in the field of environmental crime?
In that case, a competition recently launched by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) might be worth a look.
Perhaps more than any other environmental group, EIA uses covert techniques (I could give the full details but if I did, I'd have to eat this computer) to uncover illicit acts.
Whereas Greenpeace marches into battle with flags hoisted, video cameras running and a banner reading "look at me!" to the fore, the EIA operative is more likely to enter in false moustache and dark glasses and emerge with some stealthy film that can be used in a court case or simply to expose something on the dark side of green.
One of the group's earliest successes involved filming an ivory carving factory in Dubai, which they suspected was also smuggling ivory into the state.
Operatives posed as a crew making a commercial film for the tourist industry, and were allowed access to the premises next door.
One of the team was eventually able to hide inside a cardboard box on a fork-lift truck. As it hoisted him off the ground, he was able to keep the camera rolling, eventually gaining a clear view over a partition wall into the ivory carving room next door.
Illegal forestry has regularly been a focus of the agency's operations. On more than one occasion, posing as timber buyers, staff have literally supped at the top table with some of East Asia's least scrupulous businessmen, gaining insights impossible to get from a more conventional distance.
The tactics have been used by other groups in similar fields, such as Global Witness, an NGO with a remit to link environmental wrong-doing with human rights violations and corruption.
But this sort of operation has become pretty rare in the environmental movement - partly, I suspect, because it's expensive and brings no guarantee of returns, but also because the nature of the big issues nowadays means there are often more effective if less exciting ways of obtaining the same information.
What's the point in illicitly filming what's being said during a cabinet meeting on climate policy - even if you could - when a nod, a wink and the price of a beer can get you the same information immediately afterwards for a lot less work?
Spies have come in from the cold.
The same trend, no doubt, is sweeping through journalism - across the board, including the environmental sphere.
Some leading UK journalists are so concerned about this trend that they recently launched The Investigations Fund, which aims to help reporters wanting to get undercover (with or without trilby hat) and research the kind of original story that needs a prolonged assault.
There's nothing like that - yet - in the campaigning sector. But there you are. If you're a would-be Woodwood or Bernstein with a greenish tint, or if you're the kind of activist who yearns for the old days of more direct action, why not have a look at the EIA's Experience Undercover competition and maybe win yourself a "spy camera" and a day working with the "professionals".
Just keep it under your hat if you're planning to enter...