October 23, 2017

Obituaries for Edward Goldsmith

Here we have collected together links to a variety of online obituaries for Edward Goldsmith, who died near Sienna, Italy on August 21st, 2009.

Among these obituaries are some that contain factual inaccuracies, while others perpetuate various myths and misrepresentations that had grown up around him over the years. We include a broad range here for the record.

See also Memories of Teddy, obits (received) and tributes (received) for obituaries and tributes hosted on this website. For a general biography of Edward Goldsmith, please see Life. [obits Edward Goldsmith – obits Teddy Goldsmith]

Press Obituaries

The Independent

Environmentalist who founded ‘Ecology’ magazine and championed the green movement
“. . . His experience left him with an indelible belief that commercialisation, industrialisation, and indeed modern finance structures, were all radically and dangerously wrong. He accused the World Bank, for example, of ‘financing the destruction of the tropical world, the extermination of its wildlife and the impoverishment and starvation of its human inhabitants’ . . .”

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The New York Times

Edward Goldsmith, Environmentalist, Dies at 80
“. . . Mr. Goldsmith, an implacable critic of industrialism who founded The Ecologist to elevate environmental consciousness at a time when there was not much, and who helped father a British political party, now known as the Green Party, that was among the world’s first to make environmental policy its priority . . .”

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The Times

Edward Goldsmith: environmentalist
“. . . Goldsmith’s ambition, undoubtedly achieved over the last quarter of the 20th century, was to see a reinvention of ecological thinking to make it the study of the entire organic world, with mankind included but not necessarily at its centre . . .”

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The Scotsman

Edward Goldsmith
“. . . After The Ecologist’s initial success, Teddy Goldsmith and his team published the breakthrough A Blueprint for Survival, which remains one of the most influential books in the history of the green movement. It sold half a million copies and influenced politicians, economists and many concerned citizens . . .”

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The Telegraph

Teddy Goldsmith
“. . . Goldsmith developed an enthusiasm for tribal groups and for ensuring their survival. He read widely on African anthropology and in the 1960s served on committees for the Primitive Peoples’ Fund, later known as Survival International. His travels led him to feel a revulsion for the way the modern world was destroying traditional cultures . . .”

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The Guardian

Obituary: Edward goldsmith
“. . . Goldsmith was the son of Frank Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Stowmarket, Suffolk, from 1910 until 1918 who later ran luxury hotels in France. He was educated at Millfield school and Queen’s College, Nassau. At Magdalen College, Oxford, he got a third-class degree in politics, philosophy and economics . . .”

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BBC Radio 4

Last Word (audio)
“Matthew Bannister talks to Edward Goldsmith’s nephew, the environmentalist Zac Goldsmith, and to the ecological campaigner Jonathon Porritt.” (See also transcript)

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The Environment Loses a Champion
“. . . Teddy Goldsmith believed that the high consumption era of hydro-carbon man was of short duration, totally dependent as it is on cheap but exhaustible petroleum energy. Teddy believed that only small-scale societies are viable in the long-run. He opposed the spread into the remaining traditional societies of the development model pushed by the World Bank and western economists . . .”

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Scoop, NZ

Wellington celebrates life of Edward Goldsmith
“. . . Teddy perceived high-consuming industrial societies dependent on finite fossil fuels as essentially short-lived and aberrant. He believed only small-scale, low-consuming societies are truly viable and opposed the World Bank’s plans to impose the industrial development model on remaining traditional societies in the third world . . .”

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The Right Livelihood Awards

Edward Goldsmith
“For more than four decades, Edward Goldsmith was at the forefront of efforts both to warn about the scale and seriousness of environmental destruction and to present proposals to reverse it. His principal vehicle was the magazine The Ecologist, which was founded in 1969, with Goldsmith as Editor. . . .”

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The Green Party of England and Wales

Tribute to Teddy Goldsmith, a Green pioneer
“. . . Teddy, who was 80, was a colourful and controversial character. Although at times his views strongly diverged from those of the party he played such a key role in helping to found, he was a real pioneer of the Green movement and will be sorely missed . . .”

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The Green Party of the United States

Green Party UK co-founder Teddy Goldsmith passes at 80
“. . . In the 1980s Goldsmith directed some of his fiercest attacks towards the policies of World Bank, which he saw as financing illusory progress by forcing developing countries to export food while destroying their natural ability to grow it . . .”

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Third World Network

The passing of an environmental giant
“. . . Goldsmith was also taken up by the idea that the modern global economy not only undermined the environment but was also inherently unstable. Years ago he prophetically told me: ‘Either the collapse of the financial system will save the Earth, or the collapse of the ecological system will [lead] to a financial and economic crisis’ . . .”

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Institute of Science in Society

Edward Goldsmith Pioneer of the Green Movement Dies Aged 80
“. . . Teddy was kind and attentive to everyone to a fault, and always had time for people. He remained a sharp and independent thinker almost to the last. What he enjoyed most was a congenial argument on a finer intellectual point in philosophy, politics, anthropology, religion, art, or any other discipline you care or dare to engage, as Teddy had extraordinary breadth as well as depth in the knowledge he was passionate about . . .”

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Slow Food

Farewell, Teddy
“. . . The death of Edward Goldsmith leaves a gap in the environmentalist movement that cannot be filled. A campaigner since the 1970s, he fought to promulgate ecological sensitivity and promote forms of behaviour conducive to the protection of our planet.”

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Pacific Ecologist

Edward Goldsmith 8 November 1928 – 21 August 2009
“. . . Teddy, one of the world’s greatest thinkers and writers on environmental and the interlinked social justice concerns. His intellect, generosity, energy and tireless work in his writings and speeches over decades, laid the foundations for a much broader, more integrated understanding of the study of ecology than the orthodoxy of the day . . .”

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The Ecologist

Ecologist founder Edward Goldsmith dies at age 81
“. . . Teddy’s signature legacy has been to promote the importance of systems and ecological thinking within the environmental movement, and to highlight the importance of learning from indigenous peoples and tribal societies – ideas that were considered highly heretical when he mooted them in 1970s . . .”

Personal Reflections

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Peter Bunyard

Teddy Goldsmith: a tribute
“. . . When I was introduced to Teddy in 1968 it was shortly after Norman Lewis’s apocalyptic account in the Sunday Times of government-sponsored genocide in the Brazilian Amazon. One of the reactions to that article was the foundation of Survival International, the organisation which par excellence has fought for indigenous rights across the planet . . .”

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Andrew McKillop

Teddy Goldsmith R.I.P.
“. . . With the loss of Teddy Goldsmith we have lost one of the few persons able to speak clearly about real world limits on the Growth Economy, which are not only material, but organizational, cultural, social, philosophical, existential . . .”

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Colin Hines

Sad death of a Green pioneer
“. . . My abiding memory of Teddy was of his good nature (most of the time!), his wonderful storytelling and the fact that he was innately a ‘gentleman’ in all the best senses of that word: a word of another era – as in a way was he . . .”

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David Taylor

Obituary: Teddy Goldsmith 1928 – 2009
“. . . I first heard of Teddy in a Sunday magazine back in 1972. He was featured in a story about a group, including Jeremy Faull (the [Green] party’s first-ever county councillor) who’d bought land in Withiel, Cornwall to create a self-sufficient community living close to the land. Some years later, quite coincidentally, I found myself living in the same valley, with Teddy as my neighbour, and enjoying his treasure trove of a library . . .”

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Jonathon Porritt

My debt to Teddy Goldsmith
“. . . In a funny kind of way, I’m where I am today because of Teddy Goldsmith. I wouldn’t have joined The Ecology Party (now the Green Party) if I hadn’t read ‘Blueprint for Survival’ in 1972: I probably wouldn’t have stuck with the Green Party were it not for the radicalism and intellectual integrity of the Ecologist magazine; and without all of that, I probably wouldn’t have been the right person for the Friends of the Earth Director’s job in 1984 . . .”

Time to renew fight against nuclear distractions

“. . . Sadly, I didn’t see much of Teddy in his last few years. But he was often present in my thinking about different issues, particularly in terms of his views on population, economic growth, agriculture, GM and so on. And nowhere more powerfully than in the renewed debate about the potential role of nuclear power in a more sustainable world . . .”

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George Marshall

Teddy Goldsmith, RIP
“. . . Up until his death he was also one of the few (and certainly one of the largest) personal funders of radical grassroots campaigning. Among other things he personally provided tens of thousands of his own money or money from his brother James for the beginning of Earth First! in the UK which in turn played a major role in kick starting the anti-roads movement and much that followed . . .”

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Paul Kingsnorth

Edward Goldsmith, 1928 – 2009
“. . . No-one ever worked with him without either shouting at him or wanting to, or without disagreeing, often very strongly, with some of his ideas. But no one ever worked with him, either, without developing a strong personal attachment to him, and a good deal of respect, for he was a kind, decent and humble human being . . .”

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Zac Goldsmith

My hero: Edward Goldsmith
“. . . Today we’re all green. But when Teddy started out, he was virtually alone. His was a decision to stand apart from his peers, risk marginalisation and even ridicule. But he never minded. When he was described by an Italian bishop as “the anti-Christ”, he was flattered. When President Suharto of Indonesia labelled him an “enemy of the state”, he wore it as a badge of honour . . .”

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From the International Forum on Globalization

Including Martin Khor, Colin Hines, Vandana Shiva, and Caroline Lockhart

Foreign language

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Le Monde (France)

Teddy Goldsmith

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Associación Vida Sana (Spain)

Edwards Goldsmith. El Gran Maestro Ha Fallecido

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Alternativa Verda ONG (Catalonia)

Edward Goldsmith, Pioner De L´Ecologisme

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