May 25, 2017

The great teacher has passed away

Pedro Burrezo, editor of The Ecologist for Spain and Latin America writes his words of tribute to Teddy Goldsmith, September 2009.

This article was kindly translated for this website by Victoria Miller.


Edward Goldsmith suffered from an incurable illness for some years. On Friday the 21st of August he left us, at the age of [80], without waking from his sleep, deep in his dreams. His wife Katherine Goldsmith and five adult [children] outlived him. He was the great teacher of the international ecological movement for more than 30 years and founder of The Ecologist.

With Goldsmith disappeared one of the great figures of the international ecological movement. But he was much more than your average ecologist. His great wisdom, his encyclopaedic knowledge, his extraordinary capacity for a holistic focus on any subject. What’s more, he was a true gentleman, who always offered us help and who we regarded and do still regard as a brother of the soul and an unforgettable master, a truly venerable man.

The long and active life of this ecological warrior led him to found The Ecologist in 1970. He was the Green Party candidate [then known as The PEOPLE party, in the constituency of Eye,] Suffolk in the general elections of [1974]. Throughout the course of his life, he published an extensive series of books. One of his most famous texts is A Blueprint for Survival, written in collaboration with the first editorial team of The Ecologist and published in 1972 to great critical and public acclaim. In 1968, concerned about non technological cultures, he also co-founded Survival International.

Spiritual ecology

Teddy Goldsmith laboured so that the work of Nicholas George[scu-Roegen] would be recognised; this author was one of the first to expound the theory of ‘degrowth’. Teddy also stressed the accuracy of James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis’s Gaia Theory. And he took part in Ecoropa, an organisation that brought together intellectuals from all over Europe, each with their own ways of seeing the world from outside the mainstream neoliberal economic perspective. From his most recent books The Way stands out. Here Teddy uses anthropology, spirituality and science to develop an ecological vision of the world and, as a result, harmony between man and the natural world. A book of profound, spiritual, insurmountable ecology.

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More than an ecological leader

Teddy Goldsmith’s [nephew], the current director of The Ecologist UK, Zac Goldsmith, said: “Teddy was a key figure in all senses. Not only for the ecological movement. I think that he is one of the key figures in the history of this age. For me, he was someone who left a deep [impression].”

Colin Hines, a contemporary of Teddy’s and pioneer of the economic relocalisation movement, said: “What I remember most about Teddy is his good nature and his extraordinary [storytelling] and the fact that he [was innately a] gentleman in all the best senses of the word.” Mark Anslow, editor of The Ecologist UK, declared that, “We live and breathe Teddy’s [legacy] every day.”

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