Teddy Goldsmith R.I.P.

I feel like I've had my head in the sand for a week having been busy on a major website rollout for a client. What I missed in that time was the sad news of the death of Edward "Teddy" Goldsmith, a true pioneer of the green movement in this country.

Teddy Goldsmith died quietly in his sleep at the age of 81 on Friday August 21st and left behind a great legacy for the future.

For those of you who might not know Teddy Goldsmith he was the man behind the book A Blueprint for Survival, which was the manifesto for the Ecology Party (later to become the Green Party), and The Ecologist, the green former print publication that moved entirely online a couple of months ago.

So goodbye Teddy Goldsmith and, most of all, thank you - your spirit will live on and prevail in this age of big business and corporate lobbying.


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

Teddy allowed me to become the first Energy Editor of "The Ecologist" in 1972-73, which was a key time for global consumer society - at the time basically restricted to the OECD countries, before the real globalization push that started in the 1980s with the "neoliberal revolution".

Since 1980, world population has increased about 2200 million or 2.2 billion, and the oil, gas and coal needed simply to provide food for the world's growing population, as well as to fuel the "growth economy" continue to be extracted and burned.

If this 2.2 billion additional had been only members of the OECD, who in 2008 consumed an average of about 13.9 barrels of oil per person, any further talk about Peak Oil would have terminated long ago. Oil demand today would stand at about 180 Million barrels a day - and would be completely impossible to supply, let alone the climate change implications if it had been possible to achieve this Global Greed feat, demanding as much oil as the claimed remaining reserves of Saudi Arabia (260 bn barrels) every 4 years.

Energy transition away from fossil fuels is however enshrined or implied by the now politically correct stampede to make the economy "Low Carbon".

This quest, as Teddy and myself discussed many times in recent years, is however always unsure, fragile, even contradictory so long as the Growth Economy is considered the real target or goal. Green Energy, to many political and economic deciders, is nothing more than a bolt-on, to claw a little more energy for the obsessional and self-defeating, but wildly destructive economic growth machine. The free play, or chaotic gambling frenzy of markets will ensure that Green Energy transition is an endless series of boom-bust market bubbles, already the case with the biofuels stampede of 2005-2007. If we imagined that bureaucrats, perhaps in the IBRD and IMF, were to manage global energy transition can we be sure the result would be any more efficient, or better ?

Inviting all those who sympathize with the message of Teddy to contact me, to discuss and develop real and responsible alternatives