The world’s leading environmental affairs magazine, now www.theecologist.org, was founded in 1970 by Edward Goldsmith. The magazine quickly became a platform for those who would go on to be the leading lights of the environmental movement.
The Ecologist shot to fame in 1972 for devoting an entire issue to its Blueprint for Survival, a radical manifesto for change that proposed, amongst other reforms, the formation of a movement for survival. This led to the creation of the People Party, later renamed the Ecology Party and finally the Green Party. The Blueprint for Survival went on to sell more than 750,000 copies in paperback, and you can read the original edition online by looking in 1972 in the archive.
In the years that followed, the magazine continued to break new ground in the environmental debate, notably by pointing to global climate change during the African droughts of the mid-1970s, and exposing the extent of the slash-and-burn operations ravaging the Amazon rainforest during the early 1980s. It went on to unveil the fallacy of plentiful nuclear energy during the era in which the technology’s future was thought to herald electricity ‘too cheap to meter’.
During the last ten years the Ecologist has continued to highlight the contradictions of economic globalisation, the health effects of everyday toxins, and the huge environmental cost of industrial agriculture. Its continued coverage has pushed many of these issues into the political mainstream.
To reach a wider, global audience, the magazine relaunched online in 2009. It continues to provide a mix of in-depth analysis, environmental news and practical advice that appeals to a growing community of individuals committed to social and environmental change. Remaining true to its roots in ecological ‘systems’ thinking, the Ecologist strives to point out the links between issues as diverse as war, pharmaceuticals, corporate fraud, or the power of mass media. Above all, the Ecologist hopes to encourage its readers to challenge conventional thinking, and tackle global issues at a local level.