A Marriage Made in Heaven
How Resurgence and the Ecologist finally tied the merger knot…
The founder of The Ecologist, Teddy Goldsmith, and I went to Stockholm in 1972 to attend the first UN conference on the environment. We spent 10 days together meeting with some of the pioneering and radical environmentalists of the time. Teddy was the talk of the town because of his landmark publication A Blueprint for Survival, which came out as a special issue of the Ecologist. That was the beginning of our lifelong friendship.
I also arranged for Teddy to go to India to meet some of the great Gandhian thinkers and activists. He was deeply impressed and inspired by India and by the Gandhian philosophy.
In 1973 I was offered the position of Editor of Resurgence but I was reluctant to accept it: I wanted to go back to India to work with the Gandhian movement. Then E.F. Schumacher said: “Satish, there are many Gandhians in India, but we need one in England, so please bring some Gandhian values to the West, through Resurgence.” It was a very persuasive argument. I relented.
It is a privilege to have had the pleasure of working with two great activists – Schumacher and Goldsmith. In 1974 Ecologist and Resurgence published a joint issue on religion and ecology. Ever since then the two magazines have been complementary in promoting an ecological worldview – one that is embedded in Gandhian nonviolence to people and Nature.
When Teddy passed away in 2009, his nephew Zac Goldsmith took charge of the magazine, but once he became an MP Zac says he found himself just too busy to give the attention and time that a publication like the Ecologist requires. So Zac and I started to talk about it and eventually we came to a conclusion: why not join the two magazines together and make just one even stronger publication to serve the environment movement better? We both felt it would be a marriage made in heaven.
The Ecologist has spearheaded social, scientific and political ecology while Resurgence has led in the field of cultural, spiritual and artistic ecology. Zac and I agreed that the time was ripe to bring these two aspects together.
The modern industrial economy of the West now faces a grave crisis. Governments, business leaders and the media have almost lost sight of environmental issues and have become obsessed with economic growth whatever the cost. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, thinks that the environment is getting in the way of the economy, so this self-styled “greenest government ever” is now putting the environment on the back burner.
At the same time, as Charles Secrett boldly and frankly points out in his inspiring Keynotes article in this issue, the environment movement itself is lacking momentum, influence and effectiveness.
And so it is in this context that Resurgence and the Ecologist have joined forces with the single promise that together, we can do better.
Satish Kumar, Editor-in-chief, Resurgence & Ecologist magazine
A SHARED AGENDA
After four decades of flirtation, the Ecologist and Resurgence have finally married. In a sense, they have always been connected. Although the tone and strategy of the two magazines has differed, philosophically they have always been as one, with a shared agenda.
The Ecologist has been the ‘bad cop’, challenging vast corporations, exposing corruption and shining light on unquestioned orthodoxies, while Resurgence has spearheaded cultural and artistic ecology. But the two journals have been as two wings of a bird. Both exist not just to generate sales, but to inspire an essential shift towards sustainability.
From my own point of view, the move comes with a mix of excitement and sadness. Sadness, because I have been involved in the Ecologist for more than a decade. My association with a political party meant that had to change, and reluctantly I have for some time taken a back seat.
Excitement, because its future is secure under the leadership of a great person. Satish has been at the forefront of the ecological movement for as long as I have been alive, and the clarity of his vision as well as the purity of his motives will ensure the Ecologist remains true to its origins. I very much hope that readers of both magazines will support the marriage.