The Ecologist an environmental news and analysis website with a focus on ecological, social and economic justice. We publish daily, bringing the latest news, comment, features and reviews to your screens - for free. You will find news about successful environmental campaigns, stories about advances in academic ecology and discursive articles touching on theoretical approaches that help us understand nature and the impact of our societies on the natural environment.
The Ecologist online is read and enjoyed by people all around the world, with hundreds of thousands of readers from across the UK and the United States. The website was launched in 2005 and since then more than 13 million people have visited our site, with 27 million hits accessing more than 10,000 articles. Our most popular article - Ten Alternatives to Cow’s Milk - has received more than 357,000 hits - and counting.
The Ecologist began life as a print magazine in 1970, with the aim of raising public awareness of the impact our society was having on the natural environment - and what the outcomes might be for our society in turn. We’re really proud that we have been publishing environmental news and discussion for more than 50 years and this remains core to our work.
Since 2012, The Ecologist has been owned and published by the Resurgence Trust, an educational charity working across the fields of environment, social justice, activism, spirituality and the arts. The Trust publishes the Resurgence & Ecologist print magazine six times a year. This has been dubbed the “spiritual and ecological flagship of the environmental movement” by The Guardian.
The Ecologist has played a crucial role in diagnosing the environmental crises which have only worsened in the intervening half-century. Now we’re increasingly focusing on how we find solutions. And we are keen to work more closely with our contributors and readers to ensure that understanding and respecting our ecology becomes second nature in the half-century to come.
The aim of The Ecologist is to foster a greater connection to nature in order to enhance personal wellbeing, support resilient communities and inform social change towards regenerative societies that enrich rather than deplete our natural environment.
The core values of The Ecologist are: empathy and compassion; regeneration and optimism; integrity and justice.
The vision of The Ecologist is a more connected world. Where individuals feel connection between mind and body, between self and community, and society and nature. Society will have at its heart a love of nature and respect for the Earth. We will appreciate fully that humans are part of nature, and being connected to nature is part of being human.
We live in a time of crisis. The driver of this crisis is disconnection. There is a disconnection between natural systems and our economic systems at a global level. This is the primary cause of climate breakdown, biodiversity loss and soil damage. There is a crisis in mental health, often related to a disconnection between mind and body, self and other. The solutions to these problems need to be specific, but also at a large scale and shared world wide. At every level, solutions are rooted in rebuilding connections.
The Ecologist owned by an educational charity focused on environmentalism, environmental justice and social justice.
The ‘objects’ of The Resurgence Trust are to advance the education of the public in all or any of the following subjects: the conservation, protection and improvement of the natural environment globally; arts; culture; spirituality; human values.
We will educate through messages of optimism, wisdom and empathy. Ecoliteracy is urgent and necessary if we are going to build resilient and regenerative human communities.
The primary objective of The Ecologist is to educate the public about the importance of interconnection within nature.
- Universal: The Ecologist will educate the public in promoting a narrative about an abundant nature in which connections create resilient and resurgent ecosystems.
- Nature: We will seek evidence from the natural sciences which supports the narrative that connection is fundamental to nature.
- Humanity: We will educate the public about the vital and urgent need for a ‘reconnection’ between human societies and nature.
- Economies: We will educate the public about economics and our economies including the challenges of degrowth and the ‘limits of growth’ to redress the fact that mainstream economics does not account for environmental damage.
- Communities: We will work to improve connections within and between communities, beginning with our own local community in Hartland.
- Individuals: We will be a knowledge centre for methods of finding personal connections as individuals.
Editor Emeritus: Satish Kumar
Satish Kumar - a former monk and long-term peace and environment activist - has been quietly helping set the global agenda for change for over 70 years. Satish was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains. He was 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality. Satish later embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage between India and the US, via all the nuclear weapons capitals of the time - Moscow, Paris, London and Washington. Satish then settled in the United Kingdom, and in 1973 was appointed editor of Resurgence after the magazine’s founder, John Papworth, had become an adviser to the newly independent nation of Zambia. Satish edited Resurgence for 43 years. Today, he is a director of the Network of Wellbeing, sits on the Advisory Board of Our Future Planet and was recently elected a vice-president of the RSPCA. Satish is company secretary of the Resurgence Trust, for which he continues to be a spokesman, fundraiser and principal advocate. He continues to teach and run workshops on reverential ecology, holistic education and voluntary simplicity.
Editor: Brendan Montague
Brendan Montague is a editor of The Ecologist online and is responsible for publishing all the content on the website. Brendan’s interests include systems theory, social ecology and almost any subject featured on In Our Time. He is the founder of the Request Initiative and the author of Impact of Market Forces on Addictive Substances and Behaviours: The web of influence of addictive industries (Oxford University Press). Brendan was a committed environmentalist as soon as it became cool - writing about McDonald’s in HSM - his secondary school magazine - which was banned. He has worked for more than a decade on regional newspapers, learning the craft of journalism, before spending a few years on the nationals, publishing with The Guardian, The Independent and the Sunday Times, as well as New Internationalist, the New Statesman and Vice.com.
Editorial Assistant: Ruby Harbour
Ruby Harbour is a student at the University of Surrey studying English Literature and is currently completing her placement year. After two years of study Ruby is embarking on a 3 month internship with The Ecologist before going to Stockholm University for 5 months to continue studying as well as hoping to be a part of ‘Hållbarhetsforum’, The Sustainability Forum, who aim to improve sustainable development. Her role with The Ecologist will include working with Brendan helping with administration, editing and social media publishing. Ruby is an advocator for the role of a plant-based diet in improving sustainability and is subtly persuading the people around her to make more environmentally friendly food choices. Alongside this Ruby enjoys rowing for Team Surrey.
Chief Reporter: Catherine Early
Catherine Early has covered energy and environmental issues for nearly 15 years. She specialises in policy and regulation, in particular in the built environment and energy. She is also interested in permaculture and has an allotment. Now freelance, she has previously worked for the Environmentalist; the ENDS Report, Planning magazine, and Windpower Monthly. She was a finalist in the 2009 Guardian international development journalism award for articles about maternal mortality in Tanzania and deforestation in Guatemala. She enjoys walking and cycling, and is a member of the Croydon Cycling Campaign (part of the London Cycling Campaign).
Contributing Editor: Elizabeth Wainwright
Elizabeth Wainwright is a contributing editor to The Ecologist and focuses on thought leadership and ideas. Elizabeth has a particular interest in nature-inspired ways of thinking and working. She was previously our nature editor, and an editor at Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. She also writes, including for The Lush Times. She has researched and written / photographed globally, including on the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami, the impact of tourism in South Africa, and the rehabilitation of child soldiers in Northern Uganda. Elizabeth has worked alongside communities and organisations around the world too, and she co-leads Arukah Network – a small, collaborative community development network that works in Africa and Asia and offers an alternative approach to ‘international development’-as-usual. She has an MSc in International Development, a BSc in Biology, and an NCTJ accreditation in Photojournalism. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
The Resurgence Trust
The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust, a registered educational charity. The trust has become the flagship voice of the environmental movement across the globe. Its mission is to inspire each other to help make a difference and find positive solutions to the global challenges we now face. You can become a member of the Trust online.
James Sainsbury is chairman of the Resurgence Trust. He is also chair of the trustees of Home-Start, a national family support charity, and trustee to a number of other charitable organisations, including the Voices Foundation and the National Byway Trust, which promotes cycling. He also has an interest in psychotherapy and is trained as an Option Process mentor. He is married with two sons.
Angie joined the Resurgence team in 1998 as PA to Satish Kumar and Editorial Assistant. She took up the role of Communications Manager with responsibility for managing the charities two websites and the marketing department. In 2017, she was appointed trust manager at the Resurgence Trust. Originally trained as an archaeologist, her background has been mainly in the charitable sector, working as a fundraiser for Counsel and Care, as a trustee for Beauty Without Cruelty UK and as the True Cost of Conflict programme coordinator at Saferworld, where she co-edited The True Cost of Conflict (Earthscan 1996). She is passionate about environmental education - and a qualified Forest School leader.
Michael runs the advertising side of things for The Ecologist, through his company Ethical Media Sales and Marketing (EMSM). He set up EMSM to offer campaign groups, publishers, charities and small companies a way to reach ethical consumers without having to rely on unethical advertising companies. Michael said: “Readers of The Ecologist are the most committed, passionate, ethical and environmentally aware consumers in the world. They are opinion formers whose influence reaches far into the community.” He lives in Oxford and has worked in publishing for more than 25 years. He likes to practice what he preaches and is into renewable energy, veg box schemes, car clubs, farmers markets, seasonal cooking and the East Oxford community.
The Ecologist website publishes more than 1,200 news and comment articles each year and is accessed for free by readers around the world. Our articles are currently accessed 200,000 times each month, an increase of almost 100 percent the previous year. We also share our content widely through social media. This free service is paid for mostly through donations, and income from royalties and some advertising.
The two great adages of journalism are ‘follow the money’ and ‘cui bono’. Transparency and honest accounting are core values for The Ecologist and its team. We therefore set out the following information and disclosures about how the news website generates and spends its income.
The Ecologist is wholly owned and managed by The Resurgence Trust, a small educational charity based in Hartland, North Devon. The accounts for The Ecologist are contained within the reporting of the trust, which can be found at Companies House. We provide the following financial information:
The budgeted income of The Ecologist for the year from 1 April 2017 to 1 April 2018 is as follows:
Resurgence Trust: £27,000
Exact Editions syndication: £20,000
The Ecologist continues thanks to the Resurgence Trust. The Ecologist website also derives income from syndication of its print archive which is managed through Exact Editions. The archive and the print articles in Resurgence & Ecologist also bring in revenue in the form of royalties. The website earns some income through advertising.
The budgeted costs of The Ecologist for the year from 1 April 2017 to 1 April 2018 is as follows:
Social Media and marketing: £3,000
Advertising costs: £1,200
The Ecologist pays all of its small team of salaried staff and contractors at the same rate, £26,816 gross per rata. The total cost of salaries is less than £50,000, and contractors less than £3,000 for the year. We have a budget of £3,600 for website hosting and maintenance - which this year included a significant improvement to our website design. In addition, The Ecologist will spend a budgeted £3,000 on fundraising and marketing and £1,200 on advertising costs. The website also pays £1,300 towards office costs and training. The total budgeted expenditure for the year is £61,406.43.
Brendan Montague is the editor of The Ecologist, and a full time salaried member of staff of The Resurgence Trust. He also earns some money from working as an investigative journalist and writer. Other sources of income during the current financial year have included: Friends of the Earth, openDemocracy and The Guardian. Brendan is also the owner and director of Request Initiative, a community interest company, and Montague Media Limited. Request Initiative has in turn worked for Greenpeace, Global Justice Now and Shelter, among others.
The Ecologist was founded by Edward “Teddy” Goldsmith in 1970 who developed a keen interest in the then cutting edge systems theory. The magazine 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 in turn led to the creation of the People Party, now known as 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.
The magazine continued to break new ground in the environmental debate in the years that followed, 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 launched its website in 2005 and then went online only 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.
1970: The Ecologist is launched by Teddy Goldsmith, editor from 1970-1990. Teddy has a keen interest in systems theory, which informs the content of the journal.
1972: Volume 1 of that year includes A Blueprint for Survival, later published as a ground-breaking book that went on to sell 750,000 copies. Friends of the Earth’s first newsletter is distributed with The Ecologist.
1973: The Green party - initially known as the People party, then the Ecology party - formed in UK by writers at The Ecologist inspired by the Blueprint for Survival.
1986: The Ecologist leads the way in collecting three million signatures asking for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on global deforestation. Teddy Goldsmith and twenty campaigners take the signatures in wheelbarrows to the UN in New York, followed two days later by a meeting with a group of US senators headed by Al Gore.
1998: Zac Goldsmith is appointed editor of The Ecologist and broadens its appeal by moving away from its roots as an academic journal and towards a news-stand magazine. Zac dedicates an entire edition to examining the environmental record of the highly litigious biotech giant, Monsanto. The edition was a response to adverts posted by Monsanto in magazines and papers throughout Europe. The issue went on to become the biggest seller in the magazine’s history, translated into six different languages.
2005: The Ecologist launches its website at www.theecologist.org and the following year releases its first digital edition of the magazine. The final print edition of the stand-alone magazine hits the shelves on 19 June 2009.
2012: The Ecologist is bought by The Resurgence Trust and merges with Resurgence magazine on 1 June. The print magazine is retitled Resurgence & Ecologist and every issue since has included a dedicated Ecologist section. Susan Clark, editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine, is appointed as editor of The Ecologist before handing over to Oliver Tickell.
2013: Oliver Tickell is appointed as Editor of the Ecologist. Oliver Tickell is an environmental writer and journalist. His influential report, International Law and Marine Plastic Pollution - Holding Offenders Accountable, was published in 2018.
2014: Greg Neale is appointed editor of Resurgence & Ecologist. He is promoted to editor-in-chief of the Resurgence Trust, including Resurgence & Ecologist and The Ecologist online following the retirement of Satish Kumar from the role. Greg is the author of The Green Travel Guide, the founding editor of BBC History magazine and the former ‘resident historian’ for BBC Television’s Newsnight programme.
2016: Susan Clark returns as editor from March 2016 to August 2018.
2017: Brendan Montague is recruited as contributing editor of The Ecologist website. He is then promoted to acting editor, and then editor. Brendan is the founding editor of DeSmog.uk, founder and director of Request Initiative and co-author of Impact of Market Forces on Addictive Substances and Behaviours: The web of influence of addictive industries (Oxford University Press). During the months June, July and August 2018 The Ecologist enjoyed a 32 percent increase in users and 40 percent increase in page views compared to the same period in the previous year.
2018: The Ecologist launched its redesigned website and significantly increased the amount of content published each day. The environmental news website almost doubled its traffic year on year, and also doubled its newsletter subscribers. It also launched a daily newsletter. Greg Neale stepped down as editor-in-chief in December and will pursue editorial and academic projects in London.