When Dr. Theo Colburn published “Our Stolen Future” in 1996 it was a Rachel Carson level revelation. The book, co-authored by Dianne Dumanoski and John Myers, exposed the devastating depth to which our economic system promotes the creation and distribution of human-made deadly chemicals – for profit. The poisons exist in virtually all products. This book changed my life.
Yesterday, 15 December 2014, Dr. Colburn passed away at the age of 87. You may remember her for this pivotal book, or her excellent project TEDX- The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, which for many of us has been an essential resource. She may be best remembered for her work on banning BPA from plastic bottles, including baby bottles and toys. She is one of our great heroes. Simply put Theodora Colburn saved a lot of lives. Her substantial legacy will always help us and future generations to recover our stolen future.
Her friends at TEDX released the following message this morning:
If you ever had the chance to meet her, even once, you knew Theo Colborn. She didn’t have a single hidden agenda. Her commitment to uncovering the truth was out there for the world to see.
For nearly 30 years she dedicated herself to revealing the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals to wildlife and humans. More recently she alerted us all to the threats posed by chemicals associated with oil and gas development. She wove the two together beautifully in her statement The Fossil Fuel Connection, which she worked on until the day she died.
Theo’s visionary leadership and passion shone most brilliantly when she made direct connections between new ideas, scientists whose work confirmed them, impacted individuals, and people in positions to change what needed changing. She will be remembered for many generations to come, generations that she worked tirelessly to protect.
Theo often feared that we had already passed the tipping point — that our intelligence and compassion had been so compromised by endocrine disruptors that we could no longer think our way out of the crises we had created.
As the living embodiment of her legacy, we at TEDX say, “No. It is not too late. There are people out there who ‘get it’ and who care — a lot of people — and we won’t let you down Theo.”