Long-time BioCycle Contributing Editor Peter Gorrie lost his battle with glioblastoma on January 4. Peter reported on many different topics for BioCycle — from potato farmers use of compost to the latest developments in renewable natural gas (RNG). When we first started working with Peter in 2008, he was based in Toronto, Ontario, as he had worked for much of his career as a reporter for the Toronto Star. In a tribute, Star reporter Ann Marie Elpa describes Peter as “a changemaker and a force to be reckoned with in Canadian journalism, someone who stood up for the underdog and deeply passionate about environmental issues.”
Sandro Contenta, a Star journalist who worked with Peter, noted, “He wrote about complex environmental topics with clarity and precision. Anyone who read his stories understood why they too should care about humanity’s impact on the planet. He was a caring, thoughtful and decent man who practiced the kind of journalism we need more than ever today.”
Contenta’s description of Peter is exactly how all of us at BioCycle will remember Peter. His writing style was engaging and to the point, and he invested the time to learn the subject matter in order to explain it in a way that all could understand. One of Peter’s more recent contributions to BioCycle is a case in point. He tackled the subject of nutrient recovery from digestate, patiently answering all of our follow up questions throughout the editorial process. That article stands today as one of the best on that topic. So do Peter’s articles on compost use in agriculture, anaerobic digestion of source separated organics, and RNG (search ‘Peter Gorrie’ in the BioCycle.net archives for a sampling). And it was always a joy when Peter would attend a BioCycle Conference.
The last time Peter and I corresponded was in March 2020, when Peter wrote to say he was no longer able to write due to the damage the cancer had caused to his brain. We had recently made the transition from BioCycle in print to our BioCycle CONNECT e-newsletter. Wrote Peter: “Writing for you and the magazine has been one of the great pleasures of my career, in part because the work was generally so positive, and it is disappointing to have to give it up. I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to BioCycle and, just as important, to get to know you. I hope that you and the [digital] magazine continue to thrive.”
We too are grateful for our work with Peter, his excellent articles, his profound decency, and his friendship. His passing leaves a big hole in our hearts. Rest in peace, Peter.