Rex Weyler is a big picture guy. He was an ecologist back in the 70s when he hooked up with the rag-tag bunch of hippies that was Greenpeace then, and he's an ecologist still. He's a believer in the mind bomb -- those events and messages that get you right between the eyes and wake you up to a whole new way of thinking. And right now, he's walking around with a big-picture message about ecology that nobody wants to hear, but somebody has to say: global warming is just a symptom, a warning sign, the blinking dashboard light that indicates we've overshot the carrying capacity of our planet.

 

Rex has been over here in Amsterdam for the last few days, and I've been lucky enough to hear him speak twice now. He's one of the greatest story tellers in an organization full of great story tellers, and a wealth of institutional history and perspective. I managed to capture his speech to our staff meeting on Friday on my iPhone and cut it into two videos.

The first is his riff on the Tar Sands -- the world's largest industrial complex, transforming the boreal forests of Alberta into a landscape scraped raw for oil that barely makes more energy than is consumed in getting it, and which has turned an Eden of wildnerness into a Mordor of blackened land and fouled water so toxic that ducks die if they land on it.

The second is a story about creativity and one of the earliest Greenpeace actions -- a hilarious "Test Blockade" that took place in Georgia Strait.

Rex Weyler tells a tale from the early days of Greenpeace. from Brian Fitzgerald on Vimeo.

Rex writes a regular column on the Greenpeace International site called Deep Green, and is the author of Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World