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Rex Weyler

He was a photographer and reporter on the early Greenpeace whale and seal campaigns, and has written one of the best and most comprehensive histories of the organisation, Greenpeace (Raincoast, 2004). His book, Blood of the Land, a history of the American Indian Movement, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 

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  • The Ocean Plastic Crisis

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - October 15, 2017 at 15:29

    "Plastics!" This became one of the most famous film lines from the 1960s era. In the film The Graduate, young university graduate, Ben (Dustin Hoffman) appears annoyed and distracted when his wealthy American parents stage an elaborate party to show him off to their peers. A family friend approaches him and says, "Ben I have one word for you: Plastics." Ben nods and stares into space, oblivious to the career advice.

    This short scene foreshadowed the age that followed. Plastics were about to explode upon the world. Commercial organic polymers were first synthesized a century ago, used by armies in World War II. They first entered consumer production in the 1950s. Plastic packaging created a global shift from reusable containers to single-use, throw-away containers.

    According to a 2016 pl... Read more >

  • Chevron's Amazon Chernobyl Case moves to Canada

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - September 19, 2017 at 13:43

    After perpetrating what is probably the worst oil-related catastrophe on Earth - a 20,000 hectare death zone in Ecuador, known as the “Amazon Chernobyl” - the Chevron Corporation has spent two decades and over a billion dollars trying to avoid responsibility. In 2011, Indigenous and peasant villagers won an $9.5-billion compensation judgment in Ecuador. Chevron, despite accepting jurisdiction in Ecuador to avoid a US jury trial, refused to pay.

    Indigenous Person - Image Courtesy of Amazon WatchImage courtesy of Amazon Watch

    The company sold its assets in Ecuador to avoid seizure, left the country, and threatened the victims with a "lifetime of litigation" if they pursued compensation. The 30,000 plaintiffs, however, have not given up. The case now moves to Canada, where Chevron holds assets, and where the victims hope, at last, to gain jus... Read more >

  • In May this year, two brothers, Vázquez and Agustín Torres, were murdered near Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. They were Wixárika (Huichol) leaders, working to preserve their land from incursion by cattle ranchers and drug cartels. This tragedy of greed and corruption serves as an alarm bell for activists attempting to preserve our natural world.  

    Murdered Wixárika leader, Miguel Vázquez Torres (Photo by Nelson Denman) Murdered Wixárika leader, Miguel Vázquez Torres (photo by Nelson Denman) 

    The worldwide crisis on Indigenous land is as urgent as climate change or biodiversity loss. Approximately 400 million Indigenous peoples, with 5,000 distinct cultures, represent most of the world’s cultural diversity. Their land is threatened by mining and logging companies, ranchers and farmers, oil exploration, and now by the drug cartels too. Read more >

    In spite of the 2007...

  • Nuclear power and the collapse of society

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - May 5, 2017 at 18:42

    On March 1 1954, on Bikini Atoll, in the Marshall Islands, the US military detonated the world’s first lithium-deuteride hydrogen bomb, a thousand times more powerful than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs. The radiation blew downwind, to the southeast, and irradiated the residents of Rongelap and Utirik atolls, and the crew of tuna boat Fukuryu Maru, “Lucky Dragon.”  

    The islanders and fishing crew suffered radiation sickness, hair loss, and peeling skin. Crew member, Aikichi Kuboyama, died six months later in a Hiroshima hospital. Island children, suffered lifelong health effects, including cancers, and most died prematurely. The Lucky Dragon sailors were exposed to 3-5 sieverts of radiation.

    One sievert will cause severe radiation sickness leading to cancer and death. Five sieverts will... Read more >

  • Missing the Target

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - February 21, 2017 at 9:22

    The urgency to solve our climate crisis feels something like a ship heading off course: The longer you delay, the more you have to turn the wheel.  

    Consider these numbers: 2, 350, 1990. These were the original climate goals. In 1975, at the time of the first Greenpeace whale campaign, environmental economist William Nordhaus proposed that the danger threshold for a temperature increase above Earth’s preindustrial average would be 2°C. This goal was not considered entirely safe, but beyond this target we risked severe climate disruption and likely runaway heating.

    James Hansen from the US, Climate Scientist and professor, outside the Norwegian courthouse in Oslo while an unprecedented legal case is filed against the Norwegian government for allowing oil companies to drill for new oil in the Arctic Barents Sea. The plaintiffs, Nature and Youth and Greenpeace Nordic, argue that Norway thereby violates the Paris Agreement and the people's constitutional right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations. The lawsuit has the support of a wide group of scientists, indigenous leaders, activists and public figures.  © Christian Åslund / Greenpeace
    Dr James Hansen, 2016

    The 350 figure came from several climate scientists, including Dr James Hansen, who co-authored the first NASA global temperature analysis in 1981. Hansen proposed that to remain below the 2°C target, we w... Read more >

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