Blogger profile

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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  • Where is the hope?

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - December 1, 2016 at 15:28

    I’m not sure we can win with logic. 

    How do we reverse species loss, climate change, toxins, general overshoot of Earth’s generous habitats? We have the science, but humanity at the large scale does not appear to have the political will. We live in a pre-ecological political world, and public discourse seems corrupted by the mad clinging to those pre-ecological models of development and economics. 

    The ecology headlines this year feel disturbing — 2/3 of mammals doomed; drought in Kenya, Mozambique, US, Sri Lanka; dry rivers and water wars; Zika virus spray killing bee colonies; methane releases higher than predicted; meteorologists forced to rewrite climate predictions, for the worse; Great Barrier Reef collapsing; and American soldiers serving as a security force for oil pipeline at S... Read more >

  • This summer, the United Nations International Resource Panel (IRP), published 'Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity', a report that admits what ecologists have been saying for decades: resources are limited, human consumption trends are unsustainable and resource depletion diminishes human health, quality of life and future development.

    The report shows that consumption of Earth's primary resources (metals, fuels, timber, cereals and so forth) has tripled in the last 40 years, driven by population growth (increasing at about 1.1% per year), economic growth (averaging about 3% per year over the same period) and consumption per person, worldwide.

    Coal Mines at the Source of the Yellow River, 20 Jun, 2014. © Wu Haitao / GreenpeaceCoal Mines at the source of the Yellow River, China

    Economic growth has helped lift some regions from poverty and created more middl... Read more >

  • Brent Spar: The sea is not a dustbin

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - September 24, 2016 at 11:21

    In August 2016, Prestel Books published Photos That Changed the World, including this image of the Greenpeace Brent Spar campaign, captured by David Sims on 16 June 1995.

    Brent Spar

    Greenpeace approaches Brent Spar, 1995, dodging a Shell water cannon. Photo by David Sims, Greenpeace. Selected for "Photos that Changed the World," from Prestel Books.

    The story begins in the 1950s, when Royal Dutch Shell found oil near Groningen, in Permian sandstone linked to North Sea formations. By 1971, Shell had located the giant Brent oilfield in the North Sea, 220km east of Shetland, England. The Brent field produced a valuable, low sulphur crude, and set the standard for the European, or "Brent", oil price.

    In 1976, Shell constructed the Brent Spar, a floating oil storage tank, 147 metres tall, with thick st... Read more >

  • Ecological bankruptcy

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - May 6, 2016 at 7:55

    There may not be a single large-scale industry or multi-national corporation on Earth that is genuinely profitable if they had to account for their ecological impact. A recent UN-supported report shows that the world's 3,000 largest publicly-traded companies alone caused US$2.15 trillion (€2 trillion) of environmental damage in 2008, that the total cost is much higher, and that companies and communities downstream in the global supply chain are at risk from the environmental impacts.

    For centuries, businesses have cheated on this accounting by calling ecological impacts "externalities," presumably not effecting the business. Thus, air and water pollution, toxins in the environment, or eradicated species were deemed "external" and not worth accounting for.

    We now know that these ecological... Read more >

  • War and Money

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - April 19, 2016 at 11:57

    "Who is doing this? Who is killing us? This great evil. How did it steal into the world?
    We were a family. How did it break up and come apart?"
    – Private Witt's thoughts, The Thin Red Line, by Terrence Malick. 

    Records from the first century portray Jewish peasants – men, women, and children – marching on the governor in Caesarea, protesting atrocities of the Roman army, prostrating on the ground, and offering their lives en masse. Since the dawn of warfare, there have been peace movements. World War I, a century ago, was supposed to be "The war to end war," but the world has since remained in the grip of almost perpetual warfare. In 1971, inspired by the Quakers, Greenpeace's first campaign confronted nuclear weapons testing in Alaska, but we certainly cannot claim to have abolished militar... Read more >

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