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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  • The Value of Ancient Forests

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - January 8, 2014 at 16:09

    I live in a forest, and know that I am fortunate. I watch flicker and siskin in the cedars. I hear thrush and vireo in the veiled vastness. Cutthroat trout inhabit the lake, wolves howl on winter nights, and raccoons venture out with their families for my scraps. But I know the forest I live in is rare and under assault. Those cedar and fir, hemlock and spruce, could be converted to money, the great driver of this modern world.

    Canadian Forest

    The value of forests is an ancient tale. We may recall that humanity’s earliest stories – Ramayana, Gilgamesh, Raven and People – take place in the forest, with awe for its mysterious immensity. Raven hops from its forest home to find humans inside a clamshell on the beach. Rama enlists the forest animals to help vanquish the world’s evil. When King Gilgamesh fall... Read more >

  • Gazprom vs. Greenpeace Arctic 30

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - November 1, 2013 at 10:07

    Russia's overreaction to the Greenpeace Arctic protest — and their ludicrous waffling on the actual charges — will not work out well for Russia. Their extraordinary response will more likely help the global climate movement meet its goals.

    Public dissent against abusive authority appears as old as any remembered human history. The Sumerian story of King Gilgamesh begins with public complaints that the king exploited young men for war and young women for his lust, failing in his role as the "people's shepherd." In Antiquities, Jewish historian Josephus recounts peasant protests against Roman abuse, governor Pilate sending assassins and how this overreaction incited men, women and children to offer their lives en masse by laying prostrate in the city square.

    In our era, Gandhi liberated Ind... Read more >

  • Gezi Park: A historic defence of democracy

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - June 14, 2013 at 22:10

    "Find out just what people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong that will be imposed upon them."
    – Frederick Douglass, American ex-slave civil rights leader

    ==============

    The citizens of Istanbul now appear in control of Gezi Park, protecting one of the last and most treasured green spaces in Istanbul from conversion to a shopping mall.

    The protest, which began to save the park, became a rally for genuine democracy in Turkey. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government responded with police violence – beatings, pepper spray, water cannons, and tear gas – but could not stop the protests from spreading to over 70 Turkish cities, exposing Erdogan's persecution of opposition and media censorship.

    When governments turn to violence to bully the... Read more >

  • Nature: A System of Systems

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - August 23, 2012 at 8:20

    "The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think." -- Gregory Bateson, An Ecology of Mind.

    Piecemeal ecology does not work.

    Forty years have passed since the founding of Greenpeace and the first UN environment meeting in Stockholm, fifty years since the groundbreaking Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, and 115 years since Svante Arrhenius warned that burning hydrocarbons would heat Earth’s atmosphere.

    Today, we have more environmental groups and less forests, more “protected areas” and less species, more carbon taxes and greater carbon emissions, more “green” products and less green space. These failures are not necessarily the fault of environmental groups, who have helped slow down the destructive impacts the indus... Read more >

  • Ends of the Earth

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - July 6, 2012 at 10:30

    Corporations look to plunder Earth’s polar resources

    The time has come

    The World’s multinational corporations face an unrelenting problem. Resource extraction has met Earth’s limits. The great fortunes of history were made by plundering resources, but we have taken the best of everything. With few virgin resources left, modern profit-making schemes turn to stock manipulations, debt swaps, and bets on derivative markets. Such manipulations, however, with no real wealth behind them, lead to inflation, collapse, and bailouts.

    In the search for the remnants of nature’s real wealth, the captains of industry scramble for Earth’s remaining stores of minerals, forests, and biomass. This takes us to the ends of the Earth, to the poles, where receding ice opens land and seas for the final act of industrial pil... Read more >

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