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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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  • 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 >

  • Ecology and Money

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - October 8, 2015 at 9:18

    On Friday, September 17, the US Federal Reserve blinked in the face of unrelenting, global economic malaise. This private bank, which possesses the monopoly to print US money, had promised to raise interest rates a paltry 1/4-percent, after seven years of near-zero interest intended to revive the US economy. Corporations had used the free money to buy their own stocks, fattening their own net worth and boosting the US stock markets, but this "growth" was an illusion. Faced with mounting debt, crashing international markets, and national defaults in Europe, the bankers lost their nerve.

    Allotments in the Avanchets estate, Geneva, Switzerland. © Yan Arthus-BertrandA foodscaped neighbourhood: Ecological economics is possible, but it will be nothing like industrial economics. Avanchets estate, Geneva, Switzerland. © Yan Arthus-Bertrand

    One may fairly wonder: Who cares?... Read more >

  • The ninth extinction

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - August 13, 2015 at 17:30

    Earth's living community is now suffering the most severe biodiversity crisis in 65 million years, since a meteorite struck near modern Chicxulub, Mexico, injecting dust and sulfuric acid into the atmosphere, and devastating 76% of all living species, including the dinosaurs.

    Ecologists now ask whether or not Earth has entered another "major" extinction event, if extinctions are as important as general diversity collapse, and which emergency actions we might take to reverse the disturbing trends.

    Underwater Life in Dry Tortugas National Park. 16 Aug, 2010 © Todd Warshaw / Greenpeace

    In 1972, at the first UN environmental conference in Stockholm, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich, linked the collapse of "organic diversity" to human population and industrial growth. In 1981, he published Extinction, explaining the causes and consequences of the biodiversity crisis and providin...

    Read more >

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