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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  • 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 >

  • Historic Human Overshoot

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - January 26, 2012 at 12:39

    In nature, any successful species can overshoot a habitat, consuming resources faster than Earth’s ecosystems can replenish them. On Earth today, indicators such as species extinctions, soil loss, and global warming – tell us that humans have reached this state of overshoot on a global scale. In seeking solutions, we may benefit from some historical perspective. 

    University of British Columbia professor Dr. William Rees and his colleague Mathis Wackernagel originated the “ecological footprint” analysis, now universally used to measure personal, family, or regional ecological impact. Rees estimates that humans now use about fifty percent more resources in a year than Earth can replenish. In 2010, Rees wrote “The Human Nature of Unsustainability” for the Post Carbon Reader, expl... Read more >

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