Oh Despicable Me!

 

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

For all of the people who hate me, criticize me, loathe me, troll me, threaten me and generally carry on like I really give a damn, all I can say is thanks for taking your time to say so. It is much appreciated.

Sometimes you’re amusing, but most of the time you’re simply boring. But it’s no bother, because I have this simple delete button and a cyber dungeon to conveniently drop your ass into the internet version of the phantom zone, where for all intents and purposes you simply no longer exist on my particular plane of existence.

However I must confess that I do love the fact that so many people get all hot and bothered and spend time talking, complaining, ranting, sharing and even going to the trouble of setting up websites and Facebook pages simply to attack me. How awesome and flattering is that!

People I don’t know and have never met, hate me and I think that’s pretty damn impressive.

I considerate it a disappointing day when I don’t receive at least one hate message. It’s good to know that they know that I’m still here, pissing them off.

A person without enemies is a person who does not do much. Give me a person without enemies and I can guarantee few people really know or care who they are.

All great people have enemies. Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Dianne Fossey, John Kennedy, Malala Yousafzai, Russell Means, and so many others including even Jesus Christ. I can only aspire to have the number of enemies they have had. In fact the more enemies one has, the more one achieves. Everyone needs a legion of enemies to inspire them to greater and better deeds and to validate their achievements.

I am not in the business of pleasing everyone. In fact I’m not in the business of pleasing anyone. I’m in the business of defending biodiversity from the irresponsible actions of my own species and that guarantees me volumes of enemies.
I pick up enemies like a dog picks up fleas except that I can shake them off easier than the dog.

If I can please my wife, my daughter, my son, my family, supporters, and my friends, I’m happy. Everyone else is irrelevant.

Even allies become enemies at the slightest disagreement. The infighting within movements is hilarious, like when the People’s Front for the Liberation of Judea attacked the Judaean People’s Liberation Front in Life of Brian.

We really can be a silly assortment species of primates.

I often wonder if a person who sends me a vile or threatening message imagines the said message as being hurtful or damaging to me. Do they really think that I shed a tear with each word? Do they really think I care what they think? I suppose it’s a good thing if they feel a sense of satisfaction with the illusionary belief that they are threatening me. If they deprive some sort of pleasure from it, all I can say, is go for it and enjoy yourself.

Now although I don’t care what people say about me or to me, I am posting this really to help people who are sensitive to attacks from perfect strangers in the internet. It is easy for me to ignore bullying because I simply don’t give a damn but there are people, especially younger people who are indeed hurt by comments from strangers and sometimes such bullying has disturbing and sometimes tragic consequences.

So I would like to advise such people to treat offensive and threatening comments as nothing more than a momentary fart in a windstorm. You may get a whiff but the stench is gone in seconds. People only have power over other people when people allow other people to have power over them.

So my advice to anyone plagued by trolls, haters and critics is simple. Ignore them, block them and delete them. They and their opinions simply do not matter.

Words are not bullets. Words are harmless.

Hell even being called names can be flattering. Years ago I was at the home of a famous Hollywood personality when the phone rang. I picked it up and a familiar voice said “is Maurice there?”

I said no but would you like to leave a message. The voice answered, “yes tell him Orson called.”

“Orson who”” I replied.

“Orson Welles, you idiot.”

Was I offended? Hell no. Orson Welles called me an idiot because I did not recognize his voice. How awesome was that?

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How Do We Oppose Murderous Psychopaths?

by Captain Paul Watson:

In 2003, Sea Shepherd brought the issue of the dolphin slaughter to worldwide attention. In October of that year we sent photographer Brooke MacDonald to Taiji. Her pictures appeared on the cover of newspapers around the world and her video was aired on CNN.

Yet the killing continued.

In November two Sea Shepherd volunteers including Sea Shepherd Global Director dove into the Cove, cut the nets and freed 16 Pilot whales. They were both arrested and spent a month in prison and were fined $8,000.

And the killing continued.

In 2009 Louie Psihoyos and Ric O’Barry made a documentary film called The Cove. It won the Academy Award for best documentary film and exposed the horror of Taiji to hundreds of thousands of people.

Yet the killing continued.

Sea Shepherd’s Cove Guardians were on the ground every year since 2009. Seven years for six months, a total of 42 months on the ground, livestreaming, witnessing, filming, photographing, protesting, monitoring – watching dolphins die and unable to do anything to physically stop it.
During that time we sent in hundreds of volunteers.

After yet after 14 years the only dolphins saved were the 16 freed when Sea Shepherd cut the nets in 2003.

Since 2014 Japan has been denying entry to Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians eliminating 100% of our Cove Guardian leaders and most of the volunteers.

This year, Japan has made Sea Shepherd tactics subject to charges of terrorism. Under the new laws, 2 people with a camera may be charged with terrorism.

This is, to put it bluntly – insane!

These official decisions have convinced me that we are dealing with a psychopathic attitude where every single obstacle is being thrown into the path of anyone who opposes the mass slaughter of dolphins in Taiji.

Since September 1st, Sea Shepherd has received some criticism for not being in Taiji this season. This criticism is quite unfair. How can the Cove Guardians be in Taiji when they can’t even get into Japan? And how can they expect us to send inexperienced volunteers into a position where they will be charged with an act of terrorism just for being there?

Some critics say that the Dolphin Project is there, so why is Sea Shepherd not there?

It is true that Ric O’Barry has been banned from Japan but very few Dolphin Project Cove Monitors have been denied entry – yet. Sea Shepherd is happy that Dolphin Project people can be on the ground but I predict their freedom to do so will soon be greatly diminished.

The Japanese government wants to remove observers.

The thugs in Taiji are psychopaths completely lacking compassion and empathy for the dolphins. The attached image screams the word – psychopath!

The politicians enabling the mass slaughter are also psychopaths lacking empathy and compassion.

Being on the ground in Taiji now is a fruitless endeavor. Years of documentation and live-streaming have not made a difference. The killing continues and the killers become more entrenched in their ruthlessness to the point that their very identity as Japanese is equated with the merciless massacre of dolphins.

It has become painfully evident to me that they simply have a perverse lust for killing. They do it for money AND they do it because they enjoy it. We can see it in their eyes, this lust for inflicting gross suffering and death.

The Dolphin drives are an organized highly ruthless slave trade. Slavery is where the money is, the meat trade is minor by comparison. They could enslave dolphins without killing any and still make a huge profit. The reason they don’t do so is very simple – they like to kill.

What has been going down in Taiji can only be understood as a form of collective insanity. We cannot expect reason, compassion, pity, empathy and kindness will have any influence on the minds of psychopathic individuals and collectively Taiji has become a community of psychopaths backed up by the not surprising psychopathic politicians, passing laws against compassion, empathy, kindness and pity.

Because of this I came to the realization that continuing to be in Taiji, with the increasingly difficult possibilities of even being there, was becoming very unproductive.

We have achieved nothing since 2003, not a single dolphin saved since 2003. Yes, we have raised awareness throughout the world but Japan does not care what the rest of the world thinks or feels.

Sea Shepherd is not abandoning our opposition to the despicable cruelty and killings. We are simply changing strategies and developing new tactics.

We have 14 years of documentation so there is little that continues to happen that we have not already captured on film. We need to get these images out to the public – in Japan.

We need to develop a Japanese website and Japanese social media. We need to make the Japanese people at least as aware as the rest of the world. We need to develop economic strategies aimed at Japan with a special focus on the Olympics in 2020. We need to research legal options.

Unfortunately we’ve done all that we practically and strategically can accomplish on the ground in Taiji.

We are refocusing and planning for a new strategy.

The Cove Guardians were heroic, steadfast and I appreciate the efforts of each and every person who spent time on the ground there. They suffered harassment and abuse including numerous abuses from the police and fishermen and most importantly they had to endure the trauma of witnessing the monstrous acts of cruelty and murder.

They did all that could have been done within the context of having to do so within Japanese territory under the ever present watch of the police and rejection from border guards.

When I first organized the Cove Guardians I felt confident that it could have success but I did not take into account the one factor that makes it difficult to overcome such a heartless behavior and makes it impossible to deal with the situation in any meaningful way.

That factor is insanity. We can’t reason or appeal to the heart of a Psychopath because we have been looking for something that does not exist – their heart!

We must develop a new and effective approach.

Uncover Photo

What I learned the day a dying whale spared my life

It was 1975, Greenpeace’s first campaign, and the bodies of six Soviet-slaughtered whales were lying lifeless in the swell. I thought to myself, is humanity really this insane?
Greenpeace first anti whaling campaign : Phyllis Cormack ship and Paul Watson on Killed Whale
 Paul Watson on top of a slaughtered whale calf in the foreground, with the Greenpeace ship Phyllis Cormack behind, on 26 June 1975. Photograph: Rex Weyler/Greenpeace

The greatest gift that I have ever received is also my great and enduring curse.

It was June 1975 and I was a crew member on the first Greenpeace campaign to protect the whales. It was off the coast of northern California, 60 miles offshore. Before us, spread across the waters like some invading foreign armada, was the Soviet whaling fleet.

The ships were grey, black, and freckled with rust. From out of the side of the largest vessel, the huge factory ship Dalni Vostok, a steady stream of thick steaming blood poured into the sea.

We felt pretty small on board the 85ft Phyllis Cormack, the halibut seiner we had chartered out of British Columbia, skippered by big no-nonsense Captain John C Cormack.

We were a crew of 13 and I was the first officer.

This was before the 200 territorial limit had been imposed and when the Russians freely fished and whaled up to 13 miles off the shore. The Americans did not like it, but legally there was nothing they could do. Thus it fell to a small band of idealistic young Canadians to challenge the whale killers off the Californian coast.

We had been searching for them since April starting in the north off the Queen Charlotte Islands. It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack and we had no idea of where to even begin looking.

However in early June we received a tip-off from a source I can never reveal in Washington DC that if we wanted to find the Russian whalers, we needed to go south. As we proceeded south, the source supplied us with the movements of the Soviet fleet.

And there we were, 60 miles off the town of Eureka, approaching a massive factory ship and three fast, killer boats, each mounted with harpoons painted the colour of robin’s eggs.

We caught them hunting, arriving on the scene just as a harpoon tore into the backside of a young sperm whale. The whalers left it there floating with a radio buoy attached as they took off in pursuit of another victim.

We launched a Zodiac inflatable and I stood in the bow, the bowline wrapped tightly around my wrist for support as we approached the body bobbing up and down in the swells.

I stepped off the Zodiac and on to the carcass of the whale. It was still very warm and blood oozed and bubbled from a gaping raw wound in its side. A long yellow polypropylene rope protruded from the ugly wound. It had been cut and the nylon strands danced about on the surface of the water, whipping rivulets of blood into a salmon pink tinted foam.

The Phyllis Cormack came alongside for our photographer Rex Weyler to take a picture of the whale, using my body as a gauge to measure the animal. It was small, around 22 feet. A young whale.

My bare hand on the whale felt the warmth of its body and the blood on my skin was hot. The whale was lying on its left side and the right eye was open, staring sightlessly skyward. The lower jaw opened and closed with each swell and I could see the lower two rows of pointed teeth.

Suddenly there was a shout from the Phyllis Cormack. The harpoon vessel was returning and they had a fire hose blasting a stream of high-pressure water from the bow.

I jumped into the Zodiac as the Soviets quickly lashed the dead whale to the side of their ship and made way back to the factory ship. We followed and filmed them as they transferred the whale over to the slipway, where it was hauled by cables and winches up on to the flensing deck, where men with long sharp knives waited to flay the body.

More blood gushed from the scuppers into the sea.

And we felt so helpless, so small, and so useless.

After the harpoon vessels transferred their whales, they spread out to resume the killing. We followed one of the harpooners in three Zodiacs as the Phyllis Cormack slowly followed.

It was not long before the Russians found another pod, and once again the chase was on. But this time we were chasing the whalers as they pursued the whales.

Our strategy was simple. We would place our bodies between the whales and the harpoon. We were Gandhi-influenced non-violent advocates, and this was the only tactic we could think of to protect the whales without injuring the whalers.

We had practiced what we would do for over a year and I turned to Bob Hunter, our expedition leader, who was in the boat with me, and said, “Well Bob, this is it. Let’s do it.”

I gunned the outboard motor, and our inflatable boat roared ahead of the harpoon vessel, with the other two inflatables on either side. Within minutes we were racing ahead of the whaler and behind a pod of eight magnificent sperm whales.

They were racing for their lives, unable to take in enough air for a deep dive. They were spouting rapidly and we could see rainbows sparkling from the mist they expelled into the air. We were so close we could smell their breath, and our objective was to block the path of the harpoon.

Would the Soviets risk killing a human being to slay a whale? The answer to that question was a mystery to us.

But we were tempting them to give us an answer one way or another. As our three inflatable boats raced before the bow, I looked back to see an ape of a man stooping behind the massive harpoon cannon, trying to get one of the whales in his sight. He was not succeeding, and was clearly frustrated.

Suddenly a larger man came storming forward along the catwalk and began yelling into the ear of the Soviet harpooner. The harpooner nodded and crouched down behind his gun as the man who we later identified as the captain stood up and looked down at us with a smile. He brought his finger slowly across his throat, and that was when we realised that Gandhi was not going to work for us that day.

I saw the pod of whales rise up on a swell in front of us just as the harpoon vessel rode up on a swell behind us. As our inflatables descended into the deep trough between the two large swells, a horrendous explosion boomed over the whales.

The explosive-tipped harpoon whizzed through the air above as the attached cable slashed down upon the water close by, cleaving the surface like a heavy sword.

In front of us a female sperm whale screamed in pain as she rolled on her side, with a fountain of hot steaming blood pouring from her. Beside her, the largest whale in the pod rose up from the surface of the sea and dove. As his mighty tail slapped the water with a bang, he disappeared. The other six whales carried on fleeing as the huge male turned to defend them.

For a moment we thought he would attack us. We had all seen the old prints and woodcuts of enraged sperm whales cutting Yankee whaling boats in half with their sabre-like teeth, spilling wounded whalers into the sea.

We had little time to think as the ocean exploded behind us, and this great whale hurled himself from the water trying to reach the man behind the harpoon.

They were ready for him and had quickly reloaded the harpoon gun with a unattached harpoon. As the whale rose up and out of the water, the harpooner lowered the gun, pulling the trigger at point black range. With a thundering explosion the harpoon tore into the whale’s head.

He screamed. It was an excruciating cry of pain, shock, and confusion. He fell back into the sea, rolling in agony on the surface in a sea stained scarlet with his blood.

The two dying whales struggled to hold on to life between the harpoon boat and the six of us in three boats, sitting motionless on the swells.

I could not take my eyes off the dying whale closest to us. His tail flayed the sea and pink foam frothed all around him.

Then suddenly the whale was looking directly at me. I saw his huge eye and I could see that he saw me. At that moment he dove once again and I saw pink bloody bubbles coming to the surface, moving closer to our boat. Within seconds the whale’s head shot above the surface of the sea and began to tower above, rising higher, but as if in slow motion, and angled so that we could see that his intent was to come crashing down upon us.

And as his head rose ever higher I saw that eye once again, so close that I could see my own reflection in that deep dark orb. Suddenly I was struck with the realisation that this whale understood what we were doing.

His lower jaw hung down almost touching the side of our inflatable boat, so close that I could have reached across and encircled one of the six-inch teeth with my fingers.

His muscles tensed and he stopped rising, and began to slowly slide at an angle back into the sea. I kept eye contact with him until his eye sank beneath the surface of the sea and disappeared.

And so he died.

He could have killed us, but he had not, and the look in that eye has haunted me ever since.

I felt understanding and I knew he knew that we were there to save him, not to kill him. I felt ashamed that we had failed. I felt powerless and angry, frustrated and awed all at once. I felt indebted to him for sparing my life.

But I also saw something else in that eye, and that was pity.

Not for himself nor for his kind, but for us.

An uncomfortable pallor of shame fell over me as I sensed what the whale perceived. It was indeed pity, but pity for us, that we could take life so ruthlessly, so thoughtlessly, and so mercilessly; and for what?

We sat there in our little inflatable boats in the midst of the Soviet whaling fleet with the bodies of a half dozen sperm whales lying lifeless in the swell. I watched the sun begin to set in the west and I remembered that the Russians were killing whales primarily for the valuable spermaceti oil.

Spermaceti oil is valued for its high resistance to heat, and thus it is used in machinery where there is excessive heat. One of the demands for this oil by the Soviets was for use in the production on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Here they were slaughtering these magnificent, intelligent, socially complex, wondrous sentient beings for the purpose of making a weapon designed for the mass extermination of human beings.

And I thought to myself, are we really this insane?

It is that thought, that unanswered question, that has haunted me every day since.

It is from what I saw in the eye of that whale that has led me to devote my entire adult life to the defence of the whales and the other creatures of the sea, because I know that if we cannot save the whales, the turtles, the sharks, the tuna, and the complex marine biodiversity, that the oceans will not survive. If the life in our oceans is diminished, humanity is diminished and if the oceans die, humanity will die; for we cannot survive on this planet with a dead ocean.

 Captain Paul Watson is a co-founder of the Greenpeace Foundation and the founder in 1977 of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He is currently on board the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin intervening against the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary by the Japanese whaling fleet

Sea Shepherd abandons pursuit of Japanese whalers, lashes ‘hostile governments’

http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2108739/sea-shepherd-abandons-pursuit-japanese-whalers-lashes-hostile

Captain Paul Watson accuses ‘hostile governments’ in the US, Australia and New Zealand of being in league with Tokyo

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 August, 2017, 12:43pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 August, 2017, 9:46pm

The anti-whaling vessel Sea Shepherd will not contest the Southern Ocean against Japanese whalers this season, Captain Paul Watson has announced, accusing “hostile governments” in the US, Australia and New Zealand of acting “in league with Japan” against the protest vessel.

Sea Shepherd has been obstructing Japanese whaling vessels in the Southern Ocean each year since 2005, but Watson said the cost of sending vessels south, Japan’s increased use of military technology to track them, and new anti-terrorism laws passed specifically to thwart Sea Shepherd’s activities made physically tracking the ships impossible.

Australia took Japan to the international court of justice over its Southern Ocean whaling programme in 2014, winning a judgement that condemned Japan’s whaling programmes as being in breach of the International Whaling Commission’s ban on commercial whaling. The court rejected Japan’s argument that its whaling was for “scientific” purposes.

Watson said his volunteer organisation could not compete with Japanese military satellite technology, which tracked Sea Shepherd in the ocean. Japan has also passed anti-terrorism laws that make protest ships’ presence near whalers a terrorist offence.

“We’re just a group of volunteers trying to do the impossible, trying to do the job Australia and New Zealand and the United States and all these others countries should be doing but they’re too busy appeasing Japan.”

In a statement on Monday, Watson said the Japanese whaling companies “not only have all the resources and subsidies their government can provide, they also have the powerful political backing of a major economic superpower. Sea Shepherd however is limited in resources and we have hostile governments against us in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.”

Speaking on radio in Australia, Watson accused the Australian government of acting in league with Japan, indirectly supporting whaling by obstructing Sea Shepherd’s activities.

“Australia is definitely in league with Japan,” he said.

“When our ships come in we’re harassed, we’re investigated, we’re searched, when our crew come in from other countries they have problems getting visas. We’ve been applying for charity status for 10 years – they won’t give it to us. This has been extremely hostile.”

The Sea Shepherd’s pursuit of whaling vessels has also attracted criticism. The Japanese government has described Sea Shepherd as “ecoterrorists” and sought to have Watson placed on an Interpol watchlist.

Watch: 2010 anti-whaling clash in Antarctic

Why a ‘pirate’ who has tried to stop whalers near Antarctica is stopping

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/08/29/why-a-pirate-whos-tried-to-stop-whalers-near-antarctica-is-stopping/?utm_term=.53fc1d4b44f1
 August 29 at 3:29 PM

Crew members aboard the Sea Shepherd vessel the Bob Barker react as the Japanese whaling vessel Yushin Maru 3 crosses close to its bow during a six-hour-long ordeal at close quarters in the Antarctic in 2014. (Simon Ager/Sea Shepherd Australia/Reuters)

Every year, Japanese boats with the word “RESEARCH” stenciled on the side head to the Southern Ocean to hunt for hundreds of whales. And every year since 2005, Paul Watson has used pirate-like tactics to try to stop them.

The ships of Watson’s Sea Shepherd Conservation Society nestle up to the back of the large Japanese factory boats that winch whale carcasses up a ramp for processing. Staying so close, Watson says, is a risky but nonviolent way of preventing the vessels from hauling in whales.

“We thought the best way to do this was to intervene directly,” Watson told The Washington Post. He and other international critics say the whales aren’t killed for research at all. “We block their ability to load dead whales and if we do that, they can’t hunt.”

But now, Sea Shepherd is stopping.

The organization said the Japanese have used military-grade satellite tracking to evade Watson’s whale-hunt-ending ships, which simply can’t get close enough.

In the past two years, Watson said, his organization’s ships have only caught glimpses of the Japanese whaling vessels.

“Every time we approached them, they would be just over the horizon,” he told The Post. “They knew where we were at every moment. We’re literally wasting our time and our money.”

It amounts to about $4 million per expedition, nearly a third of the nonprofit’s total yearly budget. And that wasted money could be better used to protect other marine animals around the world, Watson said, instead of endlessly chasing Japanese whalers.

The nonprofit group has been operating in the oceans near Antarctica since 2005, when it took the Farley Mowat, a “battered and slow vessel” out to thwart whalers, according to a news release.

Over the years, they added five other vessels, including one named after “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, and they claimed more and more successes.

At the same time, they’ve been engaged in other efforts to prevent poaching and illegal fishing across the globe. The battles aren’t just at close quarters in the high seas but are also in international courts of law.

Watson said one judge deemed him a pirate because of his tactics. Over the past 40 years, Sea Shepherd has engaged in embargoes and sunk several ships in the 1970s and 1980s. That was decades ago, Watson said, but he conceded that even blocking the whaling vessels involves dangerous maneuvering at close quarters.

Watson was one of the founding members of Greenpeace in 1969, but was expelled seven years later for what the organization deemed violent actions. He said he took a club away from a man who was attacking baby seals.

A Post story in 1979 dubbed him the “angry shepherd of the seas.”

“People sometimes say I have a suicide complex,” Watson told The Post’s Henry Mitchell for that story, which detailed his attempt to get between whalers’ harpoons and their intended target. “Well, in fact I enjoy being alive, more than most people. But people can’t believe a man will risk death to save whales. That’s what they can’t understand. So they think I’m crazy or that I attach no value to my life.”

Watson conceded there’s an air of oceanic vigilantism to what he does, but he told The Post that in his four decades of protecting sea animals, no one has been killed or injured. And he believes some of the people he’s trying to combat are violating international laws. The rest, he said, are just outright poaching. He described Sea Shepherd as an “interventionist anti-poaching organization.”

“Our opposition are criminals,” he said Tuesday. “These people are operating against the law. We shouldn’t be out there doing this. The governments of the world should be doing this. We would gladly step aside if they would do what they’re supposed to be doing.”

The legalized whaling is particularly vexing, Watson said, because the Japanese say they are killing the animals in the name of research.

As The Post’s Rachel Feltman wrote in 2015: “Most of the whales won’t end up in laboratories, but on dinner plates. Japanese officials claim that the specimens will be used to study the health and migration patterns of minke whales, but some argue that these research vessels have never been anything but a way around commercial whaling bans imposed in 1986.”

Even then, Wired wrote in 2015, only a small percentage of Japanese eat whale meat. The magazine cited a 2006 poll conducted by the Nippon Research Center that found that 95 percent of Japanese people very rarely or never eat whale meat. And the amount of uneaten frozen whale meat stockpiled in Japan has doubled to 4,600 tons between 2002 and 2012.

And the Japanese government spends about $50 million a year to heavily subsidize whaling, according to National Geographic. The staunchest advocates say it is a centuries-old tradition — and that no outside nation or international treaty should be able to tell the sovereign nation what it can hunt.

 
2015: Japan resumes ‘scientific’ whale hunts
Japan restarted its “scientific whaling” program on Dec. 1, 2015 after a year-long hiatus, amid international condemnation for the practice. (Reuters)

“And just as the whale has become symbolic for environmental groups like Greenpeace, it has, in response, become symbolic for the Japanese, too,” Wired wrote.

Kazuhiko Kobayashi, an agronomy professor, told the magazine that the “strong condemnation of whaling by the foreigners is taken as harassing the traditional values.”

While Watson’s role in the conflict has been paused, he emphasized that his group isn’t abandoning whales in the south seas. They’re simply trying to be practical as they figure out a better way to do it.

They still claimed a victory of sorts, having saved whales for a dozen years, and shined a light on whalers’ practices.

“The Japanese whalers have been exposed, humiliated and most importantly have been denied thousands of lives that we have spared from their deadly harpoons,” a statement from Sea Shepherd said. “Thousands of whales are now swimming and reproducing, that would now be dead if not for our intervene.”

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Seismic Testing to Begin in Atlantic Ocean in Push for Offshore Drilling

Seismic Testing to Begin in Atlantic Ocean in Push for Offshore Drilling

The Interior Department announced it is moving forward with seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean following President Donald Trump‘s executive order last month to aggressively expand offshore drilling in protected areas off the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

Six permit applications by energy companies—ones that were rejected by the Obama administration—are being reviewed by the department.

The oil and gas industry has long pushed for seismic surveys used to search for oil and gas deposits deep below the ocean’s surface.

However, environmental groups warn that the surveys are an extremely loud and dangerous process.

“Seismic airguns create one of the loudest manmade sounds in the ocean, firing intense blasts of compressed air every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day, for weeks to months on end,” Dustin Cranor, Oceana‘s senior director of U.S. communications, told EcoWatch. “The noise from these blasts is so loud that it can be heard up to 2,500 miles from the source, which is approximately the distance from Washington, DC to Las Vegas.”

“These blasts are of special concern to marine life, including fish, turtles and whales, which depend on sound for communication and survival,” Cranor said. He noted that the government’s own estimates show that seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic could injure as many as 138,000 marine mammals like dolphins and whales, while disturbing the vital activities of millions more.

Furthermore, Greenpeace said “pursuing this development stands at cross-purposes with the nation’s necessary and rapidly accelerating move away from fossil fuels, and with previous commitments to address global climate change.”

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Capt. Paul Watson explained, “One of the major threats to the survival of cetaceans, is noise pollution. More seismic testing and military LFS testing will result in more strandings. This decision equates to a death sentence for thousands of whales and dolphins.”

Seismic data has not been gathered in the mid- and south-Atlantic regions, from northern Florida to Delaware, for at least 30 years.

The Interior Department said that the surveys are needed to update information about the Outer Continental Shelf that was gathered more than three decades ago, “when technology was not as advanced as today.”

The Associated Press reported that any new drilling activity is expected to be limited to the coasts of Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia.

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said that the surveys will help “a variety of federal and state partners better understand our nation’s offshore areas … and evaluate resources that belong to the American people.”

Industry groups applauded the department’s decision to review the permit applications. “There has been no documented scientific evidence of noise from these surveys adversely affecting marine animal populations or coastal communities,” Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association, said.

Trump’s executive order was aimed at rolling back President Obama’s permanent ban on new offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

“Renewed offshore energy production will reduce the cost of energy, create countless new jobs, and make America more secure and far more energy independent,” Trump said before signing the document last month.

But Greenpeace said that Atlantic drilling would threaten the region’s vibrant fishing and tourism industry, warning that “a spill equivalent to the BP Gulf oil disaster could coat beaches stretching from Savannah to Boston.”

Additionally, Cranor pointed out that more than 120 East Coast municipalities, 1,200 elected officials, and an alliance representing 35,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families have publicly opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting.

“These individuals and groups understand that nearly 1.4 million jobs and more than $95 billion in gross domestic product are at risk if dangerous offshore drilling activities occur in the Atlantic Ocean,” Cranor explained.

Conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against President Trump, challenging his decision to reverse President Obama’s ban.

200 Year Old Whale Killed–Enough is Enough!

Comment by Captain Paul Watson:

For 200 years this incredible whale has swum through the waters of the Arctic Ocean.

200 HUNDREDS YEARS!!

Two centuries ago it was 1817. This whale was alive before the American Civil War. This whale was alive before Thomas Jefferson died. This whale was alive before the ship ESSEX was sunk by a Sperm whale. This whale is older than the Mormon church!

When this whale was born, African Americans were just commodities to be bought and sold. When this whale was born, women had very few rights and Native Americans were being slaughtered. well, because of manifest destiny, killed because of White American culture.

And now some 16-year old kid is a frigging “hero” for snuffing out the life of this unique self aware, intelligent, social, sentient being, but hey, it’s okay because murdering whales is a part of his culture, part of his tradition.

He went out in his “traditional” metal boat, powered by a “traditional” outboard motor, armed with a “traditional” exploding harpoon and “traditional” high powered rifle and they all hauled the great grandmother of a whale into the shore with a “traditional power” winch.

I don’t give a damn for the bullshit politically correct attitude that certain groups of people have a “right” to murder a whale.

Their so called “right” is not as important as the right of the whales to live, survive and to thrive.

TWO HUNDRED GODDAMN YEARS and this little prick snuffs out her life just because because he legally can. I hope he chokes on the blubber.

People like the Yupik, the Faroese, the thugs in Taiji, the Orca killing scum in St. Vincent and the whaling gangsters of Iceland, Norway and Japan are despicable murderous bastards all justifying their cruel infliction of death in the name of this mother of all justifications – culture.

Am I angry? Damn right I am. Enough is enough. I don’t care what self righteous ethnic label anyone may want to pin on themselves, killing a whale can never be justified in the name of tradition or culture.

TWO HUNDRED GODDAMN YEARS!! WTF!!

And for those who demand that I respect anyone’s “right” to kill a whale or a dolphin, my answer is I have never, I do not and I will never respect the infliction of suffering and death to any cetacean.

And for those who say, well you eat meat? No I don’t, and I would no more respect this horrific murder of this incredible sentient being than I would of the culture of cannibalism.

And by the way I have been to Gambell in 1981 where I saw the Yupik shooting walrus with M-16 rifles just for the ivory. The number of stinking rotting Walrus bodies I saw that summer was obscene.

https://www.adn.com/…/a-teenager-on-a-gambell-whaling-crew-…

Sixteen-year-old Chris Apassingok struck the 57-foot-long bowhead.
ADN.COM

Top Ten Misconceptions About Sea Shepherd

  1.   http://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/top-ten-misconceptions-about-sea-shepherd

    Sam SimonImages credit: Sea Shepherd

    By MarEx 2017-04-14 21:23:38

    MarEx spoke to Captain Paul Watson, Founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, to get his views on misconceptions about the organization.

    Is Sea Shepherd an eco-terrorist organization?

    No, none of us work for Monsanto. Seriously, since I established Sea Shepherd in 1977, we have not caused a single injury to a single person nor have we suffered a single injury to any of our crew. We don’t carry guns, and we operate within the boundaries of the law. None us have been convicted of a felony crime.

    We work in partnerships with government agencies like Mexico, Ecuador, Gabon, Italy and Liberia within their territorial waters. In International waters, we intervene against illegal activities in accordance with the United Nations World Charter for Nature that allows for intervention by NGO’s to uphold international conservation law.

    Is Sea Shepherd a protest organization?

    I established Sea Shepherd as an anti-poaching organization to intervene against illegal activities. We are not a protest organization. We investigate, document and directly intervene against illegal activities that exploit marine wildlife.

    Does Sea Shepherd comply with marine safety regulations?

    Sea Shepherd looks on marine safety as a priority in all our operations. We have an unblemished record for safety. Not one crewmember has been lost or seriously injured in 40 years. Every ship is equipped with more than adequate safety and fire fighting equipment and all crewmembers are subject to training and regular safety drills. On major campaigns like the Southern Ocean, the ships carry a medical officer with substantial medical resources.

    Sea Shepherd campaigns can be risky and I do insist that all crewmembers be aware of the risks that will be undertaken. When critics say we put our crew at risk, they are right, but our position is that risking our lives to defend endangered species or threatened habitat is an acceptable risk and far more noble than risking lives to defend oil wells, real estate, corporate interest and religion.

    Is Sea Shepherd a U.S. based organization?

    No, in fact Sea Shepherd is not actually an organization but rather a collective of numerous national entities, all registered independently within their own nations. Sea Shepherd is more of a movement with representation throughout Austral-Asia, North and South America, Europe and Africa.

    Sea Shepherd Global based in Amsterdam is the coordinating center for all Sea Shepherd entities except for Sea Shepherd USA, which is prohibited by the U.S. Federal Court from direct association with other Sea Shepherd entities that oppose illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. The ships are registered in the Netherlands, the USA, Barbados and Australia.

    Why is Sea Shepherd so small compared to other organizations?

    After 40 years, we could have been a much larger organization like Greenpeace or Oceana. However, from the beginning we decided we would not be a fund raising bureaucracy. We do not spend large sums of donor money on fund-raising and promotion. We don’t hire people to stand on the streets to sign up members. We don’t spend money advertising.  We keep the administration to a minimum and the ships are 90 percent volunteers.

    Support comes from word of mouth, visits to the ships and from people watching Whale Wars or seeing our documentaries. We want people to know that when they donate to Sea Shepherd the money goes to ships and campaigns. Sea Shepherd believes that the passion of our volunteers accomplishes more than having an organization with a large bank account.

    Some members of the public believe we must have tens of millions of dollars to operate our ships and campaigns. The truth is we don’t. We operate 10 ships on a budget of less than five percent of the Greenpeace budget.

    Are Sea Shepherd ships manned with experienced and nautically trained professionals?

    Not in the traditional sense. Our ships are registered as yachts so we do not need to comply with strict manning regulations. Our crews are volunteers from all over the world from all walks of life. Back in 1911, Ernest Shackleton was criticized for not having a professional crew. He answered that he needed men of passion, not professionals.

    The fact is that I could not pay professionals enough to do what our volunteers do for little or no wages. We look for experienced deck and engine officers. If we can’t find an experienced engineer, we do hire one if need be. Our officers train the volunteers.

    We have had astrophysicists and math teachers serving as watch officers, we have had motorcycle and truck mechanics working in the engine room. We have had retired naval, coast guard and merchant officers.

    On major campaigns, we always carry a qualified medical doctor in addition to crew with EMT certification. It’s a balance between experienced and inexperienced crewmembers. All volunteers are vetted by a crewing director.

    Over forty years we have never lost a crewmember nor has any crewmember suffered a life-threatening injury. The ships hold monthly fire and safety drills or more if there is a change of crew.

    Is Sea Shepherd an animal rights organization?

    Some media describe Sea Shepherd as an animal rights organization. However, Sea Shepherd is not an animal rights organization. Sea Shepherd is a marine conservation organization specializing in anti-poaching activities. This misconception may be because all Sea Shepherd ships are 100 percent vegan vessels. They are vegan vessels for conservation and environmental reasons considering the ecological damage the meat and fishing industries are causing.

    Is Sea Shepherd a leftist movement, or is it a right-wing movement?

    The conservative call us liberal, the liberals call us conservatives. We are neither left nor right.  Sea Shepherd does not hold a political position on anything. We are not left nor right, we are in front. We are motivated only by conservation principles. Our clients are the marine species we defend.

    Does Sea Shepherd carry and use weapons?

    Despite accusations that we use firearms, we don’t. None of the ships have any guns onboard. Instead we the ships are armed with a far more powerful weapon – cameras.

    A favorite accusation from Sea Shepherd critics is that you are not qualified to be a Captain and therefore should not call myself a captain. Is that true?

    I find this accusation amusing, because it tends to come from week-end sailors or fishermen who rarely go out of sight of land. The truth is that I don’t hold a commercial ticket nor would I want to. Our ships are all registered as yachts, and I am qualified to be a yacht master.

    I was trained as a seaman with the Norwegian and Swedish Merchant marine, as a fireman with Canadian Pacific Steamships and I served in the Canadian Coast Guard on weather ships, buoy tenders and as a hovercraft rescue officer. I was first mate on all Greenpeace campaigns from 1971-1977.

    My qualifications have not been questioned or denied by any ports of call we have entered or cleared and my experience is deep-sea, ice navigation and trans-ocean including leading ten expeditions to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. If I was not qualified I would not have been able to command our ships since 1978 until the present day.

    The opinions expressed herein are the author’s and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.

The Laws Of Ecology And The Survival Of The Human Species

08/05/2016 04:04 pm ET | Updated Aug 05, 2016

The Laws Of Ecology And The Survival Of The Human Species

I was raised in a small fishing village on the Passamaquoddy Bay in New Brunswick, Canada and I still vividly remember the way things were in the Fifties. The way things were then is not the way things are now.

I’m not talking about technological, industrial or scientific progress. I’m referring to the health and stability of eco-systems. What was once strong is now weak. What was once rich in diversity is now very much the poorer.

I have been blessed, or perhaps cursed, with the gift of near total recall. I see the images of the past as clearly as the days that were. As a result it has been difficult for me to adapt to diminishment. I see the shells on the beaches that are no longer there, the little crabs under the rocks, now gone, the schools of fishes, the pods of dolphins, the beaches free of plastic.

I began traveling the world in 1967 — hitch-hiking and riding the rails across Canada; joining the Norwegian merchant marine; crossing the Pacific and Indian Oceans; traveling through Japan, Iran, Mozambique and South Africa, working as a tour guide in Turkey and Syria, co-founding the Greenpeace Foundation in 1972 and, in 1977, founding the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson some forty years ago when he founded the non-profit.

Many things that I saw then no longer exist – or have been severely damaged, changed and diminished.

In the Sixties we did not buy water in plastic bottles. In the Sixties the word ‘sustainable ‘was never used in an ecological context, and except for Rachel Carson, there were very few with the vision to see into the future, where we were going, what we were doing.

But slowly, awareness crept into the psyche of more and more people. People began to understand what the word ecology meant. We saw the creation of Earth Day, and in 1972, the first global meeting on the environment in Stockholm, Sweden that I covered as a journalist.

Gradually, the insight into what were doing became more prevalent and to those who understood, the price to be paid was to be labeled radicals, militants, and a new word – eco-terrorist.

The real “crime” of eco-terrorism was not burning down a ski lodge, toppling a power line or spiking a tree. Such things are only outbursts of desperation and frustration. The real crime of eco-terrorism was having thought, perception, and imagination. In other words, the questioning of the modern economic, corporate and political paradigm.

The word eco-terrorism should be more accurately used for the destruction caused by progress like the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal or the BP Deep Water Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Picture of an oil rig taken during Sea Shepherd’s Operation Toxic Gulf in 2014.

In the Seventies, the late Robert Hunter, along with Roberta Hunter, Dr. Patrick Moore, David Garrick, Rod Marining and myself observed and wrote down the three laws of ecology. What we realized was that these laws are the key to the survival of biodiversity on the planet and also the key to the survival of the human species. We realized that no species could survive outside of the three basic and imperative ecological laws.

The law of diversity: The strength of an eco-system is dependent upon the diversity of species within it.

The law of interdependence: All species are interdependent with each other.

The law of finite resources: There are limits to growth and limits to carrying capacity.

The increase of population in one species leads to the increase in consumption
of resources by that species. This leads to diminishment of diversity of other species, which in turn leads to diminishment of interdependence among species.

For example, increasing diminishment of phytoplankton populations in the sea is causing diminishment of many other species as well as a 40% diminishment in oxygen production since 1950. Diminishment of whale populations has contributed to the diminishment of phytoplankton populations because whale feces are a major source of nutrients (esp. iron and nitrogen) for phytoplankton.

The planet simply cannot tolerate 7.5 billion (and growing) primarily meat and fish eating necrovores. The killing of 65 billion domestic animals each year is contributing more greenhouse gases to the planet than the entire transportation industry. The industrial stripping of life from the sea is causing unprecedented biodiversity collapse in marine eco-systems.

Ecological systems globally are collapsing from coral reefs to rainforests because humanity is exploiting resources far beyond the capacity of eco-systems to create and renew natural resources.

Diminishment of eco-systems is also leading to the breakdown of human social structures causing global conflict in the form of wars and domestic violence. Terrorism is not the cause of society’s problems, it is merely a symptom.

Humans are compromised by medieval paradigms like territorial dominance, hierarchical desires and superstitious beliefs combined with primitive primate behavior like greed and fear.

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Sea Shepherd’s 2010 Faeroe Islands Dolphin Defense Campaign: Operation Grindstop. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd /Sofia Jonsson

The fishing village that I lived in as a child is no longer a fishing village. The relative innocence of our lives as children of the Fifties and Sixties is no more. The African bush, the Arctic tundra, the marine reserve of the Galapagos Islands, the Great Barrier Reef, the Amazonian rainforests that I once traveled through are no longer what they recently were.

Humans have this amazing ability to adapt to diminishment. It’s a trait that was exceptionally useful when we lived as hunter-gatherers. We adapted to food shortages, to changes in the weather and to the world as it evolved around us. Today we are trying to adapt to the destruction brought on by ourselves and that adaption is taking the form of more and more control by governments and corporations and a blind reliance on corporate technologies.

We no longer have the empathy we once felt. I vividly remember the events of October 23rd, 1958. I was seven years old on the day of the Springhill Mine Disaster in Nova Scotia. 75 men died and 99 were rescue. I remember crying for the fate of people I did not know and feeling excited every time a miner was brought to the surface alive. I no longer have that capacity. Perhaps I lost it when I became an adult, or perhaps society no longer has room for such emotions.

Disaster happened and we grieved for people we did not know. A few weeks ago nearly 100 people were viciously murdered within a few kilometres of where I live when a deranged man mowed them down with a large truck in Nice, France. Last week, a priest was beheaded in France. Every week brings us more stories about mass killings in the Middle East, Africa, America etc. It’s a worldwide pain-fest of chaos and violence and yet it is met with complacency for the most part and a predictable Facebook posting of — “say a prayer for Paris, or Orlando, or Nice, or Beirut, or Istanbul” in a litany of self-indulgent adaptation to tragedy, before being quickly forgotten.

This is not the world of my childhood. We remembered the horrors of World War II with real emotion. I remember talking with both World War I and World War II veterans and feeling their pain. Today it’s just another short-term item on the news, in a world that seeks to escape through movies, celebrities, video games and increasingly more fanatical religious fervor.

Here is the reality. As human populations increase, the consumption of resources increases with it. But because resources are finite and the rate of renewables is overcome by demand, this can only lead to one result — the collapse of resource availability.

And because we are literally stealing resources from other species, this will lead to
diminishment of species and habitats, which will contribute to even more resource diminishment.

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Sea Shepherd’s 2008 Seal Defense Campaign photographs the murder and carcass dragging of a seal. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd / Greg Hager

At COP 21, I called for an end to worldwide government subsidies for industrialized fishing and at least a 50-year moratorium on commercial industrialized fishing. That solution was not given a moment’s thought at a conference that did not even take into account the imperative role of the Ocean in addressing climate change.

My opinion of COP 21 is that governments were not looking for solutions. They were looking for the appearance of solutions. They certainly did not want to hear about solutions from people like me. They want solutions that are accompanied by jobs and profit. The one thing they do not want is any form of economic sacrifice.

I also do not believe that the majority of humanity — certainly not the leadership — understand the true gravity of the situation. There are six viewpoints concerning climate change: 1. Denial 2. Acceptance, with the view of it being a positive development. 3. Acceptance with the belief that science and technology will save the day. 4. Acceptance, but refusal to fully appreciate the consequences. 5. Apathy. 6. Acceptance with the resolve to find real solutions.

Those who are in denial have vested self interests in doing so, motivated primarily by greed or ignorance. My old Greenpeace colleague Patrick Moore sees climate change as an opportunity for longer growing seasons and better weather. (He lives in Canada and I don’t think he’s really thought it through.) Others like Elon Musk see our salvation in science, in moving off-world or developing artificial eco-systems on Earth. Most responsible world leaders recognize the problem but are too politically-impotent to address it with realistic solutions because those solutions would not be politically popular. And as with everything, the majority of the world is apathetic and too self-absorbed with entertaining themselves (developed world) or surviving (underdeveloped world).

On this path we are on now, the future is somewhat predictable. More resource wars, more poverty, more accumulation of wealth by the minority of privileged people, more disease, more civil strife and with the collapse of biodiversity – global mass starvation, and pestilence.

The rich tapestry of all our cultures and all our achievements in science and the arts hangs by threads linked to biodiversity.

If the bees are diminished, our crops are diminished. If the forests are diminished, we are diminished. If phytoplankton dies, we die! If the grasses die, we die!

We exist because of the geo-engineering contributions of millions of diverse species that keep our life support systems running. From bacteria to whales, from algae to the redwoods. If we undermine the foundations of this planetary life-support system, all that we have ever created will fall. We will be no more.

We made the mistake of declaring war on nature, and because of our technologies it looks like we are going to win this war. But because we are a part of nature, we will destroy ourselves in the process. Our enemy is ourselves and we are slowly becoming aware of that indisputable fact. We are destroying ourselves in a fruitless effort to save the image of what we believe ourselves to be.

In this war, we are slaughtering — through direct or indirect exploitation — millions of species and reducing their numbers to dangerously low levels while at the same time increasing human numbers to dangerously high levels.

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Dolphin offal and intestines photographed during the 2011-12 Taiji Dolphin Defense Campaign. Photo credit: Sea Shepherd / Christoph Heylen

We are fighting this war against nature with chemicals, industrialized equipment, ever increasing extraction technologies (like fracking) and repression against any and all voices that rise up in dissent.

In our wake over the past two centuries we have left a trail of billions of bodies. We have tortured, slain, abused and wasted so many lives, obliterated entire species; and reduced rich diverse eco-systems to lifeless wastelands as we polluted the seas, the air and the soil with chemicals, heavy metals, plastic, radiation and industrialized farm sewage.

We were once horrified by the possibility of a Chernobyl or a Fukushima. But the accidents happened and we adapted and accepted. Now we are complacent.

In the process we are becoming sociopathic as a species. We are losing the ability to express empathy and compassion. We idolize soldiers, hunters, and resource developers without giving a thought to their victims. We revel in violent fantasies hailing two-dimensional fantasy killers as heroes. We have become increasingly more Darwinian in our outlook that the weak (other species) must perish so that the strong (ourselves) may survive. We forget that Darwinism recognizes the laws of ecology and we cannot pick and choose when it comes to the laws of nature. In the end nature controls us, we do not control nature.

The consequences of our actions are not going to happen centuries from now. They are going to happen within this century. Oceanic ecosystems are collapsing — now! The planet is getting warmer — now! Phytoplankton is being diminished — now!

To be blunt — the planet is dying now, and we are killing it!

From what I have experienced and from what I see there is only one thing that can prevent us from falling victim to the consequences of ignoring the laws of ecology.

We must shake off the anthropocentric mindset and embrace a biocentric understanding of the natural world. We can do this because we have wonderful teachers in indigenous communities worldwide who have lived biocentric lifestyles for thousands of years just as our species all once did. We need to learn to live in harmony with other species.

We need to establish a moratorium on industrialized fishing, logging and farming.

We need to stop producing goods that have no intrinsic value — all the useless plastic baubles for entertainment and self-indulgence. We need to stop mass-producing plastic that is choking our global seas. We need to stop injecting poisons into the soil and dumping toxins into the sea. We need to abolish cultural practices that destroy life for the sole purpose of entertaining ourselves.

Of course it won’t be easy but do we really want the epitaph for our species to be, “Well we needed the jobs?”

Without ecology there is no economy.

I am not a pessimist and I’ve never been prone to pessimistic thoughts. There are solutions. We see people of compassion, imagination and courage around us working to make this a better world — devoting themselves to protecting species and habitats; finding organic agricultural alternatives; and developing more eco-friendly forms of energy production. Innovators, thinkers, activists, artists, leaders and educators — these people are among us and their numbers are growing.

It is often said that the problems are overwhelming and the solutions are impossible. I don’t buy this. The solution to an impossible problem is to find an impossible solution.

It can be done. In 1972, the very idea that Nelson Mandela would one day be President of South Africa was unthinkable and impossible — yet the impossible became possible.

It’s never easy but it is possible and possibilities are achieved through courage, imagination, passion and love.

I learned from the Mohawks years ago that we must live our lives by taking into account the consequences of our every action on all future generations of all species.

If we love our children and grandchildren we must recognize that their world will not be our world. Their world will be greatly diminished and unrecognizable from the world of our childhoods. Each and every child born in the 21st Century is facing challenges that no human being has ever faced in the entire history of our species:

Emerging pathogens from the permafrost. (Just this summer, an anthrax virus from a recently thawed reindeer carcass broke out killing 1,500 reindeer and hospitalizing 13 people in Russia.) Eruptions of methane opening huge craters in the earth in Siberia, mass-accelerated extinction of plants and animals, pollution, wars and more wars, irrational violence in the form of individual, religious and state terrorism, the collapse of entire eco-systems.

This is not doom and gloom fear mongering. It is simply a realistic observation of the consequences of our deliberately ignoring of the laws of ecology. I call it the Cassandra Principle.

Cassandra was the prophetess of ancient Troy whose curse was the ability to see the future and to have everyone dismiss her prophecies. No one listened to her, instead they ridiculed her. Yet she was right. All that she predicted came to pass and Troy was destroyed.

Years ago I had a critic in the media label me as a doom and gloom Cassandra. I replied, “Maybe, but don’t forget one thing. Cassandra was right.”

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Sea Shepherd’s Galapagos Director Sean O’Hearn-Gimenez on a shark finning arrest operation om 2007.

And over the years I have made predictions (that were ridiculed and dismissed) that have come true. In 1982 I publicly predicted the collapse of the North Atlantic Cod fishery. It happened a decade later. In 1978 I predicted the destruction of one half of the African elephant population in Defenders magazine. I was wrong. Some two thirds of the population have been destroyed. In 1984, I predicted ecological destruction by salmon farms including the spreading of viruses to wild salmon populations. Every prediction was based on observation with reference to the laws of ecology and every prediction was dismissed.

Nothing has changed. Today I am predicting the death of worldwide coral reef eco-systems by 2025, the total collapse of worldwide commercial fishing operations by 2030; and the emergence of more virulent viral diseases in the coming decades. It does not take any exceptional foresight to predict that war will be the major business of the next half-century, as well as the rise of more authoritarian governments.

Recently my old friend Rod Marining, also a co-founder of Greenpeace, said to me: “The transformation of human consciousness on a mass scale can not happen, unless there are two factors. First, a huge mass visual death threat to survival of our species, and two, the threat of the loss of a people’s jobs or their values. Once theses two factors are in place humans begin to transform their thinking over night.”

I have seen the future written in the patterns of our behavior, and it is not a pleasant future, in fact it is not much of a future at all.

The four horses have arrived. As death sits astride the pale horse, the other three horses of pestilence, famine and war and terrorism are stampeding at full gallop toward us while our backs are turned away from them. And when they trample us, we may look up from our latest entertainment triviality to see ourselves in the dust of the ecological apocalypse.

I also see the possibility of salvation. By listening to the words and observing the actions of indigenous people. By looking into the eyes of our children. By stepping outside the circle of anthropocentrism. By understanding that we are part of the Continuum. By refusing to participate in the anthropocentric illusion. By embracing biocentrism and fully understanding the laws of ecology, and the fact that these laws cannot — must not — be ignored if we wish to survive.

We’re Still Asleep and We May Never Wake Up

Commentary by Captain Paul Watson

How many more wake-up calls do we need before the human race actually wakes up if we ever do?

A thousand kilometres of Australian coastal mangrove forests have died and once again we hear another expert say it’s a ‘wake-up call for humanity.’

“The Gulf dieback has been a wake-up call for action on shoreline monitoring,” says Dr. Norman Duke, head of the Mangrove Research hub at James Cook University.

The ice has disappeared from the Gulf of St. Lawrence – another wake-up call for humanity.

Fukushima, mass fish die-offs in Chile, whales dying with stomachs full of plastic, groundwater diminishment, major droughts, superstorms, a 40% diminishment in phytoplankton populations, on and on and on it goes, one bloody ‘wake-up’ call after another and yet we don’t wake up.

We’re wide awake if Kim what’s her name gets robbed in Paris. We’re wide awake when Angelina and Brad file for divorce. We’re wide awake when some celebrity has a ‘wardrobe malfunction’.

Yet when any news bulletin is issued about how our very life support systems are collapsing, we as a species are comatose.

What is it going to take? One more major nuclear meltdown, or two or three more? Or maybe another major fishery collapse? Perhaps a super, super storm?

Dr. Duke added, “The mangrove wipeout could have multiple impacts, including the loss of fisheries worth hundreds of millions of dollars, more coastal erosion because of the loss of forest protection, and poorer water quality given the filtering role the trees play”

Some attention will be given to that statement I’m sure the reaction being, “what a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars?” And the reaction will be, “let’s catch more fish soon before they’re all gone.”

I mean you can’t shut down progress but the rub is this, progress can shut down the human species.

If the Mangrove forests are diminished, we are diminished, if the Ocean dies, we die!

The hands of the Doomsday clock move closer to human extinction every year. It is now 2.5 minutes to midnight and it has not been this close for 64 years when the Soviet U.S. nuclear arms race and the cold war had the world in a grip of fear.

Today it seems nobody actually cares enough to be afraid,

The circuses keep pitching their tents electronically, keeping us happily distracted from a world that is sliding towards disaster.

Now we have conspiracy cameras in microwave units to distract us from a government that absolutely denies there is a climate change problem.

Religion, sports, fantasies, politics, non-reality TV, celebrities, petty scandals, and an endless stream of circuses to keep us from thinking, to keep us from caring, to keep us from acting and to keep us in our place as mindless consumers marching like lemmings towards a future that is rapidly fading into it’s never going to happen, the real ‘end of days,’ and the demise of the human race due to extreme ecological stupidity.

Really, a new Zombie apocalypse movie? Cool!

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The unprecedented death of Australia’s northern mangrove forests has been put down to a lack of water.
SMH.COM.AU|BY PETER HANNAM