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.
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.
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 more from Huffington Post