What are you seeing the environment and ecology of our world becoming in the next 30 years? Are conferences doing anything for the present situations we are facing?
Over the years, Howler editorials and articles have brought to light issues that affect our lives. Conservation, sustainability, and regeneration are all topics of great importance. I am very passionate about animals and the environment. We only have one planet to protect.
We are pleased to announce that Captain Paul Watson will be contributing to the Howler on a monthly basis, as well as notifications and press releases on our website. In my conversations with Captain Watson, I could tell that he is never going to give up and let someone silence or diminish his voice. Remember the term, ”It takes a village.” It first takes a leader who has the courage of conviction to stand and focus the direction of that village.
Past Howler issues have featured several articles by Captain Watson about his Sea Shepherd ocean conservation initiatives. These highlighted the importance of keeping our oceans clean and protecting the animals residing within the deep blue. One of our most widely read magazine issues, published in August 2017, featured the cover story entitled Greed behind Green. It revealed some disturbing truths regarding the illicit harvesting of shark fin in the waters of Costa Rica. This sickening harvest of fins was for use as an ingredient for soup in Asia. It is just horrible how we have treated our environment for the sake of a few bites and the almighty dollar.
In the words of Captain Watson, “We go where others fear to go, no matter how hostile or remote the seas, no matter how formidable the opposition … because if we don’t, life in the sea dies and when the ocean dies, we all die!”
Known for his passionate approach to anti-poaching and anti-whaling, Captain Watson has become a force of change in the world.
With recent changes in direction and commitments to the ocean by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA), Captain Watson has resigned from this organization. However, he will continue the important work that he has dedicated his life to.
Watson stated, “It is with great relief … I have ceased my employment and cut all ties with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA).”
Over the past 10 years, the Sea Shepherd’s senior management worked to move Watson to the sidelines and curtail the direct action he has found effective and committed to. After attempts by the Japanese whaling industry to bring an injunction against Sea Shepherd, a U.S. appeals court declared it to be “undoubtedly a pirate” organization. This ruling divided the organization.
As our world clock ticks away, we see everyday incidents are being highlighted that are bigger, more violent, and disastrous. World conferences to make changes set the timelines so far out that between now and then, they just become something that doesn’t matter anymore.
Hitting entities where it hurts and disrupting the flow is more often than not the wake-up call. The time for “Please Stop Doing That” was gone long ago. Capturing the world’s attention in today’s age of social media, and only having three seconds to do so, leaves shock value as the most effective communication mode. You have to get people’s attention, engage them and then convert them to the cause. Writing a scientific report — while important — does not engage the up and coming generations. We need these young people to take an interest and lead the future of saving our planet. So the question remains, how do we attract them and get them?
Direct action and intervention are an effective approach in shining a light on issues that would otherwise be swept away and never seen. The marginalization of Captain Watson by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is only temporary. You cannot silence leaders and their movements to make a change by quashing their message and actions.
I believe that Captain Watson’s new venture and his course of action will grab the attention and keep shaking up the complacency of those who say the ocean is a big blue place that regenerates. We have proof that in many cases, it dies and never comes back. Do we want generations to come to look back and say, why didn’t you do something to save us?
Please see the Captain Paul Watson Foundation website and podcasts to learn more and get involved. We need everyone to take direct action. A boardroom seat is too comfortable; you cannot affect change sitting down. Stand up for your beliefs.
As Captain Paul Watson said, “Once fear is removed, all things are possible. Fear is a shackle and courage is a key to freedom.”