Friday, June 7, 2013

Interview with a Pirate: Captain Paul Watson

This is the biography of someone I have admired for a long time.  Paul Watson is the co-founder of Greenpeace, which he left to establish the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.  He is a world famous eco-pirate and marine animal rights activist.  Time magazine named him one of the top twenty environmental heroes of the 20th century.  As Captain of the Sea Shepherd, he has acted as a human shield between whaling vessels and their prey and uses aggressive direct-action tactics against those who would slaughter and exploit marine resources.  He says that what people do not realize is that if we lose the animals, we will all die; the destruction of biodiversity will signal the death of humanity.  He believes that the ultimate act of goodwill toward people is to preserve the biosphere that keeps us alive.  Paul's organization prefers taking action to protesting:  they do not want to protest the whale hunt, they want to end it.  They do not serve the ecology movement, they serve the global marine ecosystem.  The fact is that we are going to lose more species of plants and animals between 2000 and 2065 than the planet has lost over the past 65 million years.  So, Paul Watson continues to work tirelessly to protect the oceans.  And, he is a happy man, because he follows the advice of Davy Crockett to "be sure you're right, then go ahead."  He has lived his life following his heart.  He has said:  "experience has taught me that the secret to happiness is detachment from material desires, a focus on the desires of the heart and a curious mind, regardless of what people might think.  Happiness is not about what you own, it's about what's in your heart, the things you try and what you do to make the world a better place, regardless of how you choose to get involved."  Petitions and banners will not be enough to save the oceans--but, committed activists like Paul Watson just might be able to accomplish it.  I, for one, am glad he's on the job.

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