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O if we but knew what we do
When we delve or hew
Hack and rack the growing green
After-comers cannot guess the beauty seen
– G.M. Hopkins
Why Do I Need Greenpeace?
Isn’t the government taking care of it?
In the Fall of 1971, I was a callow youth seeking show business success in the cowboy bars of southern Alberta, remarkably ignorant of the environment, except what I saw from the highway. I was unaware that the 1st and 2nd Earth Days had taken place; and I certainly wasn’t paying attention when, on September 15, 1971, a 65 foot fishing boat sailed from Vancouver bound for the coast of Alaska to protest a bomb blast. Renamed the Greenpeace, the fishing boat was conveying activists and reporters to the island of Amchitka in order to confront, and bear witness to, the U.S. nuclear bomb test scheduled for 2 October 1971. Coming within range of the island, however, the Greenpeace was harassed by the Confidence, a U.S Coast Guard vessel, threatened with fines and charges and forced back to the mainland. Although the object of their voyage was denied them, the Greenpeacers, with the attendant press coverage, were more successful than they thought, engendering the following responses: Continue reading