Whale Wars Captain Paul Watson on Bill Maher

April 9, 2014


You can always expect to see Captain Paul Watson on the front lines of the battle to conserve and protect marine ecosystems for wildlife. He and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society have been doing it for nearly 40 years.

A late-night, cable television got the chance to learn more about Watson’s mission during the most recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. He discussed some of his biggest enemies—Japanese whalers—and his joy regarding last week’s International Court of Justice ruling that Japan’s “research whaling” is illegal. It marked a big moment for Watson, who says he has been labeled an “eco-terrorist” for years.

“I’m not an eco-terrorist—I don’t work for BP,” he said to a round of applause from the studio audience.



14 Responses to “Whale Wars Captain Paul Watson on Bill Maher”

  1. Paul Watson is not very popular here in Norway… no doubt because of sinking a whaling ship. Been rather silent these past years though. Norway is still in the whale killing business. Dunno why… must be some kind of national tradition i dont understand much of.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      This post on Whale Wars and Watson has been up for a whole day, and THIS is all anyone has to say about it? Why do Crockers expend countless hours debating the minutiae of energy sources while avoiding the bigger and actually all encompassing questions of man’s failures at moral and ethical behavior? (Which DO have relevance regarding climate change). Recall the NON-response to the recent post on “12 Years A Slave” for another example. It’s sad when a rather select and superior group like Crockers lets these things slide, and that’s just more evidence of why there is little hope for the human race.

      Watson may be over-the-top and a criminal in the eyes of many countries, but he is at the same time a hero and a credit to the human race. JCL very politely says that Watson is “not popular” in Norway? Rather understated, since there are pr have been arrest warrants out for him in a number of places, and Norway has sentenced him to jail (but can’t get their hands on him, fortunately).

      Just so you know where I stand, if I were the president of the U.S., I would be ordering the U.S. Navy to plant a torpedo without warning in EVERY last whaling vessel that ever leaves port, and to do so when they are out in the middle of nowhere so that the wreckage would never be found. IMO, The whole planet should be turned into a Bermuda Triangle for whalers. Moby Dick had the right idea, but whales need humans to fight for them.

      JCL talks about whaling being some sort of “national tradition”? Lutefisk is a Norwegian national tradition—-the only real “tradition” associated with whaling by the western nations is greed and the desire to get rich through “free-market” exploitation. The Inuit are the only people on the planet that come close to having a good argument for whaling—-the Japanese and Norwegians may have eaten a lot of whale back in the day, but they have long since shifted to other food sources. Like birds nest and shark fin soup, whale meat is an expensive delicacy enjoyed by the rich, and the hypocrisy of the Japanese saying they kill whales for “scientific purposes” or the Norwegians killing a few hundred minke whales for “food”is infuriating.

      I have been involved since the 70’s with a number of groups that have fought whaling, after doing some study of cetaceans and having some “20 feet away” encounters with whales, dolphins, and Orcas. The clincher for me was reading the book “Mind In The Waters”, which explores the consciousness of cetaceans (who have huge brains, bigger and apparently more complex than man’s), as well as their societies, which are more “civilized” and “humane” than man’s —-from that point forward I have considered killing cetaceans a form of genocide.

      Anyone who needs convincing should read the book.

      • As I said, I don’t understand the “tradition” or mindset behind Norwegian whaling. I just know that a majority of Norwegians accept it and think its part of our culture hence Watson is a terrorist in their eyes. As long as he isn’t a hero or understand what his point is then he wont get anywhere no matter how many ships he is trying to sink. Sorry.

        I totally agree that we seems set to mine the oceans to extinction, just like anything else on this planet really.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          I know the “tradition” behind Norwegian and Icelandic whaling only because of my studies of the topic over the years. There is a history of whaling there that goes back 1000 years and more to Viking days, and the whales were part of the human food chain. Since the Vikings had a survival need and were likely unaware of the “mind in the waters”, I won’t hold their whaling against them.

          The present day Norwegian day “mindset” appears to be that it’s part of the “culture” just like “Cowboys and Indians” are part of the American culture—long gone but something certain folks cling to. Norway “objected” to the whaling ban and has been unilaterally violating it by harvesting a few hundred minke whales each year—-minke whales are smallish, hardly bigger than Orcas—and the total yearly catch probably weighs no more than what 8 or 9 thousand beef cattle weigh, hardly a lot of meat to spread around. It actually works out to a bit less than two pounds annually for every Norwegian.

          Your government, like ours does in other areas of “harvesting”, appears to support the conservative idea that whales are there for the taking and the jobs and investment of the whalers takes precedence over what’s the right thing to do in the moral and ethical sense. (DO remember though, that if ANY American company could make a buck off whaling, we’d be at it in a heartbeat and crowding the rest of you out).

          I did specifically look up whaling in Norway today to refresh my memory, and found that your government paid for an extensive research program to develop more efficient “grenades” with which to kill whales—yes, that’s what they call them, and they are like military antipersonnel grenades except that they explode INSIDE the whales. Don’t always work well, though, so rifles are carried to finish off the wounded. And your government recovered the costs of developing these “grenades” by selling them to the whalers and putting the profits back inro the treasury.

          I am sorry to hear that the majority of Norwegians accept whaling. I had hoped that your heads were “on straighter” than ours in America. Watson only does what he does because whalers do what they do, and he is merely fighting what
          you see (and object to) when you say “we seem set to mine the oceans to extinction, just like anything else on this planet”.

          PS Are Norwegians as willfully ignorant and mindless in their thinking when it comes to AGW?

          • Well, two right wing parties (Høyre, FrP) were elected into government here just recently, one of them consist of a lot of climate deniers too. So you know where the average Norwegian stand in this based on that. No doubt as long as we make a lot of money from oil the denial business will be recruiting.

          • redskylite Says:

            “It’s sad when a rather select and superior group like Crockers lets these things slide, and that’s just more evidence of why there is little hope for the human race”

            Firstly I agree with you that this is a quality and superior site and that positive comments do matter, and I am glad I found this site. When my interest/attention originally began in AGW climate related matters I initially started following JC’s climate etc site (thinking it to be fair and neutral). which I grew frustrated and disenchanted with very quickly, Crocks is aligned with my current view. Some items are so profound that they make me feel speechless and inadequate, this and slavery are examples of them. Other very U.S specific items I feel I should steer clear of commenting, unless I consider it has epic worldwide effects, or I feel I have something valuable and worthwhttps://www.facebook.com/hile to add. The biggest danger is losing focus and going right off topic, or too strongly promoting a parallel topic.

            It is easier to talk about “energy sources” which I can understand at some level rather than “failures at moral and ethical behavior” which I am very uncomfortable with and lack the understanding to address.

      • astrostevo Says:

        if I were the president of the U.S., I would be ordering the U.S. Navy to plant a torpedo without warning in EVERY last whaling vessel that ever leaves port, and to do so when they are out in the middle of nowhere so that the wreckage would never be found.

        I agree although I’m not quite that harsh. I’d give the whalers (&Norweigan govt) a warning and torpedo the boats just setting out from harbours to minimise the loss of life. (& pollution from oil slicks, debris, etc ..) I’d actually start by granting US citizenship to all whales and dolphins making it a crime against the USA (or Australia in my case) to kill them – and explain this early hopefully preventing the whalers ever leaving port in the first place.

        BTW. On the issue mentioned late in the clip by Watson – there’s a great online doco /movie called ‘Midway’ focusing on the issue of plastics and the harm it does to bird & marine life plus more here :


        Very powerful and poignant. (Potentially upsetting so be warned.)

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Being an old Marine who was trained to “Kill them all and let God sort them out”, I do tend to “harshness” at times. It certainly saves a lot of time when time is short. You can be my Secretary of State and try to keep me in check, although you DO need to speak to the Secretary of War about what a torpedo will do to a smallish whaling ship re: “loss of life”—you will likely then agree with me that it should be done “out of sight”.

          Love the idea of “granting US citizenship to all cetaceans making it a crime against the USA (or Australia in my case) to kill them”. They are deserving, since they are smarter and better behaved than most humans (except for those pesky Orcas, who do on occasion kill for fun). Unfortunately, the conservative anal orifices will never buy it—-we in the US can’t even grant full citizenship rights to women, poor people, gays, and people of color, never mind animals (although some folks DO value their dogs above their children and Flipper is still very popular in reruns here).

          Midway is indeed “Very powerful and poignant”, and IS upsetting to anyone with a heart and brain. The pics of countless baby albatross carcasses that are just piles of bones and feathers wrapped around a mass of plastic bits are heartrending.

          Albatrosses have not evolved to the point where they can recognize that this “new” material in the oceans is not food, and they feed large quantities of it to their chicks, where it clogs their digestive tracts and kills them. Smaller bits of plastic are doing the same sort of damage all the way down the food chain to the plankton level. Just something to add on top of ocean warming and acidification.

  2. astrostevo Says:

    “I’m not an eco-terrorist—I don’t work for BP,”

    Great line and so true.

  3. redskylite Says:

    On the subject of crap floating around in the ocean here is a short video on a case of interaction between crap, a young humpbacked whale and people on the Sea of Cortez.


    • dumboldguy Says:

      A great story, and one that chokes me up every time I see it. What Watson does is no different in purpose than what these folks did, just a little more “vigorous”.

  4. redskylite Says:

    Sea Shepherds Mission statement:

    Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization.

    Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.

    Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

    We are lucky to have such an organisation in existence, it is pretty well known that the oceans are threatened by acidification and temperature changes, is slowly getting worse, marine ecosystems are and will continue to be severely affected as will people who’s livelihood and staple diets depend on marine life in the near future.

    Unfortunately, as if nothing extraordinary is happening, oil companies, sponsored by Governments, still explore for new fields, ironically even in Bangladesh (the most vulnerable country in the world to sea level rise).



    Is it only me who sees an irony in this ?

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