Clarification on Where Director Paul Watson Stands on Various Issues
by Captain Paul Watson
Due to internal rumor mongering and gossip, unsubstantiated accusations, prejudices and numerous other factors, many Sierra Club members are grumbling about my position on issues. The grumbling runs the spectrum from my being a left wing vegan animal rights fanatic to being a right wing anti-immigrant racist.
I would like to clarify just where it is that I am coming from. Of course, for many this will be a waste of time because some people when they make their mind up or have an opinion do not like to be swayed from their position - it is upsetting and a challenge to their faith.
Faith is the belief in a position without having to prove it with evidence, documentation, or proof.
I don't believe in faith.
Where I stand on issues is very simple really.
I endeavor to live my life in accordance to the basic laws of ecology. These are:
THE LAW OF DIVERSITY - That the strength of an eco-system is to be found in diversity. It is bio-diversity that makes it possible for humans to live on this planet in relative comfort. Therefore I am very concerned about any factors that threaten diversity. It is also my position that escalating species extinction and disappearing habitats are the single greatest threat facing the ecological status quo.
I extend this law to the environmental movement and thus I believe that the strength of the movement is dependent upon diversity of strategies and approaches. I support all these strategies be they litigation, legislation, education, direct action etc. I make it a point to not be critical of the strategies and tactics of other groups and individuals.
One of the things that I like about the Sierra Club Board of Directors is the broad spectrum of ideas, opinions, and positions held by this present Board. It is both diverse and representative of the voting Sierra Club membership.
THE LAW OF INTERDEPENDENCE - That all species of plants and animals and all habitats are dependent upon each other.
THE LAW OF FINITE RESOURCES - There is a limit to growth, a limit to carrying capacity and a limit to resource availability. This is where I am concerned about exponential human population growth and the consequences it is having and will continue to have for the future of all life on earth. As human populations increase exponentially, the consequences also increase exponentially. For this reason I believe that the greatest threat to the future is diminishment of bio-diversity and the primary cause is escalating human population growth.
THE LAW OF SPECIES PRECEDENCE - That the interests of a species - any species must take precedence over the interests of individuals of any one species. This means that the right of a species to survive or an eco-system to exist takes precedence over the material, religious and cultural rights of any group of human beings.
THE LAW OF WATER - That the water of the earth is the blood of the earth and the vast planetary circulatory system is what pumps nutrients through eco-systems and removes waste. For the same reason one would not pinch off an artery, dams should not restrict nutrient flow and waste removal. For the same reason that one should not inject filth into our own bodies, we should not inject filth into the earth's circulatory system. Animals have enough common sense to not shit in the collective water hole - humans on the other hand not only shit into the water hole, but dump some 80,000 chemical concoctions into this miracle fluid called water.
I long ago decided that for this planet to be saved, we have to step outside the paradigm of anthropocentrism and adapt a ecocentric perspective.
A ecocentric perspective does not allow for consideration of special interest groups of human beings whose actions threaten the biosphere. The interests of the biosphere take precedence over the interests of hominid special interest groups.
Racism and Sexism for example are social issues but they are not issues relevant to the survival of the biosphere. They don't sit around the SPLC and the NACCP and discuss species protection and clear cut forestry issues. People don't go to feminist and gay rights meetings to discuss air pollution and wolf re-introduction programs. These issues have their place within the social environment of one species but they are not relevant to the rest of the citizens of the biosphere. Thus I believe that the role of an environmental organization is to discuss and act on environmental issues independent of human social issues.
I also don't believe that racism is relative to the ecocentric world. There is only one race that I recognize and that is the human race and racism is a form of behavior caused by abstract and nonsensical prejudices among members of the same species. No intelligent person can be a racist because it makes no ecological or biological sense. I have found it interesting that when I maintain that all humans are equal and all members of one species that some find this statement racist because I refuse to see any distinctions between people based on skin color or features.
I think that speciesism is a far more serious issue. Human discrimination against practically every other species on this planet has resulted, is resulting and will continue to result in mass extinctions, extirpations and diminishment. Whereas racism is acknowledged, speciesism is not even given a moment's thought by most people. It is willfully and arrogantly ignored.
I am first and foremost a conservationist and this means that I am a conservative. But being a conservationist conservative has no relationship to the present perversion of political conservatism - like this particular right wing Christian fundamentalist Republican rhetoric that is presently posing as conservative.
Let me enlighten you about my conservative values.
I am opposed to women and gays joining the military.
I am against corporate welfare
I am pro-life
I am against post natal abortion.
I am against genetically modified crops. This is a significant threat to natural plant species.
I am against salmon farming because it is depleting our oceans of fish to feed the captive fish with a ratio of fifty wild fish caught to raise one. It is also a chemically intensive industry.
I am against commercial fishing because this industry is depleting the world's oceans of life.
I am all for promoting lower ecological impact diets like vegetarianism and veganism.
I am for lowering human populations and levels of human consumption.
I am for lowering immigration from nations that have high birth rates to nations that have lower birth rates and from nations of high birth rates to nations of high consumption levels. Nations with lower birth rates should not be penalized by having growth forced upon them from nations needing to dump their excess populations. Nations of high consumption levels increase the levels of consumption with the introduction of every additional person.
I don't believe it is anti-immigrant to be in favor of lower immigration levels for the same reason I don't think it is anti-baby to be in favor of less babies being born.
I believe that every single dam on every river in the world should be destroyed to allow the waters of the earth to flow freely and to perform the circulatory service that water is meant to perform.
I am opposed to the Oiliocratic Oligarchy and I hold the position that the continued use of fossil fuels should be terminated and replaced with alternative energy sources.
Finally on issues relative to the Sierra Club:
The Sierra Club is a democratic organization and it is only possible to control the Club by having the membership elect directors who reflect their concerns and position.
There is nothing undemocratic about recruiting members to the Club who are supportive of lower consumption of resources like vegetarians and vegans.
There is nothing undemocratic about recruiting members to the Club who are supportive of lower birth rates and lower immigration levels.
There is nothing undemocratic about being concerned about these issues or about educating people about these issues.
The only people who would be concerned are people whose concept of democracy is reflecting only their own view on issues. People like John Ashcroft for example.
Would I like my views on vegetarianism to prevail in the Club? Absolutely. Is this an undemocratic point of view? No it is not. The Club will be what the Club's voting membership wishes it to be.
It appears to me that there are some who are incapable of tolerating diversity on the Board of Directors. The only reason that people would be intolerant of diversity is because diversity may be a threat to a special interest.
There is nothing conspiratorial about my involvement with the Sierra Club Board of Directors. I was elected and I am serving as a director at least until 2006. I have no intention of resigning.
I have no intention of saying the politically correct things and doing the politically correct or Sierrally correct things merely to be re-elected in 2006. I intend to concentrate on doing and saying the ecologically correct things and if this is unacceptable to the membership I will happily accept a rejection in 2006 as an indication that I am not reflecting the views of the membership which I honestly hold as secondary to the laws of ecology.
I would rather be defeated in an election and hold true to what is ecologically right than to subvert my ecological values to fit the sociological values that I believe must be secondary to the interests of the biosphere.
Besides I have another life and not serving on the Sierra Club Board would not change my course, my actions, my philosophy, or my objectives.
I did not join the Sierra Club to participate in a social club. I joined to serve the environment and to attempt to make a difference.
Captain Paul Watson