Author Rex Weyler documents the establishment of the Greenpeace Foundation in 1970 and its most important activities up until 1979 in Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World. After significant damage occurred along the west coast of Vancouver Island due to an enormous shockwave that was generated by the detonation of a large nuclear test bomb on Amchitka Island in 1969, a group of environmental activists met in Vancouver in 1970 to protest any further nuclear bomb testing. With a goal to protect the Earth by promoting peace and ecology, Greenpeace was organized from a very diverse group of individuals who shared a wide range of experiences.
As Greenpeace evolved, it took on the world order. By waging campaigns against nuclear testing, Greenpeace played an instrumental role in the eventual establishment of a comprehensive atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty. Similarly, the organization was very successful in reducing the industrial slaughter of marine mammals, particularly the clubbing of baby seals and harpooning of whales. The “tree hugger” members of Greenpeace were successful in helping to reduce the practice of indiscriminate logging.
Weyler devotes a significant part of his book to an insightful examination of the internal conflicts, struggles, and growth of Greenpeace. Dubbed the “Rainbow Warriors,” the group learned to use timing, creativity, and “mind bombs” in conjunction with educational seminars, billboards, and concerts to arouse public concern and greatly influence twentieth century politics.
Weyler's writing style is clear, concise, frank, and exciting for the most part. Ample black and white photos, footnotes, and supplemental references add to the value of the book. Weyler's fascinating story concludes with the uniting of various Greenpeace organizations that had formed throughout the world into one international organization with a mission to protect the Earth.