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The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 18, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
In late 2005, award-winning adventure writer Heller joined Paul Watson and his 44-person crew on their voyage to find and halt an illegal Japanese whaling fleet en route to the Antarctic sea. Watson, founder of Greenpeace in 1972, says he abruptly left in 1977 to start his current group, Sea Shepherd, because he wanted to take intervening action to enforce international laws; others say he was "ejected for grabbing a sealer's club and throwing it in the water." Either way, Watson is a controversial leader who compels "people to drop everything-jobs, loves, homes-and follow him to the ends of the earth"; one of Watson's all-volunteer staff says, "I don't want to die, of course... But if I die looking to save a whale, that would be OK." Heller's writing is energetic and bold, at times a swashbuckling adventure, at others a portrait of a determined eco-warrior, at others a heart-rending expose on the cruelty of whalers (who use explosive-tipped harpoons and electrocuting currents against the great animals). Shocking and repulsing, Heller's adventures will inspire many readers to agree that "If the oceans are dying in our time, and we kill them... we should have committed a crime so heinous we shall not ever be redeemed."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a radical environmental group, is led by Paul Watson, who pursues whaling ships with his ship Farley Mowat and a crew of volunteers. Watson formed Sea Shepherd after he broke from Greenpeace, and the group is responsible for sinking eight whaling ships and ramming even more illegal fishing vesselswithout loss of life. Adventure writer Heller was invited to accompany Watson and crew during their 2005 campaign against the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica, and the result is this intimate and hair-raising eco-adventure. The Farley Mowat is armed with water cannons, a catapult (for flinging garbage), a reinforced bow for ramming, and a weapon known as the "can opener." After weeks of heavy seas, fog, iceberg dodging, and cat-and-mouse with both the whalers and with Greenpeacethere is no love lost between Sea Shepherd and Greenpeaceon Christmas Day, in a Force 8 gale, the Farley finally encounters the Japanese fleet. The reader rides the rush of adrenaline and understands their dedication and passion. Bent, Nancy --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Curious that much of the early history of the United States is woven around the voyages of whaling ships and their crews, but in clear prose, Heller documents the atrocities committed against an ancient, sentient species.
Read this story and you'll be clicking on the website for "Sea Shepherd," and pulling out your wallet for a donation. Or for Trumpistas, maybe selling slots on a whaling cruise.
In any case, unless civilized nations ban together to eliminate this barbaric practice, whales, orangutans and many other sentient species will bedding eternal farewell to our planet.
Heller combines just the right amount of prose with conversation, facts with perspective. He enters into the fray of the Sea Shepherds' world with enough hesitation to cajole the more timid into joining him and with enough enthusiasm and objectivity to keep the attention of those with fixed opinions (for or against) about the subject of whaling. It really isn't a one-sided show. During the course of the book, the author questions his own ideas about the Sea Shepherds' methods, Captain Watson's zeal, and the legality/morality of the two-month venture into the Antarctic seas. While obviously sympathetic toward the whales, he isn't overly sympathetic toward the protagonists who are there to protect the whales by (almost) any means necessary. There is just enough cynicism in his approach to allow you to decide the black and white for yourself.
The reader is swept along for the ride with Heller on this adventure and what a ride! It was very hard to put down the book and I read late into the night. Through Heller, I felt as though I were a mute crew member on the Farley Mowat during that expedition--present to observe the often humorous, occasionally mundane, sometimes terrifying, but always interesting activities and perspectives that the motley crew of the Farley Mowat experience and offer during that two-month period of time. I know it may sound trite, but I was truly inspired by their enthusiasm and resolve.
I know more about the whaling situation and what it really means to fight for their existence on this planet after reading The Whale Warriors than I have after years of getting Greenpeace updates or the occasional news report. It is tangible to me now, this fight for the whales--something that I have a visceral attachment to and not just a subjective ethical opinion about. I sincerely hope that the recent change in leadership in Australia (global warming's supposed to be the top issue now) helps to bring a backbone to the political stage there instead of just popular support for antiwhaling enforcement. After having mentioned Greenpeace, I should note some of the more interesting clashes weren't between the Sea Shepherds and the whalers, but with their fellow environmentalists. It is a subtle and charged situation, but it was eye-opening to see the exchanges between the Sea Shepherds and Greenpeace from the inside.
All of this said, I heartily recommend this book for a wonderful and fluid reading experience. You will definitely come away with an opinion on the subject and you undoubtedly will enjoy yourself during the adventure.
I have seen the awesome documentary: Whale Wars - Season 1 which makes me realize how very important it would be to safe the gentle giants of our southern ocean from pain, suffering and being mercilessly killed by the Japanese whalers. These are cruel people...! There is no need to hunt the whales for food because there are other proteins and seafood substitudes available for chomping. There is no need to LIE and DECEIVE the world under the pretext of hunting the whales for FALSE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH by these Japanese...! Japan's insistence and persistence in hunting these innocent whales should be condemned by all whale lovers, environmentalists and natural conservationists all over the world. I wish the courageous Captain Paul Watson and his crew success, safety and good luck in protecting the whales which belong to all mankind. And he and his members are doing COMMENDABLE WORK which we must constantly support. And I look forward with excitement to read this book about Paul's exploits and to safeguard for the gentle whales. MAY PAUL'S MISSIONS BE ALWAYS SUCCESSFUL & BLESS BY GOD. Cheers...!
So, when nations disregard the signs of pending extinction, who is supposed to act to save the world's whales? Those folks who care most. There are different methods of response, of course, from passive to violent. Heller focuses on the latter, the active resistance to human indifference to the disappearance of our biggest creatures.
The book focuses on the Sea Shepherd Society, its founder, its rocky relationship with Greenpeace, and the war it's fighting off Antarctica against Japanese whaling ships. Their tactics will surprise you, but then, in their minds, they can't not act.