Sea Shepherd Captain Found Guilty of Causing ‘Unnecessary suffering to dolphins’ by Danish Court


On Friday, November 25th, the Danish court in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands found Sea Shepherd Captain Jessie Treverton of the UK guilty of breaching Faroese animal welfare laws by causing 'unnecessary suffering' to a pod of dolphins.

Each year over 800 pilot whales and other small cetaceans are regularly slaughtered in the Faroe Islands in a practice known as the grindadráp, which Sea Shepherd has actively opposed since the 1980s.

It was during one of these actions on 17th September 2014 that Captain Treverton and two other Sea Shepherd crew members from France attempted to protect a pod of over 200 protected Atlantic white-sided dolphins from the grindadráp by driving them away from one of the Faroe Islands' 23 “approved killing beaches” using their speedboat MV Spitfire. After being chased and boarded by Danish armed forces, the boat was confiscated and the three women were arrested by Faroese police.

After multiple postponements of her trial date by the Danish court in the Faroe Islands, on November 24th Captain Treverton's case was finally heard, wherein she was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a pod of dolphins and ordered to pay a fine of 5500 Danish Kroner (approximately €74).

"I am very happy to accept the court's verdict that my driving a pod of dolphins to safety was against animal welfare laws, because if the law applies to me then it surely must also apply to the Faroese people," said Captain Treverton. "A legal precedent has been set, driving dolphins is against Faroese law. This is a victory for the oceans."

“This is a landmark ruling”, said Geert Vons, campaign leader for Sea Shepherd's operations against the grindadráp. “Jessie’s guilty verdict sets a precedent that the process of manoeuvring a small boat with view to ‘herd’ dolphins is considered a breach of the Faroese animal welfare law. This is exactly what the Faroese boats do when they herd pods of pilot whales onto the killing beaches to be slaughtered.”

The 6-hour hearing on Thursday also included the testimony of Sea Shepherd UK's Chief Operations Officer Rob Read challenging the seizure and confiscation of the MV Spitfire. The Faroese prosecutor attempted to argue in court that the boat should not be returned, or only the Spitfire's hull should be returned without the two 200hp engines. However, the Danish judge ruled that the MV Spitfire be given back intact.

“After over two years of being denied use of MV Spitfire, Sea Shepherd UK has successfully challenged the Faroese prosecutor’s decision to seize the boat," said Rob Read."Only when comprehensive checks on the condition of the boat and engines have been completed in the Faroe Islands will the Spitfire return to the UK.”

In expectation of this ruling, Captain Treverton has provided police with a significant amount of video evidence to open an investigation into multiple breaches of Faroese animal welfare laws by Faroes participants in the 2016 grindadráp.

Sea Shepherd Global

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd 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. For more information, visit:

Failure of Trans Pacific Partnership good news for American People and the Planet

Trade deals of this nature threaten jobs, communities, and climate equally.

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

stop-ttip-1Green America has said that it welcomes the news that Congress and the White House are unable to forge a path forward for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The roadblocks faced by the TPP are a direct result of members of Congress, labor, environmental, consumer, faith, human rights, health, family farm, civil rights, and progressive online organizations and activists working tirelessly over the last few years to stop an agreement that did not have the best interest of the American people and the environment in mind. The TPP favored the interests of big business over people and the planet.

Todd Larsen, co-executive director of Green America made the following statement today: “To be clear, the current failure of the TPP is not a result of last week’s election. The stalling of the TPP is the result of the American public’s ability to stand united to defend everyone’s rights to affordable medicines, fair wages, safe food, a clean environment and much more. This was a rejection, by the people, of a trade deal that solely represented the interests of corporations. Now more than ever it is imperative that U.S. trade policy defend workers’ rights and protect the environment.

“While the TPP may be stalled, it is certainly not dead and this is not the end of toxic trade agreements that fail to meet the needs of our country. Policy makers, with corporate interests in mind, will continue to push forward trade agreements that fail to address the needs of working people and a changing climate. Along with our members and allies, Green America will continue to push forward and stand up for trade policy that protects the environment, represents the rights of all people and does not give way to corporate power and special interests.”

Green America is the nation's leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides economic strategies and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems.

“To be clear,” Todd Larsen said, “the current failure of the TPP is not a result of last week’s election.” And that is where he seems to be entirely on the wrong track. Had it not been for the fact that the neoliberals were thrown out of Congress and the president-elect would not be an opponent to TTP and TTIP those deals would continue, as in the case of TTP, or be negotiated and forced through, as in the case of TTIP, even against the wishes of the people of Europe, simply because the EU elite wants it.

Taking credit for something that one cannot, even as an organization such as Green America, can take credit for is being disingenuous in the extreme. All the pressure would have not made one iota of a difference had not a new wind begun to blow in Congress and soon the White House.

However, the decision of neither Congress nor of the president elect has anything to do with a concern for the Planet but everything with a concern for an America First attitude, including jobs, with which I do not have a problem, aside from the fact that the houses and the other house, namely the white one, have no interest in the protection of the Planet. That is where I do have a problem with.

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has said that they (and in that she includes the entire EU – after all she believes Germany to be the leader of the EU and everything has to be done according what Germany wants and how Germany wants it done) will not sign TTIP at this time with Trump as President (elect). But, she has said, the deal is by no means dead, just on hold.

I really hate to tell her that as far as President-elect Trump is concerned TTIP, as much as TTP, is dead and that's the end of it. At least until someone rolls it out again at some later stage.

Outgoing US President Obama did say, though, that globalism – and with that, I am sure, he also means those trade deals that are bad fort the Planet and the people – is here to say. The neoliberals really do not go to their graves quietly, don't they.

© 2016

East Germans combating shortages of consumer goods

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

From October 10 to October 16, 2016 there was an exhibition in the museum of the city of Jena – Germany, formerly German Democratic Republic – about how the citizens of the German Democratic Republic, often referred to as (communist) East Germany were combating and overcoming the shortages in consumer goods with ingenuity and DIY. The title of this exhibition, here translated, was “One has to know how to help oneself. Homemade in the GDR”.

Some of it may indeed have been because there was not “enough” by way of consumer goods on the shelves, sometimes possibly due to bad planning in the planned economy, though in other instances it was just a case that something simply could not be had, and probably in the West neither, not that they could have bought it from there, and thus they made it themselves. In yet other cases it was simply a case of making it because of the fun of it and of making something unique.

The consumer culture that the West knew and which is getting worse every year, it would seem, just was not something that, per se, existed in the GDR and I am sure it was not a bad thing. Products also that were made and could be bought were made to last, whether it was electrical and electronic goods – and many still rod well today, some 30 or 40 years after they were made, and they can be repaired (they were made that way) – or other goods.

It was not so much a “combating or overcoming of shortages” but simply a case of a culture still of making things while in the West this was more and more going over to “I can go to the shops and buy that” because – one – the things, quite of lot of them, could just simply be bought, as they were already then, imported, and – two – because many people could no longer be bothered to make things themselves. To some degree this could also have to do with the aftermath of the Second World War and the early years thereafter where people, even in the areas of Germany occupied by the Western Allies, had little and had to make do and mend. When then consumer goods were available, from various sources, many no longer wanted to be seen making their own things.

Things were different in East Germany as first of all the country had less by way of raw materials and secondly also the Big Brother in the East could not be of much help as the USSR was rather destroyed courtesy of the German military and therefore there was, for a long time, no flood consumer goods in the shops. “Not macht erfinderisch”, is an old German adage, which equals the English: “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and so people went to make, or continued to make, things they wanted and could not buy either because they were not available or rather expensive, as they were considered luxury items, themselves. In other cases it was also the love of making things themselves instead of spending money on it. A good route at all times, I think.

But the media and this exhibition in the city of Jena make it all sound as if the citizens of the GDR – East Germany – did all that just because there was nothing to be had in the shops, which just is not the case. The essentials and more could be easily obtained, luxury goods were a different kettle of fish, and those, obviously, included cars. However, it has become and been a hobby of the Western media to claim that there was nothing to be had in East Germany and other socialist countries because of the socialist planned economy and that that kind of economy is one of mismanagement and scarcity by design.

Teresa Thieme from the Jean City Museum said: “Homemade is in vogue again today – even if it for other reasons as it was in the GDR because of the bad supply situation. Today it is often more the environmental aspect which leads people to rather repair that to throw away.”

Either the people making such comments do not understand how the situation truly was or they just want to paint – and I believe it is the latter – a bleak picture on purpose. The fact that some – many, in fact – things were made rather than bought is not simply because of the supply situation but that people wanted to make those things themselves, for many different reasons.

For some reason, I believe, in East Germany the spirit of making things oneself, not simply because of problems due to a variety of reasons, remained alive for much longer than it did in the Western sectors where consumer goods came in from abroad and also the factories were rather quickly rebuilt, with mainly American “help”.

Had the German Democratic Republic been able to trade more freely on the world market – we have to remember always that there were sanctions in place – and the Mark been freely convertible – neither of which was the case (and, yes, there were possibly some mismanagement of the planned economy) things might have been different. If better, however, remains a question. It also shows what can be done even without all those imports and international trade.

In the exhibition there were articles that I would call art, such as a wooden wall platter surrounded with pyrographed clothespins, something that was a popular craft in the 1960s and 1970s also in the West. But this too has been, basically, made out to be one of the examples of something that was made because it could not be bought. I would put forward the notion that this item was made because someone loved to make it. The same goes for other examples in that exhibition, such as a Christmas Pyramid made with used matchsticks.

Maybe it would be a good idea if we all rediscovered our skills and talents by starting to make things ourselves instead of each and every time looking to buy what we want or need, even if we could make it ourselves. And still today there are things that you can make – or even have to make – because you can't actually buy them. I had that not so long ago when I wanted a holster for my Opinel pocketknife to wear on a cord around the neck. Buying was not an option as there was no such thing. So what is one to do. A bit of scrap leather and less than an hour later and ready it was. Then there are things that one can buy but which are so ridiculously expensive, considering what they are and how easy it is to make them, that I, and I am sure others, resort to doing the latter rather than buying. At the same time it is possible to customize such an item to exactly what one wants.

Now, as I could not buy the item that I wanted and thus designed and made it myself must, according to the logic of those at that museum in Jena, mean that there are serious shortages in the economy in the free West.

If I cannot get something because it has not been made for general sale and I know that I can make it then I make it and the same goes for something that I may be able to buy, at a price far too high in my opinion, and can make then, again, I make it. And I am sure that a similar approach was also taken by many of those makers in East Germany.

© 2016

Buy Nothing Day 2016

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Buy Nothing DayOn Friday, November 25, 2016, the day the American's trend to call “Black Friday” and which we have, it would appear, begun to do so as well, we are celebrating – for lack of a better word – Buy Nothing Day, a 24 hour moratorium on consumer spending. So, instead of running people down and wrestling them to the ground to get to this or that bargain participate by not participating.

That is not to say that you should not, if need to, go out and buy essentials for life, as in food, drink and such. But do not stand in line for hours to then storm the store and battle with others for bargains that, more likely, are not bargains at all and which you may actually not need.

The problem is that we – all too often – misinterpret wants for needs and that what we then buy does not satisfy our wants either, let alone our needs.

Sometimes I think we should just cut ourselves off from this consumerism madness and really look at our needs learn to understand the difference between needs and wants.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to treat oneself to something one desires, from time to time, but it should then, ideally, if it is not something edible, obviously, be something that last for years to come and not something that breaks within a year or less even and then has to be replaced because it cannot be repaired or where repair is more expensive than buying new, as is often the case nowadays.

Do you really need an addition or ten to your wardrobe? A new cellphone, or another new gadget, often replacing one that you already have got and that still works perfectly well? Those are the questions to ask before venturing out to the stores. The next question is, if it is something else rather than electronic, is to whether there might be a chance that you could make it yourself, from “waste” materials even.

Reuse, repurpose, repair, rework, and so on, often makes it possible to get exactly what I want rather than trying to find it and then still not being able to get what I specifically want. One such points in hand was the case when I wanted a neck holster for my trusted Opinel No.6. There is no such thing to be had, I found, so, well, a piece of leather from an old bag that one was destined for the landfill and which I rescued, a rivet, and less than half an hour and there you are (see picture below).

Need, or want, some glass storage jars, preferably eco-friendly? Well, look no further than the glass jars in which you buy this or that product in the shops, be it pickled gherkins, pickled onions, or such. No, they don't go into the glass recycling bin; they get cleaned up and reused as storage jars. Cost nothing and work as well as the “recycled glass storage jars” in the shops for £16 for two or such.

There are other cases when I look at something that I might like to get and think: “Hey, I could make that as easy myself for a very small fraction of the price and less than an hour (OK, at times may be a little longer than that) of my time” and then I set about doing just that. The result then is exactly what I want to exactly my specifications and often at very little cost. The reward not only of having the particular thing but of being able to say “I made that myself”, is greater than anything.

© 2016

RegioHOLZ zielt auf konkrete Forschungsprojekte

Innovations-Sprungbrett für Holzbranche


RegioHOLZ bekommt ein Gesicht an der Hochschule Rottenburg: Die Holztechnologin Anja Röllich und Prof. Dr. Bertil Burian betreuen den wissenschaftlichen Part der Initiative / Foto: Rothfuss/WFG Nordschwarzwald

(PresseBox) (Region Nordschwarzwald/Pforzheim, 21.11.2016) Wissenschaft trifft Wirtschaft - die hochkarätige Veranstaltung am Donnerstag, 1. Dezember an der Hochschule Rottenburg fokussiert auf die Kernziele des vom Land Baden-Württemberg beim RegioWIN-Wettbewerb prämierten Projekts RegioHOLZ: Innovationen und den Technologietransfer in der Holz- und Möbelbranche der Region Nordschwarzwald nachhaltig zu fördern.

Holz ist trendy, nachhaltig und damit der regionale Rohstoff schlechthin. Selbst in der Region ist jedoch kaum bekannt, dass die Holz- und Möbelbranche im Nordschwarzwald zu den innovativsten und dynamischsten überhaupt im Land zählt. Die Anforderungen an die klein- und mittelständisch strukturierten Unternehmen in Bezug auf neue Technologien und die Erschließung neuer Märkte sind allerdings immens. Hier setzt RegioHOLZ an der Schnittstelle zwischen Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft an. Hightech-Themen, wie beispielsweise Industrie 4.0, die Verzahnung der Produktion mit modernster Informations- und Kommunikationstechnik, sind längst in der Branche angekommen. Als Erfolgsgaranten hierbei haben sich individuelle Lösungen bei gleichzeitig maximaler Flexibilität in den Produktionsprozessen herausgestellt. Die Bioökonomie oder der Ersatz fossiler Rohstoffe durch regenerative Pendants gewinnen zunehmend an Bedeutung und werden sich in den nächsten Jahren als Zukunftsbranche etablieren. „Unser Ziel mit RegioHOLZ ist es, solche Potentiale in der Region zu erkennen, die Unternehmen der Branche darin zu unterstützen ihre Innovationsbemühungen entsprechend auszurichten und einen ständigen Dialog Wissenschaft-Wirtschaft in Gang zu bringen“, umreißt Jochen Protzer, Geschäftsführer der WFG die Intention des von der EU und dem Land Baden-Württemberg geförderten Projekts.

„Dieser Prozess erfordert zwingend die Nähe zu wissenschaftlichen Einrichtungen, weshalb wir uns für eine Kooperation mit der Hochschule Rottenburg entschlossen haben“, erklärt der WFG-Chef. Die vor allem durch den Forstsektor bekannte Hochschule Rottenburg baut ihre Expertise in den Fachbereichen Holztechnologie massiv aus und gilt bundesweit, auch aufgrund des neu entstandenen und mit Anlagen gut bestückten Technikums, inzwischen als eine der ersten Adressen bezüglich Zukunftsthemen rund um den Rohstoff Holz. „Frau Röllich wird als neues Gesicht bei der WFG im Bereich Holz die Kontaktstelle Wissenschaft-Wirtschaft an Hochschule Rottenburg besetzen. Ihre Aufgabe umfasst auch die eines „Forschungsscouts“ zu wissenschaftlichen Einrichtungen bundes- und europaweit“, sagt Holger Rothfuß, Projektleiter von RegioHOLZ bei der WFG.

RegioHOLZ nimmt Fahrt auf: „Bei der Premiere des Veranstaltungsformats „Wissenschaft trifft Wirtschaft“ am Donnerstag, 1. Dezember um 18 Uhr an der Hochschule Rottenburg wollen wir der Branche vorstellen, was RegioHOLZ leisten kann und welche Möglichkeiten die Hochschule Rottenburg im Bereich Forschung und Entwicklung bietet“, so Prof. Dr. Bertil Burian von der Hochschule Rottenburg.

Für die Wirtschaftsförderung Nordschwarzwald ist RegioHOLZ das Initialprojekt und der Türöffner für ein umfassenderes Engagement im Bereich Holz und nachhaltige Rohstoffe. „Beim Land Baden-Württemberg schätzt man unsere Expertise“, kommentiert WFG-Chef Protzer die Tatsache, dass mit Claire Duval und Holger Rothfuß zwei WFG-Mitarbeiter in ein internationales Holz-Gremium zur Gestaltung der kommenden EU-Förderperiode im Rahmen der EU-Strategie für den Alpenraum als Vertreter des Landes berufen wurden.

Weitere Informationen und Möglichkeiten zur Partizipation von Unternehmen am Projekt RegioHOLZ erhalten Sie beim Projektträger, der Wirtschaftsförderung Nordschwarzwald GmbH (07231/154 36 94). Dort können sich auch Interessierte bis 30. November zur Veranstaltung „Wissenschaft trifft Wirtschaft“ per E-Mail ( anmelden.

Secondhand first Week

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

2ndhandfirstwk2016The clothes recycling charity Traid has declared November 21-27 as Secondhand first Week with the campaign designed to coincide with the run-up to “Black Friday” on November 25. Often considered the day when Christmas shopping begins in earnest, it will see a projected £1bn spent across the UK in just 24 hours.

Instead of buying new Traid will be urging people to wear secondhand instead. Could instilling pride in wearing pre-owned clothes help avoid wasteful fast fashion?

Buying secondhand and repurposing items rather than buying new could reduce fashion's substantial environmental footprint. An estimated 10,000 items of clothing are sent to UK landfill every five minutes, equating to more than 350,000 tons of wearable clothes being dumped in landfill each year. Most of us own at least one pair of jeans but few know it would take approximately 14 years to drink the amount of water used to make just a single pair.

Secondhand first Week events will take place across London, including late night shopping sessions at Traid's 11 charity shops and a screening of films made by 50 Cambodian garment workers. Shoppers will also be encouraged to sign a secondhand first pledge: a promise to wear at least some secondhand outfits during the week.

Rather than focusing on guilt to motivate people toward changing habits, the Traid team are keen to emphasize the fun and creativity to be had in sourcing fashion more sustainably.

I am going to stick my head above the parapet here now and am going to advocate to not only go secondhand for fashion but also for other things and frequent charity shops for much of our non-grocery items, at least to some extent. More importantly also to use and reuse what we already have, including reusable items of waste. The latter is another story, however, and I have written about it quite a few times already and, no doubt, will do time and again in the future.

© 2016

National Tree Week 2016

26th November to 4th December


As National Tree Week – the UK’s biggest annual festival of trees – approaches, The Tree Council is encouraging everyone to consider how they can change views for the better by planting and celebrating trees.

61bf8460-ff8c-4504-8683-16a70b93f370Across the country, views of the landscape are changing for the worse as more and more trees fall victim to invasive pests and diseases. National Tree Week provides communities with the impetus to fight back by planting the trees of the future and attempting to change the view for future generations. Each year, the festival inspires around a quarter of a million people to get their hands dirty and plant up to one million trees. This year is no exception, and fun, worthwhile and accessible tree planting events are taking place around the country, organised by The Tree Council’s member organisations, which include voluntary bodies and local authorities, as well as our network of 8,000 Tree Warden volunteers, schools, community groups and others.

National Tree Week has an added resonance this year as 2016 is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the famous landscape architect who transformed views from so many of our best loved country estates, parks and gardens. He was nicknamed ‘Capability’ due to his tendency to tell his clients that they had ‘great capability’ to improve the landscape. Few of us have large country estates at our disposal, we each have the ‘capability’ to change views by helping to plant more trees.

For those who don't have the opportunity to plant a tree, there are plenty of other ways to get involved in National Tree Week. People can celebrate trees by contributing a tree story or memory towards the Charter for Trees, Woods and People, which launches in a year's time in November 2017. Or they could 'dress' a favourite local tree during Tree Dressing Day (3rd December 2016), which falls on the last weekend of National Tree Week. Whichever way people choose to mark the occasion, National Tree Week encourages individuals, communities and families across the UK to change their views about the value and significance of trees in their lives.

Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council, commented: ‘Wherever we live, there’s no better way to change the view than by adding trees to it. We have so many reasons to celebrate trees: they shelter us from the elements, reduce noise levels, improve air quality and attract an abundance of wildlife for us to enjoy – and our views of them change with the changing seasons. Communities can help change views from any window, along any street or of any park or green space by planting trees during National Tree Week and throughout the bare root tree planting season.’

Green roofing to the maximum

ZinCo at the BAU 2017, Hall A3 Stand 119

0854431_webThe new system build-up Stormwater Management Roof is impressive with its water storage capacity on the roof and time-delayed water run off.

(PresseBox) (Nürtingen, 17.11.2016) Severe rain events, floods, urban overheating - the result of climate change and rapid land sealing are evident to us all. ZinCo, the highly innovative green roof manufacturer will demonstrate some pioneering solutions at the BAU

0827326_webOur new Stormwater Management Roof is designed to store large quantities of stormwater on the roof, allowing it to run off in a time delay. This balances precipitation peaks effectively.
Our new Urban Climate Roof is designed for maximum evaporation performance, which is achieved by means of a specially developed plant community in combination, for example, with grey water irrigation. The high evaporation rate has a cooling effect on the surrounding environment and actively impacts the urban climate.

Visitors to the BAU can take a closer look at how these two new systems work to maximise stormwater retention and enhance evaporation performance.

In addition, we have a wide range of tried and tested system solutions for green roofs: Extensive and intensive green roofs, pathways and driveways on roofs, combinations with solar plants and anti-arrest devices.

ZinCo provides building-specific planning support for architects and planners.

This press release is presented without editing for your information only.

The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered, as we have no direct knowledge if them. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

Sea Shepherd Ships Arrive at Southern Operations Base, Ready to Take on the Japanese Whaling Fleet

Ocean WarriorMelbourne, Australia – 11/16/2016: Sea Shepherd’s new patrol vessel, the Ocean Warrior, arrived yesterday at the Southern Operations base in Williamstown, just outside Melbourne, joining the veteran anti-whaling ship MV Steve Irwin. They are undergoing final preparations before departing for the ocean conservation group’s 11th direct-action whale defense campaign in the Southern Ocean this December.

Japan’s so-called “scientific research” program to hunt Minke whales has been rejected by the International Court of Justice, the International Whaling Commission and the Australian Federal Court. After a one-year hiatus from whaling, the Japanese whaling fleet returned to the Antarctic last season and slaughtered 333 Minke whales, more than half of them pregnant females. Disappointed by the lack of action from the international community, Sea Shepherd Global announced its return to the Southern Ocean to protect the whales with a new patrol vessel, the Ocean Warrior, the fastest in the fleet.

“Operation Nemesis”, named after the Greek goddess of inescapable justice, will be one of the most difficult campaigns Sea Shepherd has undertaken. The Japanese have doubled their whaling area in the Southern Ocean, meaning Sea Shepherd will have to search in an expanse twice as large to find them. The reduced quota of 333 whales targeted in the hunt also means the Japanese can complete their hunt and return to Japan in less time. She Shepherd will rely on the strength of the Steve Irwin, the speed of the Ocean Warrior, and the assistance of their helicopter and small speedboats to overcome these challenges in the harsh Antarctic waters.

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd 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. For more information, visit:

This press release is presented for your information only.

Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.

Labour Party and Trade Unions are no longer the friends of the working class

Labour Party and Trade Unions are no loger the friends of the working class in Britain nor Trade Unions and Social-Democratic parties elsewhere

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

People's democracyJeremy Corbyn likes to make himself out to be a socialist but his actions have shown something entirely different. Six months or so after becoming leader of the Labour Party he told members of big business that the Labour Party is the natural – I repeat natural – ally of (big) business and, in the campaign for Britain to stay in the EU, he spoke of making Europe more social through the British Labour Party. That is the social-democracy tune and not socialism.

The Labour Party and its current leader would not know socialism if it bit them in the proverbial and when they talk about socialism they, like Bernie Sanders in the US, are talking about democratic socialism for which we better read social-democracy.

Social-democracy is not in the interest of the working class and will not liberate the workers from their existence as wage slaves. It is tinkering around the edges to some degree and in other instances it turns to state capitalism. In the latter instance the worker than becomes a slave to the state rather than to an employer and often that situation is worse that the other. Under state capitalism it is often for the worker a case of from the frying pan into the fire.

Socialism is not state capitalism nor is it social-democratic tinkering around the edges and the Labour Party, much like the Social Democratic parties in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, including Die Linke in Germany, and the Trade Unions, in Britain and elsewhere, do not have the interest of the workers at heart. In the case of the parties they work hand-in-glove with industry and (big) business to prevent a takeover by the workers and the Trade Unions have in themselves become an industry and do their utmost to defend their positions, rather than liberating the workers, as can be see by their stance with regards to worker-owned cooperatives. (See Trade Unions vs Workers' Cooperatives).

The Labour Party may have, at some time in the past, been inspired by some notion of socialism, though more a socialism light rather than true socialism, but that is long ago and what was called “New Labour” under Blair and his ilk, became more or less a slightly social-democracy leaning Tory party. Aside from the fact that in early 2016 those Blairites and Brownites are still very much in evidence in the Labour Party its new leader, from whom we expected a great deal more, has also decided to get into bed with big business and capitalism.

Nationalizing (key) industries, utilities, communication and public transportation, as we have had in the UK, and other countries, including and especially the so-called socialist countries in Eastern Europe (and some other places) does not make for socialism; what it creates is state capitalism, no more no less. Socialism and communism will only come about when the workers (are permitted or give themselves the permission to) own the means of production.

A state enterprise is not worker-owned, it is state-owned and thus state capitalism. State-owned enterprises do not make for means of production in the hands of the workers but make the workers into wage slaves of the state and often that means that they jump from the proverbial frying pan into the fire. The remain wage slaves and nothing more; they are not owners of the means of production, however much one wishes to claim that.

Karl Marx has often been misquoted and his material even be rewritten to change it from “the means of production in the hands of the workers” to “the means of production in the hands of the state” in an attempt to favor the state over the worker.

The attitude of the trade unions to this and to workers owning the means of production I have already discussed in the article Trade Unions vs Workers' Cooperatives and more does not have to be said on that level.

The only way the workers and the working class will ever become the owners of the means of production if the working class itself creates the right conditions for such a change. Parties such as the Labour Party and the trade unions are not going to do it for us.

© 2016

On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

poppies-leavesArmistice Day, as it is called in Britain, in once again upon us. The day where we are called upon to remember the “glorious” dead of the Great War, the war that was supposed to end all war. Now it has become the day on which to honor all the fallen heroes of the wars that came thereafter.

The guns fell silent on the eleventh hour of the eleventh of November 1918 signaling the end of the up to then bloodiest war which involved a great part of the world and which in Britain was called the Great War. It was also meant, as said above, the war to end all wars. But ever since we have had more wars, including another World War, the second one, that cost the lives of millions upon millions. Still no peace.

On Armistice Day we are no no longer honoring just the “glorious” dead of the Great War, now also known as the First World War, but those the Second World War, of the Korean War, a numerous other wars and conflicts eve since that war that was supposed to end all wars.

Now, at this very moment, almost one hundred years after the end of the Great War, we are, as far as NATO is concerned, preparing a new war by going on a confrontation course with Russia with somewhere in the region of 300,000 troops, including British ones, being stationed just about three to five miles away from the Russian borders in the Baltic States and in Poland. They just could not get more stupid.

Are we – or better the elite – mad? The answer to this question must be a resounding “yes, very much so”. But then it is not they themselves that have to make the sacrifice. Nay, it is the little man, as always. The elite will sit safely tucked away in their bunkers deep under ground while others have to die for the cause that they have decreed to be right. Oh, but the soldiers will get medals and honors, if but posthumous.

And the civilian dead? The men, women and children, the old and the sick? Well, that is collateral damage.

Russia is not our enemy. The Russian people and Russian soldiers, sailors and airmen are not our enemies. The politicians and the elite of our neoliberal or neoconservative (same side of the same coin) capitalist “western” world, who are hellbent on world domination, with the United States in the lead, they are our enemies. Those are the enemies that we have to fight and defeat.

© 2016

Jetting across the world to show how bad it is to be jetting across the world

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

That is basically what Leonardo Di Caprio has done in “his” docu-movie “Before the Flood”. It is exactly the same as what the environmental NGOs do when they jet to each and every climate conference. It is making a total mockery out of trying to convince the rest of the people to do as they are told by those who do different.

BeforeTheFloodWhile there may be important issues covered and interesting concepts shown the point remains that, like with the NGOs jetting off to the conferences across the world, and, obviously, the world “leaders” the message is, time and again, it would appear; “do as we say not do as we do.” Is it therefore any wonder that the people, in general, are somewhat apathetic when the ones telling them are the ones doing exactly the opposite of the message that they are screaming out? Hypocrites are rarely listened to unless you happen to be sitting in church.

Those who preach, whether it is sustainability or Christianity, or whatever, better walk the walk and not just talk the talk. The problem is that the majority of all those preachers do the latter and not the former.

It is nice, for instance, for the current Pope to talk about the state of the biosphere or the world in general as to inequality and while he lives a little more frugally than his predecessors he still has not downsized that much.

Many Christian churches, their ministers and members, claim to be very distressed and disturbed about all the homelessness but still they will more often than not prevent homeless people being near their houses of worship and as to actually housing them; don't be silly.

Back to the environmental issue trail politicians almost everywhere, for example, talk about how we need to cut back on this and that, reduce driving a flying, while still wanting us to consume more for the good of the economy. But while they ask of us, nay demand, that we reduce our environmental footprint (forget the carbon bit), they drive their cars, with a few exceptions, or get driven in their official cars all over the place, or they jet from one place to another.

Di Caprio may have made an interesting documentary and also shown some innovative ideas with regards to sustainability from many different parts of the world but that does not negate the fact that he probably caused enough greenhouse gas in the process to sink a small island.

It must be said that DiCaprio’s documentary is, ironically, a testament to excessive consumption because he jets around the world to China, India, the Arctic, Miami, Italy, Indonesia and beyond, meeting the Pope, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, addressing the UN in New York and Paris, chatting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, and all in the name if climate change and its prevention.

At the end of the film, the producers say they paid a voluntary carbon tax to support the rainforests, which reduced the 90-minute documentary’s carbon footprint to zero.

Except these so-called carbon allowances – even assuming they are genuine – resemble little more than the papal indulgences of old which, while they ostensibly absolved sin, didn’t actually remove it, and that is what we have to remember with those carbon certificates, carbon tax, or whatever we may wish to call those things. They are but the modern day indulgences absolving environmental damage caused by the actions of a corporation, a government, or whatever. It does not make the damage go away, however.

For that to happen we, all of us, need to change, and that also means that we must stop those conferences about climate change and the environment to which everyone has to fly causing more emissions and damage.

So, and I am now addressing you film makers, Greenpeace and other such NGOs, and governments; if you want to be taken serious as to action on climate change and sustainability then walk the walk and not just talk the talk. We have the technology today to do all our conferencing online. Yes, I know that also has an environmental footprint but a much smaller than everyone jetting off to those places. The same goes for making documentaries, and such. But no, you all want to be slapping each others' backs at those conferences and so on. It is all, for most of you (am still addressing that the above mentioned) a means of aggrandizement, of “look what I am doing about this”. Just like the giver who announces his gifts of charity in the media. We can very well do without any more hypocrites. We already have enough of them all over the place.

© 2016

Recipes for peanut butter & pickles sandwiches

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

On the world wide web there are now several sites already that I have encountered that give the recipe and instructions of how to make peanut butter & pickles sandwiches. No, I kid you not.

peanut-butter-pickle-sandwichSorry, I think the world has gone mad. But then again some people even need to consult the Internet for instructions of how to boil an egg, I know. And I would not surprised if some would even have to research how to boil water in a pan.

Where did we go wrong in our development in the last couple of decades? I am not completely sure but the overuse of all that technology seems to have something to do with it. We seem to be going backwards rather than forwards, as humans per se. We may have great technology and all that but common sense and other important senses and whatever seem to have gotten entirely lost in the last couple of decades. Now people need recipes and instructions for making a peanut butter and pickles sandwich.

How difficult can it be? Take two – yes just two – slices of bread. Put peanut butter on one side of each slice of bread. Now take a pickled cucumber out of a jar, slice it and put slices onto one “buttered” slice of bread. Cover with other slice, “buttered” side down. Voila. Now eat. Or do they need an instruction how to do the later as well, preferably in video format.

Sometimes I do really wonder how it is just possible that we seem to have become so dumbed down that we need to have recipes for even the simplest things and tasks nowadays. I am not sure whether we really have advanced as a species or gone backwards.

© 2016