Warrior: One Man's Environmental Crusade

Through the eyes of the author of this book, readers can chart the progress of the Green movement from its infancy, in the seventies, up to the present day. Pete Wilkinson is an influential figure in this field - a former Director of Greenpeace, he was later on the board of Greenpeace International. Pete Wilkinson has a fascinating story to tell, and he tells it with a style which is both swift moving and compulsive. Beginning his working life as a long-distance lorry driver, he joined Friends of the Earth in 1971, and he says it was as if I had at last come home . Here began an association with the Green movement and, in particular, with Greenpeace, which was to last for 20 years. Having been head-hunted from Friends of the Earth, he was instrumental in pulling the name of Greenpeace from obscurity and establishing its position as one of the foremost environmental organisations of our time. But Warrior is not a book which confines itself to the glorification of the achievements of the major forces within the Green lobby. It exposes the machinations behind the scenes; politicking and power-struggles are documented in this publication, in a way which is, by its nature, unique. This book takes an inside look at a major international campaigning organisation, its origins, its history, its people and its current dilemmas. It is written, not by a journalist or observer, but by one of its earliest and hardiest warriors. The mainstream Green movement has become subject to increasing scrutiny and criticism over recent years, and in line with this, Pete Wilkinson reveals his own reservations. His documentation of the early days of Greenpeace provides a startling insight into the changes wrought over the subsequent years. A penniless group with a staff of four has become a hugely influential and wealthy force. The author testifies to the uncompromising vigour of the early movement and provides the reader with a challenging perspective on the contemporary environmental procedures. The powerful prose carries the reader over the oceans to the Continent of Antarctica, to marvel at this most beautiful and undiscovered region - a region which has become a veritable rubbish dump for industrial waste. The author describes with graphic and compulsive language such experiences as a confrontation with a Japanese whaling ship, witnessing the skuppering of the famous Rainbow Warrior and the many successful campaigns against nuclear testing. These experiences are conveyed in such a way as to make Warrior as compulsive as it is informative. This book is an essentially personal account of a life spent within a movement which represents the outstanding preoccupation of our era. Amusing and anecdotal passages are present alongside documentation of excitement, protest and fear. Timed to coincide with a major Channel 4 documentary on the Green movement, the author questions whether the environmental movement has become a victim of its own success. He asks whether it has lost direction in the post-Rio days in which the issues have been usurped by the politicians and industry. And from his unique standpoint and unshakeable commitment he is able to throw as much energy into solution-finding as he ever did when David McTaggart described him as the most ornery bastard the environmental movement could ever come up with .