You know things are getting bad when a conference sponsored by seemingly mainstream groups like the Ocean Conservancy and the Pew Charitable Trusts includes a panel on “direct action” featuring the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s “Captain” Paul Watson. An open promoter of violence, Watson declares there’s “nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win.” Yesterday he told the self-described “seaweed rebels” at the conference on ocean health: “We can no longer afford to eat any seafood.”

After announcing that Sea Shepherd is “proudly a pirate organization,” Watson insisted:

… we have got to cease and desist and declare a taboo situation [on eating seafood] for at least another hundred years … I guess that’s going to go down not very well with some people, you know, that we advocate nobody eat fish at all.

What’s Watson’s motivation? Click here to see video clips of Watson saying he “owed no allegiance to humanity” and “I have done everything I can to fight for his kind [whales] not our kind.” Instead, his niche is “ramming ships and pissing people off” because fishermen, in Watson’s words, are “the biggest bunch of sadistic bastards in the world” (click here for video).

Rainforest Action Network president Randy Hayes joined Watson on the “direct action” panel. Having previously argued that capitalism is “an absurd economic system,” yesterday Hayes maintained that scientists are the problem, as they get in the way of green groups’ agendas:

You know, I’ve been hearing too much about scientists here at this conference the last couple days, to be honest, from my standpoint of how you really organize and win a fight. I mean, let’s just be serious. Common sense, good science, and reason are insufficient tools for orchestrating social change. I’m not at all suggesting that you have bad science, but don’t let these goddamned scientists get up on too damned many panels, because you’ll lose the war.

Echoing Hayes’ anti-science sentiments was Eileen Claussen — a former State Department official who was a member of the Pew Oceans Commission (and now heads the Pew Center on Global Climate Change). Responding to a fisherman’s complaint that ocean science isn’t mature enough to use as a mandate to restrict fishing, she
told the crowd: “I don’t think you should delay acting on something because there is some uncertainty in the science. And I think we all agree on that.”