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Patrick Moore takes on another Greenpeace Guru

Patrick Moore was a co-founder of Greenpeace way back in 1971. He abandoned them in 1986 so he could pursue his environmental passions. As you would. Last November he published a tempting book: Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. And not surprisingly stretched a few of his old friendships. The Vancouver Sun has a rare debate between Moore and Rex Weyler, another co-Founder (see below for a snippet). Predictably, Greenpeace is firing their best ad hom, and referring to him as a “paid spokesman for the Nuclear Industry” and are busy rewriting history. They used to list Moore as a co-Founder on their website in the past (copy here), but now they say that they were formed in 1970, and he joined it in 1971, “see the letter”. I did see the letter, and it seems “Greenpeace” didn’t quite mean the same thing in 1970.  What Moore joined in 1971 was a committee called, engagingly, “Don’t Make A Wave Committee” (I can see why that didn’t catch on) and it seems they had a boat called Greenpeace. He was also president of Greenpeace from 1977, and was even on the Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed in 1985. You’d think that would count for something. Patrick Moore is very much a skeptic


“We do not have any scientific proof that we are the cause of the global warming that has occurred in the last 200 years…The alarmism is driving us through scare tactics to adopt energy policies that are going to create a huge amount of energy poverty among the poor people. It’s not good for people and its not good for the environment…In a warmer world we can produce more food.”

He quit Greenpeace when they banned chlorine:

“The last straw was when Greenpeace decided to run with a global ban on chlorine. “This is when Greenpeace really lost me. As a student of advanced biochemistry, I realized chlorine was one of the 92 natural elements in the periodic table and that it is essential for life. You don’t just go around banning entire elements…”

Today he is chair and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. From the Vancouver Sun

Transcript: A heavy-weight bout between two founders of Greenpeace

RW: You portray yourself as “sensible” and disparage all non-corporate environmentalists, but you don’t act scientific. You employ rhetorical devices such as: “There is no alarm about climate change,” since “the climate is always changing.” I’m sure this plays well at corporate speaking gigs, but you should google the fallacy of “misplaced concreteness.” I assume you are aware that you erroneously presume a word means the same thing in different contexts. PM: … As to acting “scientific” the highest duty of a scientist is to retain a healthy scepticism about all hypotheses, especially regarding subjects that have many variables like climate. I think you are aware that I hold an Honours BSc in Biology and Forest Biology, a PhD in Ecology, an Honorary Doctorate of Science and have received the the US National Award for Nuclear Science and History from the Einstein Society, affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute. Would this not make me at least as credible as any member of the IPCC? Second, I did not say “there is no alarm about climate change,” but that “there is no REASON FOR alarm about climate change.” The fact that there is such alarm I blame in part on Greenpeace itself. And finally, as to the “misplaced concreteness”, I refer to climate as a scientific subject, measurable and real. Following Alfred North Whitehead’s definition of this fallacy, I see no misplaced concreteness there. My belief that there is no reason for alarm has no bearing on the fact that the climate is always changing. I can imagine the public outcry when you accuse me of “misplaced concreteness”, Lordy Lordy. You and your allies love to use the words “corporate” and “industry” as if they are epithets, swear words, put-downs, etc. with the implication that something sinister is going on. My public appearances are in public, usually with media present. …. RW: I genuinely enjoy our occasional beer sessions, but since you have gone on such a full scale attack against those working on environmental efforts outside the corporate world – calling us “senseless,” accusing us of being “murderers,” cherry-picking data, and insulting everyone who has a different point of view, I think you must expect some resistance and honest feedback. PM: I expect resistance to my honestly held views because they threaten the misinformation machine that Greenpeace and their allies have become. I believe many of the policies of the organization are senseless, such as their opposition to many forms of aquaculture, including salmon, shrimp and tuna farming. I have not called you a murderer, unless you too have been responsible for blocking the introduction of genetically modified Golden Rice that would prevent between 250,000 to 500,000 children from going blind each year and then dying miserably at an early age due to vitamin A deficiency.

Read it all (it’s much longer than this). It’s not often you actually see two well informed men go face to face. H/t Merryn Sullivan, HockeySchtick. Photo: Petroleum Economist who also have a story out on Moore 31-3-2011

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