Dr. Patrick Moore “How Greenpeace turned its back on science”

By P.A. Sévigny on April 21, 2011

Following a recent  lunch and lecture in Montreal’s well-appointed Omni Hotel, city business people were lining up to meet Patrick Moore who was one of the founding members of the Greenpeace organization and is now one of its more notable critics.

“We did a lot of good things over the early years,” said Moore, “…but after 15 years, there came a point where we had to part ways over obvious scientific issues.”

While proud of his 15 years with Greenpeace, he told his audience he could no longer be a part of an organization which seems to be far more interested in its own image as environmental activists than actually being effective advocates for the environment. Apart from the fact that he still believes science has the capacity to develop logical solutions to environmental problems, he could no longer tolerate the qualified hysteria and fear mongering which often defines Greenpeace and the rest of the Green movement. In his new book Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Makings of a Sensible Environmentalist, Moore describes his own 15 year odyssey during the organization’s early years after which he describes why he left the organization after being one of its more visibleand vocal leaders. Based upon his own background and his scientific education,he began to find himself at odds with what he perceived to be the group’s anti-business and anti-human agenda. Citing the organization’s opposition to the use of chlorine in modern industrial manufacturing, Moore believes the organization is now working on issues it can’t possible win which will only serve to sabotage future efforts for working debates over more worthy environmental issues.

“They want to ban chlorine,” he said. “How can you ban a chemical that’s got its own place (atom #13) on the periodic table?” As over 11 Billion Kilos of chlorine are produced and sold each year to manufacture thousands, if not millions of different chloride based products, Moore said Greenpeace has to be more realistic if it wants to appeal to the common sense of ordinary Canadians.

During his presentation, Moore described his vision for a sustainable world based on a more sensible, science-based approach required to properly deal with the environment’s growing problems. Apart from their reliance upon assorted bumper-sticker sound-bites tailored for 20 second media spots, the former Greenpeace director has harsh words for politicians who lack intellectual rigor while they pander to the crowd. Citing ongoing discussions about Greenpeace and its ferocious opposition to British Columbia’s logging policies; Moorecontinued to denounce the environmental movement’s reliance upon its self-serving positions which does a lot to raise its media profile but does little to promote any kind of reasonable discussion about the local economy and its links to its immediate environment.

“As an environmentalist, it’s crazy to oppose the exploitation of our forests,” he said. “If forests are properly managed, wood becomes a renewable source of both energy and building material.”

Other salient points include Moore’s assertion that hydro-electric projects should be encouraged wherever possible.

“It’s hard to believe Greenpeace has already managed to stop over 200 different hydro projects, leaving the way open for more coal-fired electricity plants,” said Moore.

Apart from Hydro projects, and notwithstanding the recent nuclear plant disaster in Japan, Moore said the world has very few options except to build more nuclear power plants if there is to be any possible hope of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

While he said there was no shortage of new and applicable ideas, Moore again denounced the political establishment at every level for lackingimagination, intellectual rigor and the courage to implement obvious working solutions required to solve the obvious problems which affect the world’s working environment.

“Geo-thermal energy is a far more important resource than wind and solar energy combined,” he said. “Apart from proper insulation, this is the future and within a few years, we could easily reduce our fossil fuel consumption to a bare minimum but there’s no political will to make it happen.”

When Moore began to describe the Greenpeace opposition to GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) as a “crime against humanity,” he really got the crowd’s attention. Even as the world is already failing to face up to the challenge of feeding the planet’s growing population, he questions Greenpeace and other organization’s who refuse to acknowledge the obvious benefits of industrialized and mechanized farming. As far as Moore is concerned, one of the root causes behind the third world’s ongoing poverty is sustenance farming where up to 80% of the population is actively engaged in agriculture as opposed tomodern farms where less than 10% of the population works to grow its own food. While more than a few social elements are affected by a third world approach to agriculture, women are truly left barefoot and pregnant in primitive kitchens because sustenance farming provides few options for any other kind of life.

While Greenpeace continues to use good intentions and a collective concern about the environment to collect millions of dollars through its well planned and well orchestrated abilities to capture the headlines, Moore believes the green movement now requires far more reason and logic than any kind of media driven hysteria designed to reap big checks for yet another tax deductible charity organization called Greenpeace.

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