Patrick Moore (environmentalist)

Patrick Moore (environmentalist)

Infobox Person
name=Patrick Moore

birth_place=Winter Harbour, British Columbia
education=Ph.D University of British Columbia

Patrick Moore (born 1947) is a Canadian ecologist, environmentalist and activist. Most recently has worked as a consultant and public speaker on environmental issues. He was a founding member of Greenpeace International, although he now voices harsh criticism towards the organization.


Moore was born in 1947 in Winter Harbour, B.C., Canada. He obtained a Ph.D. in ecology from the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology, University of British Columbia.

In 1971, he was a very early member of Greenpeace. He participated in the founding meetings, helping to plan the first Greenpeace campaign against US nuclear testing in Alaska. He was a member of the crew of "Phyllis Cormack", a chartered fishing boat that set out on the first Greenpeace voyage in September 1971. He served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada, as well as seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International, during a time in which Greenpeace became the world's largest environmental activist organization.

In 1977, Moore was elected president of the Greenpeace Foundation, the original group in Vancouver, Canada. He replaced Bob Hunter who had been president since 1974. During the first campaign to save whales in 1975, Greenpeace confronted the Soviet whaling fleet off the coast of California. Moore and Hunter were both crew members on that voyage aboard the "Phyllis Cormack", the same fishing boat that was chartered for the first campaign in 1971. During the confrontation, film footage was obtained of the Soviet whaling boat firing a harpoon over the heads of Greenpeace members in a Zodiac inflatable and into the back of a female sperm whale.

The Greenpeace crew arrived in San Francisco the next day. The film footage made the evening news on all three national networks. This put Greenpeace on the world stage more than any other action, with the possible exception of the French bombing of the "Rainbow Warrior" in 1985. Support began to pour in. Moore and Hunter went on a talk radio show and appealed for a lawyer to help them incorporate a branch office in San Francisco in order to organize activities in the US and to manage donations. A young lawyer named David Tussman volunteered and helped Moore, Hunter, and Paul Spong set up an office at Fort Mason.

As a result of the publicity, Greenpeace offices began to open throughout North America, including cities such as Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco. Not all of these offices accepted the authority of the founding organization in Canada. Contention arose over who controlled the name "Greenpeace", who could raise funds, and who could claim to represent the group. Moore and his board in Vancouver organized two meetings to bring all the groups together to try to find a resolution. During this time David Tussman announced that he and the board of the San Francisco group intended to break away from the Greenpeace Foundation. After all efforts to settle the matter failed, the Greenpeace Foundation filed a civil lawsuit in San Francisco charging that the San Francisco group was in violation of trademark and copyright by using the Greenpeace name without permission of the Greenpeace Foundation.

The lawsuit was settled at a meeting on 10 October, 1979, in the offices of lawyer David Gibbons in Vancouver. Attending were Moore, Hunter, David McTaggart, Rex Weyler, and about six others. At this meeting it was agreed that Greenpeace International would be created. This meant that Greenpeace would remain a single organization rather than becoming a generic word that anyone could use. McTaggart who had come to represent all the other Greenpeace groups against the Greenpeace Foundation, was named Chairman. Moore became President of Greenpeace Canada (the new name for Greenpeace Foundation) and a director of Greenpeace International. Other directors were appointed from the USA, France, the UK, and the Netherlands. Moore remained a director of Greenpeace International until his departure in early 1986.

After leaving Greenpeace, Moore founded Greenspirit, a consultancy focusing on environmental policy and communications in natural resources, biodiversity, energy, and climate change.

Moore was a member of the British Columbia government-appointed Round Table on the Environment and Economy from 1990 - 1994. In 1990, he founded and chaired the BC Carbon Project, a group that worked to develop a common understanding of climate change. cite web|url= |title=Resume of Patrick Moore, Ph.D. |accessdate=2007-03-13 |last=Moore |first=Patrick |work=Greenspirit |archiveurl= |archivedate=2005-09-10 ]

Moore served for four years as Vice President of Environment for Waterfurnace International, the largest manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps for residential heating and cooling with renewable earth energy.

As Chair of the Sustainable Forestry Committee of the Forest Alliance of BC, a group created by the forest industry,cite web| url=| title=Eco-Traitor| first=Drake| last=Bennett| month=March | year=2004| publisher=Wired magazine] Moore leads the process of developing the "Principles of Sustainable Forestry" which have been adopted by a majority of the industry.

Moore published "Green Spirit - Trees are the Answer", a photo-book on forests and the role they can play in solving some current environmental problems in 2000.

Moore also made two appearances on "" in episodes "Environmental Hysteria" (2003) and "Endangered Species" (2005).

In 2006, Moore became co-chair (with Christine Todd Whitman) of a new industry-funded initiative, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, which supports increased use of nuclear energy.cite news| first=Patrick | last=Moore|url=|title=Going Nuclear| date=2006-04-16| publisher=Washington Post]


Moore criticizes what he sees as scare tactics and disinformation employed by some within the environmental movement:

Interviewed in the 2007 film documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle", Moore commented: "See, I don't even like to call it the environmental movement any more, because really it is a political activist movement, and they have become hugely influential at a global level."

Alternative energy

Moore today supports nuclear power, along with renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass, and wind. He argues that any realistic plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and the emission of greenhouse gases should include increased use of nuclear energy. He has publicly acknowledged that this is in stark contrast to his views on this subject some decades earlier (as has another pioneer environmentalist, Stewart Brand). In 1976, Moore called nuclear power plants "the most dangerous devices that man has ever created. Their construction and proliferation is the most irresponsible, in fact the most criminal, act ever to have taken place on this planet".cite journal |last=Moore |first=Patrick |year=1976 |title=Assault on Future Generations |journal=Greenpeace Report |pages=47] Moore believes that alternatives to fossil fuels must be found and that nuclear energy is one of the most effective technologies to reduce fossil fuel use.

Moore is supported by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), a national organization of pro-nuclear industries which hopes to enlist Moore's help in bringing about a nuclear renaissance. [ [ Nuclear greenwashing] ]

Global warming

Moore calls global warming the "most difficult issue facing the scientific community today in terms of being able to actually predict with any kind of accuracy what's going to happen".Penn Jillette Radio Show, 2006-06-08, Free FM: Interview ( [ Recording] )] While acknowledging that the increase of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere is caused by human consumption of fossil fuels, he claims that as of 2006, it cannot be proven as the exclusive reason the Earth has been warming since 1980.Fact|date=March 2007 He stresses that it is scientific evidence, not consensus opinion, that would prove or disprove this relation.

Genetically modified foods

In 2006, Moore addressed a Biotechnology Industry Organization conference in Waikiki saying, "There's no getting away from the fact that over 6 billion people wake up each day on this planet with real needs for food, energy and materials," in support of genetically engineered crops. cite web|url= |title=Greenpeace co-founder praises global warming |last=Hao |first=Sean |date=2006-01-13 |work=Honolulu Advertiser |archiveurl= |archivedate=2006-02-07 ] He also told the gathering that global warming and the melting of glaciers is not necessarily a negative event because it creates more arable land and the use of forest products drives up demand for wood and spurs the planting of more trees.

Criticism by other environmentalists

Moore has been criticized by environmentalists for many of his views. Some see him as having "abruptly turned his back on the environmental movement" and "being a mouthpiece for some of the very interests Greenpeace was founded to counter". His critics point out Moore's business relations with what they see as "polluters and clear-cutters" through his consultancy. Moore has earned his living since the early 1990s primarily by consulting for, and publicly speaking to a wide variety of corporations and industry lobby groups. The Greenpeace International web site used to include Moore in their list of founders. cite web|url= |title=The Founders of Greenpeace |accessdate=2007-03-13 |work=Greenpeace International |archiveurl= |archivedate=2006-05-14 ] However, there is some controversy over whether Moore was a "co-founder", or merely an "early" member, of Greenpeace. His claim of being a founding member is supported by Paul Watsoncite news | first=Paul| last=Watson| title=Solutions instead of sensationalism | date=July 31, 2005 | publisher=The San Francisco Examiner | url= ] but disputed by other founders including Dorothy Stowe, Bob Hunter (deceased), Ben Metcalf (deceased), Dorothy Metcalf, and Jim and Marie Bolen, cite web|url= |title=The Founders of Greenpeace |accessdate=2007-03-13 |work=Greenpeace International ] and is at odds with his original Greenpeace membership application.cite web|url=|title=Patrick Moore not the co-founder of Greenpeace |accessdate=2008-07-02 ]

Paul Watson, another co-founder of Greenpeace, quit the organization after Moore allegedly called a meeting to expel him from the board amid disagreements over Watson's direct action campaigns.cite news | first=Paul| last=Watson| title=Solutions instead of sensationalism | date=July 31, 2005 | publisher=The San Francisco Examiner | url= ] He claims Moore "uses his status as co-founder of Greenpeace to give credibility to his accusations. I am also a co-founder of Greenpeace and I have known Patrick Moore for 35 years.... Moore makes accusations that have no basis in fact".cite news | first=Paul| last=Watson| title=Solutions instead of sensationalism | date=July 31, 2005 | publisher=The San Francisco Examiner | url= ]

Moore's history as a co-founder of Greenpeace includes his attendance at the planning sessions for the first voyage against US nuclear testing in 1971, sailing as a member of the crew on the first voyage, and serving 15 years in the top committee of Greenpeace, the last seven years as one of five directors of Greenpeace International.Fact|date=March 2007


External links

* [ Greenspirit] , Patrick Moore's website
* [ Greenspirit Strategies] , Patrick Moore's consultancy
* [ Audio Interview] from []
* [ Source Watch] on Patrick Moore
* [ Going Nuclear: A Green Makes the Case] - "Washington Post", April 16 2006
* [ Why I Left Greenpeace] - "The Wall Street Journal", April 22, 2008

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