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Patrick Moore

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 5 months, 3 weeks ago


This page is now largely historical. See Patrick Moore and Greenpeace for the current page, sex lies and Nuclear Power for my take on related issues, and Greenwashing for a more general look at Greenpeace


Patrick Moore is an interesting character.


And one of the most interesting things about him is the campaign by his opponents to pretend that he's not.




The Founding of Greenpeace 

Moore has often been referred to as a founder of Greenpeace, and not just by himself. See for example


https://twitter.com/CaptPaulWatson/status/1106327371718774784 Greenpeace was established in 1972 and Moore along with Bob Hunter, Bobbi Hunter Rod Marining, and others were the founding directors... Paul Watson was himself expelled from the Greenpeace board in 1977, unanimously except for his own vote, and Greenpeace today also dispute his claim to have been one of their founders.


New Scientist https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg16422185-000-dr-truth/


Canberra times https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/116371259?searchTerm=greenpeace+co-founder


and behind a paywall 


Vancouver Sun https://www.newspapers.com/image/496413641/?terms=Greenpeace 


The Journal News (White Plains, NY - 04 Feb 2004): "Dr. Patrick Moore...A co-founder and former president of Greenpeace..."  https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/166615733/


The Windsor Star April 19, 1978 https://www.newspapers.com/image/503217891/


The smoking gun

Moore seems to have been on the first voyage of the Phyllis Cormack which sailed under the name Greenpeace. He was even one of the three specifically representing "Greenpeace" on that occasion according to their website as of March 2009..


See https://web.archive.org/web/20090301164350/http://www.greenpeace.org:80/usa/about/history/the-founders

• Captain John Cormack, the boat's owner

• Jim Bohlen, Greenpeace

• Bill Darnell, Greenpeace

• Patrick Moore, Greenpeace

• Dr Lyle Thurston, medical practitioner

• Dave Birmingham, engineer

• Terry Simmons, cultural geographer

• Richard Fineberg, political science teacher

• Robert Hunter, journalist

• Ben Metcalfe, journalist

• Bob Cummings, journalist

• Bob Keziere, photographer


But just a month after that page was archived, he'd been removed from it. See




The fascinating thing is, Moore has often (since he left the group) criticised them for rewriting science to suit their spin. Whether or not that is true, they certainly seem to rewrite history!


The page was subsequently removed from the website (generating a 404 page not found HTTP error) and at other times redirected to another page that avoided the term ''founders'' in the URL. But now it's back, with Moore again listed. See it while it lasts perhaps, but hopefully they have learned a lesson, These tactics just gave Moore ammunition. 


His views

Oddly enough, my attitude towards Moore is much the same as my attitude towards Greenpeace. Still!


In summary, with friends like them, who needs enemies?


Climate change

Moore is often called a climate change denier. In fact it's a bit more complicated than that. He thinks that carbon dioxide emissions are changing the planet, but probably for the better. According to his website, his latest paper is The Posiitve Impact of CO2 Emissions on the Survival of Life on Earth, and it's a very good read.


Previously (in 2015) he called himself a ''climate change skeptic", see https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/why-i-am-a-climate-change-skeptic and it's an interesting comparison.


So, we can continue to burn fossil fuel with impunity. Come off it! Risk is the magnitude of a possible loss multiplied by its probability. No matter how low the probability is of disaster, climate change threatens such big disasters that the probability is almost (not quite but almost) irrelevant.


In the 1980s it's possible we almost lost the planet. Or at least, made it uninhabitable for many forms of life, probably including ourselves. Hopefully the Montreal_Protocol saved us on that occasion. But it was close and similar close calls may well happen again. They may even be happening right now. Current levels of carbon emission are not safe.


See a double skeptic for my own views! 


Nuclear power

Moore also favours a nuclear power renaissance. Originally this was because of the threat of climate change, but he seems to have had a second epiphany on that, see above.


Greenpeace of course dismiss all of Moore's views as motivated by his connections to the big end of town, and it's certainly a relevant point, but far from the whole story. He was always something of an idealist, and is highly qualified to speak on environmental issues.


His 1974 PhD thesis was Administration of Pollution Control in British Columbia: A Focus on the Mining Industry. It was in the Faculty of Forestry but it's obviously in the field of ecology, and his official advisors were Hamish Kimmins and C. S. Holling, both of them ecologists. That was at the height of his involvement with Greenpeace of course.


His views should be evaluated and criticised, certainly, but he should at least be capable of making some valid points, and if the discussion is to be logical rather than political, he's a valuable contributor even if only as devil's advocate.  


Greenpeace came out of protests concerning nuclear weapons, and nuclear power was originally an offshoot of the weapons program. The bomb came first, and without the enormous fissile materials industry created to support it the first two generations of power reactors would not have been possible.  


Greenpeace has since diversified into lots of other environmental causes, for the most part very good causes (and before his epiphany, Moore was heavily involved in these too). But they've never managed to shake this heritage so far as nuclear power is concerned, and in this at least Moore seems to be right. Their stance on nuclear power has all the worst hallmarks of a fundamentalist religion.


This page is now largely historical. See Patrick Moore and Greenpeace for the current page, sex lies and Nuclear Power for my take on related issues, and Greenwashing for a more general look at Greenpeace








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