Patrick Moore (environmentalist)

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Patrick Moore
Patrick Moore.jpg
Moore at TEDxVancouver 2009[1]
Born1947 (1947)
Port Alice, British Columbia, Canada
ResidenceWinter Harbour, British Columbia, Canada
EducationPhD in Ecology (1974) thesis title "The Administration of Pollution Control in B.C., A Focus on the Mining Industry.", B.Sc. in Forest Biology (1969)[2]
Occupationlobbyist, public speaker, environmental consultant
EmployerEcosense Environmental Inc., Vancouver, Canada
Known forformer member of Greenpeace and pro-business opinions on environmental policy
Parent(s)W.D. (Bill) Moore and Beverly Moore (nee North)
AwardsFord Foundation Fellowship, Honorary Doctorate of Science North Carolina State University (2005) US National Award for Nuclear Science and History, Einstein Society, 2009.[3]

Patrick Moore (born 1947) is a businessman, industry lobbyist, consultant and member of business think tanks and peak bodies and former president of Greenpeace Canada.

Moore is a notable in his controversial and divergent views from climate scientists expounding climate science denial positions such as there has been no warming for the last two decades, in contradiction of the IPCCC findings.[4][5][6]

After leaving Greenpeace, Moore has criticized the environmental movement for what he sees as scare tactics and disinformation, saying that the environmental movement "abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism".[7]

He has sharply and publicly differed with many policies of major environmental groups, including Greenpeace itself on other issues including forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture, and the use of chemicals for many applications.[8] According to Greenpeace, he is "a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry, the logging industry, and genetic engineering industry" and is an outspoken proponent of nuclear energy and skeptical of human activity as the main cause for global warming.[9][10][11] Greenpeace also stated in 2010 that Moore "exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson."[12]

Early life[edit]

Moore was born in 1947, in Port Alice, British Columbia, and raised in Winter Harbour, on Vancouver Island. He is the third generation of a British Columbian family with a long history in forestry and fishing. His father, W. D. Moore, was the president of the B.C. Truck Loggers Association and past president of the Pacific Logging Congress.[13] Moore obtained a Ph.D. in ecology from the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology, University of British Columbia under the direction of Dr. C.S. Holling and forest ecologist Hamish Kimmins.



According to Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World by Rex Wyler, the Don't Make a Wave Committee was formed in January 1970 by Dorothy and Irving Stowe, Ben Metcalfe, Marie and Jim Bohlen, Paul Cote, and Bob Hunter and incorporated in October 1970.[14] The Committee had formed to plan opposition to the testing of a one megaton hydrogen bomb in 1969 by the United States Atomic Energy Commission on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians. Moore joined the committee in 1971 and, as Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter wrote, "Moore was quickly accepted into the inner circle on the basis of his scientific background, his reputation [as an environmental activist], and his ability to inject practical, no-nonsense insights into the discussions."[15]

Moore traveled to Alaska on advanced research with Jim Bohlen, attending Wave Committee meetings. In 1971, Moore was a member of the crew of the Phyllis Cormack, a chartered fishing boat which the Committee sent across the North Pacific in order to draw attention to the US testing of a 5 megaton bomb planned for September of that year. Greenpeace was the name given to the boat for the voyage and it would be the first of the many Greenpeace protests.[16] Following the first voyage, key crew members decided to formally change the name of the Don't Make a Wave Committee to the Greenpeace Foundation. These decision makers included founders Bob Hunter, Rod Marining and Ben Metcalfe as well as Patrick Moore.[17][18]

Following US President Richard Nixon's cancellation of the remaining hydrogen bomb tests planned for Amchitka Island in early 1972, Greenpeace turned its attention to French atmospheric nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific. In May 1972, Moore traveled to New York with Jim Bohlen and Marie Bohlen to lobby the key United Nations delegations from the Pacific Rim countries involved. Moore then went to Europe together with Ben Metcalfe, Dorothy Metcalfe, Lyle Thurston and Rod Marining where they received an audience with Pope Paul VI and protested at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. In June, they attended the first UN Conference on the Environment in Stockholm where they convinced New Zealand to propose a vote condemning French nuclear testing, which passed with a strong majority.[19]

Moore again crewed the Phyllis Cormack in 1975 during the first campaign to save whales, as Greenpeace met the Soviet whaling fleet off the coast of California. During the confrontation, film footage was caught 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.[20] The film footage made the evening news the next day on all three US national networks, initiating Greenpeace's debut on the world media stage, and prompting a swift rise in public support of the charity.[21] Patrick Moore and Bob Hunter appeared on Dr. Bill Wattenburg's talk radio show on KGO and appealed for a lawyer to help them incorporate a branch office in San Francisco and to manage donations. David Tussman, a young lawyer, volunteered to help Moore, Hunter, and Paul Spong set up an office at Fort Mason. The Greenpeace Foundation of America (since changed to Greenpeace USA), then became the major fundraising center for the expansion of Greenpeace worldwide.[22][23]

Presidency of Greenpeace Foundation in Canada[edit]

In early 1977, Bob Hunter stepped down as president of the Greenpeace Foundation and Patrick Moore was elected president. He inherited an organization that was deeply in debt.[24] Greenpeace organizations began to form throughout North America, including cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco. Not all of these offices accepted the authority of the founding organization in Canada. Moore's presidency and governance style proved controversial.[citation needed] Moore and his chosen board in Vancouver called for two meetings to formalize his governance proposals. During this time David Tussman, together with the rest of the founders, early activists of Greenpeace, and the majority of Greenpeace staff-members announced that the board of the San Francisco group intended to separate Patrick Moore's Greenpeace Foundation from the rest of the Greenpeace movement. After 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 an amorphous collection of individual offices. 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 US, France, the UK, and the Netherlands. He served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada, as well as six years as a Director of Greenpeace International.

In 1985, Moore was on board the Rainbow Warrior when it was bombed and sunk by the French government.[citation needed] He and other directors of Greenpeace International were greeting the ship off the coast of New Zealand on its way to protest French nuclear testing at Mururoa Atoll. Expedition photographer Fernando Pereira was killed. Greenpeace's media presence peaked again.[25]

After Greenpeace[edit]

In 1986, after leaving Greenpeace over differences in policy, Moore established a family salmon farming business, Quatsino Seafarms, at his home in Winter Harbour. He commented that he had left Greenpeace because it "took a sharp turn to the political left" and "evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas".[26][27]

In this year he was also elected president of the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association.[citation needed] From 1990-4 he was appointed to the British Columbia Round Table on the Environment and the Economy[2][28] and founded and chaired the B.C. Carbon Project. In 1991, he joined the board of the Forest Alliance of BC, an initiative of the CEOs of the major forest companies in British Columbia. As chair of the Sustainable Forestry Committee of the Forest Alliance he spent ten years developing the Principles of Sustainable Forestry, which were later adopted by much of the industry.[29][30] In 1991, Moore also founded Greenspirit to "promote sustainable development from a scientific environmental platform".[31] In 2002, Tom Tevlin and Trevor Figueiredo joined Moore in the formation of the environmental consultancy company Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.

Moore served for four years as Vice President of Environment for Waterfurnace International manufacturing geothermal heat pumps.[32] In 2000, 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. He also made two appearances on Penn & Teller: Bullshit! 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 promotes increased use of nuclear energy.[33][34] In 2010, Moore was recruited to represent the Indonesian logging firm Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a multi-national accused by activist groups of widespread and illegal rainforest clearance practices, although this is strongly disputed by Moore.[35]


In 2005, Moore criticized what he saw as scare tactics and disinformation employed by some within the environmental movement, saying that the environmental movement "abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism."[7] Moore contends that for the environmental movement "most of the really serious problems have been dealt with", seeking now to "invent doom and gloom scenarios".[36] He suggests they romanticize peasant life as part of an anti-industrial campaign to prevent development in less-developed countries, which he describes as "anti-human".[37][38] Moore was interviewed in the 2007 film documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, in which he expressed similar views. In 2007 The Guardian reported on his writings for the Royal Society arguing against the theory that mankind was causing global warming, noting his advocacy for the felling of tropical rainforests and the planting of genetically engineered crops.[39] He has expressed his positive views of logging on the Greenspirit website.[40]


Moore was opposed to nuclear power in the 1970s[41] when he "believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust"[33] and "everything nuclear was evil",[42] but has since come to be in favor of it.[33][43][44][45]

Moore is supported by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), a national organization of pro-nuclear industries and in 2009 he chaired their Clean and Safe Energy Coalition.[46] As chair, he suggested that the mainstream media and the environmentalist movement is not as opposed to nuclear energy as in decades past.[when?][47]

He argues that any realistic plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels or greenhouse gas emissions would require increased use of nuclear energy to supply baseload power.[33][42] He has also criticized the costs and reliability of wind farms.[48]

Global climate change[edit]

Moore calls global climate change 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".[38] In 2006, he wrote to the Royal Society arguing there was "no scientific proof" that mankind was causing global climate change[49] and believes that it "has a much better correlation with changes in solar activity than CO2 levels".[50]

Moore has stated that global climate change 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.[51] Rather than climate change mitigation, Moore advocates adaptation to global warming.[52]

In 2014, Moore testified to the U.S. Congress on the subject of global climate change. "There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth's atmosphere over the past 100 years," according to Moore's testimony. "Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species. The fact that we had both higher temperatures and an ice age at a time when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today fundamentally contradicts the certainty that human-caused CO2 emissions are the main cause of global warming. When modern life evolved over 500 million years ago, CO2 was more than 10 times higher than today, yet life flourished at this time. Then an Ice Age occurred 450 million years ago when CO2 was 10 times higher than today...Humans just aren't capable of predicting global temperature changes."[53]

A March 2014 episode of the American program Hannity featured Moore making the statement that the Earth "has not warmed for the last 17 years" in a debate with pundit Bob Beckel. Politifact, a political fact checking website operated by the Tampa Bay Times, rated Moore's assertion "mostly false", remarking that a significant net warming over that time-frame had occurred even though the spread was relatively flat as well as that Moore cherry-picked the time-frame to obscure the overall heating trend.[54]

On July 26, 2015, multiple videos were posted on PragerU with Moore presenting with the title of 'Co-Founder of Greenpeace'. Included is a 5:40 video titled "Why I Left Greenpeace" that explains his version of his involvement and departure from Greenpeace. Other videos presented by Moore include "What They Haven't Told You about Climate Change" (at 1:34 he states "Temperatures and carbon dioxide levels do not show a strong correlation." with a chart), "Are GMOs Good or Bad?", "The Truth about CO2" and "Trees Are the Answer".[55]

Genetically modified foods[edit]

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", and need genetically engineered crops to this end.[51]

Moore supports the adoption of golden rice to prevent vitamin A deficiency.[52]

Health effects of glyphosate[edit]

During March 2015 in an interview by French investigative journalist Paul Moreira, which was first broadcast on French television station Canal+ in September 2014, Moore was asked about the safety of the herbicide glyphosate. Moore told Paul Moreira that one "could drink a whole quart of it" without any harm. When Moore was challenged to drink a glass of the weedkiller, he refused, saying "I'm not an idiot" and "I'm not stupid", and ended the interview.[56][57] The interview came shortly after the release of a World Health Organization (WHO) report adding glyphosate to a list of probable carcinogens.[58][59][60][61]


Moore's views and change of stance (see above) have evoked controversy in environmentalist arenas. He is accused of having "abruptly turned his back on the environmental movement" and "being a mouthpiece for some of the very interests Greenpeace was founded to counter".[30][62] His critics point out Moore's business relations with "polluters and clear-cutters" through his consultancy.[30] Moore has earned his living since the early 1990s primarily by consulting for, and publicly speaking for, a wide variety of corporations and lobby groups such as the Nuclear Energy Institute.[46] Monte Hummel, MScF, president, World Wildlife Fund Canada, has claimed that Moore's book Pacific Spirit is a collection of "pseudoscience and dubious assumptions".

The writer and environmental activist George Monbiot has written critically of Moore's work with the Indonesian logging firm Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). Moore was hired as a consultant to write an environmental 'inspection report' on APP operations. According to Monbiot, Moore's company is not a monitoring firm and the consultants used were experts in public relations, not tropical ecology or Indonesian law. Monbiot has said that sections of the report were directly copied from an APP PR brochure.[35][63]

The Nuclear Information and Resource Service, an anti-nuclear group, criticized Moore, saying that his comment in 1976 that "it should be remembered that there are employed in the nuclear industry some very high-powered public relations organizations. One can no more trust them to tell the truth about nuclear power than about which brand of toothpaste will result in this apparently insoluble problem" was seen as forecasting his own future.[64] A Columbia Journalism Review editorial criticizes the press for uncritically printing "pro-nuclear songs" such as Moore's, citing his role as a paid spokesperson of the nuclear industry.[64][65]


  • Moore, Patrick (1995) Pacific spirit : the forest reborn. Terra Bella Publishers Canada. ISBN 1-896171-07-9
  • Moore, Patrick (2000) Green Spirit: Trees are the Answer. Greenspirit Enterprises. ISBN 0-9686404-0-0
  • Moore, Patrick (2010) Trees are the Answer, 10th Anniversary Edition. Beatty Street Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-0-9864808-0-5
  • Moore, Patrick (2011) Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. Beatty Street Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-0-9864808-2-9


  1. ^ TEDxVancouver - Patrick Moore - 11/21/09 on YouTube
  2. ^ a b Moore, Patrick. "Resume of Patrick Moore, Ph.D." Greenspirit. Archived from the original on 2005-09-10. Retrieved 2007-03-13.
  4. ^ Readfearn, Graham (2015-04-16). "Ask the real experts about ocean acidification, not climate science deniers | Graham Readfearn". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  5. ^ "Climate change skeptic Patrick Moore says Earth has 'not warmed for the last 17 years'". @politifact. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  6. ^ "Climate Denier, Former Greenpeace Activist, Speaks at UO Today". Eugene Weekly. 2018-10-11. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  7. ^ a b Moore, Patrick (2005-01-28). "Environmental Movement Has Lost Its Way". Miami Herald.
  8. ^ Browne, Anthony (21 May 2000). "'Judas' of the eco-warriors spreads his gospel of doubt". The Guardian – via The Guardian.
  9. ^ "Patrick Moore endorses nuclear energy before US Congress" Archived May 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "EU Watch – Interview May 2008".
  11. ^ "Patrick Moore background information". Greenpeace. Greenpeace International. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "Greenpeace Statement On Patrick Moore". Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  13. ^ Moore Resume Archived January 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World by Rex Weyler, ISBN 1-59486-106-4 Published by Rodale Press in 2003, pages 59ff
  15. ^ Hunter, Robert. (1979) Warriors of the Rainbow: A Chronicle of the Greenpeace Movement. Henry Holt & Company. ISBN 0-03-043741-5 p9
  16. ^ Weyler, Rex. "Waves of Compassion". Utne Reader. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  17. ^ "The Founders of Greenpeace". Archived from the original on 2005-09-24.
  18. ^ "A chat with the first Rainbow Warriors". Archived from the original on 2009-05-07. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  19. ^ Warriors of the Rainbow, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1979, Page 116, ISBN 0-03-043736-9
  20. ^ DeLuca, Kevin Michael (2005) Image Politics: The New Rhetoric of Environmental Activism Routledge ISBN 0-8058-5848-2 p99
  21. ^ Moruroa: Journey into the bomb Archived 2009-05-08 at the Wayback Machine.;; April 27, 2005
  22. ^ "The history of Greenpeace";; September 14, 2009
  23. ^ "Greenpeace USA".
  24. ^ Greenpeace, Rex Weyler, Raincoast Books, 2004, ISBN 1-55192-529-X
  25. ^ "CBC Archives".
  26. ^ Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands, Ezra Levant p145
  27. ^ "Humans not to blame for global warming, says Greenpeace co-founder". 2014-02-27.
  28. ^ "International Institute for Sustainable Development". Archived from the original on 2008-08-29.
  29. ^ "Utah State University article". Archived from the original on 2009-05-13.
  30. ^ a b c Bennett, Drake (March 2004). "Eco-Traitor". Wired.
  31. ^ Greenspirit Archived February 7, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ "WaterFurnace - Smarter From The Ground Up".
  33. ^ a b c d Moore, Patrick (2006-04-16). "Going Nuclear". Washington Post.
  34. ^ "Clean and Safe Home – Just another WordPress site".
  35. ^ a b Guardian article "Why is a former Greenpeace activist siding with Indonesia's logging industry?" by George Monbiot. 2 December 2010.
  36. ^ Browne, Anthony (June 10, 2001). "Recovering the Earth". The Guardian.
  37. ^ UK Channel 4 Documentary: The Great Global Warming Swindle
  38. ^ a b Penn Jillette Radio Show, 2006-06-08, Free FM: Interview (Recording[permanent dead link])
  39. ^ Henley, Jon (February 15, 2007). "Jon Henley's Diary". The Guardian.
  40. ^ "Biodiversity in a clearcut Archived October 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  41. ^ Patrick Moore (1976). Assault on Future Generations, Greenpeace report, p 47-49 (PDF).
  42. ^ a b Moore, Patrick (December 10, 2007). "Greenpeace is wrong — we must consider nuclear power". The Age.
  43. ^ Moore, Patrick (February 15, 2007). "Nuclear energy? Yes please..." The Independent.
  44. ^ The Nuclear Environmentalist 18 December 2009
  45. ^ "Interview with Italian Nuclear Energy advocacy group Atomi per la Pace".
  46. ^ a b "Nuclear Energy Institute article".
  47. ^ "NEI article".
  48. ^ BOB BOUGHNER (5 January 2012). "Wind farms blasted". London Free Press. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  49. ^ "Royal Society Release".
  50. ^ "Wilson voices doubts over climate change - Belfast Newsletter". 5 September 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
  51. ^ a b Hao, Sean (2006-01-13). "Greenpeace co-founder praises global warming". Honolulu Advertiser. Archived from the original on 2006-02-07.
  52. ^ a b Audio Interview with Moore Archived 2007-01-10 at the Wayback Machine. from Archived 2012-03-15 at the Wayback Machine. (February 3, 2004)
  53. ^ "Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific evidence of man-made global warming". The Daily Caller.
  54. ^ Sanders, Katie (March 17, 2014). "Climate change skeptic Patrick Moore says Earth has 'not warmed for the last 17 years'". Politifact.
  55. ^ "Patrick Moore". PragerU. Prager University. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  56. ^ Jancelewicz, Chris (March 26, 2015). "Monsanto Lobbyist Says Herbicide Safe To Drink, Then Runs Away When Offered Some". The Huffington Post Canada., Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  57. ^ Regan, Helen (March 27, 2015). "Watch a GMO Advocate Claim a Weed Killer Is Safe to Drink but Then Refuse to Drink It". TIME. Time Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  58. ^ Hooper, Ben (March 27, 2015). "Patrick Moore says Roundup is safe -- but refuses to drink it". UPI. United Press International, Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  59. ^ Visser, Nick (March 27, 2015). "Monsanto Advocate Says Roundup Is Safe Enough To Drink, Then Refuses To Drink It". The Huffington Post - Huffpost Green., Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2015.
  60. ^ Guyton, Kathryn Z; Loomis, Dana; Grosse, Yann; El Ghissassi, Fatiha; Benbrahim-Tallaa, Lamia; Guha, Neela; Scoccianti, Chiara; Mattock, Heidi; Straif, Kurt (2015). "Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate". The Lancet Oncology. 16 (5): 490–1. doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(15)70134-8. PMID 25801782.
  61. ^ "IARC Monographs- Classifications". Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  62. ^ Browne, Anthony (May 21, 2000). "'Judas' of the eco-warriors spreads his gospel of doubt". The Guardian. Retrieved January 3, 2018 – via
  63. ^ "APP "Letter to Stakeholders"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-15.
  64. ^ a b "False Promises: Debunking Nuclear Industry Propaganda" (PDF).
  65. ^ False Fronts: Why to look behind the label editorial at Columbia Journalism Review, 2006

Further reading[edit]

  • Wyler, Rex (2004) Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World. Rodale Press. ISBN 1-59486-106-4

External links[edit]