New York Sun – Going Green vs. gaga – May 18, 2007
Going Green Vs. Gaga
May 18, 2007
When I was asked to meet the cofounder of Greenpeace, my eyes rolled up a bit at the thought of meeting someone I assumed was an environmental militant.
Patrick Moore, however, turned out to be one of the sanest people on the issue of climate change and the environment that I have ever met. No wonder Greenpeace has removed any mention of him from its Web site. Mr. Moore embodies the true meaning of going green, as opposed to Greenpeace and its current disciples, who are just plain gaga.
Mr. Moore was in New York as an adviser to the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance, whose mission is broadening New Yorkers’ awareness of energy issues, which will increasingly affect businesses and consumers in the coming years.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace is building a replica of — don’t laugh — Noah’s Ark on Mount Ararat to alert the world about global warming. According to a Greenpeace activist, Hilal Atici, climate change will cause human misery “on a scale not experienced in modern times. … Leaders have a mandate from the people to massively cut greenhouse gas emissions and to do it now.”
Apparently, the best way to drastically cut these emissions is to switch energy sources to nuclear power from fossil fuel. “There are no emissions from nuclear energy,” Mr. Moore told me.
Yet the Greenpeace Web site clearly lists its opposition to nuclear power and states that one of its missions is to “halt the expansion of all nuclear power, and for the shutdown of existing plants.”
I told Mr. Moore that the first things that pop into people’s mind when nuclear energy comes up are Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. “The first thing to remember, however, is that no one was injured at Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl was a very poorly restructured Soviet military installation,” he said. Unfortunately, the film ” China Syndrome” opened around that time, and the film left a very negative impression of nuclear power plants.
I then asked Mr. Moore what he thought about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as a way to reduce our need for precarious foreign oil supplies. “I don’t believe that drilling would endanger the caribou or create an environmental hazard,” he said. “Once the drilling is complete, the area can be restored to its original state. However, what we need to do is reduce our need for fossil fuel, which is a pollutant. In any event, why should we use up in a few centuries a resource that should last for thousands of years? Shouldn’t we provide for the future generations? The challenge is to provide our energy needs in ways that reduce negative impact while also being socially acceptable and technically and economically feasible. Compromise and cooperation among environmentalists, government, and industry are essential.”
Patrick Moore, Ph.D., served for nine years as president of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a director of Greenpeace International. Of the five directors at G.I., he was the only one with a scientific background. He says many of his colleagues were not interested in cooperation and rejected consensus in favor of continued confrontation, ever-increasing extremism, and left-wing politics. “Environmentalism has become anti-globalization and anti-industry,” Mr. Moore says. “Activists have abandoned science in favor of sensationalism.
He is highly critical of Greenpeace’s campaign against biotechnology in general and genetic engineering in particular, which, he says, “exposes their intellectual and moral bankruptcy.” Greenpeace activists in Paris successfully prevented him from speaking at a videoconference to the European Seed Association on this issue.
“I would have told the assembled that, if adding a daffodil gene to rice in order to produce a modified strain of rice that can prevent half a million children from going blind each year, we should move carefully to develop it,” Mr. Moore says.
It is becoming clearer, however, that the environmentalists are essentially anti-science, anti-technology, and anti-human. One group, Optimum Population Trust, advocates having fewer children to lessen the carbon dioxide output. Environmentalists are halting mining projects in Romania, Madagascar, and Chile that would provide jobs and better living conditions for impoverished people now living in substandard, unhealthy environments with open sewers and outdoor toilets. These “greenies” spout about returning the Earth to a Garden of Eden while the natives die of malnutrition and disease.
Mr. Moore does not deny that the planet may be going through a warming trend, but he joins other scientists who are becoming more and more skeptical about humans being the principal cause. He left Greenpeace because he saw his colleagues abandoning science and logic and adopting zero-tolerance policies that are environmentally negative.
I say go green with Patrick Moore — or go gaga with Greenpeace.