Patrick Moore and the "middle ground" of environmentalism

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Patrick Moore describes how he fell in love with environmental advocacy, and then fell out with Greenpeace, an organization he helped to found:

In 1971 an environmental and antiwar ethic was taking root in Canada, and I chose to participate. As I completed a Ph.D. in ecology, I combined my science background with the strong media skills of my colleagues. In keeping with our pacifist views, we started Greenpeace.

But I later learned that the environmental movement is not always guided by science. As we celebrate Earth Day today, this is a good lesson to keep in mind.

At first, many of the causes we championed, such as opposition to nuclear testing and protection of whales, stemmed from our scientific knowledge of nuclear physics and marine biology. But after six years as one of five directors of Greenpeace International, I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs. Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986.

Such points of view are more common as environmentalism is maturing, and developing a sort-of "middle ground" of those favor the use of reason and science, as well as pragmatic approaches, like Moore, and those for whom environmentalism is not the end, but rather the means by which they can pursue a radical political agenda that challenges the democratic, market-based social and political systems that are the foundations upon which contemporary First World nations are built.

This presents more proof that Green is the new Red in politics, and people like Moore aren't looking for more politics, but rather workable solutions.

To read the rest of the story, click here.

7 Response to "Patrick Moore and the "middle ground" of environmentalism"

  1. Mattheus Mei 25/4/08 08:30
    I'm a huge fan of some of Moore's stances, including expanding our use of Nuclear power as a major part of our energy mix. The technology is available now to actually mass produce nuclear facilities and facilities that don't use water as the coolant rather helium gas which also powers the turbines.
  2. Earl Capps 25/4/08 08:39
    helium as a cooling medium? wow, i had no idea. that could make nuclear energy a lot more feasible in places like the west where the potential for hydro generation is pretty much maxxed out.

    stuff like that is way cool for a nerdy tech geek like me.
  3. west_rhino 25/4/08 09:08
    The High Temperature Gas Reactors that use helium as a heat transfer medium was sidelined by "nuclear scientist" Jimmah Carter. It has its pros and cons that contrast with both boiling water and pressurized water reactors. All of the above beat using molten sodium as a heat transfer medium (though it is extremely efficient, a water leak in a liquid sodium system makes the coolant system far more hazardous than the radiation).
  4. Anonymous 28/4/08 12:08
    The Other Patrick Moore.

    My name is Patrick Moore and I work for the Coastal Conservation League and spend considerable time explaining, no, not that Patrick Moore when I talk to people on the phone.

    My favorite thing so far has been the T-shirt I was able to buy that says "Patrick Moore is A Big Fat Liar"

    You can get one here:
  5. I don't hug trees 28/4/08 12:25
    A statement like that from the CCL marxist is proof of what a bunch of political extremists, as well as personal ingrates, they are.

    You would think that they would have some respect for someone who founded one of the largest environmental groups and respect his points of view.

    Apparently, unless you embrace the most extreme positions, regardless of reason or logic, you are the enemy.

    I wonder if that little punk remembers old Mr. Trotsky?
  6. Anonymous 28/4/08 15:30
    The post was about the similarity in names jackass.

    Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one's enemies.

    Anonymity is the cape of cowards.

  7. Mattheus Mei 29/4/08 15:34
    let's not forget the other reason that nuclear power is extremely useful - the power of the atom can create (cleanly) the power it would require to generate hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.... no more damned oil! It takes care of one of the economic hold backs for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles how the fuel~!

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