While it is true that Patrick Moore was a member of Greenpeace
in the 1970s, in 1986 he abruptly turned his back on the very
issues he once passionately defended. He claims he "saw the light"
but what Moore really saw was an opportunity for financial gain.
Since then he has gone from defender of the planet to a paid
representative of corporate polluters.
Patrick Moore promotes such anti-environmental positions as
clearcut logging, nuclear power, farmed salmon, PVC (vinyl)
production, genetically engineered crops, and mining. Clients for
his consulting services are a veritable Who's Who of companies that
Greenpeace has exposed for environmental misdeeds, including
Monsanto, Weyerhaeuser, and BHP Minerals.
Moore's claims run from the exaggerated to the outrageous to the
downright false, including that "clear-cutting is good for forests"
and Three Mile Island was actually "a success story" because the
radiation from the partially melted core was contained. That is
akin to saying "my car crash was a success because I only cracked
my skull and didn't die."
By exploiting his former ties to Greenpeace, Moore portrays
himself as a prodigal son who has seen the error of his ways.
Unfortunately, the media - especially conservative media - give him
a platform for his views, and often do so without mentioning the
fact that he is a paid spokesperson for polluting companies.
The following provides a brief overview of Patrick Moore's
positions and his history of working for corporate polluters.
TRUTH V. FICTION ON PATRICK MOORE:
Patrick Moore claims he is an environmentalist and represents an
independent scientific perspective on forest issues.
TRUTH: Moore was paid by the British Columbia Forest Alliance,
an industry-front group set up by the public relations firm
Burson-Marsteller (the same PR firm that represented Exxon after
the Valdez oil spill and Union Carbide after the Bhopal chemical
disaster). The BC Forest Alliance is funded primarily by the
logging industry. He also has ties to other corporations including
Monsanto and Weyerhaeuser.
According to Moore, logging is good for forests causing
reforestation, not deforestation.
TRUTH: Webster's Dictionary defines deforestation as "the action
or process of clearing of forests." The argument advanced by forest
industry spin-doctors that clear-cutting "causes reforestation, not
deforestation" is without basis in fact. It is like arguing that
having a heart attack improves your health because of the medical
treatment you receive afterwards.
According to Moore: "Forward-thinking environmentalists and
scientists have made clear, technology has now progressed to the
point where the activist fear mongering about the safety of nuclear
energy bears no resemblance to reality."
- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on
Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) concluded years ago that the lack of
containment on Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored advanced
nuclear reactor designs constituted a "major safety trade-off."
- Patrick Moore has recently begun touting the "safety" of
nuclear energy at the behest of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI),
which is being bankrolled by the nuclear industry to promote
nuclear energy as clean and safe energy. The public relations firm
Hill & Knowlton has been hired to roll out a multi-million
dollar campaign to repackage Moore's propaganda to convince
congressional leaders of public support for the building of new
Hill and Knowlton are most well known for their public relations
work defending the tobacco industry. The PR firm has also worked
for industry interests to stall action to protect the ozone layer
by executing "a carefully designed campaign attacking the science
behind the ozone depletion and delaying government action for two
years. This was enough time for DuPont to bring new, ozone-friendly
chemicals to market." Austin American Statesman, Cox News Service
Jeff Nesmith June 26, 2005
More information on Hill and Knowlton can be found at:
Moore's recent call that the U.S. should generate 60 percent of
U.S. electricity from nuclear power is ludicrous. These plants are
acknowledged by the federal government's own National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States - commonly referred to as
the 9/11 Commission - as terrorist targets. An accident or
terrorist attack at a nuclear plant could result in thousands of
near-term deaths from radiation exposure and hundreds of thousands
of long-term deaths from cancer among individuals within only fifty
miles of a nuclear plant.
His proposal not only fails to address the risk posed to the
American public by our existing plants, but also fails to address
the urgent issue of global warming. According to Dr. Bill Keepin, a
physicist and energy consultant in the U.S., "given
business-as-usual growth in energy demand, it appears that even an
infeasibly massive global nuclear power programme could not reduce
future emissions of carbon dioxide. To displace coal alone would
require the construction of a new nuclear plant every two or three
days for nearly four decades…in the United States, each dollar
invested in efficiency displaces nearly seven times more carbon
than a dollar invested in new nuclear power."
According to Moore, "Three Mile Island was actually a success
story in that the radiation from the partially melted core was
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimates that 10 million
curies of radiation were released into the environment by the Three
Mile Island Meltdown. Expert witnesses in the TMI law suits
estimated that 150 million curies escaped, because the containment
at Three Mile Island was not leak tight and the NRC ignored many of
the potential escape routes for the radiation.
VVPR info: Jane Kochersperger, 202-319-2493