Greenpeace Founder on Climate Change
Source: Wash Times
FLORIDA, August 9, 2012 — Few debates over the last decade have been as angry as the one about climate change.
While many deem it as a threat so imminent that island countries might be submerged beneath the sea, others claim the entire subject is the result of junk science. Where do the facts really lie?
Patrick Moore played a foundational role in organizing Greenpeace, perhaps the world’s most famous environmental activist group. For several years, he served as the chairman of its Canadian wing. However, he eventually became skeptical of the direction which the group was taking, and disassociated from it.
Today, Moore is one of the foremost voices in the field of sustainable development. He continues his work to save and preserve the environment, but is concerned about what he sees as unwarranted panic over global warming. Here he explains his views about climate change, the modern environmental movement, how it all has become so political, and much more.
Joseph F. Cotto: Environmentalism is a concept with which most of us are familiar, yet tend to have our own definitions of. What does it mean to you?
Dr. Patrick Moore: Yes, the semantics can be confusing. One approach is to just accept the word as a general term denoting concern for nature and the “environment.” It gets more complicated when you consider whether humans are part of the environment or not.
“Environmentalism” is an “ism” like capitalism and socialism. In that sense it connotes an ideology or shared set of beliefs, not necessarily based on scientific proof or evidence. An environmentalist is therefore distinct from and ecologist, as ecology is a science.
If someone claims to be an environmentalist, I assume they care about nature and about our impact on it. But one must dig deeper to find if they are misanthropic or accepting of humans as part of the environment. This is really a question of attitude rather than facts.
Cotto: One of the gravest concerns you have cited with the modern environmentalist movement is its increasingly ideological nature. Some might say that this, in fact, is a positive development. How would you beg to differ?
Dr. Moore: Ideology is negative in so far as it tends to divide people into warring camps with no possible resolution. My late Greenpeace friend Bob Hunter suggested early on that in order for environmentalism to become a mass movement, it would have to be based on ideology, or as he called it “popular mythology,” because “not everybody can be a Ph.D. ecologist.” I have never accepted organized religion and note all the evils perpetuated in the name of “God is on our side” I do believe in just wars such as the armed struggle to end apartheid. But that was not based on religion but rather on human rights.