Many moons ago, when I worked with then-Greenpeace Board Chair David McTaggart, “Greenpeace co-founder” Patrick Moore was on the board. He was a likeable enough guy if you could get past the ego (but hey, after hanging out with McTaggart and his pals for a while, you get used to big egos), quick witted, good with a sound bite, personable.
We had one of our board meetings in Vancouver some time after he’d resigned/got booted, and we went to visit him at his home, where he was showing off his brand new, fire-engine red TR-7 sports car, purchased with the gains from his … fish farm.
And we were supposed to be impressed?
Patrick was raising salmon for profit, not fish for food. As a young idealist, I’d really looked up to Patrick. But I changed my mind that day.
As a scientist, he knew exactly the ecosystem compromises he made to amass the little pot of gold that bought him that car. As an environmentalist he knew exactly how much “green spirit” he was showing off tooling around town in a fire-breathing vampire of pretoleum. And as a role model, he damn well should have known better than to try to impress any of us who had looked up to him in any way, shape, or form. (The salmon farm, appropriately enough, failed, as most monocultures do, when a single invasive infection wiped out his entire stock.)
Well, Patrick has lived up to and surpassed that disappointment in the years since. As a paid apologist for the forest industry, he changed his motto from “A flower is your brother” to “A clearcut is just a temporary meadow,” and inspired the “Patrick Moore is a big fat liar” website as he battled against protection of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Patrick lost the “war in the woods” when less extremist (and unpaid for) views prevailed and protected the most important parts of North America’s last temperate rainforest. He was wrong about the Great Bear forest. He was wrong about his fish farm. And he was wrong when the French government bombed the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior to think (and SAY, to a New Zealand journalist) that it was an assasination attempt against him personally and “that bomb was meant for me.“
Now he’s getting a piece of the multi-million-dollar PR offensive the Nuclear Industry is putting out there to say Nukes are the Answer to Climate Change in the Washington Post.
Worse, he’s a smart enough cookie to KNOW he’s wrong. Appropriate that his piece in the Washington Post appeared on Easter. He’s been termed an Eco-Judas before, and it looks like he’s found a new source for his 30 pieces of silver.
Here’s a suggestion, Patrick: