Oh it’s a very happy day when you get to see a conflict like this one arise. And though it isn’t necessarily new, it’s oh so very entertaining. Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore was quoted at a chamber breakfast in Idaho Falls and the Idaho Environmental Forum in Boise this past week, as saying that the world needs to turn to nuclear power.
Conversely, a day later, Greenpeace published a piece on their website eviscerating nuclear power.
Oh let the fun begin!
As I mentioned, this is not a new argument, as Moore has recently taken up the reigns for causes Greenpeace opposes. Old-growth logging, keeping polyvinyl chlorides and now nuclear energy have definitely not endeared him towards his former environmental group.
However we don’t get to see so vividly the argument unfold like it has this week. Moore’s comments were reported on by Thursday of last week, and Greenpeace’s statement came out the day after. There is definitely some damage control happening; especially if the language and rhetoric from Greenpeace has anything to say about it.
Greenpeace banked their piece on the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, which our own Max Lindberg touched on in the latest edition of The Lindberg Report. Their impassioned plea to stop similar disasters from happening was nothing but a major scare tactic. The opening paragraphs would have even the most conservative thinker fleeing from a nuclear reactor, if there was no previous knowledge at hand.
In fact, it seems that if it wasn’t for Greenpeace, nuclear reactors with bad regulatory conditions and poor safety measures would be springing up all over the place.
As for what Moore had to say, he was somewhat more circumspect. Noting that there wasn’t enough potential for wind, solar, hydroelectric or geothermal to replace coal – which he described as having “…the worst health impacts of anything we are doing today,” – Moore pointed to Nuclear as the only clean path for us to take.
And as much as it would be nice to see fields of wind turbines or solar panels, and oceans worth of hydroelectric turbines, the incentive is not there; not to mention the sheer number of constructions that would need to be implemented.
Make sure you check out both articles. The Greenpeace one can be found here and Moore’s story can be found at the Idaho Statesmen here. And make sure to check out Max’s interview with Kenneth Bossong, co-director of UAEA, about the anniversary of Chernobyl.
i love green peace especialy the french ones being french and a tree hugger i think the world needs more
ps i love snails
I have recently had the opportunity to hear Mr. Moore speak in person on several occasions. He is a deep thinker, one of the few people in the original group of Greenpeace founders who came to the organization with a science based education. He described how he was passionate about halting nuclear weapons testing and allowed himself to believe in an assumed linkage between nuclear weapons and nuclear power for many years.
He also talked about his belief in Greenpeace’s early campaigns against whaling and seal hunting. He did not apologize for the “radical” nature of his activism; he thought that some of the “in your face” tactics used were absolutely necessary to gain the required media attention to force real change.
For him, the breakup came as Greenpeace continued to choose new targets that seemed mysterious to him as a scientist. The anti chlorine campaign – including Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – did not make sense. After all chlorine is a huge lifesaver when it comes to its ability to kill pathogens in water with tiny amounts that do not harm human health. He also reviewed the science associated with PVCs and found that it did not support the radical calls for a ban or even much of a reduction in its use.
As a man who grew up in a small town in Canada, logging was a big part of the economy of his home. He recognized that there are many benefits to be gained from sustainable logging, not the least of which is the fact that trees and lumber products – at least those that do not involve burning up the lumber – do a great job of long term CO2 sequestration. Growing trees do that job more efficiently than trees that have stopped growing. The science based conclusion is that harvesting old growth trees for their valuable wood while replanting the forest with new trees is one way to reduce the concentration of atmospheric CO2.
When it comes to his decision to fight for nuclear power he was also quite eloquent. He said that he got tired of spending his days fighting AGAINST things and realized that he was not making the world a better place by simply halting projects. He also made some personal science based investigations and realized that he had been wrong by his failure to distinguish between nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
There is no doubt in my mind that Patrick Moore is a true believer in man’s ability to do good by his fellow men and by the natural world in which we all live. He is much more of an environmentalist than many who believe in the idea that man is somehow not a part of the earth’s natural environment.
Heh heh heh }:-) It *is* delicious, isn’t it? Stick to your guns, Mr. Moore! I long ago got fed up with Greenpeace; they are to the environmental movement what those who kill abortion doctors are to the anti-abortion movement. Extremism serves no purpose other than to give the opposition fodder for attacking the rational majority of us tree-huggers. Greenpeace, like EarthFirst!, has become a radical lodestone that we don’t really need.