Patrick Moore

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Learn more about the threat drilling for methane gas poses to fresh water.

Patrick Moore was a leading figure with Greenpeace Canada and subsequently with Greenpeace International between 1981 and 1986. In 1991 he established a consultancy business, Greenspirit Enterprises, "focusing on environmental policy and communications in natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change."[1]

Moore began working for the Nuclear Energy Institute front group, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, in 2006.

He has worked for the mining industry, the logging industry, PVC manufacturers, the nuclear industry and in defence of biotechnology. In October 2008, Greenpeace issued a statement distancing itself from Moore, saying he "exploits long gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes." [2]

Moore describes himself as "chairman and chief scientist" of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., a PR company that "work with many leading organizations in forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture and plastics, developing solutions in the areas of natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change." He is also a Board Member of NextEnergy, a Canadian energy services company.[3]

"In 1990, Dr. Moore founded and chaired the BC Carbon Project, a group that worked to develop a common understanding of climate change.

"Dr. Moore served for four years as Vice President, Environment for Waterfurnace International, a manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps for residential heating and cooling with renewable earth energy. He is now a Director of NextEnergy Solutions, the largest distributor of geothermal systems in Canada.

"As Chair of the Sustainable Forestry Committee of the Forest Alliance of BC from 1991 -2002, he led the process of developing the "Principles of Sustainable Forestry" which were adopted by a majority of the industry...

He obtained a Ph.D. in Ecology, Institute of Resource Ecology, at the University of British Columbia in 1974, and was the recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship (1969-1972). [4]

History

Patrick Moore, grew up on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada where his family was involved in the fishing and logging industry. His father, Bill Moore, was past president of the B.C. Truck Loggers Association and past president of the Pacific Logging Congress.

After completing a Bachelor of Science in forest biology at the University of British Columbia and a PhD in ecology on the administration of environmental law relating to the mining industry, Moore became involved first in the Western Canada branch of the Sierra Club and later Greenpeace. His involvement in Greenpeace between 1971 and 1986 spanned roles as a campaigner in Greenpeace Canada against whaling, uranium mining, sealing, toxic waste and nuclear warships.

He was President of Greenpeace Canada between 1977 and 1986 and as Director of Greenpeace International.

From 1984 he became involved in a family business, Quatsino Seafarms Ltd, farming salmon on Vancouver Island. Until 1991 he was President of the company and between 1986 and 1989 was President of British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association.

Following claims by the United Fishermans and Allied Workers Union about pollution by the industry generally, the Vancouver Sun reported "Moore called the union's concerns 'phoney', saying that we are not causing pollution and there is no such thing as genetic pollution."(1)

In 1990, PR consultant James Hoggan (who had worked for Western Forest Products) told a meeting of forest executives that the industry was wasting millions on ineffective PR. He said he and Patrick Moore had designed a "green audit" program to sell to industry.(2)

Subsequently, Moore and two others formed Greenspirit to help business and government "incorporate the environmental agenda."(3)

In 1991, the year Moore created Greenspirit, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the timber industry created Forest Alliance of B.C. [1]

In 1991 Moore was appointed as Director of the British Columbia Forest Alliance which was described by O'Dwyer's PR Services Report, as "a Burson-Marsteller created group, bankrolled by large timber companies," which "is waging a PR war with environmentalists upset with the logging of rainforests in western Canada." (4)

Burson-Marsteller employee Gary Ley was the Executive Director of the BC Forest Alliance in 1991. Ley subsequently headed up the Vancouver office of National PR, which B-M had a stake in. National PR had the BC Forest Alliance account. Tom Tevlin, who was part of the initial Forest Alliance team and later succeeded Ley as Executive Director and then President at the Alliance, is now President and CEO of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.

Burson-Marsteller had worked for the Argentinian junta to "improve [its] international image" and boost investment. [Joyce Nelson, interview with Harold Burson (founder of Burson Marsteller) fall 1981, New York]. B-M's work for the Argentinian government occurred at the time that 35,000 people were disappeared by death squads.

In July 1991 Moore was asked by a Canadian journalist about B-M's work for the Argentinian junta. "Forest Alliance Director, Patrick Moore, argues that Burson-Marsteller's contract was with Argentina's economic ministry and its non-political role was to encourage foreign investment," Stephen Hume wrote. "It [B-M] has a record of truth in public relations as its bottom line," Moore said, citing the company's role in the Tylenol recall. Moore went on to object to the juxtaposing the reality of state murder of political opponents with Burson-Marsteller's strategy for marketing the perception of Argentina's stability. Besides, Moore argued, "people get killed everywhere."(5)

In August 1993 Moore was part of the delegation that lobbied a US foundation, the Pew Charitable Trust, against a decision to fund British Columbian environmental groups. Following the meeting, the Chair of the BC Forest Alliance, Jack Munro, told the Vancouver Sun "we are not opposed to them giving money to environmental groups. We are opposed to money filtering into protectionists like the people protesting the Clayquot," he said.(6)

In January 1994, Moore claimed in an interview that while Greenpeace had acted within the law in all matters relating to the International Whaling Commission that they may have funded travel expenses for some delegates to the Commission. "This statement was in error," Moore wrote in a retraction several days later. (7) Download apology as a PDF document

Two months later, Moore was criticized for claims that he made that Greenpeace "blackmail" had forced the rejection of The Times of London of an ad from the BC Forest Alliance. The Times rejected Moore's claim: "The Times had not even received the art work for the ad from the alliance. ... We do not even know what this ad is supposed to look like so we can hardly be accused of censorship or bias." (8) See also these articles on Moore, from Greenpeace co-founder Paul Watson of the Sea Shepard Society.

In 2000 Moore went to the Brazilian Amazon rainforests for the filming of a documentary by Marc Morano for American Investigator. According to an interview in the New York Post, Moore dismissed concerns about the impacts of logging, mining and clearning for agriculture on the Amazonian rainforests. "All these save-the-forests arguments are based on bad science. ... They are quite simply wrong. We found that the Amazon rainforest is more than 90 percent intact. We flew over it and met all the environmental authorities. We studied satellite pictures of the entire area," he said. "They are just about the healthiest forests in the world. This stuff about them vanishing at an alarming rate is a con based on bad science ... Anyone who has been in the jungle knows that if you want to live there, you'd better take a few machetes. Otherwise, it'll take it all back," said Moore. [2]

In October 2002, Moore was a keynote lunch speaker at the "Best Practices in Communications: Wood Products and Forests," organized by the Wood Promotion Network conference in Vancouver. Moore's speech was titled "Declaration in Support of Protecting the Environment by Growing More Trees and Using More Wood." (PDF)

In October 2003 Moore endorsed the launch by the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI) of the "Earth Friendly/Farm Friendly" Seal of Approval for the food and dairy industry. Monsanto, DuPont, Kraft/Phillip Morris, and the nuclear industry have funded the Hudson Institute think tank.

In late January 2004 Moore was the key speaker at a "teach-in" organized by Paul Driessen and hosted under the name of the Congress of Racial Equality on "eco-imperialism" at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers. "The environmental movement I helped found has lost its objectivity, morality and humanity ... The pain and suffering it inflicts on families in developing countries can no longer be tolerated," stated Moore.

On nuclear power

See the related SourceWatch articles Patrick Moore on Nuclear Power and Patrick Moore: Media coverage that doesn't disclose Moore's nuclear consultancy work.

On pharmaceuticals in water

In a January 20, 2009, op/ed in the Seattle Times, Moore wrote that it is "inevitable that a small amount of ingested pharmaceuticals will eventually show up at trace levels in wastewater," Greenpeace activist turned industry PR consultant Patrick Moore writes in an op/ed. "The Pharmaceutical Assessment and Transport Evaluation (PhATE) model has been developed by industry as a tool to estimate concentrates of pharmaceutical residues in surface waters. ... But some activist organizations still push for costly and unnecessary controls. In Washington, Oregon and Illinois, for example, interest groups who believe that any trace amount of any compound in wastewater must be stopped at all cost are proposing an elaborate take-back plan." At the end of the op/ed, Moore is simply identified as "an adviser to government and industry." [5]

Moore's colleague at Greenspirit Strategies, Tom Tevlin, told the Center for Media and Democracy that the PR firm does count pharmaceutical companies among its clients. However, Tevlin would not name them. [6] The PhATE model that Moore praised in his op/ed was developed by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the major U.S. drug industry group. [7]

Moore is also sponsored by Bayer Advanced, a company that makes pesticides, as a keynote speaker at the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago in August 2009. [8]

On genetic engineering

On February 22, 2004, the German conservative magazine "WELT am Sonntag" ("World on Sunday") - which is owned by the Axel-Springer media-group - published an article by Patrick Moore. [3] (As an example of the conservative pedigree of and its connections to conservative US circles The World on Sunday also publishes columns by Henry Kissinger).

In an opinion column, Moore approvingly referred to an essay by Peter Schwartz - The Anti-Industrial Revolution - published in Return of the Primitive edited by Ayn Rand. "In it, he warned that the new movement's agenda was anti-science, anti-technology, and anti-human," Moore wrote.

"Environmentalists were often able to produce arguments that sounded reasonable, while doing good deeds like saving whales and making the air and water cleaner. But now the chickens have come home to roost. The environmentalists' campaign against biotechnology in general, and genetic engineering in particular, has exposed their intellectual and moral bankruptcy. By adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards a technology with so many potential benefits for humankind and the environment, they have lived up to Schwartz's predictions. They have alienated themselves from scientists, intellectuals and internationalists," Moore claimed. [4]

In a response Greenpeace's Steve Sawyer dismissed Moore's claims as inaccurate. "If Moore applied the logic he claims is missing from the arguments of opponents of GE crops, he would realise that such crops are no more 'science' than refrigerators, nuclear weapons or washing machines. GE crops are commercial products that result from the application of one specific technology from within a much broader field of scientific inquiry. GE crops are commercial products, not science - and there are sound scientific reasons for opposing them," he wrote in an opinion column in The Age.

"Patrick Moore's attempt to characterise his proselytising on behalf of industry as 'consensus politics' stretches credulity. The reality is that the issues of environment and development are complex. Minimising human impacts on our biosphere, while promoting a basic level of equity and social justice on a global basis, is a challenge beyond anything human society has ever faced," he wrote.[5]

Moore claimed that the European Commission has given genetically engineered products a clean bill of health. "In 2001, the European Commission released the results of 81 scientific studies on genetically modified organisms conducted by more than 400 research teams at a cost of $US65 million. The studies, which covered all areas of concern, have 'not shown any new risks to human health or the environment, beyond the usual uncertainties of conventional plant breeding. Indeed, the use of more precise technology and the greater regulatory scrutiny probably make them even safer than conventional plants and foods,'" he wrote.

Steve Sawyer, from Greenpeace International disagrees. "What the EC actually did in 2001 was to identify 81 EC-funded research projects on GE organisms that were in progress. Most of these studies have not yet been published in peer-reviewed scientific literature. A more accurate assessment of the status of peer-reviewed studies on the human health risks of GE foods can be found in Pryme & Lembcke (2003)," he wrote.

"They concluded that there had been only 10 peer-reviewed 'in vivo' studies examining the possible health consequences of GE foods and feed. Only five of these were independently funded. The authors found that more scientific effort and investigation was necessary before GE foods could be considered unlikely to cause long-term human health problems," he wrote.

In particular, Moore points to the potential of "golden rice," genetically engineered to boost vitamin A levels and therefore the potential to prevent blindness. "Surely, if reasonable people saw the choice between the risk of a daffodil gene in a rice plant and the certainty of millions of blind children, they would descend on Greenpeace offices around the world and demand to have their money back," he wrote.

Sawyer argues that Moore's enthusiasm for genetically engineered rice is overly optimistic and ignores broader inequities that cause and maintain poverty. "Blindness is not caused by a lack of vitamin A in rice, just as starvation is generally not caused by a lack of food production. Malnutrition and starvation are the result of a lack of access to a balanced diet - a problem of poverty, which in turn is caused by problems of economics and politics," he wrote.

"The proponents of GE crops and foods are only too quick to promote the alleged benefits of whatever panacea happens to be the flavour of the month, often with little real understanding of the problem they are purporting to solve," he wrote.

"When those who raise questions about GE foods are lambasted for being ideological, "anti-science", or "anti-human", one has to ask why; and also why the proponents of GE foods manage to avoid being tarred with the same brush despite repeatedly overstating the benefits and systematically understating the risks, he wrote. "The reality is that golden rice is a research project. It has not undergone safety tests and its claims to solving health problems are extremely optimistic, bordering on fantastic."

On mining

At the May 2007 "New York Hard Assets Investment Conference," Moore was a keynote speaker. He told attendees, "Since my entry into the global environmental movement in 1971, mining has contributed significantly to a more sustainable world economy, and key beneficiaries of this progress are mining workers, families and communities," according to Resource Investor. [6]

Moore said that mining companies in third world countries must deal with "corruption among environmental groups and local governments compounded by yellow journalism. Greenspirit Strategies partnered with Newmont as a leader in mining sustainability to dispel such false reports," reported Resource Investor. Moore also accused "environmental extremists" of being "anti-human," "anti-science and technology," "anti-globalization," and "anti-civilization." [7]

On PVC

In December 2007, Moore slammed "anti-PVC activists" for "pushing retailers toward untested, less affordable and potentially riskier materials" with a "fear-mongering campaign." His comments came two days after "Sears Holdings Corporation, parent of the Sears and Kmart retail chain stores, said it will work to phase out use of PVC in its packaging and merchandise," reported ICIS. [9]

Moore's resume states that in 2001, he was "retained by IPEX, Canada’a largest manufacturer of PVC, to intervene in the environmental policy of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid." [10]

In a December 2007 press release from his Greenspirit firm, Moore was quoted as saying, "It's completely unacceptable for these activists to call PVC 'toxic' when PVC's effects on health and the environment have been investigated at every stage from manufacture through use and on to final disposal -- in all cases vinyl has been shown to be safe and environmentally sound." The release did not disclose Moore's or the firm's financial relationship with the PVC industry. [11]

Moore used similar language in a July 2006 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle: "Vinyl is one of the most sustainable, flexible and cost-effective materials available. Alternatives are more expensive, less versatile and often pose unknown health or environmental risks." [12]

Clients

Moore's clients [8] - though the list has not been updated since 2000 - have included:

  • B.C. Hazardous Waste Management Corporation (1991-92);
  • Moore established the B.C. Carbon Project "working to achieve a common understanding of the carbon budget and the implications of global climate change for B.C." - which received a $C145,000 grant in May 1991. Moores involvement ended in 1994;
  • on retainer to the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association to tour European countries to counter advocacy by environmental groups for a boycott of British Columbian forest products (1992-96);
  • Westcoast Energy and BC Gas 1993-1994 "to design a public consultation process to address greenhouse gas emissions for the natural gas sector in B.C.";
  • BHP Minerals to facilitate a round table on proposals to use the abandoned Island Copper mine as a landfill site (1993-94);
  • Director and Vice-President, Environment and Government Affairs for Waterfurnace International 1995-1998 to "build awareness of the benefits of renewable earth energy technology." According to his website, Moore remains a member of the Board of Directors.
  • Consultant to the National Association of Forest Industries in Australia for a national tour defending the logging of native forests (1996);
  • consultant to the Canadian Mining Association and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada "on the role of biodiversity in environmental policy in the mining industry," (1996);
  • consultant to BHP Minerals (Canada) Ltd. to author a paper on the environmental impact of submarine tailings disposal over the 23-year life of the Island Copper Mine on Vancouver Island (1996);
  • speaker for numerous timber industry associations including the American Forest and Paper Association, the Council of European Paper Industries, State Forestry Associations in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New York, Maine, and Florida, the National Hardwood Lumber Association (1998-1999), and at ForestLeadership conferences [9] in 2005 [10];
  • gave evidence in support of bio-technology before the New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification and undertook at tour of Southeast Asia, hosted by the International Service for Assistance with Agri-Biotech Applications. "Led seminars in Bangkok and Jakarta on the benefits of biotechnology for farmers in developing countries," Moore's website states (2000);
  • speaker for groups including the Filipino Society of Foresters and the Agri-Food Canada (2000); and
  • consultant to the largest manufacturer of PVC in Canada, IPEX, to "intervene in the environmental policy of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid." The environmental guidelines adopted for the Sydney Olympics recommended against the use of PVC wherever possible.
  • Newmont [11]

Also see the related SourceWatch article Patrick Moore appearances.

Contact information

Greenspirit
4068 W. 32nd Ave
Vancouver BC
V6S 1Z6 Canada
tel: 604.221.1990
fax: 604.222.9353
E-mail: patrickmoore@greenspirit.com
Web: http://www.greenspirit.com/index.cfm

Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.
305 - 873 Beatty Street
Vancouver BC
V6B 2M6 Canada
tel: 604.681.4122
fax: 604.681.4123
E-mail: tom AT greenspiritstrategies.com
Web: http://www.greenspiritstrategies.com

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Greenspirit, "About Greenspirit: Who is Patrick Moore?", Greenspirit website, accessed October 2008.
  2. Press release, "Greenpeace Statement On Patrick Moore," Greenpeace, October 10, 2008.
  3. "About NextEnergy: Biographies", NextEnergy website, accessed October 2008.
  4. Biographies, Shark Water, accessed October 20, 2009.
  5. Patrick Moore, "Don't flush pharmaceuticals down the drain," The Seattle Times (Washington), January 20, 2009.
  6. Phone conversation with Tom Tevlin of Greenspirit, Diane Farsetta, Center for Media and Democracy, January 21, 2009.
  7. "Issues: Pharmaceuticals in the environment," GlaxoSmithKline website, undated, accessed January 2009.
  8. Charles Reynolds, "Bayer Buyers Better Beware," The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida), June 18, 2009.
  9. Greg Holt, "Greenpeace co-founder defends PVC," ICIS, Decmeber 14, 2007.
  10. "About Greenspirit," Resume of Patrick Moore PhD, accessed December 2007.
  11. Press release, "Scientifically baseless attack on PVC could hurt consumers, resulting in use of riskier and less affordable materials," Greenspirit Strategies via CNW, December 13, 2007.
  12. "PVC letter, SF Chronicle," via Greenspirit website, accessed December 2007.

External resources

External articles

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