Patrick Moore: Media coverage that doesn't disclose Moore's nuclear consultancy work
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."
Since April 2006 Patrick Moore, who was a Greenpeace activist in the late 1970s and the early 1980's, has been a consultant for the the Nuclear Energy Institute's (NEI) front group, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. Moore has also been widely quoted in media reports and spoken at numerous pro-nuclear events. However, comparatively few journalists include disclosure of his consultancy work for NEI or nuclear companies.
Some of the journalists and media outlets that have failed to disclose Moore's pro-nuclear work are:
- Stephen J. Dubner, "Do Not Read This If You Are Anti-Nuclear Energy", Freakonomics (New York Times blog), November 21, 2007. In his post Dubner writes: "There is by now a pretty long list of environmentalists who used to be anti-nuke and are now in favor of it. They include Stewart Brand, James Lovelock, and Patrick Moore."
- David J. C. MacKay, Sustainable Energy – without the hot air. MacKay describes Moore as "former Director of Greenpeace International" with no mention that he left that position over 20 years earlier and is now a lobbyist for the Nuclear Energy Institute. MacKay quotes Moore saying, "We made the mistake of lumping nuclear energy in with nuclear weapons, as if all things nuclear were evil. I think that’s as big a mistake as if you lumped nuclear medicine in with nuclear weapons."
- Stephen J. Dubner, "Nuclear Europe?", Freakonomics (New York Times blog), June 11, 2008. Dubner's post stated: "Interestingly, the U.S. nuclear movement has gotten a big boost from the conversation of Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace International, who used to oppose nuclear power but is now an ardent advocate."
- Steve Gelsi, "Aging nuclear plant fleet may get 34 new recruits: Emission woes fuel atomic push, but waste disposal challenge looms", MarketWatch, June 13, 2008. Gelsi's article included the following statement: "I think a lot of people are kind of stuck in the '70s. ... I think people haven't caught up with the fact that climate change has changed the whole climate of the environmental debate on this planet," Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace and a nuclear power supporter, said on the Web site for the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry group. "The one technology that is contributing most to reducing greenhouse gases in America today is nuclear energy, and we could do a tremendous amount to increase that."
- James Cowan, "Nuclear's changing fortunes: Public's concerns dwindle as energy crisis grows", National Post (Canada), June 16, 2008. In his article Cowan states "The notion of a nuclear reactor as a green energy source has caused deep divisions among activists. Several prominent environmentalists, including Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, are vocal proponents. Others dismiss nuclear's environmental benefits as propaganda put forward by the industry."
- "Environmentalists blamed for emissions", Canwest News Service, July 09, 2008. On July 7, 2008 Moore addressed the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties annual conference giving one of his stump speeches, Environmentalism in the 21st Century.A Canwest News Service report of Moore's speech made no mention of his consultancy work for the nuclear industry. The Canwest story ran as follows: "If it hadn't been for us -- the environmental movement -- there'd be a lot fewer coal-fired power plants and a lot more nuclear plants not polluting the air and not leaking greenhouse gas into the atmosphere," said Moore. "You don't ban all uses of the technology just because it can be used for evil," he added. Moore is now an avid proponent of nuclear and hydroelectric power, both of which he said Alberta should embrace as energy sources. "If Alberta really wants to turn around its extremely high CO2 level, which is seven times higher than Quebec's, it's got to consider either building hydro dams in the north or building nuclear plants," said Moore."
- Jay Hancock, "Europe retains strong anti-nuclear sentiment", "Jay Hancock's blog", Baltimore Sun, July 12, 2008. Commenting on an anti-nuclear demonstration near his apartment in Paris, Hancock wrote "This kind of sentiment seems much stronger in Europe than in the U.S. Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore has decided that the risks of nuclear energy are lower than the risks of continuing to use carbon energy."
- Tom Costello, "Taking a second look at nuclear power", "Nightly News with Brian Williams", NBC, July 19, 2008. "Patrick Moore was a founding member of Greenpeace back in the 70's protesting nuclear power. He is now a huge advocate. Patrick Moore: 'I believe we made a mistake by lumping nuclear energy in with nuclear weapons as if all things nuclear were evil'."
- "Bringing new energy to the debate on our future", Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff, July 27, 2008: "That's fighting a global energy battle with one arm tied behind our back. We need to get 80 or even 90 percent of our electricity from nuclear power. And environmentalists concerned about carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal ought to be foremost among the nuclear fans. Indeed, Patrick Moore, the co-founder of environmental group Greenpeace, has become a chief advocate for the increased use of nuclear power."
- R Krishna, "There’s too much pop environmentalism", DNA (Daily News and Analysis, India), August 2, 2008. "Dr Patrick Moore, one of the founding members of Greenpeace, led the campaign which stalled the development of nuclear energy in the US in the 1970s. He served for nine years as president of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a director of Greenpeace International. He left Greenpeace in 1986 and in 1991, founded Greenspirit, a consultancy focused on environmental policy and communications in natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change. Since then, he tells R Krishna, there has been a turnaround in his stand on nuclear energy. Further, he says, green activism may end up harming the environment and our health," the introduction stated. One of Krishna's softball questions was "Do you feel vindicated that the greens’ opposition to nuclear energy is proving to be harmful to the environment?".
- "Our view on atomic power: As energy demands grow, nuclear deserves new look: Reactors are cleaner than coal and safer than critics", USA Today, August 14, 2008: "Nuclear also offers major help in reducing global warming because, unlike coal-burning plants, atomic power emits little or no greenhouse gases. Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore once derided nuclear energy but now says it's clean and reliable."
- "Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace who is now co-chairman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, a pro-nuclear group ... " Julie Bosman, Jackie Calmes, Michael Luo, Larry Rohter and Matthew L. Wald, Check Point: The First Debate", New York Times, September 26, 2008.
- Patrick Moore: The case for more nuclear power in Texas", Dallas Morning News, September 29, 2008. The byline for this opinion column states that "Patrick Moore is co-founder of Greenpeace and the co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, a national grass-roots coalition that promotes nuclear power. His e-mail address is Cochair@CASEnergy.org" and, in the body of the column he wrote that "As a co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, I believe many conservationists in Texas would embrace nuclear's clean-air benefits."
- Larry Rohter, "2 Endorsements of Nuclear Power, but Sharp Differences on Details", New York Times, October 9, 2008. "Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace and the co-chairman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, a pro-nuclear group, estimated that each reactor would cost up to $8 billion and would generate 3,000 to 4,000 jobs during the construction phase and up to 800 permanent jobs once in operation," Rohter wrote.
- "The radioactive debate", Miami Herald, October 20, 2008: "Greenpeace views nuclear power as "an expensive and dangerous distraction from the real solutions to climate change" that should be forbidden. But Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, who later split with the organization, is now co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, which backs nuclear as the best way to meet the country's energy needs without contributing to global warming.
- Ernst-Ulrich Franzen, "Why not nukes?," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog "Across the Board," November 7, 2008: "This morning, a founder of Greenpeace and now co-chair of a pro-nuclear power coalition, addressed a gathering in Madison to talk up the virtues of nuclear power. Dr. Patrick Moore, co-chair with former EPA administrator and New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, CASEnergy, makes a good case, and deserves a wide audience."
- Editorial, "End ban on new nuclear plants," Wisconsin State Journal, November 7, 2008: "More opponents should see the same light that dawned on environmental policy consultant Patrick Moore, who spoke at an energy conference at UW-Madison this week. 40 years ago Moore co-founded the environmental group Greenpeace. He opposed nuclear power. Then he realized that if the world is to shift to clean energy sources to fight the threat of global warming, nuclear power must play a major role. No longer with Greenpeace, he now promotes nuclear power as a clean, safe source for electricity."
- Cathy Martin, "Environmental activist pushes nuclear energy: Patrick Moore, an advocate of nuclear energy and co-founder of Greenpeace, spoke at the UW Energy Hub Conference Friday," The Daily Cardinal (University of Wisconsin-Madison student paper), November 10, 2008: "Although he was a founding member of Greenpeace, Moore left the organization, feeling his colleagues created policies based on sensation rather than science. He is now a co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, a pro-nuclear energy association."
- "Should the U.S. go nuclear?", Talk Radio News Service, December 10, 2008. "Patrick Moore, Co-Chairman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition and Co-Founder of Greenpeace, countered saying nuclear power was "one of the safest technologies ever invented” and “You’d have to take over the United States of America to steal this stuff."
- Keith Johnson, "Nuclear Power: Should the U.S. Emulate France?", "Environmental Capital" (Blog), Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2008. "As it happens, that was pretty much the heart of a debate this week in Washington between nuclear-power proponent Patrick Moore, co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, and nuclear-power opponent Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. The debate boiled down to the question: In its quest for lower-carbon sources of energy, does the U.S. want to become more like France? Absolutely, said Dr. Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace but now an outspoken nuclear-power supporter. “If France can get 80% of its power from nuclear plants, so can the U.S. Our initial goal should be to double nuclear power in the U.S. [to about 40% of electricity supply] then think about doubling it again.” If zero-emissions power sources are the goal, he said, remember that nuclear power provides 70% of clean power in the U.S., compared with about 5% from renewable energy."
- Bruce Erskine, "Greenpeace founder: It’s all on you: Don’t change the world, change you, Moore urges", The ChronicleHeralad.ca (Halifax, Nova Scotia), January 16, 2009. "Mr. Moore, who is now a partner in Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., an environmental policy and strategy consulting firm, has run afoul of many in the environmentalist camp for seeking a middle road on the sustainable energy issue by, among other things, supporting the forestry industry. 'The key to sustainability strategy is not to get caught in the myth that the more energy we use and the more materials we use and the more people that are using them, that is going to destroy the environment automatically,' he said, suggesting that environmentalists who oppose nuclear and hydro power are contributing to the greenhouse gas problem. ... 'We can generate good base-load energy three different ways — with fossil fuels, with hydroelectric dams and with nuclear plants. All three of those do exactly the same thing, but they do it in very different ways with very different technologies.'
- Amy Goodman, "Should Economic Stimulus Bill Include Billions for Nuclear Power?," Pacifica's "Democracy Now!," February 5, 2009. Amy Goodman: "Patrick Moore is with us. He’s co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace. He now serves as co-chair of the pro-nuclear Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, known as CASE. ... Let’s start with you, Patrick Moore. Why do you support this provision in the stimulus plan?"
- Donald Jaramillo, "Mining group unhappy with state agencies: Former Greenpeace Founding Member Speaks at Legislative Dinner", Cibola Beacon (New Mexico), February 12, 2009. "Guest speaker of the evening [at the annual conference of the New Mexico Mining Association] was Dr. Patrick Moore, a founding member of Greenpeace. He later served as president of Greenpeace for nine years and seven years as director of Greenpeace International ... Moore, who supports nuclear power along with renewable energy resources such as geothermal and wind, described that global warming is not really an issue when the last billion years are considered. He said misinformation from environmental extremism is simply being used as scare tactics. "We should be cautious," said Moore, "but we shouldn't be radical." Moore briefly focused on uranium. "Please get us more uranium because we are going to need it to fuel the power plants." He added that the in-situ process does "very little" disturbance to the environment. "Three Mile Island was played to be a major catastrophe by the media, however, no one was injured. Too many people are stuck in the 70s mentality relating nuclear power to nuclear warfare. If you (America) are going to work on your strengths, shouldn't you consider nuclear energy?"Moore asked as he summed up.
- Patrick Moore, op/ed: "Nuclear deal: Senate chose savings, jobs, future," Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia), February 24, 2009. Moore's op/ed is in favor of Georgia's Senate Bill 31, which would "help raise funding necessary to build two reactors at Georgia Power’s Vogtle power plant at a cost of $14 billion" by allowing the utility to charge customers during plant construction. Moore is simply described as a "co-chairman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, supporting increased use of nuclear energy, and a co-founder of Greenpeace."
- Lorrie Goldstein, "Greenies must warm to nukes: If global warming is an imminent disaster, then nuclear power is part of the solution", Toronto Sun, March 1st 2009: "Recently, former Greenpeace director Stephen Tindale, Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury, head of the Environment Agency, Green Party activist Chris Goodall and Mark Lynas, author of the Royal Society's science book of the year, came out in favour of nuclear power, joining the likes of Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore ... Whatever one thinks about man-made global warming, any environmentalists -- especially the doomsters -- who simultaneously demand we dramatically lower GHG emissions while abandoning nuclear power, are sucking and blowing at the same time. Literally."
- Jim Doyle, "Nuclear power industry sees opening for revival", San Francisco Chronicle, March 9, 2009: "Meanwhile, global warming has prompted some conservationists, such as Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, to conclude that nuclear power will be a crucial energy source in the future."
- Becky DeVries, "State debates future of nuclear power," WLUK-TV 11 (FOX, Green Bay, Wisconsin), March 12, 2009. "'Nuclear energy is clean and safe and we need not be afraid of it,' said Patrick Moore, co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. Moore says the waste from nuclear plants is safely managed."
- Cindy Hodgson, "Go nuclear to go green: Power proponent advises lawmakers," Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter (Wisconsin), March 13, 2009. "Addressing a joint legislative committee hearing on nuclear energy Thursday, Greenpeace founding member Dr. Patrick Moore delivered a message: Not including nuclear power in a green energy portfolio is 'irrational in the extreme,' said Moore, chairman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition." (The same article was also printed by the Green Bay Press Gazette.)
- Ned Potter and Carrie McGourty, "30 Years After Three Mile Island: Nuclear 'Renaissance'?," ABC News, March 27, 2009. "'Nuclear will become one of the most important base-load sources of electricity in the world,' said Patrick Moore, co-chairman of the CASEnergy Coalition, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C., that touts nuclear technology as a solution to global climate change."
- "Uranium report says Saskatchewan could build nuclear power plant: Recommends nuclear as 'affordable low-carbon electricity' option," CBC News (Canada), April 3, 2009. "A report for the provincial government says a nuclear power plant could be in uranium-rich Saskatchewan's future. Examining the potential of power generation from uranium was among 20 recommendations in a $3-million report on how the province could develop its radioactive resource. ... The 12-member group also included a co-founder of the activist organization Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, who is currently associated with a consulting firm."
- Mina Shankar, "Greenpeace co-founder lauds benefits of nuclear energy," The Daily Northwestern (Evanston, Illinois campus paper), April 7, 2009. "Moore is now the co-chairman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition and chairman of Greenspirit Strategies. ... He said Greenspirit is 'based more on science and logic' than Greenpeace, which he said 'depends on scare tactics where there's no evidence.'"
- Melissa Pistilli, "Saskatchewan to Consider Nuclear Power," Uranium Investing News, April 7, 2009. "The Uranium Development Partnership panel (UPD), developed last October by Saskatchewan's provincial ministers Lyle Stewart and Ken Cheveldayoff, has released their report entitled Capturing the Full Potential of the Uranium Value Chain in Saskatchewan. ... The panel included CEO's from the nuclear industry, nuclear science experts, labour and First Nations representatives, Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, and was chaired by University of Saskatchewan VP of Finance Richard Florizone."
- Cosby Woodruff, "Greenpeace founder claims group now energy inefficient," Montgomery Advertiser (Alabama), May 21, 2009. "A founder of Greenpeace said today's environmental movement is blocking meaningful clean energy development. Patrick Moore, who now is co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, said environmentalists, especially those aligned with former Vice President Al Gore, have hijacked the clean energy debate. ... Moore now defends nuclear power as safe, affordable and cleaner that most alternatives."
- Elizabeth Svoboda, "New Tech Could Make Nuclear the Best Weapon Against Climate Change: Two new designs aim to make nuclear reactors safer and vastly more efficient," Discover magazine, June 2009. "'Now it's time to start over and find a viable way to deal with used nuclear fuel,' says Patrick Moore, chief scientist at the sustainability consulting firm Greenspirit Strategies and a cofounder of Greenpeace."
- Patrick Moore, "Renewables won't solve all our energy needs", Letter to the Editor, TheStar.com, July 9, 2009. The bio note at the foot of Moore's letter states "Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-founder Greenpeace, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., Vancouver".
- Joe Hoover, "Environmentalist Supports Nuclear Power: Says green advocates made a mistake", Newstalk650.com, July 14, 2009. "As the debate rages on over Saskatchewan's uranium future, one environmentalist is encouraging the development of nuclear power. Patrick Moore is a founding member of Greenpeace. He now heads up Greenspirit Strategies. He tells NewsTalk Radio's John Gormley that it's possible to be an environmentalist and a proponent of nuclear power."
- Joe Hoover, "Environmentalist Supports Nuclear Power: Says green advocates made a mistake," News Talk 650 CKOM (Saskatchewan, Canada), July 14, 2009. "Patrick Moore is a founding member of Greenpeace. He now heads up Greenspirit Strategies."
- "Dr. Patrick Moore Speaks at NSBA Luncheon," SaskatoonHomepage.ca (Saskatchewan, Canada), July 14, 2009. "Moore is the CEO and Chief Scientist of Greenspirit Strategies. ... Dr. Moore was appointed to the Uranium Development Partnership by the Government of Saskatchewan to look into the potential future of nuclear technology to augment the existing uranium industry."
- Joanne Paulson, "Business association hears nuclear pitch", The StarPhoenix, July 15, 2009. "Saskatchewan -- like the rest of the world -- must reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, and that means turning to nuclear power for some of the province's energy requirements, said Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, in a speech Tuesday ... Now with Greenspirit Strategies of Vancouver, Moore was a member of the Uranium Development Partnership panel, which recommended Saskatchewan build a nuclear reactor."
- Patrick Moore, "Nuclear investment part of a viable energy portfolio," San Antonio Express-News (Texas), September 16, 2009. "Patrick Moore is co-chairman of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, a national grassroots organization that supports the expansion of nuclear energy."
- Patrick Moore, "A changing climate around nuclear energy", Statesman-Journal.com (Oregon), October 12, 2009. "Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace, co-chairs the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (CASEnergy) a grassroots coalition which promotes the economic and environmental benefits of nuclear power as part of a green energy economy."
- "Take 5: Patrick Moore: five questions. five answers", Lansing State Journal, November 23, 2009. Q: "How do you go from being a founder of Greenpeace, which is adamantly opposed to nuclear energy, to a proponent of nuclear energy?" A: Because I think we made a mistake in the early years of the environmental movement. Our main focus then was to stop nuclear weapons and because of our focus on that we painted everything nuclear as being evil, where as nuclear energy is actually a beneficial use of nuke technology. Nuclear weapons are a destructive use. We got a lot of things right in the early years: stop the bombs, save the whales, stop toxic waste, but we made a mistake (on) nuclear power."
Articles and Resources
- Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, "Rural Really Matters!: National Conference Attracts Seven Keynotes, International Speakers", June 30, 2008.