Who Founded Greenpeace? Not Patrick Moore.

July 1, 2014

Greg Laden’s Blog:

Patrick Moore is a Hippie for Hire. He makes the claim that he co-founded Greenpeace, and charges a fee to show up at conferences or other venues, or sit on boards, to provide a story that anti-environmentalists, global warming deniers, and others, like to hear. The part where he takes your money to lie, as far as I can tell, is true. The part about how he co-founded Greenpeace is apparently not true.

Here’s what Greenpeace has to say about Patrick Moore:

Patrick Moore, a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry, the logging industry, and genetic engineering industry, frequently cites a long-ago affiliation with Greenpeace to gain legitimacy in the media. Media outlets often either state or imply that Mr. Moore still represents Greenpeace, or fail to mention that he is a paid lobbyist and not an independent source…

For more than 20 years, Mr. Moore has been a paid spokesman for a variety of polluting industries, including the timber, mining, chemical and the aquaculture industries. Most of these industries hired Mr. Moore only after becoming the focus of a Greenpeace campaign to improve their environmental performance. Mr. Moore has now worked for polluters for far longer than he ever worked for Greenpeace.

Most importantly, given Patrick Moore’s insistence that he is a founder of Greenpeace, is this statement by the organization:

Patrick Moore Did Not Found Greenpeace

Patrick Moore frequently portrays himself as a founder or co-founder of Greenpeace, and many news outlets have repeated this characterization. Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace. Phil Cotes, Irving Stowe, and Jim Bohlen founded Greenpeace in 1970. Patrick Moore applied for a berth on the Phyllis Cormack in March, 1971 after the organization had already been in existence for a year.

Greenpeace even kept a copy of the letter Patrick Moore sent to them asking for a birth on a boat to engage in a nuclear protest, dated to long after the founding of Greenpeace. Here it is:



How could Patrick Moore have founded Greenpeace if he wrote this letter?

Media Matters addressed the question “Who is Patrick Moore?” and “Who Founded Greenpeace?” and “Did Patrick Moore Found Greenpeace?” here. In that piece they discuss Patrick Moore’s anti-science and anti-environment stand on climate change. They note:

Moore has repeatedly claimed that he left Greenpeace because their policies shifted to the radical left, saying for instance in his testimony, “I had to leave as Greenpeace took a sharp turn to the political left, and began to adopt policies that I could not accept from my scientific perspective.” But Greenpeace has a different view of the situation, saying “what Moore really saw was an opportunity for financial gain. Since then he has gone from defender of the planet to a paid representative of corporate polluters.” [U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, 2/25/14; Greenpeace, 10/10/08]

This refers in part to the Greenpeace Statement on Patrick Moore:

Patrick Moore often misrepresents himself in the media as an environmental “expert” or even an “environmentalist,” while offering anti-environmental opinions on a wide range of issues and taking a distinctly anti-environmental stance. He also exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.

While it is true that Patrick Moore was a member of Greenpeace in the 1970s, in 1986 he abruptly turned his back on the very issues he once passionately defended. He claims he “saw the light” but what Moore really saw was an opportunity for financial gain. Since then he has gone from defender of the planet to a paid representative of corporate polluters.

Patrick Moore promotes such anti-environmental positions as clearcut logging, nuclear power, farmed salmon, PVC (vinyl) production, genetically engineered crops, and mining. Clients for his consulting services are a veritable Who’s Who of companies that Greenpeace has exposed for environmental misdeeds, including Monsanto, Weyerhaeuser, and BHP Minerals.

And so on.

So, on answer to the question “Who Founded Greenpeace?” one accurate and truthful answer is “Not Patrick Moore.” In answer to the questions “Did Patrick Moore found Greenpeace?” or “Is Patrick Moore a co-founder of Greenpeace?” the answer is “no” to both.


27 Responses to “Who Founded Greenpeace? Not Patrick Moore.”

  1. Quite an incredible liar is Patrick Moore.

    Where there is money to be made you will find those who have sold their souls. Shame on Patrick Moore for selling out. Maybe this was his plan all along. Who knows?

  2. ubrew12 Says:

    “… to the question… “Is Patrick Moore a co-founder of Greenpeace?” the answer is “no”… ”

    Perhaps two more questions can also be answered: “Does a PhD in resource ecology confer an expert opinion on Climate issues?” … “and, if not, why do you Climate Deniers keep trotting this guy out as if it did?”

  3. jimbills Says:

    I’m not sure he’s an intentional liar, but a rationalizer.

    Mark Twain: “You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.”

    He is a paid shill these days. I noticed he’s going to be a speaker at the Heartland conference when Peter posted about it a few weeks ago.


    But, to be fair, I don’t like spin from any quarter. Greenpeace is trying to distant themselves from him for obvious reasons, but Moore might as well be a founder. He didn’t sit down and come up with the idea for Greenpeace, but he was on the original crew and he was directly involved in most of the main events that brought them to international attention.

    He’s got a doozy of a Wikipedia entry. Woof:

    “In 2006, he wrote to the Royal Society arguing there was “no scientific proof” that mankind was causing global warming[45] and believes that it “has a much better correlation with changes in solar activity than CO2 levels”.[46]

    Moore has stated that global warming and the melting of glaciers is not necessarily a negative event because it creates more arable land and the use of forest products drives up demand for wood and spurs the planting of more trees.[47]”

    Footnote 45 is very tenuous. 46 is more indicative of his climate change beliefs. 47 was spoken at a biotech conference.

    • The fact that he was there at the beginning does not make Moore a “founder” in any sense. If I happen to work odd jobs for Apple back when it was a garage operation did not give me the right to call myself a founder. Did you see the movie “Social Network”?

      • jimbills Says:

        I saw the movie. Greenpeace wasn’t Facebook. It didn’t start as a piece of software created by one person – it was the combined efforts of many people – and Moore can legitimately claim to being a key participant in Greenpeace’s formation. Read the Wikipedia entry. He is described as “being in the inner circle”, and he was later President of the Greenpeace Foundation for 8 years, which was the prior organization of Greenpeace International. Patrick Moore wasn’t Bob Hunter, but he was VERY close to him.

        Bob Hunter’s Wiki entry:

        “He was a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1971 with Patrick Moore, Ben Metcalfe, Jim Bohlen, Irving Stowe, Paul Watson (which is contested by Greenpeace; more at this page) and several other members.”

        The photo that is at the top of this blog post, I’m not sure Patrick Moore is in that actual photo, but he was on that ship. There’s also a photo of him here:

        I’m being a hardarse on this because I believe it’s important not to ignore or dismiss uncomfortable truths no matter side of the political or environmental spectrum we are on. The guy was there, and he meets most people’s definition of being a founding member. If we buy into the spin machine, it just becomes a matter of who is the better spinner.

        That said, there’s a mountain of reason why one shouldn’t trust the guy.

        • omnologos Says:

          V. good Jim. I’ve never trusted Laden and never will.

          • jimbills Says:

            Ha ha, well, I was referring to Moore, not Laden, in my last sentence. You can have your opinions about Laden. I think Laden over-stepped a bit here, that’s all.

        • Sorry jimbills. You are off on this one.
          “Patrick Moore frequently portrays himself as a founder or co-founder of Greenpeace, and many news outlets have repeated this characterization. Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace. Phil Cotes, Irving Stowe, and Jim Bohlen founded Greenpeace in 1970. Patrick Moore applied for a berth on the Phyllis Cormack in March, 1971 after the organization had already been in existence for a year.”
          I find little to cavil with that paragraph. An early member? Yes. A founder, no. A phony self interested nitwit, yes. Thats the thrust of the message. It says he played a significant role. It also says he overplayed his role. All true. Nitpicking over the meaning of founder is not the point. The point is he used deception in a way that would have most of us fired from jobs for fudging our resumes. He fudge his resume. No quarter for a phony hack.

          • jimbills Says:

            Alright, I’m going to keep pressing this, even though I completely agree with the notion that the guy isn’t worth defending personally.

            Why? Because I strongly believe it’s important to question everything, always. Our base instinct is to believe what we want to believe, and therein is the reason why humans are a rationalizing animal instead of a rational animal. It’s why we have such a broad range of opinions about everything, because we all belong to different localities, backgrounds, perspectives, desires, and so on.

            “You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.”

            For entirely understandable and obvious reasons, Greenpeace and greens are trying to distance themselves from Patrick Moore. Plus, he’s about to speak to the Heartland conference. There are motivations for why Greg Laden wrote this article and why it came out now.

            But let’s look at the facts:

            1) Look at the header for the two handwritten letters. It’s addressed to the “Don’t Make a Wave Committee” which was Bob Hunter’s group name before “Greenpeace”. Paul Cote’s (not Phil Cote – Greenpeace today has that name wrong) response to Moore has a Greenpeace symbol, but they were still known as DMAWC then.

            2) Moore joins the team and quoting Wiki: “Moore joined the committee in 1971 and, as Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter wrote, “Moore was quickly accepted into the inner circle on the basis of his scientific background, his reputation [as an environmental activist], and his ability to inject practical, no-nonsense insights into the discussions.[8]””

            3) The team boards the Phyllis Cormack on their first mission to protest atomic testing. On that voyage, they name the ship Greepeace I. Again, from Wiki: “Greenpeace was the name given to the boat for the voyage and it would be the first of the many Greenpeace protests.[9] Following the first voyage, key crew members decided to formally change the name of the Don’t Make a Wave Committee to the Greenpeace Foundation. These decision makers included founders Bob Hunter, Rod Marining and Ben Metcalfe as well as Patrick Moore.[10][11]”

            4) Patrick Moore stays deeply involved with Greenpeace. He is on this vessel (the Phyllis Cormack again) with Bob Hunter in 1975:

            This mission protests whaling and raises international awareness of Greenpeace with dramatic footage used on the news.

            5) Patrick Moore and Bob Hunter make a pitch after the event for fundraising in the United States. From Wiki: “Patrick Moore and Bob Hunter appeared on Dr. Bill Wattenburg’s talk radio show on KGO and appealed for a lawyer to help them incorporate a branch office in San Francisco and to manage donations. David Tussman, a young lawyer, volunteered to help Moore, Hunter, and Paul Spong set up an office at Fort Mason. The Greenpeace Foundation of America (since changed to Greenpeace USA), then became the major fundraising center for the expansion of Greenpeace worldwide.[15][16]”

            6) Bob Hunter, the President of the Greenpeace Foundation, resigns in 1977. Patrick Moore becomes President, holding the office for 8 years. Greenpeace International today minimizes the Greenpeace Foundation to lessen Moore’s role by calling it Greenpeace Canada, but the Greenpeace Foundation was the first Greenpeace – a Canadian organization started and mostly crewed by Canadians.

            So, you tell me. Would a person on the street read that and dare say Patrick Moore wasn’t a founder, or a co-founder, or whatever? Not ‘the’ founder. ‘A’ founder.

            To me, ‘founders’ of Greenpeace are the people listed on this page:

            Moore backed this involvement up with many years of major service.

            Why is this important? We shouldn’t re-write history just because we don’t like a guy today who was involved in that history. Laden’s article is poorly researched. It’s spin.

            Accept reality, even when you don’t like it.

          • Sorry again Jimbills. No one is questioning reality. We are questioning nitpicking. If I was the tenth employee of a company, am I a founder? Technically, no. Your nitpick would be valid if he wrote the founding documents a year earlier. I don’t know if he did. Here, I am nitpicking. 🙂 the article states he was an early member. Question is, did he exaggerate. Pretty sure on that one.

          • jimbills Says:

            Chris, they weren’t employees. Seriously, you don’t get hippies at all. Hippies are egalitarian by nature. They don’t think anyone is in charge. Bob Hunter is the one who could really be pointed to as the leader, and Greenpeace doesn’t even list him as one of their preferred ‘founders’ these days.

            I’ve tried to get you to see this. Believe what you want to believe.

          • Trust me, Jimbills, I do get hippies. It’s hard to say hippies and founder in the same sentence without laughing. That alone should give some perspective into the laughable monicker “founder” Moore self bestows. Peace. I can just see it now. Hippies in business suits with pocket labels.

  4. Reblogged this on Echos from a Pale Blue Dot and commented:
    Once again the crowd over in climate contrarian land has promoted someone who makes inflated claims about his past to bolster his public profile.

    Lord “Crazy Pants” Monckton is a shining example for all future resume padders out there. Yes indeed, he was a minor hereditary “Lord”, with no real affiliation with UK governance or policy, but he still claims to be a member of the House of Lords, in spite of cease and desist orders published by that august body.

    Now we have Patrick Moore trying to claim that he “co-founded” Greenpeace. The fact is that he’s been playing the long con to earn his bread and board for nearly 20 years. Have a look:

  5. MorinMoss Says:

    I’d argue that Bob Hunter’s name should be on the list of founders.

  6. I can believe that when Patrick Moore was in Greenpeace, he was a true believer in their position. It hardly matters if he was the founder or not. As for his credibility, if Patrick Moore is willing to shill for the fossil fuel industry and deny AGW, then he is spouting nonsense. Cash for trash. Those of us who support 4th generation nuclear would like Patrick Moore to shut up and disappear – he’s an embarrassment.

    I’m not a founder of the Sierra Club, but I was a true believer in anti-nuclear circa 1980 (just after Three Mile Island). I was a local (Nevada) anti-nuke leader. I was mildly famous, interviewed in the newspapers and local TV station. I was an articulate spokesman.

    I also didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. AGW wasn’t much of an issue then – I was aware of it, but like my fellow anti-nuke activists, we figured it was far in the future and we assumed that solar and wind would solve the problem. It was as worthless an idea then as it is now, but we were true believers and weren’t interested in facts.

    We were members of a cult. I sigh when I see it all happening again. You will discover that your wind-solar solution is no real solution at all, but like all true believers you’ll spend years in denial. Meanwhile, the Earth burns.

    • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

      Wind and solar won’t be a solution if we don’t bother to make it one.

      It only takes 158×158 square miles of solar panels to power the whole planet. It’s a no brainer. Storage is another problem but someone will crack it.

      • MorinMoss Says:

        That’s one hell of a lot of solar panels.
        As current or near-term tech goes, it’s still probably better to use solar thermal in the hot, sunny places and use the PV on rooftops or in cooler, cloudier areas.

        As for storage, if the newer calcium-based sorbents pan out, it may cost less than 1/3 as much for the salts and as low as 1/6th the current volume required.

        • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

          There are a hell of a lot of unemployed people to be able to make them!
          Solar thermal good for making steam turbines, but also good for melting things, like silicon to make more solar panels…

          • Spain found that making renewables also made more unemployed people.

          • MorinMoss Says:

            In the theme of the Internet meme of “Obligatory XKCD”, I give you <a href="http://www.skepticalscience.com/carter-confusion-2-green-jobs.html&quot; "Obligatory SkS link"

            I also found a link on “Stop These Things” decrying the terribly crippling blow that renewables has dealt to the Spanish economy and how the staggering amount of 200 billion euros was to be paid out in subsidies.

            Let’s take that number at face value and agree that it’s a LOT of money.

            Given the disaster that we all know investing in non-fossil, non-nuclear energy production to be, it should quite easy to show that Spain’s unwise investment has plunged their economy to historic lows.


            So the huge crash caused presumably ENTIRELY by silly renewables has forced Spain to accept a GDP a mere 19% higher than the distant past of 2006 and an abysmal 225% above the prehistoric age we refer to as 2002.

            And that 200 billion euros?
            That’s 14% of the current annual GDP which is a huge amount – IF it were to be paid out in a single year. But 56 billion of that has already been paid since 1998 and the remaining ~140 billion over the next 20 – 30 years.
            And this is a sector that’s generated significant revenue in exports.

      • Yes. Its no longer a question of economics or feasibility. Its a question of will. Some say little or no additional storage is necessary. An overbuild of renewables, some renewables like geothermal, biogas, and hydro, and/or very infrequent use of FF. Its not like there is only one combination of sources for every location that can get us to high renewables future.
        MacGill & Dieseldorf (2013: 9)
        Wind: 48%-59% (32%-41%)
        Photovoltaic: 15%-20% (24%-28%)
        Concentrated Solar Thermal: 14%-22% (8%-12%)
        Pumped hydro: 0.2%-0.4% (1.9%-2.1%)
        Hydro: 5.4%-5.6% (4.3%-4.6%)
        Gas Turbine: 6.2%-6.5% (20-21%)
        Spilled: 4%-12%

      • Storage is another problem but someone will crack it.

        The principal members behind the formation of The Oil Drum have a name for this:  hopium.

    • You were fooled then, but not now? Are you sure?

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