|Monday, August 01, 2005|
Watson Vs. Moore in the San Francisco Examiner and the Denver Post
Way back in October and November of 1971, two young men set sail with other intrepid shipmates to challenge the most powerful nation in the world. It was a campaign to protest the underground nuclear tests at Amchitka Island in the Aleutians organized by the newly formed Don't Make a Wave Committee.
Patrick Moore left first on the 85-foot halibut seiner Phyllis Cormack along with twelve others. The fishing boat carried a second name - The Greenpeace.
After a month on the rolling seas, the first Greenpeace boat returned when the United States delayed the test.
A second vessel was made ready and headed north to relieve the Greenpeace. It was the Greenpeace Too and on board was a twenty-year old volunteer named Paul Watson.
The Greenpeace Too was the converted ex-Canadian minesweeper Edgewater Fortune.
The Greenpeace Too passed the Greenpeace One near Campbell River. Watson on the Greenpeace Too headed to Alaska, as Moore returned to Vancouver.
The nuclear test at Amchitka was pushed ahead and the detonation happened as the Greenpeace Too was still a few hundred miles away.
Neither ship made it to the test site, but the publicity generated from the voyage of the two ships resulted in the cancellation of all future atomic tests.
More importantly, the voyages became the genesis of a new organization. The Don't Make a Wave Committee became the Greenpeace Foundation in 1972.
Paul Watson took the Greenpeace lifetime member number of 007.
Both Paul Watson and Patrick Moore were founding directors along with Robert and Roberta Hunter, Rod Marining, Hamish Bruce, and others.
Paul Watson and Patrick Moore had a stormy relationship during their time together on the Greenpeace board. Watson never trusted Moore, the son of a wealthy logging camp owner on Vancouver Island, and Moore never forgave Watson for being given the position of first officer under Captain John Cormack on the voyages of the Greenpeace V and Greenpeace VII to protect the whales in 1975 and 1976.
In June of 1977, Patrick Moore became the president of the Greenpeace Foundation and called a board meeting to expel Paul Watson from the board.
Watson decided to quit as an activist volunteer for Greenpeace, and in 1977 founded the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which he continues to head twenty-eight years later.
But Moore refused to work with Watson, and Moore was, in turn, pushed out of the organization by David McTaggart.
Whereas Watson set up another non-profit conservation society, Moore decided to go into business and opened a fish farm. He became the president of the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association. But he was not a good businessman and his salmon farm suffered a major die-off of fish from disease and he was forced to collect the insurance and move on.
Having been a good spokesperson for the salmon farming industry, Moore decided to speak out and lobby on behalf of other industries like forestry, plastics, and biogenetic engineering. He found that public relations was his thing and he was able to use his credentials as an ecologist and his former position as president of Greenpeace Canada to give credibility to his increasingly strident condemnation of the environmental movement.
Moore set up a non-profit called Green Spirit to speak for his corporate clients.
Robert Hunter bestowed the title of "Eco-Judas" on him. He has become known as the Benedict Arnold of the Green Movement and the corporate green whore. His credibility has sunk so low that the Forest Action Network set up a website dedicated just to Patrick Moore called Patrick Moore is a Big Fat Liar.
But this "scientist" who does not have a single peer-reviewed publication to his credit has challenged the credibility of real scientists like Dr. David Suzuki and Dr. E.O. Wilson.
He makes outlandish statements like, "There is more bio-diversity in a clear cut than in a parking lot in Vancouver but I don't see anyone protesting against parking lots."
Over the years, Captain Paul Watson has challenged Dr. Patrick Moore to a public debate on numerous occasions. Pat has always refused.
Despite this, Moore has engaged in an on-going debate with Watson for years on the Internet or indirectly in the media
This week there was another strange chapter in the ongoing conflict between Moore and Watson. Apparently, Patrick Moore was scheduled to be a faculty speaker onboard the Holland American cruise ship Oosterdam on the voyage from Seattle departing July 30th to Alaska and returning on August 6th. As it happens Captain Watson was also recruited as a speaker on the same ship and the same voyage. But Patrick Moore was not onboard when the ship left Seattle. Apparently, he cancelled when he found out that Captain Watson was a fellow faculty member. The cruise organizer said he was hoping to arrange a debate between the two but once again Patrick Moore has avoided Watson's challenge.
On July 20th, Patrick Moore fired a shot at the environmental movement in the Op-Ed pages of the San Francisco Examiner and the Denver Post.
Captain Paul Watson retaliated with rebuttal Op-Ed articles. The San Francisco Examiner published Watson's article on July 31st.
The Op-Ed by Captain Watson is re-printed below with the original Pat Moore Op-Ed from July 20th by Moore following. The same Op-Ed was published in the Denver Post on July 31st, 2005.
The San Francisco Examiner
On July 21, Patrick Moore wrote a guest opinion piece accusing the environmental movement of being, in his words, sick and sensationalist.
I am also a co-founder of Greenpeace and I have known Patrick Moore for 35 years. Today, I am a national director of the Sierra Club and the president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Environmentalists do not have a zero-tolerance policy against genetic manipulation. It is a practice as old as agriculture. What we do have a problem with is irresponsible gene splicing that could lead to the development of dangerous species of bacteria or viruses. We have a concern about splicing animal genes with plant genes and we do not believe that the problem of overpopulation will solved by simply engineering more food.
Moore argues that environmentalists oppose wind power. This is an amazing spin. The environmental movement has been promoting wind and solar power for decades.
The problem is that environmentalists are accused of being sensationalist, yet those who criticize the environmental movement themselves employ sensational accusations that demonize us as being anti-children, anti-people and anti-progress.
Paul Watson is a national director of the Sierra Club and president of the
Original Message from Patrick Moore:
The San Francisco Examiner
Salmon farming: The campaign against salmon farming, based on erroneous claims of environmental damage, scares us into avoiding one of the most nutritious, heart-friendly foods available. Salmon farming takes pressure off wild stocks, yet activists tell us to eat only wild fish. Is this how we save them, by eating more?
Wind power: Activists argue wind turbines kill birds and ruin landscapes. A million times more birds are killed by cats, windows and cars than by all the windmills in the world. Wind turbines are works of art compared to some of our urban environments.
The prognosis: Activists' zero-tolerance, fear-mongering campaigns could ultimately prevent a cure for Vitamin A deficiency blindness, deplete wild salmon stocks, decrease the safety of health care, deprive developing nations of clean electricity, stop renewable wind energy, block a solution to global warming and contribute to deforestation. How sick is that?