Date posted: January 13, 2022
Patrick Moore doesn't step on many speaking stages without most in his audience having an idea of what he will be talking about. He is a high exposure speaker.
That doesn't mean that audience won't be thinking new thoughts when they leave. The former Greenpeace eco-warrior who made a name for himself and that fledgling organization with high profile attacks on high profile targets, can still get people talking. He has a new goal today. As in independent consultant he tells the environmental story from the opposite approach, usually tackling his former cohorts head on, seeking, he says, to build consensus on challenging topics.
Moore told the 2022 Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) the story of how Greenpeace rose to international prominence under his leadership. But then he explained why he left the organization.
The organization had drifted away from the basic tenants of 'green' meaning environmental, and "peace" meaning in peaceful ways, he says. They drifted into the idea that people are destroying the human race, that we are the only bad species.
It was a philosophy that Moore says he could not be affiliated with, so he left the organization. Today he makes his living exposing what he says are the flawed arguments those activists put forward and the often questionable or fraudulent approaches used to reach audiences.
Much of the information they put forward has more to do with raising funds than solving problems.
A well-known author, Moore has written books about his beliefs. He talks to his audience about the "unified theory of scare stories." That's his belief that every single scare story is about something that cannot be seen or is so remote that it is impossible for people to see for themselves and come to their own conclusions.
Moore walked through a catalogue of environmental myths and shared his thoughts on why people should question each.
Climate change, polar bears, the sea of plastic garbage.
GMOs caught the interest of the agricultural audience.
"What is it that is harmful? he asked the audience. "It doesn't have a name or a chemical formula.
"There is nothing if it doesn't have a name," he says.
Perhaps one of the best examples of that irrational thinking is one of Moore's pet projects, Golden Rice, a genetically modified rice that would provide vitamin A to many needy populations around the world. It is repeatedly targeted by Greenpeace and as result many children die needlessly.
Finally, Moore touched on nuclear energy, shamed by Greenpeace but which he says is a natural option to replace fossil fuels especially in buildings and areas such as shipping.
If the conversation among delegates in hallways at the Banff Springs Hotel and online was any indication, Moore reached his goal of making people think.
Complicated subjects often take more study and BPS delegates will have the opportunity to review the recording of Moore's presentation and decide for themselves.