By Daniel Wetzel | As of: 18.12.2017
[This English version authorised by Patrick Moore.]
“Arguably, the former environmental activist Patrick Moore is difficult to overcome” – Source: Martin U. K. Lengemann
Patrick Moore once helped to found Greenpeace. Today, the ecologist considers the organization an unscientific lobby group. He has a provocative message: carbon dioxide is not poison. It is good for life on the planet.
The week was not bad for the climate protection movement. France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron had summoned the Climate Chancellor Angela Merkel to the summit in Paris and or emerged with the rank of European “Climate President”. And his plan worked out: UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged that he no longer supports fossil fuels because this would amount to an “investment in destruction”. The World Bank announced that it would stop promoting oil and gas production from 2019 onwards.
With so much international involvement in the fight against CO2, the Greens in Paris missed senior German officials. Merkel was represented by Barbara Hendricks (SPD). From the perspective of green climate politician Annalena Baerbock, the Federal Minister for the Environment only completed an “unmotivated courtesy visit”.
Baerbock’s indignation would certainly have been even greater if she had known which alternative program numerous members of the Bundestag of the Union (CDU) and the FDP had preferred to the Paris climate summit. They had followed the invitation of the Federal Association “Liberaler Mittelstand” to a parliamentary breakfast.
There, Canadian Patrick Moore, one of the founding fathers of Greenpeace, presented his view on climate change, CO2 emissions and energy policy, which – if true – would undermine the foundations of official energy and climate policies. For years, Moore has been one of the archenemies of the world’s largest environmental organization, which he had once brought to the baptism. For today’s activist generation he is the fallen angel of environmental protection.
Carbon dioxide increase did not increase temperature
Nuclear power, genetically modified food, forest conservation, chemicals use, climate change – in almost every major environmental issue Moore represents a view that directly contradicts the Greenpeace policy. In doing so, Moore studied biology, biochemistry and forestry, a doctorate in ecology, and was for years the only trained scientist in the Greenpeace leadership.
German carbon dioxide emissions are rather low by international standards – Source: Infographic The World
Good argument is difficult to master. His quarrels with Greenpeace often end at a high level at a stalemate, statement against statement. Everyone claims that his view of things is the truth. This is how it was when Moore presented diagrams of global temperatures and CO2 concentrations of the last 500 million years to a parliamentary breakfast of about 30 members of the Bundestag.
In another chart, the curves derived from the ice cores of the Russian Antarctic station Vostok, provided no evidence, according to Moore, that the CO2 content in the atmosphere had raised the temperature. On the contrary, he explained to the perplexed MPs: “The CO2 value follows the change in temperature, not the other way around.”
Moore does not deny that the CO2 concentration has risen sharply since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Nor does he shake the fact of global warming. Only he claims that one has nothing to do with the other. The curves of shark attacks and ice-cream consumption also showed a strong correlation, he reveals. “Correlation does not prove causation.”
The Sun’s activity affects the world climate
According to Moore, there are many complex factors that change the climate. Solar activity is part of it, cloud formation and much more. When the earth’s temperature rises, the oceans “emit” more CO2. A rise in carbon dioxide would be the consequence, not the cause of global warming. The basic assumption of many climate scientists that carbon dioxide is the main trigger of global warming is a “hypothesis” for Moore, nothing more.
“There is no definitive scientific evidence that carbon dioxide is responsible for the slight warming of the global climate that has occurred in the last 300 years – since the Little Ice Age,” says Moore. “Such a proof would have been documented – that’s not the case.”
The objection that 97 percent of all climate scientists attribute CO2 to the role of the greenhouse gas does not impress Moore. He refers to a booklet from 1931. The title: “100 authors against Einstein”. With great numerical superiority, scientists attacked the theory of relativity that a young patent attorney named Albert Einstein had published a few years earlier.
Einstein responded as relaxed as Moore today: “If I was wrong, it would be sufficient for a single author to refute me.” the IPCC of the United Nations, the ultimate judge in matters of climate change, certainly does not impress Moore.
Climate council focuses on human influence
His skepticism derives from the statutes of the IPCC: The committee has the mission to explicitly investigate only the human impact on climate change. For the study of the natural causes of climate change, therefore, the IPCC lacks any mandate. This leads to a conflict of interest: If the UN body finds no human cause of global warming, it loses its right to exist.
In any case, because of its composition, the IPCC does not enjoy the confidence of the former Greenpeace chief. The IPCC was founded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). According to Moore, “people who care about the weather forecast for the next week” and environmentalists “who focus on daily politics”. That does not indicate competence for the evaluation of the ages of the Earth.
“Why does no one ask geologists, paleontologists, astrophysicists?” After all, the IPCC always expresses only a “concern” about climate change in its progress reports, Moore states. “Greenpeace always makes a disaster out of it”. Since leaving Greenpeace in 1986, Moore repeatedly accuses the environmental organization of unscientific alarmism.
Greenpeace has been attracting attention for decades through spectacular actions. Here activists rappel off the cooling tower of the Neurath coal-fired power plant. The slogan: “CO2 kills” – Source: picture alliance / dpa
When Greenpeace was planning a worldwide campaign against the use of chlorine in the 1980s, Moore’s loyalty ended. Chlorine is the eleventh most common element in the earth’s crust, the most important element for public health in human history, and the raw material for countless medicines.
He does not want to force environmental protection at the expense of people. In the environmental organizations, however, the belief has spread that humans are the enemies of the Earth, which he could not support. Moore withdrew himself after 15 years in the Greenpeace peak body. He first became a salmon farmer and then an independent environmental consultant.
He also accepted positions from the nuclear industry and forestry companies in Asia and North America, but he still does not sacrifice his environmental credentials. Although 70, Moore does not expect his crusade against environmental fear mongering is coming to an end anytime soon.
Without CO2, our earth would have long been a dead planet
It annoys him that CO2, the basic building block of all life on earth, is denounced by climate protectors to school classes as a “poison”. Without the gas, Moore said, “our Earth would be a dead planet.”
In the Bundestag he projected graphs on the wall, showing that the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been steadily reduced for 150 million years by natural deposition on the seabed and in the earth’s crust.
In primeval times, the amount of carbon dioxide was ten times higher than today’s levels – at the same time there was an explosion of flora and fauna. “Even today, the plants would like to have more CO2,” says Moore, pointing out that “every professional greenhouse farmer fertilizes his plants with CO2 input.”
Concentration approached dangerously low levels
The real drama is not the warming, but the decay of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. From more than 4600 parts per million (ppm) it had dropped to barely 180 ppm during the last glaciation. “This is only 30 ppm above the level at which plants begin to die,” says Moore. This was only 18,000 years ago, a geological blink of an eye. It is largely due to the burning of fossil fuels by humans, that the CO2 content has increased again to about 400 ppm today.
If man were to support natural CO2 reduction and ban fossil fuels, “life on earth would be over in less than two million years,” claims Moore. “The fact is that the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been dropping to a dangerously low level for a very long time”.
“Human combustion of fossil carbon sources helps restore a balance to the global carbon cycle,” says Moore. More carbon dioxide would contribute to more plant growth, more trees and larger food harvests.
Climate goals risk Germany’s prosperity
Germany will miss its climate targets for 2020 – and more drastically than expected. The Federal Environment Ministry has calculated this. Above all, the cause is the increasing fuel consumption in road traffic. Source: N24 / Daniel Franz
Germany is missing its climate goals by miles. From an economic point of view, it is impossible to live up to the promises made by the government for CO2 reduction by 2030. This results from a calculation from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. If the analysis of the former Greenpeace leader is correct, it would undermine the basis of an energy policy that derives its legitimacy from mainstream climate science. A layman may wish for open discussion in the face of such a fundamental dispute. But such a serious discussion is not expected in today’s political climate.
The climate “scientists” had already declared their knowledge before the summit in Paris was completed: The climate debate is finished. A dictum that makes Moore quite certain that “in the best scientific tradition, skepticism is almost mandatory.”
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