Patrick Moore – Cofounder Of Greenpeace

874 words - 3 pages

Patrick Moore – Cofounder of Greenpeace

After more than 15 years of co-founding and heading up Greenpeace, Patrick Moore switched sides and views. Instead of the radical environmental activism that Greenpeace encompasses, Moore now focuses on how we can benefit humans while remaining as environmentally safe as possible.

Patrick Moore was born in 1947 and raised in Winter Harbour, British Columbia, a fishing and logging village on the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island often referred to as the Pacific rainforest. His father was a logger and the past president of the B.C. Truck Loggers Association, while his mother came from a family of fishermen. At the age of fourteen, Moore was sent to boarding school in Vancouver. Later, at the University of British Columbia he studied life sciences. Throughout his time at UBC, Moore discovered his love for ecology, because it gave him an understanding of the rainforest he lived in as a child (Moore, “Environmentalism” 1).

In 1971, Moore started Greenpeace out of his hometown. The group was originally called the ‘Don’t Make a Wave Committee’ (Bate, par. 2). The committee went to Alaska to protest against US nuclear testing in the Aleutian Islands. They set out on an old fishing boat from the Vancouver harbor to disrupt the tests, but were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard and arrested. Despite the arrest, the mission ended up being successful. President Nixon cancelled the remaining nuclear tests (Moore, “Environmentalism” 3).

During his 15 years with Greenpeace, Moore was the scientific spokesperson. He served for nine years as president for Greenpeace Canada, and seven years as director for Greenpeace International Borders, par. 3). The organization campaigned against nuclear testing, seal hunting, uranium mining, toxic waste dumping, and whaling, just to name a few.

Moore’s fame with Greenpeace includes a photograph of him sitting on a Canadian baby seal in 1978 to prevent it from being clubbed. The photo showed up in over 3000 newspapers worldwide (Bate, par. 2). The result: by 1984 baby seal fur was banned from the European market (Moore, “Environmentalism” 3).

Another famous Greenpeace moment was in 1985 when Moore and other Greenpeace members went out on a ship called Rainbow Warrior to protest the French nuclear weapon testing in the Pacific. The ship was sunk in the New Zealand port, with speculations that it had been planted with explosives by the French military (“Greenpeace”).

Today Greenpeace has an annual income of over $100 million in donations and grants, and offices in 22 countries (Moore, “Environmentalism” 4). Its international headquarters are in Amsterdam, Netherlands (“Greenpeace”).

In the 1980s, Moore did a complete 180-degree turn and joined the other side. In 1984 he left Greenpeace, feeling their views had become too extreme and that it is unrealistic to be completely anti-business,...

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