GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Monday, February 04, 2008

An interview with Patrick Moore

We've blogged this many times before - the ex-founder of Greenpeace is a huge advocate of nuclear power...
Q: When people look at your biography and see you're a Greenpeace co-founder and now a nuclear advocate, they don't believe it. Could you give us a synopsis of your personal history on this issue?

Moore: Well, actually I did feel a little lonely in that corner for a while, but I've been joined by the likes of Stewart Brand, Jared Diamond (author of Guns, Germs, and Steel), and (environmental author) Tim Flannery, and now we form a fairly serious phalanx of pro-nuclear environmentalists. In fact, I'm the honorary chair of the Canadian chapter of Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy, which has 9,000 members worldwide.

As a co-founder of Greenpeace, even though I was a scientist, I made the same mistake in those days as all the rest of my colleagues did. We kind of lumped nuclear energy in with nuclear weapons as if all things nuclear were evil. It was an honest mistake. We were totally focused on the threat of nuclear war during the Cold War. Nuclear testing was what Greenpeace started on and we were peaceniks, and I think it's fair to say that the antinuclear-energy movement to some extent was formed out of the peace movement.

But in retrospect, I believe we failed to make an important distinction between the peaceful versus the destructive uses of a technology. There are many technologies that are very good that can be used for destructive purposes. Cars can be made into car bombs as long as you have a little bit of fertilizer and diesel oil. Machetes have killed more people than any other weapon in the last 20 years, over a million, and yet they're the most important tool for farmers in the developing world.

It wasn't until after I'd left Greenpeace and the climate change issue started coming to the forefront that I started rethinking energy policy in general and realized that I had been incorrect in my analysis of nuclear as being some kind of evil plot. The perception at the time that nuclear energy equaled nuclear weapons was to some extent based on the fact that the only exception to the separation of peaceful and military nuclear technology was when India bought a reactor from Canada and then broke their promise and used that peaceful reactor to make plutonium to make their first weapon.

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