Monday, January 24, 2011

What happened to Greenpeace, and the environmental movement along with it

Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore has written a book, Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. (No reviews at Amazon yet; I anticipate a lot of 5's and 1's from those on opposite sides.) In a similarly titled article at the Vancouver Sun, he describes some of the history of the organization and the evolution of his beliefs and program. An excerpt:

Some activists simply couldn't make the transition from confrontation to consensus; it was as if they needed a common enemy. When a majority of people decide they agree with all your reasonable ideas the only way you can remain confrontational and antiestablishment is to adopt ever more extreme positions, eventually abandoning science and logic altogether in favour of zero-tolerance policies.

The collapse of world communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall during the 1980s added to the trend toward extremism. The Cold War was over and the peace movement was largely disbanded. The peace movement had been mainly Western-based and anti-American in its leanings. Many of its members moved into the environmental movement, bringing with them their neo-Marxist, far-left agendas. To a considerable extent the environmental movement was hijacked by political and social activists who learned to use green language to cloak agendas that had more to do with anti-capitalism and anti-globalization than with science or ecology. I remember visiting our Toronto office in 1985 and being surprised at how many of the new recruits were sporting army fatigues and red berets in support of the Sandinistas.

I don't blame them for seizing the opportunity. There was a lot of power in our movement and they saw how it could be turned to serve their agendas of revolutionary change and class struggle. But I differed with them because they were extremists who confused the issues and the public about the nature of our environment and our place in it. To this day they use the word industry as if it were a swear word. The same goes for multinational, chemical, genetic, corporate, globalization, and a host of other perfectly useful terms. Their propaganda campaign is aimed at promoting an ideology that I believe would be extremely damaging to both civilization and the environment.

The group was infiltrated and taken over by enemies of Western civilization, following the Gramscian paradigm. I would call myself a conservationist, and many others, I'm sure, who are in favor of the continuation and advancement of industrialized civilization would as well. We are not in favor of pollution or environmental destruction, but we do not want to go back to living in huts and reading manuscripts written by hand on parchment.

One way to tell genuine environmentalists, or conservationists, from the enemies of civilization is by their attitude on nuclear power. Energy is the sine qua non of civilization. An abundance of cheap energy is what provides the leisure for all the pursuits of civilization, such as art, science, debate about law and government, and everything else beyond wresting a bare living from the land. Patrick Moore is in favor of nuclear power. How many current Greenpeacers are in favor of it? I'd venture to say very few.

Most of the movement followers are dupes, of course, not consciously enemies of Western civilization. People don't follow through their thinking. If we put the coal companies out of business, if we don't allow new nuclear plants, if we don't allow drilling for oil, all to follow the green mirage, then our energy supplies will dwindle, and we will be on the verge of a new Dark Age, certainly an end to prosperity. But the useful idiots of environmentalism don't think far enough ahead to see their own doom in the policies they espouse.

A contributor at AoSHQ has linked the article in the post State of Fear, 2011. Contributor Andy has worthwhile observations of his own to add, and some videos of Michael Crichton. The whole thing is worth the click.


Jack Radcliffe said...

A sense of humor is as important to advancing a cause as are a rational basis and passion.
I love the story of the fishermen who steamed out to protest Greenpeace when that outfit was protesting the "baby seal clubbing" off the coast of Labrador. The fishermen understood the ecocycle of cod and seals better than Greenpeace, and were simply pointing out that a burgeoning seal population would lead to their eating up the cod supply.
What made it effective (and caught the media's attention) was that they had the good humor and sense to dub their little movement "Codpeace."

Hector Owen said...

These guys, here? Funny stuff.