For years, radical environmental groups like Greenpeace have tried to restrict consumer choice, especially on the issue of genetically modified (GM) crops. Patrick Moore is a former long-haired environmentalist and was an early member of Greenpeace. But Moore, an ecology Ph.D., has since had a resounding change of heart, as he explains in the Vancouver Sun:
You could call me a Greenpeace dropout, but that is not an entirely accurate description of how or why I left the organization 15 years after I helped create it. I'd like to think Greenpeace left me, rather than the other way around, but that too is not entirely correct.
The truth is Greenpeace and I had divergent evolutions. I became a sensible environmentalist; Greenpeace became increasingly senseless as it adopted an agenda that is anti-science, anti-business, and downright anti-human. This is the story of our transformations.
The last half of the 20th century was marked by a revulsion for war and a new awareness of the environment. Beatniks, hippies, eco-freaks and greens in their turn fashioned a new philosophy that embraced peace and ecology as the overarching principles of a civilized world. Spurred by more than 30 years of ever-present fear that global nuclear holocaust would wipe out humanity and much of the living world, we led a new war — a war to save the earth. I've had the good fortune to be a general in that war.
Click here to read the rest of the fascinating article. Moore explains the conflict that developed within Greenpeace over environmentalism in undeveloped countries, and chronicles the group's radicalization. This isn't the first time Moore has spoken out against Greenpeace. In the past he described the group as "a band of scientific illiterates who use Gestapo tactics." We captured that memorable quote in a print advertisement.
Perhaps the environmental movement's biggest failure has been its opposition to genetically modified crops — even though GM food has the potential to lift the Third World out of poverty. A study from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government found that developing Africa's agriculture industry with GM crops could wipe out hunger on the continent in a generation. Norman Borlaug, one of the fathers of the GM field, is credited with having saved a billion lives from starvation. And yet Moore described Greenpeace as having "a policy of 'zero-tolerance' for GM crops."
As for Moore's current beliefs, he now says "genetic science, including genetic engineering, will improve nutrition and end malnutrition, improve crop yields, reduce the environmental impact of farming, and make people and the environment healthier." Amen.