Patrick Moore was among the first of an idealistic generation to join Greenpeace. He was on its first trip to stop nuclear bomb tests by the United States in the Aleutians in 1971. The US stopped nuclear testing shortly after. He later was among those who intervened against Soviet whaling. He was aboard the Rainbow Warrior when she was sunk by the French during another nuclear test intervention. One of Moore’s colleagues died in that event in 1985.
Moore left Greenpeace as a director in 1986 after he felt the movement moved away from sound science. It’s fair to say he is now a foe of Greenpeace.
In its official statement on Moore (www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/media-center/news-releases/greenpeace-statemen...), Greenpeace says in part: ‘By exploiting his former ties to Greenpeace, Moore portrays himself as a prodigal son who has seen the error of his ways. Unfortunately, the media - especially conservative media - give him a platform for his views, and often do so without mentioning the fact that he is a paid spokesperson for polluting companies.’
A native-born Canadian, Moore, 64, currently has his own consultancy called Greenspirit Strategies Ltd based in Vancouver. He was in Vermont in late October to meet
with the media and Public Service Department Commissioner Liz Miller on behalf of the Vermont Energy Partnership, which, among other things, supports the license renewal of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power station in Vernon. Governor Shumlin opposes its relicensing and is being sued in federal court by plant owner Entergy over the relicensing. Entergy says that Vermont government has no jurisdiction over the relicensing.
Moore, in a Vermont Business Magazine interview conducted October 28, said he would support the building of new nuclear plants in New England. He said that while solar, in particular, has some merit as an energy solution in some situations, that renewables are neither sustainable sources of energy because of their high cost, nor are they reliable.
He says what Vermont, the US and the world need is more electricity not less. Where possible, the best solution to energy needs is hydro power, because it is sustainable from both cost and reliability perspectives. Nuclear and natural gas plants would not be far behind in his view.
On a couple of energy topics which are much in the news lately ‘ natural gas fracking in the US and tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada ‘ Moore said that the Vermont, US and world economies rely on fossil fuels for their survival. The economies of each, he said, would collapse without coal, oil and gas. All fossil fuel extraction is dirty, he said, but in the US and Canada at least it will be cleaned up. Since those resources are vital, he said it is much better to have those fuels coming from democracies than from dictatorships with abysmal civil rights records, as from the Middle East or Venezuela.
As for global warming, Moore said that even while at least some of it is manmade, the planet is not being destroyed. He said it is changing but still thriving and humans will be able to change with it. He said given the many extreme changes in the Earth’s climatological history, it is impossible to tell if these current changes are just manmade or whether they are part of a greater geological epoch, much as the ice ages and other warming eras were over the millennia.
On its Web site (www.greenspiritstrategies.com), Moore’s consulting firm states: ‘Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. works with leading organizations in forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture, plastics and mining, developing sustainability solutions in the areas of natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change.’
Moore was interviewed by VBM Editor Timothy McQuiston. During the interview, Green Mountain Power’s new contract with the Seabrook nuclear power plant in New Hampshire was discussed. NextEra Energy Resources LLC, owner of the Seabrook, NH, nuclear power plant announced a 23-year agreement with GMP on May 31, 2011. It is initially a fixed-price contract that adjusts with an inflation mechanism over time to guard against future power price swings.
The energy price for 2012 is 4.66 cents per kilowatt hour for 15 megawatts, which it will buy from NextEra. That part of the deal lasts through 2014. Starting in 2015, the Seabrook load will be for 60 megawatts and over time be reduced to 40 MW. The contract expires in 2035. The 60 MW represents about 20 percent of GMP's portfolio.
Vermont Yankee has offered new contracts to Vermont utilities, presuming a license renewal, starting at 4.9 cents per kilowatt hour. No utilities have accepted the offer.