Rumour has it that Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore will be in Australia over the coming weeks. As the debate gears up about nuclear, we’re sure to hear a lot more about the likes of him and James Lovelock – so often the pin-up boys of the anti-green brigade.

Moore and Lovelock are often quoted as environmentalists who have “seen the light” and now support things they used to campaign against. It is incredible how often they are quoted and each time it seems as if it’s something new.

Take this from ABC radio’s World Today last week: “Even some of the staunchest anti-nuclear campaigners are showing a new willingness to embrace nuclear power. Patrick Moore, the co-founder of Greenpeace, says nuclear energy may just be the energy source ‘that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change’ ”

What isn’t explained is that Patrick Moore hasn’t actually been in Greenpeace for 20 years. Indeed, Mr Moore is now a completely discredited environmentalist. He has said that global warming and ice caps melting is positive because it creates more arable land and the use of forest products drives up demand for wood and spurs the planting of more trees.

According to SourceWatch, after returning from the Amazon, Moore was reported to have said: “All these save-the-forests arguments are based on bad science. They are quite simply wrong. We found that the Amazon rainforest is more than 90% intact.” He also backs the genetically modified food industries. And in Canada, some of the biggest logging companies funded the organisation he fronted for.

And James Lovelock has been sprouting the nuclear cause for years. His enthusiasm is not something that started just in this most recent 18-month global round of nuclear salivating. In one of his Gaia books from 18 years ago he wrote: “I have never regarded nuclear radiation or nuclear power as anything other than a normal and inevitable part of the environment.”

By all means let’s have a debate about nuclear power and selling Australian uranium to China and India. But let it be a full debate about climate change that includes renewable energy, nuclear weapons proliferation and the terrorist target consequences of uranium enrichment.

Let’s have all the facts on the table including those regarding nuclear enthusiasts – what they’ve been saying and doing over the years, and who funded them.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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