Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout (2010) – Patrick Moore

Title: Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist
Author: Patrick Moore
Date published: 2010
Publisher: Beatty Street
Star Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book is one hell of a ride. So much so that it has taken me about 3 years to read it in its entirety. This is not because it was bad or unreadable but mostly because there is a lot to take in and absorb. Patrick Moore has a lot to say and he is going to tell it all, no matter what the popular or public opinion may be. This book is something that everyone should read, regardless of how you feel about the global environmentalist group Greenpeace. It is mostly with a concern for the general state of planet Earth that I suggest you read this book, and yes you should care. (Also as a sidenote before I begin to discuss this book I will let it be known that I am a huge fan of Greenpeace and their work.)

First of all this can be seen as an ‘anti-Greenpeace’ book, but it’s not really (other than a few snarky comments every now and then). Sure there are references (and plenty of those) to the radical approaches the group has taken over the years and it is very clear that Moore is not (no longer) a fan. However he was one of the founding members and a third of the almost 400 page book focuses on the history of the historical environmental group’s humble beginnings and their (initial) noble visions for its future.

After helping form the group and involving themselves in several campaigns that included saving the whales, the annual seal slaughter and the threat of nuclear war, Moore left Greenpeace in 1984. He often reasons his exit with his intolerance of the group’s employment of sensationalism. His aversion to their methods in achieving public support bothered him, and very often their own aversion towards certain campaigns which included ant-oil, fish farming, etc were not issues that he necessarily supported. In fact Moore has been very vocal in his support of such controversial topics such a nuclear energy, farming of genetically modified foods and the so-called oil crisis. That being said Moore gives practical solutions and sensible approaches to these issues without being seen as too contrite.

Moore is also very aware that the average reader will not want to be weighed down by too much scientific jargon, numerous facts and figures and countless graphs. His terminology and writing prose is such that I was kept interested from page one (without having any scientific background other than high school chemistry). This makes for an ‘easy’ read when considering that almost the entire book is about ‘the environment ‘.

The author refers to himself as a ‘sensible environmentalist’ and I will agree with that wholeheartedly. The reader is made to realise that economics versus idealism is a very real conflict, especially when we are still relying heavily on the very resources we wish to eliminate. This no-nonsense approach to radical environmentalism is also I guess a form of radicalism in itself. His ideas and notions and possible solutions are definitely controversial, but perhaps that is because of the mass hysteria the media has caused. In his approach to the mass hysteria he brings to light the popular phrases such ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ and challenges us to research those phenomena rather than reacting to them. Without critical thinking the public have accepted opinion over fact and that can be very dangerous in all avenues of life.

All in all I think that this book is deserving of praise but should also be read along with an enormous amount of in-depth resources if one is going to start quoting and quit worrying about the future. I mean, there is no need to believe that the end is nigh, but it is definitely not an excuse to sit back and let the world choke.

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