Death by a Thousand Cuts - The ENGO's Battle Against World Growth

The following post is a speech done by Patrick Moore, a sensible environmentalist and global warming skeptic, at Moses Znaimer's 2015 Ideacity Conference in Toronto, Canada. Patrick's speech was part of a three person panel along with Alex Epstein, author of the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, and Lord Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer if the government of Margaret Thatcher. The Financial Post labelled the panel as a "carbon contrarian shocker."  

The entire speech by Patrick can be found here: http://www.ideacityonline.com/video/patrick-moore-the-sensible-environmentalist/   

Patrick is the author of "Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist"  


Moses ZnaimerSo, I've decided this year to double down and to give you a full clutch of contrarians. In what the Financial Post has called 'Moses Znaimer's ideacity shocker.' This is what they say: 'In the wake of the G7 declaration last week in favour of global decarbonisation and this week's Papal encyclical on climate change, Toronto's ideacity conference, staged by ideaological entrepreneur Moses Znaimer, launches Friday, June 19, with a carbon contrarian shocker. The three opening speakers are Patrick quote I am a climate skeptic Moore, followed by fossil fuel advocate Alex Epstein and then by Lord Nigel Lawson, chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.'

So, we’ll begin with Patrick. I first met Patrick about a thousand years ago when I went to Vancouver in an effort to set up a second City TV shortly after we had set up the one here in Toronto. I never did get that license Patrick, but I stumbled into the offices of a new-ish organization called Greenpeace, and there I met this very charismatic guy, Bob Hunter. He kind of drew me into their then current campaign, which was opposed to whaling. It was an amazing group of characters, there’s no lack of characters in that place, but even then, Patrick Moore always seemed to be the more measured one, the more rational one. An environmental realist, Patrick Moore, who’s taken a lot of hits subsequently from many old friends and a lot of new enemies because of his point of view. 

Patrick MooreThank you Moses for the opportunity, and what a wonderful experience I've had here. I speak on many controversial subjects, but climate is the most difficult, and Moses explained why in his little clip from last year

Figure 1
I was born and raised on this tiny village, floating on the Pacific ocean on the north end of Vancouver Island (Figure 1). There’s no road, I went to school by boat every day. This is what it looks like today from my little village cabin there that I built with my wife over 40 years ago by hand (Figure 2).

Figure 2
I was sent off to boarding school in Vancouver at age 14, ended up at the University of British Columbia studying the life sciences, biology, biochemistry, genetics, a little forestry. Then in the mid 60’s before the word was known to the general public I discovered the science of ecology. The science of how all living things are interrelated, and how we are related to them. At the height of the cold war, the height of the Vietnam War, the threat of all out nuclear war, and the emerging consciousness of the environment, I was soon transformed while doing my PhD in ecology, into a radical environmental activist. Can’t seem to get it go that way anymore.

I found myself in a church basement with a like-minded group planning a protest voyage against U.S. hydrogen bomb testing in Alaska, that’s me under the P in ’71 (Figure 3). 

Figure 3



We helped change things, just a few people stopped the hydrogen bomb testing in Alaska along with all the other people, but we were the spearhead for it. I ended up in front of harpoons out on the Pacific Ocean against the Soviet factory whaling fleets. Saving the whales from slaughter, they’re recovering all over the world now. And sitting on baby seals and getting arrested off the east coast of Newfoundland (Figure 4). 

Figure 4





Why did I leave Greenpeace after 15 years? We started with a strong humanitarian perspective, save human civilization from all nuclear war. By the time I left Greenpeace, much of the movement was depicting humans as the enemies of the earth. I don’t buy that. Also, the sharp end of the stick was the science. My fellow directors, none of whom had any formal science education decided that we should call chlorine the devil’s element, and ban it worldwide. My entreaties, that chlorine was in fact the most important element for public health medicine, fell on deaf ears. Part of the anti-human aspect. (Figure 5)



Figure 5
Figure 6

Science should be the basis for environmental policy, not sensationalism, not misinformation and fear. Here’s Greenpeace in the Philippines portraying golden rice with a skull and crossbones, when in fact it could save two million children from death each year. (Figure 6)

Many opinions about climate change. 31,000 scientists and professionals have signed this petition, saying there is no evidence that we’re going to cause catastrophic warming (Figure 8). But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says ‘It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.’(Figure 8) Let’s just pause that for a sec. Extremely likely, is that a scientific term? Does it make it more likely to put the word extremely in front of it? The report before this, they had ‘very likely’ now they’ve changed it to ‘extremely likely’ as if they’re more certain. This is not a scientific term, it is a term of judgement. It is an opinion in other words, when someone says something is likely. A dominant cause means something between 50 and 100 percent. They don’t have any idea, apparently, where it might be in that range. And since the mid-20th century means 1950, so they do not ascribe the major cause of warming before 1950 to human activity. The late Michael Crichton, ‘I am certain there is too much certainty in the world’ and I am certain he is correct. (Figure 7)


Figure 7

This is the curve of carbon dioxide increasing in the global atmosphere since 1959, when we first starting measuring it accurately, but we have proxy’s that go back millions of years. So, we know a lot about what CO2 levels have been in the past. (Figure 8)


Figure 8

This goes back to the beginning of the earth, but the first part there is the first 4 billion years, so let’s forget about that for a minute. Here’s where modern life emerged, the Cambrian explosion, when multicellular life forms came into being. Before that, all life was uni-cellular, invisible, microscopic and lived in the sea. Here, life came on the land, and plants and insects evolved. At that time, CO2 was about 17 times higher than it is today. This is huge drop in carbon dioxide, and this huge rise in temperature, we don’t know why that happened during a huge drop in carbon dioxide, but this huge drop was because of the advent of forests. Trees comprise about 90 percent of all living biomass on earth, so the biomass pulled the carbon down out of the atmosphere, and because there were no decomposers that could cellulose at that time, the trees piled up and formed the coal deposits that we have today. This right here marks the end of the coal building era, when fungus in particular, had enzymes that could digest wood. And so CO2 went back up, and then down, and then up. I’m more interested in this period, you can see here that CO2 started to go down, steady steady steady down for 140 million years until we caused the uptick at the end, temperature went way up, and then went down. If you look at this, and look at the relationship between temperature and CO2 for the last 500 million years, I’m sure you will agree that they are not that strongly correlated, nevermind indicating a direct cause-effect relationship between the two. (Figure 9)


Figure 9

Here’s the last 65 million years. The Eocene Thermal Optimum, at the top, it was 16 degrees Celsius warmer on this earth then. Every one of us and our ancestors came through that, every living thing on earth today ancestors came through that 16 degree higher temperature or we wouldn’t be here. Then it started to cool, and cool, and cool. Here, earth is ice free. Here, the Antarctic glaciation began, and here the arctic glaciation began, the ice on the north. We are in one of the coldest periods in the history of modern life on earth today. Even now in this inter-glacial period. (Figure 10)


Figure 10

This is modern times. The IPCC says since 1950, that’s here, that we’re the dominant cause. So, they’re saying we’re the dominant cause of this warming here, but look at the period between 1910 and 1940. It warmed as much there over the same period of time, as it did between 1970 and 2000. Yet, the IPCC does not say what caused the warming between 1910 and 1940. They’re silent on that. So, right in the last 100 years, we have a precedent for a warming period that is just as strong and just as much as the one we just went through in the 90’s, and yet they say that’s mostly caused by us. That is a logical disconnect for me. (Figure 11)


Figure 11

This is the last 18 years and 6 months. There has been no significant warming of the earth’s climate, according to the UK meteorological office, which brought us climategate, they’re very much in the warmest camp, but they have to admit, there’s been no statistically significant warming for 18 years and 6 months on this earth, even though about 25 percent of all the carbon dioxide we have ever emitted has gone into the atmosphere during this period. (Figure 12)


Figure 12

This is the United States for 10 years, 2005 to 2014, it’s actually cooling in the United States right now. (Figure 13)


Figure 13

This is a place in Britain, where they’ve measured the temperature since 1659 with a thermometer, and then there’s the carbon dioxide emissions by human beings. Do they look like they’re direct cause-effect related? No. It’s been warming for 300 years since the little ice age peaked around 1700. The warming has been steady and even, not like the curve of carbon dioxide, you would expect the temperature curve to go up along with the CO2 curve if they were in a cause-effect relationship. (Figure 14)


Figure 14

Here’s the anomaly of artic ice. In the summers of 2007 and 2012, we saw the lowest extent of ice in the arctic since they started measuring it in 1979. But now it has reconsolidated at a higher at a higher, still lower than the average, but at a higher level. (Figure 15)


Figure 15

But nobody talks about the Antarctic, well they do, but they talk about other things than this. The Antarctic has record ice today, this is just from the other day. That’s the summer of 2014, which completely offsets the Antarctic loss. (Figure 16)


Figure 16

There is no trend in global sea ice area on planet earth since we started measuring it. The red line on the bottom is the anomaly from the mean. (Figure 17) 


Figure 17

Seven years ago, Al Gore said the ice cap is falling off a cliff, it could be completely gone in the summer in as little as seven years from now. (Figure 18)  


Figure 18

That's climate change, we didn't do it, we didn't melt the ice, it went away by itself. 

Here'e the Vostok ice core's, showing the 100,000 year cycle of glaciations. Here, down on the bottom, the coldest, and then out of the ice age quickly into an interglacial period, the one on the right is the one we're in now, showing the increase in CO2 we have caused again. This is caused by the Milankovitch cycle, which is a 100,000 year cycle that has to do with the earth's orbit and tilt. It's been going on all through this place and ice age. What's more likely? That the changes of orbit and tilt of the earth will cause CO2 to rise or cause temperature to fluctuate? (Figure 19)


Figure 19

See, because what’s really going on here, if you come in closer, you can see that carbon dioxide follows temperature, it does not lead it. The cause never comes after effect, the effect usually comes first. The reason CO2 is fluctuating along with temperature is because when the sea warms up, gases come out, when the sea cools down, gases go in. So, the temperature is causing the change in CO2, not the other way around. Note that CO2 fell to 180 parts per million, 18,000 years ago, only 30 parts per million above the level where plants start to die, at 150 ppm. We don’t only need CO2 in the atmosphere for life on earth, we need 150 or more parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere for life on earth. (Figure 20)


Figure 20

This is the sea level rise since the end of the glaciation. Note, for the last 8,000 years, it’s gone up slow and steady, but nothing like it did when it came up 400 feet as the huge glaciers on the land melted. (Figure 21)


Figure 21

This is the hurricane activity, tropical cyclone activity, it is not increasing, as a matter of fact, it’s at a quiet state right now. (Figure 22)


Figure 22

This is the droughts that occurred in California, back in 800, 900, 1000 AD. It’s wetter in California now then it was back then. (Figure 23)


Figure 23

This is the greening of the earth, it’s called the CO2 fertilization effect. This work was done by the top science body in Australia, the CSIRO. Yet, hardly anybody talks about this. The increase in CO2 that we’ve put in the atmosphere is causing a huge increase in global biomass, because plants want 1000 to 2000 ppm for their optimum growth. This is why greenhouse growers around the world either put their exhaust from their heaters into their greenhouse, or buy bottled CO2 to put it in the greenhouse to raise the CO2 to double, or triple what it is in the atmosphere. All the plants on earth today, even with this elevated level that we’ve put in, are still starving for CO2. (Figure 24)


Figure 24

Clouds are truly the wildcard in climate change, because water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, way more important than carbon dioxide, but water is the only greenhouse gas that is in all three states, gas, liquid, solid in the atmosphere, and clouds are the liquid part. So, the division between water vapour as a gas, and water vapour as a liquid, could either be a positive or negative feedback to the other greenhouse gases. It’s impossible to do this in a computer. But Joni Mitchell did it, she said ‘I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow, it’s clouds elusions I recall, we really don’t know clouds at all.’ (Figure 25)


Figure 25

CO2 is the most important food for all life on earth, this has to be turned completely on its head, the idea that CO2 is a toxic pollutant, even the pope is buying into it now. It is not a toxic pollutant, it is the gas of life, it is the staff of life, it is the stuff of life, it is the currency of life, it is what we are all made of, and every other thing on earth is made of. It’s crazy to call it a pollutant. (Figure 26)


Figure 26

This is the carbon cycle and where all the carbon is. This much carbon is in the atmosphere, 70 times as much is in the sea, and it goes back and forth between the sea and the atmosphere on a regular basis. Plants and soils contain more carbon than there is the whole atmosphere, the fossil fuels contain so much more. This is sequestered carbon, talk about carbon capture and storage, that’s exactly what plants did when they made the fossil fuels, and the earth’s crust contains 100 million billion tonnes of carbon in the form of limestone, chalk, marble, and other carbonaceous rocks, all of which are life origin. How could 100 million billion tonnes of living things end up in rocks? (Figure 27)


Figure 27
Figure 28

Like this. This is a life sized mockup of an ammonite, they were exterminated by the asteroids. At 2000 ppm this was living in the ocean. Ocean acidification is a complete fabrication and is chemically impossible to occur. (Figure 28) 

These are coccolithophores, here is a phytoplankton, seashells, coral reefs, and foraminifera, which is an animal, all learned how to make armoured plate for themselves by combining calcium and carbon dioxide in the sea to make calcium carbonate. That’s what the 100 million billion tonnes of carbon in the rocks is, they’ve been sucking the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and got it down to 180 ppm at the height of the last glaciation, nearly enough to kill all life on earth, and it’s been going down steadily for 140 million years, and if we hadn’t come along and put some of that carbon back in the atmosphere, life would have extinguished itself in a very short time geologically from now. (Figure 29)


Figure 29

World energy production, mostly fossil fuel, they say we should go to zero emissions, I translate that into zero human beings. (Figure 30)


Figure 30

Fossil fuels are 100% organic, produced with solar energy, and when burned produce food for life. It is the largest storage of solar energy on earth by far. Greenpeace’s fossil fuel dilemma, they say ‘This ship is driven by super-efficient electric motors and sails that will be powered by the wind,’ there’s a 4000 horsepower diesel engine in the basement of that boat. They attack the Russian oil rig with an oil powered ship saying ‘We must end our addiction to oil,’ and then when they tie up at the dock, they get fueled up by British petroleum. You’d think they’d use biodiesel. Nope, they’re actually against biodiesel, and against all biofuels. They say it takes too much land to grow the plants to make them, and that land should be used for wilderness or whatever, they’re just against bloody well everything.
Figure 31

Okay, in my last 32 seconds I’m going to wind up with where all the oil comes from for all our cars, it comes from places like this. (Figure 31)

And they use nasty pictures to get people to think the world is being destroyed. This is oil sands mining in Canada. (Figure 32) 
Figure 32

You know, the oil sands are there, there’s Edmonton, you can see it too. When are they going to reclaim Edmonton? Or Toronto? Or Los Angeles? Or New York, and put it back to it’s wilderness again? Never. (Figure 33)


Figure 33

But, this is reclaimed mind site at the oil sands. Every square meter of the oil sands must be reclaimed. (Figure 34)


Figure 34

This is a reforested area reclaimed from active mining and god forbid there might be a timber harvest there one day. (Figure 35)


Figure 35

Good enough for me. This is sustainable. No one has to touch it or fertilize it, or do anything with it, it will grow back by itself into a boreal forest, with all native species. (Figure 38)


Figure 36

The only reason I got involved in this, because I didn’t really want to be able for people to say ‘oh you’re working for the fossil fuel industry’ because I never had, but, when I saw how Canada was besmirched in our friendly neighbours and countries in Europe, in the capitals of those places, as being this terrible place where all this awful stuff was happening, when we have the best civil rights in the world, the best human rights in the world, the best labour laws in the world, and the best environmental regulations in the world, it’s not right for people to be demonizing us for providing them with the oil for their cars. One billion cars, half a million airplanes, and all the buses and trucks in this world. If they didn’t start tomorrow, civilization would come to a screeching halt.

My book, confessions of a Greenpeace dropout, will be available upstairs afterwards. Thank you very much. 

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