To those of us old enough to remember the 1980s, watching a Greenpeace co-founder blast the new Green movement for destroying the whale population is a whole new kind of surreal.
But that’s exactly what Patrick Moore just did in a Washington Examiner Op-Ed.
As we know, the Green movement has been regulating the heck out of ordinary aspects of our lives in the name of saving the environment.
One of those aspects includes heavy-handed legislation on the speed at which boat traffic can travel in coastal areas… in the name of protecting whale populations.
Despite wrapping the world in proverbial bubble wrap, we have seen a sudden burst of the very same species of whales such laws were intended to protect washing up dead on the shores of the Atlantic seaboard. Patrick Moore has very strong opinions about where the blame for such deaths truly belongs — the eco movement itself.
Since the time when Moore embarked on famous Greenpeace forays coming between whaling vessels and the whales they were hunting, the commercial hunting of whales has come to an end and most species have recovered.
But not the highly endangered North Atlantic right whales. There are thought to be fewer than 400 of those alive today. Their numbers have not been recovering. Ironically, the harmful human activity Moore is raising alarms about is not one that Greenpeace (or any other eco movement) is likely to listen to him about.
He’s targeting their sacred cows: wind turbines. Specifically, 1,500 oceanic wind turbines now being built along the East coast.
There are two aspects of the construction itself that Moore is bothered by. First, the sonar mapping of the seabed and second, the mud that will be kicked up by the construction itself.
Greenpeace has (explicitly) refused to acknowledge any possibility that sonar is involved in whales’ deaths, denying any such connection exists. Moore wrote his op-ed in response to that.
It is a fact that whale deaths in this region are often caused by entanglement in fishnets and by vessel strikes. But a 400% increase in whale deaths, coincident with the sonar program, should cause environmentalists such as those at Greenpeace to swing into action and spend some of their hundreds of millions on a thorough research program. Instead, they are doing nothing. Well, they do cruise around in their $30 million yacht, which they call a “sailing vessel” even though there is a 1,850-horsepower diesel engine in the hold that provides the main propulsion.
It is understandable that federal agencies like NOAA would downplay the concern for the whales. The Biden administration is dead set on building all these contraptions even though they will be much more expensive and far less reliable than nuclear, hydroelectric, or fossil fuel generators.
Because the whales are baleen (or filter-feeders) the mud kicked up from 1,500 turbines dug 150 feet deep and 30-40 feet wide each will be significant and could disrupt their feeding habits.
Moore PERSONALLY helped kick off the ‘save the whales’ movement of the 70s and 80s, recounting his environmentalist ‘street cred’ here:
I sailed variously as a navigator, first mate and leader on all four Greenpeace campaigns to save the whales from 1975 to 1978. We went into the deep-sea Pacific for months at a time during the whaling season, sometimes 1,000 miles from land. We put ourselves in front of harpoons to protect the fleeing whales. When we arrived in San Francisco in early July 1975 with film footage of a harpoon going over the heads of our crew members in a small inflatable boat and then into a sperm whale’s back, the images went around the world in a matter of hours. Greenpeace had arrived as a major player in the global environmental movement.
When their conservationism shifted to anti-humanism, he abandoned the project.
He closes with this damning critique of the movement that is, in a sense, his prodigal child:
Today, Greenpeace executives work in cushy offices and sail around like a bunch of college kids on a summer cruise. By siding with machines over living, endangered whales, they have betrayed their founders and everyone who really cares about the natural world. Now more than ever, I am glad I left them behind in 1986 after 15 years of service. When it had its priorities right, Greenpeace was made up of voluntary crusaders for peace and nature. It has become a big business focused on fundraising, a backroom racket peddling junk science.
We will have to make a decision: save the whales, or build the turbines.