Patrick Moore @ TUKS on global warming

March 5, 2008

I just came out of a public lecture by Patrick Moore on ecology. This is part of the great thing of being at TUKS in Centenary year, they have arranged all these wonderful speakers on different topics. Moore was a cofounder of Greenpeace in 1971, was director of Greenpeace International for a number of years, but has left Greenpeace because he thinks they have become irrational in their approach, and has then founded the company greenspirit.

He did quite a good job of attacking An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore film on global warming, making all kinds of claims about CO2 and warming not being that closely together, and that the earth are currently in a cool faze, thus warming isn’t unnatural. This was done by looking at the last 1 billion years, whereas Gore look at the last 600 000 as far as I can remember. Oh, he didn’t ever say the name of Gore, but I found it quite obvious where he was going. The fact that his graphs and Gore’s graphs differ is complicating things a little bit. I’m not quite sure why Moore still fight for reducing the CO2 footprint though, but he does.

His basic thing is: more nuclear, more wood. The nuclear part I agree with totally. I first found it when reading James Lovelock, he made the statement: Nuclear is the new Green. Moore spent a large part of his 90 minute speech to point out that Nuclear can be done safely today. I think he has a point, replace fossil fuel for Nuclear, at least where Hydrogen isn’t possible.

The other thing is to make more of trees, grow more trees, to take more CO2 from the atmosphere, and use the wood as building material and energy source (no, I can’t understand why he would want to burn more trees, causing more CO2, maybe I’ll read his book sometime and understand). Moore is currently into the trees and ecology business. There is a lot in his idea to use wood as building material, a natural sustainable resource.

But all in all, I was a bit uncomfortable with Moore’s presentation. I might be missing something significant somewhere, but he seem to make things a little too easy. The chances of messing things up doesn’t seem to exist when I listen to him. Where Lovelock, who is on the total other extreme, notice the fact that most species become extinct, and warn us that humans might not be invulnerable, Moore notice that all of us have the genes of surviving in us, since we are part of an evolutionary line which have survived throughout the ages.

I think noticing the differences between people like Moore, Gore and Lovelock is forcing me to realize even more the complexities involved with ecology, and possible ecological disasters.

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