Patrick Moore is a Canadian activist, and former president of Greenpeace Canada. Since leaving Greenpeace, which he helped to found, Moore has criticized the environmental movement for what he sees as scare tactics and disinformation, saying that the environmental movement “abandoned science and logic in favor of emotion and sensationalism.” He has sharply and publicly differed with many policies of major environmental groups, including Greenpeace itself on other issues including forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture, and the use of chemicals for many applications.
Mr. Moore had a conversation with Grégoire Canlorbe, an independent journalist, during his stay in Paris in December 2017 for the climate-realist conference day. The interview was conducted on behalf of the French “Association des climato-réalistes,” the only climate-realist organization in France. It was notably reprinted on Watts Up With That.
Grégoire Canlorbe: The beliefs and values of an individual generally reach such a degree of interdependence (regardless of the poorly or rigorously logical character of this interconnection) that challenging a particular aspect of his worldview sets the whole edifice in motion, and not just that particular belief or value. When you finally decided to distance yourself from Greenpeace, how much had you been evolving in your personal philosophy?
Patrick Moore: Well, I have to say even at the beginning of Greenpeace, I didn’t share all the same values and opinions of my comrades. I was doing a PhD in ecology, so I was involved in a science education and, although there were a few people in the original group who had some science education, in the end, science was lost altogether in the Greenpeace evolution, to where during my last 6 years as a director of Greenpeace International, none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. In the beginning, we had a very strong humanitarian orientation to save human civilization from all-out nuclear war.
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This interview will be published in the December 2018 issue of Man and the Economy journal, founded by Nobel Prize winning economist Ronald Coase.
Deepak Lal is the James S. Coleman Professor Emeritus of International Development Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, professor emeritus of political economy at University College London, and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He was a member of the Indian Foreign Service (1963-66) and has served as a consultant to the Indian Planning Commission, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, various UN agencies, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. From 1984 to 1987 he was research administrator at the World Bank.
Lal is the author of a number of books, including The Poverty of Development Economics; The Hindu Equilibrium; Against Dirigisme; The Political Economy of Poverty, Equity and Growth; Unintended Consequences: The Impact of Factor Endowments, Culture, and Politics on Long-Run Economic Performance; and Reviving the Invisible Hand: The Case for Classical Liberalism in the 21st Century.
Grégoire Canlorbe: From Gandhi’s point of view, in substance, Varanashram (caste system) is inherent in human nature and it was solely given a scientific expression through Hinduism. Similarly, can one contend that utility maximization and rational calculus are innate human traits that capitalism turned into a science?
Deepak Lal: As I have shown in The Hindu Equilibrium, the caste system, far from being timeless and “inherent in human nature,” most likely arose as the Aryan response to the problem of securing a stable labor supply for the relatively labor-intensive agriculture they came to practice in the Indo-Gangetic plan. Given the ecological circumstances of this large plain (once the primeval forests had been cleared during the Aryan advance), and the primitive forms of transport then available, a major constraint on achieving a political solution for the provision of a stable labor supply, was the endemic political instability among the numerous feuding monarchies.
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