The Sensible Environmentalist

Dr Patrick Moore's view on Forest Issues

Who is Dr. Patrick Moore?
Dr. Patrick Moore has been a leader in the international environmental field for more than 25 years. He is a founding member of Greenpeace and served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International. Dr. Moore was the leader of many campaigns and a driving force shaping the policy and direction that helped Greenpeace grow to become the world's largest environmental activist organization.

In 1991, Dr. Moore founded Greenspirit, a new environmental organization focusing on environmental consultancy, policy and public involvement in the resource and energy sectors.

In 1995, Dr. Moore published Pacific Spirit: The Forest Reborn, a photo-book that explores the beauty, biodiversity and health of new forests growing back after logging in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Moore's newest book, Greenspirit: Trees Are the Answer  marries science and ecology to discuss the importance of using the forest resources.

Recently, Dr. Moore has been focusing on British Columbia and the promotion of resource sustainability and consensus building among competing concerns. He was a member of the British Columbia government-appointed Round Table on the Environment and Economy from 1990-1994. In 1990, Dr. Moore founded and chaired the BC Carbon Project, a multi-stakeholder group that worked to develop a common understanding of climate change.

As Chair of the Forest Practices Committee of the Forest Alliance of British Columbia, Dr. Moore leads the process of developing the "Principles of Sustainable Forestry" which have been adopted by a majority of the industry.

Dr. Moore is the former Vice President, Environment for Water Furnace International, the largest manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps for residential heating and cooling with renewable earth energy.

Academic honours and accomplishments include:

Ford Foundation Fellowship, 1969-1972
Ph.D. in Ecology, Institute of Resource Ecology, University of British Columbia, 1972
Honours B.Sc. in Forest Biology, University of British Columbia

The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist
Dr. Patrick Moore began calling himself a "sensible" environmentalist because he saw the environmental movement becoming too extreme - falling prey to misguided priorities and refusing to evolve beyond confrontational tactics.

When he helped co-found Greenpeace in the early 1970's, his goal was to sound the environmental alarm. Humans were causing serious harm to this planet (through atmospheric nuclear testing, for example, and the dumping of toxic waste), and giving little or no thought to the environment. As part of the first wave of activists, he believed that confrontation was necessary to make people aware of these and other issues.

By the mid-1980s, the environment had become a priority concern throughout the western world, thanks largely to Greenpeace. With people listening to what he and his colleagues had to say, Moore felt that it was time to stop fighting and begin working with and helping those in charge to make improvements.

Soon afterwards, he became a convert to the idea to sensible development and the need to consider social and economic issues along with his environmental values. Every day, six billion people wake up with real needs for food, energy and materials. The challenge is to provide for those needs in ways that reduce the negative environmental impacts. Moore felt strongly that, in order to achieve sustainability, cooperation among governments, industries, academia and the environmental movement was required.

For 15 years, Moore focused on building consensus among these groups. But, as he watched the environmental movement become even more extreme and increasingly muddy the line between environment politics, he felt the need to do more. It was time to give people concerned about the environment an alternative to extremism - a sensible approach to the issues, based on science and logic and not on left versus right.

Moore says that, above all, sensible environmentalists rely on scientific evidence. They believe in compromise and cooperation, and work hard to find constructive solutions to real issues. It is his hope that, over time, these individuals will reclaim the environmental movement from those whose priorities are political and, in the end, have little to do with the environment.

Dr. Moore's Question & Answer Columns (PDF Format)

Forest Abundance

Green Buildings

Climate Change NAPS

Wildfires NAPS

Christmas Tree NAPS


Wildlife Protection

Green Building Standards

Define Sensible NAPS

Old Growth NAPS

Hemp Vs Wood

Biodiversity NAPS

Trees Are The Answer NAPS

Salmon NAPS

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Wood Vs Bamboo Flooring

Wildfire Revisited NAPS

World Population

Forest Certification


Green Steel

Treated Wood

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