Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Fishy Green Conspiracies of Dr. Patrick Moore

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column - News, Views & Attitude

Tuesday October 31, 2006

Green conspiracies


We need to work hard together until the anti-aquaculture activists are forced into the corner where they belong.
- Patrick Moore

I don't like farmed Atlantic salmon.

It tastes bad and open net-cage farming is environmentally disastrous for our Pacific wild salmon stocks.

So I was very skeptical when Patrick Moore spoke at hearings of the provincial Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture in Vancouver earlier this month. Moore is the former Greenpeace founder who is now a paid mouthpiece for the fish-farming industry.

But I was still amazed at Moore's wacky views.

A host of reputable scientists have outlined how sea lice from salmon farms kill wild salmon, notably in the Broughton Archipelago.

In a study published Oct. 2 in the U.S. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, biologist Alexandra Morton and other scientists found that sea lice from fish farms kill large numbers of wild juvenile salmon that migrate past - up to 95 per cent.

Not good enough for Moore.

"There isn't scientific proof about sea lice from farms causing a decimation of pinks," Moore said Oct. 18. "As a matter of fact, the number of pink salmon that have been spawning in the Broughton in the previous 15 years would argue the opposite - that, if anything, salmon farms have somehow managed to increase the number of pink salmon spawning in the Broughton."


But Moore didn't stop there. He accused renowned scientist David Suzuki of "shaking down" restaurants to stop serving farmed salmon.

"David Suzuki and others have succeeded in cajoling and otherwise intimidating restaurant owners and chefs in B.C. into taking farmed salmon off their menus. I have personally spoken to an owner of a major restaurant in downtown Vancouver who recounted to me how he was shaken down in this operation," Moore testified.

I can just see the 70-year-old Suzuki in a fedora and black pinstripe suit, threatening restaurateurs John Bishop or Hidekazu Tojo or Rob Feenie, who serve only wild salmon.

But Moore didn't confine his outrageous statements to salmon farming.

"There is no definitive scientific proof about human-induced climate change," Moore said. And if you dispute climate change: "You get called names like a climate denier. They do that in order to associate it with denying the Holocaust."

So when Moore denounced beleaguered commercial fishermen as a "vested interest" it was too much for Scott Fraser, NDP MLA for Alberni-Qualicum.

"I think you have a vested interest," Fraser said. "I take some offence to the suggestion that the people that have come to make submissions here are necessarily a vested interest. Because that's a conspiracy theory."

Shake downs, vested interests, climate change deniers - in Patrick Moore's wacky world the conspiracies all make sense.

Hear Bill Tieleman Mondays at 10 a.m. on CKNW's Bill Good Show. Visit Bill's 24 hours columns online at: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/Columnists/NewsViewsAttitude/


Anonymous said...

Bill Tieleman's personal attack on Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore's support of sustainable BC aquaculture is so petty it makes you wonder what caused Tieleman to throw a tantrum now, of all times.

Moore, who holds a doctorate in ecology, has been variously practicing, studying and speaking about aquaculture since the 1980s. After roles as both a co-fonder and long-time leader of Greenpeace, Moore was the founding president of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, and operated a farm on the coast for years.

For credentials, Tieleman on the other hand, brings to bear years of experience as a partisan spin-doctor. ("Green conspiracies," Oct. 31). I'll take science over politics any day, Bill.

Tieleman falsely claims Moore, in his recent Aquaculture Committee testimony, accused Dr. David Suzuki of shaking down restaurants in order to scare them away from offering farmed salmon to their clientele. Moore, in fact, stated the Suzuki Foundation - not Suzuki himself -- had been involved in bully tactics against some Vancouver restaurants. On Suzuki the man, Moore expressed genuine admiration:

"Dr. David Suzuki... taught me genetics when I was at UBC in the late 1960s.
I did two years of genetics; it was a brilliant series of lectures. I owe David a great deal in terms of my understanding of genetic science," Moore told the committee.

On aquaculture, they disagree. Can Tieleman not accept that?

Moore told the committee that the David Suzuki Foundation and other related groups are pressuring restaurants to abandon the beneficial aquaculture
industry: "I have personally spoken to an owner of a major restaurant in downtown Vancouver who recounted to me how he was shaken down in this operation. In other words: 'You take farmed salmon off your menu, or you'll have picket signs outside this restaurant scaring away all the public."

Tieleman thinks it's "wacky" for Moore to raise this issue. The only wacky aspect of this shameful anti-aquaculture campaign Tieleman and others are waging is the serious adverse impact the campaign will have on thousands of British Columbians - predominantly women - in coastal and First Nations communities. Tieleman really ought to be ashamed of the way he so blindly accepts anything the green activists send his way.

Attacking BC's aquaculture sector, its workers and their families has become big business for the David Suzuki Foundation, which receives millions of dollars from wealthy American foundations. So, in a sense these attacks might be expected.

But Tieleman's attempts at piling on late in the game will do nothing to repair the damage already done by US-supported activists to Coastal British Columbians who deserve so much better.

Anonymous said...

Puleez, Mr. Tielman. Patrick Moore the bad guy, and Alexandra Morton and David Suzuki the good guys?!?

Alexandra Morton is an avowed enemy of fish farming and any "scientific report" with which she is associated needs to be viewed with extreme skepticism.

I have no doubt that the David Suzuki foundation has carried out intimidation tactics against restaurants in Vancouver. It is a common tactic of greens desperate to force their ideology on the rest of us. Remember the phony European boycott campaigns designed to blackmail the BC forest industry?

In this case, your defense of the Looney Left, as opposed to rational leftist thinkers, is simply not credible.