With a "thank you" to the Anon commenter who called it to my attention, I call to your attention an op-ed which appeared in yesterday's WSJ.
It's author, Patrick Moore, co-founder and former leader of the environmental activist organization Greenpeace used the op-ed to explain why he left Greenpeace.
Even if you're familiar with how often many environmental groups' policies are the result of the triumph of political and organizational considerations over science, you may be shocked by some of what Moore discloses.
Here's part of it:
At first, many of the causes [Greenpeace] championed, such as opposition to nuclear testing and protection of whales, stemmed from our scientific knowledge of nuclear physics and marine biology.Moore's entire op-ed's here.
But after six years as one of five directors of Greenpeace International, I observed that none of my fellow directors had any formal science education. They were either political activists or environmental entrepreneurs. Ultimately, a trend toward abandoning scientific objectivity in favor of political agendas forced me to leave Greenpeace in 1986.
The breaking point was a Greenpeace decision to support a world-wide ban on chlorine.
Science shows that adding chlorine to drinking water was the biggest advance in the history of public health, virtually eradicating water-borne diseases such as cholera. And the majority of our pharmaceuticals are based on chlorine chemistry. Simply put, chlorine is essential for our health.
My former colleagues ignored science and supported the ban, forcing my departure.
Despite science concluding no known health risks – and ample benefits – from chlorine in drinking water, Greenpeace and other environmental groups have opposed its use for more than 20 years.
Opposition to the use of chemicals such as chlorine is part of a broader hostility to the use of industrial chemicals.
Rachel Carson's 1962 book, "Silent Spring," had a significant impact on many pioneers of the green movement. The book raised concerns, many rooted in science, about the risks and negative environmental impact associated with the overuse of chemicals.
But the initial healthy skepticism hardened into a mindset that treats virtually all industrial use of chemicals with suspicion.
Sadly, Greenpeace has evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas. ...
The op-ed's tag line says Moore's now chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies which at its home page describes itself as working "with leading organizations in forestry, biotechnology, aquaculture, plastics and mining, developing sustainability messaging in the areas of natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change."
Moore ended his op-ed with this reminder:
We all have a responsibility to be environmental stewards. But that stewardship requires that science, not political agendas, drive our public policy.