Greenpeace responded Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s endorsement of a Fox News guest’s outrageous attack on climate change science — a guest who happens to claim he was a founder of Greenpeace.
The tweet was posted Tuesday morning in response to an appearance of Patrick Moore on “Fox & Friends,” one of the president’s favorite shows:
Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace: “The whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science. There is no climate crisis, there’s weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life.” @foxandfriends Wow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2019
It’s not the first time Trump has tried to cast doubt on climate change science — he famously called it a “hoax” perpetrated by the “Chinese.” He has since backed away from these claims, occasionally indicating that he believes climate change is occurring. But he also still spreads some of the most ridiculous right-wing denialist talking points about the subject, suggesting that cold spells disprove the existence of the phenomenon (they don’t.)
Greenpeace objected to the citation of Moore as a “founder” of the organization, despite his own claim to the title.
“Patrick Moore was not a co-founder of Greenpeace,” the organization said in a tweet. “He does not represent Greenpeace. He is a paid lobbyist, not an independent source.”
On Twitter, Moore tried to defend his claim, telling critics: “Google ‘who are the founders of Greenpeace’, I am first on the list.”
It’s true that Google lists Moore as a “founder,” but that’s hardly definitive proof — Google sometimes gets things wrong.
“Patrick Moore frequently portrays himself as a founder or co-founder of Greenpeace, and many news outlets have repeated this characterization,” Greenpeace said in a 2010 statement. “Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace. Paul Côté, Irving Stowe, and Jim Bohlen founded Greenpeace in 1970. Patrick Moore applied for a berth on the Phyllis Cormack in March, 1971 after the organization had already been in existence for a year.”
It added: “Mr. Moore has now worked for polluters for far longer than he ever worked for Greenpeace.”
Persuasively, the organization even provides a PDF of Moore’s application in 1971, which was responded to on Greenpeace stationery, suggesting that the organization already existed at the time he joined.