Book Review

Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout

The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist
By Patrick Moore


The journey from environmental activist to sensible environmentalist


Our world is full of grave concerns. Put aside the struggling economy, and you still are left with the confusing world of environmentalism.  Environmental issues range from nuclear energy, overpopulation, chemical fears, climate change, animal extinction, and a host of others global issues.  The book Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout was written by Patrick Moore who was one of the founders of Greenpeace.  He takes you on a journey through his life and on his transformation from an environmental activist to what he calls the “sensible environmentalist”.  In exploring his life and his change of views, you are walked through the history of the environmental movement. You go back in time to varied events such as the baby seals hunts; the interference on the high seas with whaling ships, Coast Guard cutters, and tankers; Chernobyl; and the Olympic Games.  Moore was intensely involved in many of these events.


The assault on carbon output and specific chemicals are areas where manufacturers can be highly impacted.  Moore started to separate from Greenpeace over the issue of aquaculture and also their rigid stand on making the world “chlorine-free”. Moore takes a balanced view on chemicals which Greenpeace chooses not to do.  Greenpeace was heavily involved with the USGBC and pushed it to adopt an anti-PVC standard.  When the USGB’s TSAC committee declared vinyl as good as any other material, he chronicles how a splinter Greenpeace group morphed into the Healthy Building Network and now attacks all halogens.  They now are targeting the healthcare industry specifically in their efforts. 


Through these environmental history lessons, you see how his views, steeped in scientific data, are formed based on objective science. He gives his stance on the issues supported by clearly explained data and studies always discussing the opposition’s points of view.  He pushes us to examine the facts and question the conclusions that we see in the media headlines. He admits that he is often seen as a “traitor to the cause” by his opponents for the positions that he takes.  In a world of slogans, sound bites and rhetoric, it is refreshing to explore real issues in depth.  The book gives you a fact basis on the issues plus a much more optimistic view of the future of mankind.  His practical solutions for the world to become more sustainable have you believing there is hope for us all.