Willful ignorance

Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2003

Your July 13 editorial ("Greenpeace founder rejects group's doctrine") identifies Patrick Moore as a "founding member" of Greenpeace. However, you neglected to tell your readers that he left the organization in 1985 and that, since 1991, he has been a shill for the timber industry. As an advocate of clearcutting, he is hardly an "environmentalist" or a credible voice of reason in the logging debate.

Furthermore, both your editorial and Mr. Moore grossly distort our position on forest issues. We have never advocated either a wholesale "let it burn" policy or "zero tolerance" for human activity on forest lands. We oppose industrial logging in national forests because it simply does not make sense economically or ecologically. To blame Greenpeace for the current state of our forests shows a fundamental - and willful - ignorance of the history of forest management and of the positions taken by groups such as ours.

The Bush administration and the timber industry are the ones guilty of using bad science and fear tactics, exploiting the serious issue of forest fires to open up vast tracts of national forests like the Tongass (which is not even threatened by wildfire) to increased industrial logging. For every paid industry mouthpiece like Patrick Moore, there are current and former Forest Service employees, former timber workers, and scientists like Dr. E.O. Wilson who know that clearcutting poses the greatest threat to this nation's forests.

John Passacantando

Executive Director Greenpeace

Washington, D.C.

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