Monday, August 18, 2014

Another con job: the Galileo Movement put their hand out for Patrick Moore in Australia

Sou | 6:16 AM Go to the first of 40 comments. Add a comment

Is Australia becoming a breeding ground for science-denying con men?

You may have heard (or not) of the "Galileo Movement" in Australia. It's a very small "organisation" of two rather nutty Queenslanders, Case Smit and John Smeed, who can't even understand what their own people are arguing. I think it probably still only numbers those two people plus a few hangers on.

As an example of how dumb they are, they couldn't accept that one of their mob were spouting a lot of anti-semitic conspiracy theories as part of a very garbled (to the point of incomprehensible) nonsense a year or so ago. I'm talking about the screed from Malcolm Roberts which Graham Readfearn wrote about, and which prompted journalist Ben Cubby to ask:
how does one critically analyse a pile of horse shit?

Australia's home grown deniers aren't up to the job?

You'd have thought this pair would be happy enough with seeing the opinions of Australia's resident supposed business leader turned fruitcake, Maurice Newman, occasionally plastered all over The Australian newspaper. Or the various efforts of people like Ian "iron sun" Plimer and Bob "agnostic" Carter. This mob have sponsored Christopher Monckton to tour Australia in the past. Christopher's latest visit was notable only for the absence of its coverage in the media.

Setting their sights low

This time the Galileo duo are angling for another small fish, Patrick "not a founder of Greenpeace" Moore. He's some Canadian who spends much of his time promoting golden rice. When he's not doing that he spends time rejecting climate science, if the fee is right, apparently.

The "value" of science denial - $100,000

I doubt too many people in Australia have ever heard of the chap. He seems to be a pseudo-environmentalist for hire. His fees are big. He's charging the Galileo Movement $100,000 for a short trip to Australia. (It rivals the ten minute video that went absolutely nowhere, by which some chap in Perth fleeced a bunch of deniers from all around the world of their hard earned dollars.)

Anthony Watts is lending a hand by putting the latest scam on his blog (archived here), which invites his readers to send their big fat cheques to Australia.

What are they paying for? Well, the article is short on detail. Apart from telling everyone that they need $100,000, the only details about what people will get for their investment are:
Rather than lecturing to the “converted”, the principal purpose of this visit is for him to meet with opinion leaders in the media, politics and business to convey a rational environmentalist’s views on why policies instituted because of the “catastrophic climate change” scare need to be realistically addressed.
Cheques can be deposited in the National Australia Bank account of the Galileo Movement Pty Ltd.

Sounds like a right lark. No details. No indication of who he'll be meeting with or why. No objectives other than to "convey" views. As if deniers' views aren't already well known. All zillions of them :)

I can't imagine who they'll manage to line up to meet with Patrick Moore. Maybe he'll find a couple of politicians willing to put up with his company in exchange for wine and pasta. You never know, Patrick might sell them some of his golden rice.

Anyway, I wonder how peeved Christopher Monckton is right now. He had to traipse across the country from one mediocre gathering of doddering old deniers to another, staying in who knows what lodgings along the way.  I don't know what he earned from his trip, but it wouldn't have been the most pleasant journey. More like a hard slog for any entertainer and especially so for someone who's no longer a spring chicken.

And along comes Patrick Moore. He manages to get someone willing to pay $100,000 and gets the high life. He can probably spend most of his time feasting in sumptuous surrounds. All he has to do is entertain a few bored politicians and anyone else who's willing to be taken out to dinner.

From the WUWT comments

It took a little while before any comments surfaced. Are they struck dumb? Are they a bit shy after the video fiasco? I've popped back in to see if they've hooked any suckers. (Archive here, latest archive here.)

davidmhoffer is the first to comment and says:
August 17, 2014 at 12:41 pm
Seems a bit steep?

Johna Till Johnson says:
August 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm
You might let him have a share of your big oil money. :-) That plus $5 could get him a cup of coffee at Starbucks…

John piccirilli says:
August 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm
100k is a bargain if it can help stop the not so green machine which
Spent a 100k of taxpayers money as I wrote this. Goon luck MM

outtheback says:
August 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm
Sadly “believers” are not likely to come as their mind is made up and Dr. Moore is viewed as a heretic. No conversions will take place.
A few fence sitters and the rest are going to be people who like/need confirmation of their thoughts and findings.
I venture to guess that not too many politicians want to be seen with Dr Moore. 


  1. "
    Is Australia becoming a breeding ground for science-denying con men?

    Sou, You should consider doing a post on the Australian tradition of the Larrikin.

    In the USA we would call these characters pranksters with a redneck streak.
    These are the "rolling coal" equivalents.

  2. Playing the "Galileo Gambit" by the looks.

  3. I see JoNova is backing this Patrick Moore visit. She does seem to take cues from WUWT.

  4. Patrick Moore is a pompous ignoramus who has been on the climate science denial gravy train for years.

    Here is a long twitter thread from earlier in the year that will give you a feel for how pompous this clown is as he regurgitates his memorised climate crank talking points.

    1. That was painful. Couldn't admit to his mistake.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Revising history so it doesn't conflict with your ideology again, I see.

    2. I think they decided he wasn't a founder because Greenpeace was already in existence for a year before Moore wrote them asking to go on an anti-whaling ship. It doesn't make any sense for a "founder" to be introducing himself to the organization he was supposed to have founded.


      He was never a founder of Greenpeace. This is actually quite a good example of how easily deniers can deny facts.

      Robert Murphy

    3. Hi Sou

      I think you should moderate that racist comment out please.

    4. @Robert Murphy;

      1). The Greenpeace Foundation was registered on May 4, 1972, at The Provincial Societies office in Victoria, British Columbia. Prior to that the only reference to Greenpeace is the nick-name of the vessel/voyage of the Phyllis Cormack which was an anti-nuclear protest, NOT an anti-whaling ship. That voyage in 1971 was organized and funded by the Don't Make A Wave Committee. Moore was not only on that voyage, in 1970, he, Jim Bohlen and Paul Cotes inspected the Phyllis Cormack at the Fraser River docks to see if it was sea-worthy enough for the planned voyage.

      2). Robert 'Bob' Hunter was also part of the crew of that voyage. Hunter was a co-founder and the first President of the Greenpeace Foundation. According to Greenpeace, Hunter is described as;

      "Perhaps more than anyone else, Bob Hunter invented Greenpeace. His death on May 2nd 2005, of cancer, marks the passing of a true original, one of the heroes of the environmental movement."

      Why is this relevant to this topic? Quite simple.....Bob Hunter wrote a letter the day before Moore's letter for a berth aboard the Phyllis Cormack (aka: the Greenpeace);

      "I have been meaning to write this for ages…I guess you’d call it a formal application for passage on the Greenpeace. And I guess you’ve had quite a few such applications."


      I could go on further, but it would be much easier to read my comments on WUWT, JoNova and @ Greg Ladens blog in which you originally quoted.


    5. Bruce, you'll see the letter that Greenpeace wrote to Moore already had the Greenpeace insignia on it. I read your posts at Greg Laden's website, and they show that Moore was not a founder, yet you kept bizarrely insisting that they did. He's using an early association with the group to gloss over his decades long career as a lobbyist for industry.

    6. BruceC,
      "Moore was not only on that voyage, in 1970, he, Jim Bohlen and Paul Cotes inspected the Phyllis Cormack at the Fraser River docks to see if it was sea-worthy enough for the planned voyage. "
      I tried to reply to that at WUWT, but my reply was quashed and I was sinbinned. I'll put your part of my reply here:

      BruceC says: August 17, 2014 at 8:22 pm
      "Did you know Nick, in 1970 Patrick Moore, Jim Bohlen and Paul Cotes inspected the Phyllis Cormack"

      Not true. Here he is describing what happened in the time between March 1971 when he applied and was accepted, and September, when it sailed:
      "With about a dozen other regular supporters we spent the next six months planning for the voyage. I was working on my PhD in ecology, so my schedule was flexible and I could offer my time. Other than John Cormack and Dave Birmingham, who had spent much of their lives at sea, I was the only crew member with a fair amount of experience around boats. Bob was nervous about the seaworthiness of the Phyllis Cormack, so he asked me to look it over. I found the engine room particularly troubling: the engine was ancient and the exhaust manifold was propped up by a 4 x 4 timber wedged against the hull."

      Do you have other info re 1970?

    7. Nick,

      All of my information and quotes have come directly from Rex Weyler’s —- Greenpeace, an insider’s account. How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists and Visionaries Changed the World and also from Bob Hunter's -- Warriors of the Rainbow.

      Unfortunately I no longer have either book in my procession as they were borrowed from the library. I can assure you though Nick, both books state that Moore was an active member of the DMAWC in 1970 and that the inspection of the Phyllis Cormack took place in 1970. Both books also make it quite clear that the Greenpeace Foundation was offically registered as an organization in May 1972, six months after that first historic voyage.

      Unfortunately I have to 'duck out' for a couple of hours, if it's OK with Sou, yourself and others may we be able to continue this discussion when I return as there are many issues of what Greenpeace are stating now and to what actually took place during those early years.


    8. Bruce,
      "Moore was an active member of the DMAWC in 1970"
      I think that is quite inconsistent with Patrick Moore's own account.

      "On March 14, 1971, the committee publicly announced its plan to sail the Phyllis Cormack to the test site.[3] The Vancouver Sun covered the story the next day including a photo of Jim Bohlen and Paul Cote with the Phyllis Cormack in the background. On the same day, March 15, Bob Hunter wrote a letter of introduction to the Don’t Make a Wave Committee, asking if he could have a berth on the ship.[4] My letter with the same request followed one day later on March 16.[5] The next meeting of the Don’t Make a Wave Committee, in the basement of the Unitarian Church, was attended by about 25 people."

      That sure sounds as if it was news to him in March. And the following committee meeting is the first one he mentions. His letter of introduction doesn't sound like it's written to a committee that he is on. He doesn't mention it. And his account of inspecting the boat in mid-1971 doesn't sound like he has seen it before.

      Anyway, I've set out what I hope is a coherent version here.

    9. OK, while I was out I re-borrowed Weyler's book from the library and before I go any further, I wish to apologise to Nick Stokes about my statement of Moore being involved with the DMAWC and the inspection of the Phyllis Cormack in 1970. It was indeed 1971. Please accept my apologies Nick and I will also be making the same over at WUWT in due course, it's the least I can do. Sorry Nick.

      It must be stressed though, this makes NO difference to the discussion about whether Moore was a co-founder of Greenpeace or not, as at this point - 1971, the Greenpeace Foundation had yet to be officially registered as an organisation. Everything organised prior to May 2nd, 1972, was organised and funded by the Don't Make A Wave Committee, including the first Greenpeace voyage to stop a second nuclear weapons test at Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.

      To answer Robert Murphy's comment above, the Greenpeace insignia on the letter-head of the DMAWC letter of acceptance sent to Moore was originally concepted by the DMAWC around Feb, 1970 after a meeting when Irving Stowe left the meeting, he flashed the "V" sign and said "Peace." Bill Darnell replied, "make it a green peace." At home later that night, Jim Bohlen sketched a ship with the name Green Peace on the bow. Marie Bohlen's son, designed a one-inch button with green lettering on a yellow background, with the ecology symbol above, the peace symbol below, and in the middle, the single word: GREENPEACE.

    10. Nick,

      Bob Hunter was a founder of the DMAWC. He was also the one who coined the name, Don't Make A Wave. He also wrote a letter.

    11. BruceCAugust 19, 2014 at 2:34 PM
      "He also wrote a letter."

      Yes, but he addressed it to "Dear Jim", not "Dear Sir".

    12. BruceCAugust 19, 2014 at 2:26 PM
      "OK, while I was out I re-borrowed Weyler's book from the library and before I go any further, I wish to apologise to Nick Stokes"

      That's fine, Bruce, no problem. I also discovered something - PM says "[the DMaWC] recruited a crew of dedicated young environmentalists and antiwar activists, myself among them, to join the committee." It's vague on timing, but tips a little toward him having earlier involvement. Obviously, though, he joined an existing committee. And he doesn't mention anything he did before applying to sail and then attending the meeting of 25.

    13. This is what Greenpeace said about its founders before the truth became rather....inconvenient.


    14. "I think you should moderate that racist comment out please."

      OK I'll stop doing sarcastic - it obviously goes over too many heads. My point was that golden rice is developed for the better health of those in south asia who suffer vitamin A problems and opposing golden rice displays a disregard for those people.

    15. Itsme, the truth is that the old link you provided *does not call Patrick Moore a founder*! In fact, it starts out with the problem of identifying a founder, refers to the Don't Make a Wave Committee as the early start, and then mentions its founders and *first members*. The facts are, and this you can ask Patrick Moore if desired, that the DMWC was founded before Patrick Moore joined. It already existed in 1970, Moore didn't attach himself to the organization until 1971. The inconvenient facts are that Moore wasn't a founder of the DMWC, and if Greenpeace's old narrative suggested this, it was wrong.

    16. Marco,
      The discussion is about whether or not Moore was a co-founder of Greenpeace not the DMAWC. You would be surprised on how much PM was involved in background activities in both the DMAWC and the formation of Greenpeace.

    17. OK I'll stop doing sarcastic...

      Good idea. While you are at it stop doing unsarcastic as well.

      And no your "sarcastic" comment did not go over my head so do not try and make out you are some sort of higher plane of wit.

      Whatever - sarcastic, unsarcastic, supposed to be funny is irrelevant - it was racist plain and simple whichever way it was read.

    18. BruceC, it is clear that Greenpeace considers the DMWC as the start of Greenpeace (just not called Greenpeace). Moore himself has explicitly stated he was not a founder of the DMWC. He was present when it changed its name to Greenpeace. Being present at that time, even if he would have been the chairman, would still not make him a founder of the organization.

      I don't care how much Moore was involved, the facts are what they are: Moore did not found the DMWC, by his own admission(!). We can argue forever whether the name change to Greenpeace means it is a new organization, and that the people involved at that moment can therefore be called "founders". I disagree with that, you apparently agree with that notion. Discussion done, never the twain shall meet.

    19. Not that it matters. PM is wrong about the science, and is an industry shill ($100K for an appearance in Oz? Hopefully he's buying his own first-class tickets and hotel room for that fee).

      "I was around at the beginning of Greenpeace 43 years ago" or "a founder of Greenpeace thinks that all the work done by climate scientists is wrong" is the worst kind of argument from personal authority imaginable. It is meaningless.

    20. Actually "WTF??" seems like the correct response to anyone who mentions PM as being an authority on climate science worth listening to …

    21. Indeed, not that it matters. This is one of those life-sucking diversions so beloved of deniers and should really be avoided. The fact that Patrick Moore is a self-serving mountebank is evident from his recent behaviour and utterances; stuff that happened over forty years ago is irrelevant,

      That said, for a free trip to Australia (from the UK) and $100k walking-around money I'd be prepared to pad my CV even more outrageously than I have already. Anyone know where I can apply?

    22. "Indeed, not that it matters. This is one of those life-sucking diversions so beloved of deniers"

      Well it was Sou who raised it. It is a diversion and whether he was a founder or just a very early member is by-the-by. He thinks he was a founder and Greenpeace (for a time) thought so too. But it matters not.

      Yet its constantly raised s a method to denigrate his views. It happens quite a bit:

      * Moore wasn't a founder so we can ignore everything he says
      * Monckton's not a Lord so there's no need to ponder his views
      * Spencer's a creationist so he obviously knows nothing about cloud feedbacks.

    23. I will just to take one from your list. Monckton's views have constantly been pondered and debunked. John Abraham for instance, took apart one of his presentation's. The fact that you think he actually has something valuable to add to the debate speaks volumes about you.


    24. I didn't pronounce one way or t'other as to what I think of his views, only that I don't judge them based on whether he's a Lord or not in the same was as I don't judge Mann's views based on whether he's a nobel laureate or not.

    25. itsme : my modest advice that the item "should ... be avoided" was directed towards Sou and others on the sanity team. It's a tactical error.

    26. I'll take this one:
      * Spencer's a creationist so he obviously knows nothing about cloud feedbacks."

      Spencer signed up to a religiously defined declaration that says God will ensure the climate won't change cause any trouble. That's why his views are dodgy. The creationism just compounds his science denial.

    27. Itsme, Monckton's *is* a Lord, just not a member of the House of Lords. The reason it frequently comes up because the Clerk of the Parliaments has said he is not, and yet he maintains he is to this day - apparently the legal opinion of his lawyer is infinitely more important than what the Clerk has to say. In other words, when faced with facts, Monckton prefers to ignore them. It gets worse if you read how he belittles the Clerk of the Parliaments whenever someone points out he is not a member. It's a good example of his behavior, his handling of factual rebuttals to the nonsense he spouts.

      The case of Moore is actually reverse from the way you imagine it: the pseudoskeptics tell us we should listen to him, "because he founded Greeenpeace, you know". Well, he didn't, and it matters not one yota even if he did, he's talking out of his behind on climate science.

      Spencer's (old-earth) creationism comes up because of what Catmando points out. If you sign a declaration that says nothing bad will happen because god will not allow it, how can we trust you objectively assess the evidence? If anything looks bad, you must ignore it, because you have already openly declared it can't be bad! Now, Spencer claims it is a false attack, because he doesn't agree with everything in that declaration. However, so far he has been unwilling to say with what he does *not* agree, only at best hinted it is the part that it can't be bad, and why not agreeing with something so crucial in that declaration still made him sign it.

    28. Re Moore : in this particular case it was Sou who brought it up (if only in the negative), which itsme will probably confirm. This sort of thing is a gift to a sophist.

      Re Monckton : it's his own unequalled understanding of British Constitutional Law that convinces him, not his lawyer's. Just as his own unique understanding of statistics, climate science, viral biology (AIDS in particular), history, libel law, and basically everything convinces him that his various fantasies are the truth. Grandiosity is a symptom of his disease.

  6. Ohhh Nick, now you're really starting to clutch at straws.

  7. This may seem OT, but I think the following highlights the problem with Bruce's thinking here. By Bruce's logic, Thomas J Watson was a founder of IBM and Hermann Hollerith was not.

    The C-T-R Company was set up by Charles Flint in 1911 as a holding company for four newly acquired business machine companies. One of the acquisitions was Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company (the T in C-T-R), based on the success of his punched card tabulators. Hollerith was an inventor and engineer, not a businessman, and he semi-retired, working for C-T-R as a consultant.

    After three years in operation, C-T-R hired Thomas J Watson as their new General Manager, and in 1924 (now President) he renamed the company International Business Machines.

    Since Watson was on the ground when "IBM" was registered in 1924, he was clearly a founder. And since Hollerith wasn't, he clearly had nothing to do with its founding. Well, that's how it works in Intolerance-of-Ambiguity Land, anyway.

    All I can say is that this conversation has revealed a little about the origins of Greenpeace, but a lot more about what Bruce doesn't understand about the nature of how partnerships form (a less interesting topic). And I say that as a founder of a partnership which was forged two years before it was formally registered as a distinct corporate entity. The fact that it operated under another corporate banner until 2006 doesn't change the fact that it was established in 2004. The people who came on board in the interim? Not founders.

  8. Patrick Moore is and has been, a more genuine environmental activist than any of the above writers - those who denigrate him should be thoroughly ashamed

    1. Oh? Is that a denier? It has the hallmarks of one - throwaway comment unsupported by evidence.

      I can understand your comment if you're talking about his 1970s activism, but now? What has he done lately *for* the environment? How does this offset his public actions to try to destroy the environment by spreading disinformation about climate? What do you know of the genuineness or environmental activity of "any of the above writers"?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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