Patrick Moore: The climate change skeptic quoted by Trump in ‘potentially catastrophic’ trend

Chris Riotta

The world woke up to another series of bombastic tweets from the president of the United States on Tuesday — including more climate change denials and quotes from Fox News.

Donald Trump cited prominent climate change sceptic Patrick Moore in a tweet nearly an hour after his appearance on the conservative network’s morning show, Fox & Friends.

“Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace,” the president wrote, before including Mr Moore’s claims made the same day on national television that “the whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it’s Fake Science.”

The only problem? Mr Moore is not a co-founder of Greenpeace, according to a public statement issued by the environmental group.

Despite Fox News and Mr Trump both claiming otherwise, Greenpeace wrote in a statement that while Mr Moore “played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years,” he was not responsible for founding the organisation.

“Patrick Moore often misrepresents himself in the media as an environmental ‘expert’ or even an ‘environmentalist,’ while offering anti-environmental opinions on a wide range of issues and taking a distinctly anti-environmental stance,” the group said in a statement published on its website. “He also exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.”

“He did not found Greenpeace,” the organisation added.

Rather, Mr Moore is a public relations consultant who has worked across a number of industries, from mining to nuclear energy and biotechnology defence. He regularly claims humans do not contribute to climate change in statements to the media.

“It is potentially catastrophic that the president of the United States gets his news on climate change from [Fox & Friends] appearances by an industry spox who falsely portrays himself as a Greenpeace co-founder,” Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at Media Matters who documents the president’s Twitter and television-watching habits, wrote on Tuesday.

“A normal news show would have to issue a correction for falsely identifying someone as the co-founder of an organization,” he added in a follow-up tweet.

Greenpeace publicly distanced itself from Mr Moore in 2008. In his Twitter bio, Mr Moore claims he was a 15-year “leader” and “co-founder” for the group, but “dropped out in ’86 to be The Sensible Environmentalist.”