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Greenpeace Co-founder Slams Extinction Scare Study

Tuesday, 22 Mar 2011 11:10 AM

By Marc Morano

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Greenpeace co-founder and ecologist Dr. Patrick Moore slammed a new study claiming a dramatic and irreversible mass species extinction.

"This [journal Nature] article should never have made it through the peer-review process," Moore told Climate Depot in an exclusive interview.

"The fact that the study did make it through peer-review indicates that the peer review process has become corrupted," Moore, the author of the new book "Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout," added.

"The authors greatly underestimate the rate new species can evolve, especially when existing species are under stress. The polar bear evolved during the glaciation previous to the last one, just 150,000 years ago," Moore explained.

The new alarming species mass extinction study was described in an article in Yahoo! News and AFP on March 4, 2011 titled: "World's sixth mass extinction may be underway: study."

The AFP article reported: "Mankind may have unleashed the sixth known mass extinction in Earth's history, according to a paper released by the science journal Nature. Over the past 540 million years, five mega-wipeouts of species have occurred through naturally-induced events. But the new threat is man-made, inflicted by habitation loss, over-hunting, over-fishing, the spread of germs and viruses and introduced species, and by climate change caused by fossil-fuel greenhouse gases, says the study."
 
But Moore, in an interview with Climate Depot, refuted the claims of the species study: "The biggest extinction events in the human era occurred 60,000 years ago when humans arrived in Australia, 10 to 15,000 years ago when humans arrived in the New World, 800 years ago when humans found New Zealand, and 250 years ago when Europeans brought exotic species to the Pacific Islands such as Hawaii.

"Since species extinction became a broad social concern, coinciding with the extinction of the passenger pigeon, we have done a pretty good job of preventing species extinctions."

He added: "I quit my life-long subscription to National Geographic when they published a similar 'sixth mass extinction' article in February 1999. This [latest journal] Nature article just re-hashes this theme."

Moore left Greenpeace in 1986 because he felt the organziation had become too radical. Moore also challenges man-made global warming fears. See: "Greenpeace Co-Founder Dr. Patrick Moore Questions Man-Made Global Warming, Calls it 'Obviously a Natural Phenomenon'"

This is not the first time Moore has gone to battle of alarming claims of species extinction. In the 2000 documentary "Amazon Rainforest: Clear-Cutting The Myths," Moore bluntly mocked species extinction claims made by biologist Edward O. Wilson from Harvard University.

Wilson estimated that up to 50,000 species go extinct every year based on computer models of the number of potential but as yet undiscovered species in the world.

Moore said in 2000: "There's no scientific basis for saying that 50,000 species are going extinct. The only place you can find them is in Edward O. Wilson's computer at Harvard University . . . I want a list of Latin names of actual species."

Moore was interviewed by this reporter in the 2000 Amazon rainforest documentary.  Environmental activist Tim Keating of Rainforest Relief was asked in the 2000 documentary if he could name any of the alleged 50,000 species that have gone extinct and he was unable.

"No, we can't [name them], because we don't know what those species are. But most of the species that we're talking about in those estimates are things like insects and even microorganisms, like bacteria," Keating explained.

UK scientist Professor Philip Stott, emeritus professor of Biogeography at the University of London, dismissed current species claims in the 2000 Amazon rainforest documentary.

"The earth has gone through many periods of major extinctions, some much bigger in size than even being contemplated today," Stott, the author of a book on tropical rainforests, said in the 2000 documentary.

"Change is necessary to keep up with change in nature itself. In other words, change is the essence. And the idea that we can keep all species that now exist would be anti-evolutionary, anti-nature and anti the very nature of the earth in which we live," Stott said.

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