Last updated on: 4/24/2015 | Author:

Patrick Moore, PhD Biography

Chair of Ecology, Energy, and Prosperity at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and former Director of Greenpeace International
Pro to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"

“It all depends on what you mean by ‘alternative energy’. Alternative to what? Specifically if nuclear energy is considered ‘alternative’ (to fossil fuels) then I am in the Pro camp. If nuclear is not considered alternative I am decidedly in the Con camp because I do not believe it is remotely possible to replace fossil fuels with wind, solar, geothermal etc. by themselves. Then there is the question of whether hydroelectricity is ‘alternative’. If both hydro and nuclear are not considered alternative then it is doubly impossible to replace fossil fuels with alternatives.

The terms ‘renewable’, ‘sustainable’, ‘clean’, ‘green’, and ‘alternative’ tend to be tossed about as if they all mean the same thing when they each have distinct meanings, some of which are less than objective. ‘Green’, for example, can be a shameless marketing term. ‘Clean’ is relatively straightforward, meaning there is no pollution involved. Hydroelectric energy is renewable. Nuclear energy is not renewable but it is sustainable.”

Email to, Feb. 18, 2009

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Chair, Ecology, Energy, and Prosperity, Frontier Centre for Public Policy
  • Cochair, Clean and Safe Energy Coalition (nuclear power advocacy organization), 2006-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Forest Alliance British Columbia, 1991-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, NextEnergy (geothermal energy company)
  • Expert, Heartland Institute
  • Cofounder, former Chair, and Chief Scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.
  • Consultant, IPEX (plastics fabrication), 2001
  • Advisor, Canadian Mining Association, 1996
  • Vice President, Environment and Government Affairs, WaterFurnace International, 1995-1998
  • Director, Architectural Institute of British Columbia, 1995-1996
  • Consultant, Canadian Pulp and Paper Association, 1992-1996
  • Consultant, Westcoast Energy and British Columbia Gas, 1993-1994
  • Member, Economic Development and Environment Committee, Vancouver Board of Trade, 1992-1994
  • Member, Aquaculture Advisory Council, British Columbia Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1990-1993
  • Founder and President, Quatsino Seafarms Ltd., 1984-1991
  • Cofounder and Director, Greenpeace International, 1971-1986
  • Director, Western Canada Chapter, Sierra Club, 1971-1973
  • PhD, Ecology, University of British Columbia, 1972
  • BSc, Forest Biology, University of British Columbia, 1969
  • National Award for Nuclear Science, Einstein Society, 2009
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science, North Carolina State University, 2005
Quoted in:
  1. Should the United States Authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline to Import Tar Sand Oil from Canada?
  2. Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?