Follow What?

There's an aphorism that journalists should "follow the money," but it is sobering to see how few do. Bruce Erskine, a business reporter for the Chronicle Herald in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, reports on a keynote speech to the annual general meeting of the Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia by former Greenpeace activist turned industry PR consultant Patrick Moore. In a single-source story, Erskine writes that Moore has "run afoul of many in the environmentalist camp for seeking a middle road on the sustainable energy issue by, among other things, supporting the forestry industry." He also reports that Moore argued that "environmentalists who oppose nuclear and hydro power are contributing to the greenhouse gas problem," and quoted him as stating that "we can all switch over, if we want to, from using gas for heating our house to using a ground-source heat pump running on clean electrical energy." What wasn't disclosed was that Moore is a PR consultant to the Nuclear Energy Institute's front group, the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. Nor was it disclosed that Moore is a Director of NextEnergy, a company that sells home-scale geothermal heating.