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JUNE 2, 2019


Hour 1 The Un-Founding of Greenpeace WE THE PEOPLE RADIO
  with Dr. Patrick Moore  REPEAT FROM APRIL 28, 2019  
Hour 2 Burdens of Freedom - Cultural Difference and American Power WE THE PEOPLE RADIO
  with Lawrence Mead  

"The Un-Founding of Greenpeace"

Patrick Moore, Ph.D.

Dr. Patrick Moore has been a leader in the international environmental field for over 30 years. He is a founding member of Greenpeace and served for nine years as President of Greenpeace Canada and seven years as a Director of Greenpeace International. As the leader of many campaigns Dr. Moore was a driving force shaping policy and direction while Greenpeace became the world's largest environmental activist organization.

In recent years, Dr. Moore has been focused on the promotion of sustainability and consensus building among competing concerns. He was a member of British Columbia government-appointed Round Table on the Environment and Economy from 1990 - 1994. In 1990, Dr. Moore founded and chaired the BC Carbon Project, a group that worked to develop a common understanding of climate change

Dr. Moore served for four years as Vice President, Environment for Waterfurnace International, the largest manufacturer of geothermal heat pumps for residential heating and cooling with renewable earth energy.

As Chair of the Sustainable Forestry Committee of the Forest Alliance of BC, he leads the process of developing the "Principles of Sustainable Forestry" which have been adopted by a majority of the industry.

In 1991 Dr. Moore founded Greenspirit, a consultancy focusing on environmental policy and communications in natural resources, biodiversity, energy and climate change

In 2000, Dr. Moore published Green Spirit - Trees are the Answer, a photo-book that provides a new insight into how forests work and how they can play a powerful role in solving many of our current environmental problems.

  • Ford Foundation Fellowship, 1969-1972
  • Ph.D. in Ecology, Institute of Resource Ecology, University of British Columbia, 1972
  • Honours B.Sc. in Forest Biology, University of British Columbia

Here is a more detailed bibliography

Read his latest paper on The Positive Role of Human Emissions of CO2 

Executive Summary

• This study looks at the positive environmental effects of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a topic which has been well established in the scientific literature but which is far too often ignored in the current discussions about climate change policy. • All life is carbon based and the primary source of this carbon is the CO2 in the global atmosphere. • As recently as 18,000 years ago, at the height of the most recent major glaciation, CO2 dipped to its lowest level in recorded history at 180 ppm, low enough to stunt plant growth. This is only 30 ppm above a level that would result in the death of plants due to CO2 starvation. • It is calculated that if the decline in CO2 levels were to continue at the same rate as it has over the past 140 million years, life on Earth would begin to die as soon as two million years from now and would slowly perish almost entirely as carbon continued to be lost to the deep ocean sediments. • The combustion of fossil fuels for energy to power human civilization has reversed the downward trend in CO2 and promises to bring it back to levels that are likely to foster a considerable increase in the growth rate and biomass of plants, including food crops and trees. • Human emissions of CO2 have restored a balance to the global carbon cycle, thereby ensuring the long-term continuation of life on Earth. • This extremely positive aspect of human CO2 emissions must be weighed against the unproven hypothesis that human CO2 emissions will cause a catastrophic warming of the climate in coming years. • The one-sided political treatment of CO2 as a pollutant that should be radically reduced must be corrected in light of the indisputable scientific evidence that it is essential to life on Earth.

Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist is Dr. Patrick Moore's engaging firsthand account of his many years spent as the ultimate Greenpeace insider, a co-founder and leader in the organization's top committee. Moore explains why, 15 years after co-founding it, he left Greenpeace to establish a more sensible, science-based approach to environmentalism. From energy independence to climate change, genetic engineering to aquaculture, Moore sheds new light on some of the most controversial subjects in the news today.

Hour 2

 Burdens of Freedom - Cultural Difference and American Power    WE THE PEOPLE RADIO


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About Lawrence Mead

Lawrence M. Mead is Professor of Politics and Public Policy at New York University and author of the new book, Burdens of Freedom: Cultural Difference and American Power.  He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Wisconsin.  He has also been a visiting fellow at Princeton and at the Hoover Institution at Stanford. 

Mead is a frequent media guest who has appeared on major radio and television programs nationwide.  He and his work have appeared in influential publications such as The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Economist.  He is an expert on the problems of poverty and welfare in the United States.  Among academics, he was the principal exponent of work requirements in welfare, the approach that now dominates national policy.  He is also a leading scholar of the politics and implementation of welfare reform programs.  He has written nine books and more than a hundred other publications on these subjects.  These works have helped shape welfare reform in the United States and abroad.  Mead has consulted with federal, state, and local governments in this country and with several foreign countries.  He testifies regularly to Congress on poverty, welfare, and social policy, and he often comments on these subjects in the media.  He is a native of Huntington, New York, and a graduate of Amherst College.  He received his Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. 


Burdens of Freedom

Cultural Difference and American Power

By Lawrence M. Mead

Washington, DC—America stands at a cultural crossroads that will define its national character and determine its future.  The great fact about today’s world is cultural difference.  Americans have long thought that they are no different from other people, only freer and more fortunate.  They pride themselves on living independent lives in which they work out their personal destiny.  They wish that everyone had these opportunities.  But that individualist style of life is far less universal than most people think, and today it has come into question both at home and abroad.  To recognize and address that huge reality is the great challenge of our time.

In BURDENS OF FREEDOM: Cultural Difference and American Power (Encounter Books, April 23, 2019), noted New York University professor Lawrence Mead contends that the chief threat to American leadership is no longer foreign rivals like China but the decay of individualism within our own society.  He argues that the United States is an individualist society where most people seek to realize personal goals and values out in the world.  This unusual, inner-driven culture was the chief reason why first Europe, then Britain, and finally America came to lead the world.  But today, our deepest problems derive from groups and nations that reflect the more passive, deferential temperament of the non-West.

BURDENS OF FREEDOM maintains that: “All of America’s toughest tests today involve groups or nations that, on average, are not individualist, but more cautious and collective-minded.  At home, individualism is fading among low-income Americans, who are less able than they once were to take responsibility for themselves.  Immigrants, too, are much less individualist today than they were a century ago, because they chiefly come from Asia or Latin America rather than Europe.  That is, they tend to defer to the setting around them rather than asserting themselves and seeking change.  Abroad, America must deal with poor countries much worse governed than we are.  These countries require support but also guidance.  We also face Asian challengers for world leadership, particularly mainland China, which again are not individualist.  In all these struggles, cultural difference is the great reality.”

The great divide is between the individualist West, for which life is a project, and the rest of the world, in which most people seek to survive rather than achieve.  This difference, although clear in research on world cultures, has been ignored in virtually all previous scholarship on American power and public policy, both at home and abroad.  Lawrence Mead argues that fear of racism has long suppressed discussion of these differences.  Our establishment insists that all Americans of whatever background arethe same.  But ever since his election campaign in 2016, President Trump has flouted that taboo.  He often disparages minorities and immigrants in flagrant terms, inciting charges of racism.  The defenders of sameness call him racist.  But whether he is or not, he has made it clear that group and national differences in culture must be faced rather than denied.

In contrast to either Trump or his critics, BURDENS OF FREEDOM questions both sameness and racism.  Culture connotes what people think life is about, what we strive to do or be.  Differences in culture are too important to ignore, but neither are they racial in any physical sense.  Rather, they arise from differences in attitudes and ways of life.  Most Americans descend from the strongly individualist ethos of Europe, but minorities and most recent immigrants reflect the more cautious, collective-minded, and deferential societies of other parts of the world.  Research on world cultures and from other sources shows that these differences are large and important.  They enrich our culture, but they greatly complicate integrating our society at home and maintaining American primacy abroad.

BURDENS OF FREEDOM is the first book to recognize how the West’s unique individualist culture set it apart.  It casts new light on America’s greatest struggles.  It re-evaluates the entire Western tradition, which took individualism for granted.  How to respond to cultural difference is the greatest test of our times.  In order for American world leadership to endure, a cultural battle to reaffirm an individualist America must first be fought and won.


To arrange an interview with Burdens of Freedom author Lawrence Mead, please contact
Stephen Manfredi at 202.222.8028 or


10 Interview Questions
for Burdens of Freedom Author Lawrence M. Mead
To Learn More About Burdens of Freedom, visit

1.       Why did you write BURDENS OF FREEDOM: Cultural Difference and American Power?

2.       Define “individualism” in the American context.  What created America’s distinctive individualist culture?

3.       What distinguishes America and the West’s more individualist societies from a majority of non-Western cultures around the world?

4.       Why do you argue that the chief threat to American leadership is no longer foreign rivals like China but the decay of individualism within our own society?  What is causing the deterioration of American individualism?  When did it begin?

5.       Why do you believe individualism is fading among low-income Americans?  What makes these Americans different and less able to thrive despite our national wealth?  Why do you argue that today’s immigrants to America are less individualistic than they were a century ago?  How are these trends changing America?

6.       You contend that the great divide today is between the individualist West and the rest of the world, but a fear of “racism” has long suppressed dialogue about these differences.  Why does our establishment insist that Americans of every background are the same?  Why do we say that America is a multicultural society but to discuss cultural difference is forbidden?  What impact has President Trump had on this dialogue?

7.       In BURDENS OF FREEDOM, you challenge both sameness and racism.  Please explain.  Are cultural differences related to race?  Can individuals from any cultural background assimilate into American society and thrive by adopting our nation’s uniquely individualist traits?  Is the American “melting pot” broken?  Does that ideal lead to a less individualist culture when more collective-minded immigrants come to America?  Should America change its immigration policies to protect its individualist culture?

8.       You contend that we face challengers for world leadership, like China, that are more collective-minded.  What impact is this having on America and its culture?  With the end of the Cold War, many argued that democratic capitalism had triumphed.  What happened?

9.       Many claim that American and Western power was created by wealth and access to material resources.  Why do you consider cultural differences between the West and non-Western societies to be more decisive?  How can nations with more collectivist tendencies adopt the West’s individualist characteristics?  How should America approach non-Western international competitors and poorer nations with failed governments that don’t share our culture?

10.    You argue that in order for American world leadership to endure, a cultural battle to reaffirm an individualist America must first be fought and won.  What can be done to stop the decay of individualism within our own society?  What practical steps can individuals take to promote America’s individualist culture?