Thursday, May 3, 2012

Canada's Ruling Conservatives Muzzle Scientists

Canada was host of the International Polar Year conference, which came to an end on April 27. Hundreds of scientists from around the world came together in Montreal to discuss the dramatic changes to the Arctic's biodiversity, energy dynamics and ice melt. In an outrageous act of censorship, Harper's ruling Conservatives prevented Canadian scientists from speaking to the press.

Given its flagrant dismissal of environmental action, Canada's Conservative government wanted to avoid the topic all together. They went to great lengths to ensure that Canadian scientists did not weigh in on the matter. As reported in the Montreal Gazette, the federal government went so far as to assign minders to Environment Canada scientists. These minders made sure the scientists did not talk to journalists without Ottawa's permission.

In February, one of the world's leading scientific journals, Nature, accused Canada of muzzling its scientists. Environment Canada scientist Dr. David Tarasick, involved in a study which discovered the largest recorded ozone hole above the Arctic, was forbidden last fall by Environment Canada for several weeks from speaking to the media about the study or his part in it.

There is a reason Canada was amongst the first nations to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Accord. The government knows its record on GHG emissions is woeful and it is doing its best to to keep the facts away from the public. This approach also supports Prime Minister Stephen Harper's intention to continue to exploit tar sands oil at a record pace.

With the shameful way that Harper has acted on the environment it is little wonder why the Conservative leadership is trying to hide the truth from the world.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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1 comment:

Ian Purdie said...

Truly amazing that a government would go to such lengths to censor such a topic. I suppose the 'deniers' of global warming and climate change are more widespread than we thought. I guess in the end, money counts, and the oil companies and the government are in each others pockets.

What get me is that the science is so firmly and soundly based and yet they fly in the face of it.

All I can say is courage to those who were silenced - maybe they can find a way to reveal their findings and conclusions.