Canada Muzzles Climate Science Cheney/Bush-Style

canada climate scienceBush era US climate science policy seems to have moved north to Canada, argues Susan.

A student researcher at the University of Toronto has exposed a draconian shut-down of climate science in Canada. This is a first for Canada – an advanced democracy, but a democracy that has the resource-curse of vast oil sands potential. James Birch does research in a thirty person lab focused on climate change research and adaptations headed by Dr. Brad Bass, the co-recipient of the IPCC Nobel Prize for climate science.

Birch and his fellow student researchers have decided to go public, to get word out to voters, because climate scientists including Dr. Bass have had their jobs shut down and have been silenced.  Writing to Clean Break Birch says that the professional climate scientists heading up the climate science labs have been forbidden to speak out.

“Our scientists have been muzzled, and their ability to go to press has become tightly managed by a new “media relations office” put forth by the Harper Government” says Birch.

Dr. Bass is among many other Environment Canada scientists who have had their jobs cut by the Harper government, yet, because of the complete muzzling of Environment Canada scientists, the Canadian voter is as unaware of this fact as US voters were of the extreme silencing of US scientists under Cheney and Bush. In fact, what is happening in Canada is even worse. Even Bush did not fire our leading climate scientists. We cannot just shoot the messenger.

“Over the past several months we have seen major cuts to Environment Canada that are leaving it without any real scientific or research power. We have seen many prominent scientific jobs cut, research funding slashed, and our ability to effectively do environmental assessment and management largely neutralized”.

“The tools and researchers necessary in order to adequately measure the consequences of the Athabasca Tar Sands are presently in a questionable state of limbo,” Birch says. He is brave to come forward with this information, as it must shortchange any possible future he himself might expect in climate science, after some years invested in the university level education to get to the position he is in in a lab headed by a Nobel-prize winning IPCC scientist.

This draconian move on the part of the conservative Harper government is so extreme that it has even received censure from one of its own party members.

“Environment Canada is now “open for business” – you may now hire their award-winning scientists at will, privatize their research and keep them from working in the public interest,” says conservative MP, Tony Clement.

Under the tar-sands-friendly conservative policy of the Harper government, new budget cuts “will effectively leave Environment Canada powerless and effectively useless.”

For Israel, which recently discovered oil, the lesson is clear. Even a real democracy like Canada can be corrupted by the Resource Curse. American politics have already been corrupted, and the effects are felt worldwide, as we have covered here, for example: American Elections Are Bad For The Nile Delta

Read more on Climate Change:

Leviathan Gas Discovery Could be The Mother of All Resource Curses
Climate Change Denial and the Climate of Fear
Dear Global Clean Energy Sector, Please Truth-Bomb the US Voter

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6 thoughts on “Canada Muzzles Climate Science Cheney/Bush-Style”

  1. NR, the same thing happened in the US. Sadly. It is indeed hard to believe it could happen to Canada too.

  2. NR Ghee says:

    The Harper government came to power with a majority government, but not with the support of the majority of Canadians. About 2/3 of the population are opposed to his right-wing and unscientific approach to… well, just about everything. It’s not all his fault, though. Vote splitting and the tendency for left-leaning citizens not to vote have helped him and his cronies come to power. I wonder what will be left of the Canada I love by the next election, just shy of four years from now.

  3. Evil Denier says:

    Oh, he only shared a Nobel (with Algore, Patchy and the rest).
    And was for Peace, not climate ‘science’.

  4. Evil Denier says:

    Big deal! Climate ‘scientists’ getting fat on the taxpayer dollar.
    ‘[A] thirty person lab focused on climate change research’ indeed!
    Get a proper job.
    Like it or not, Harper was democratically elected, with a majority (difficult in Canada).

  5. Jon says:

    Big surprise! We might as well rename democracy the “Hive” seeing as we are all just drones and workers feeding the monarchy at the top. If people would stop and think about what is really going on they would realise that we are blindly leading ourselves back to the stone ages just so that a select few on our planet can profit. Most people now can’t even afford to protest the changes, missing a day of work to stand up for a cause leads to them not eating that week, so I guess in the end the government is working as intended… keeping us all passive tax machines to fuel their propaganda and endless pockets. I feel sad for the new countries that are “embracing” democracy or capitalism in real terms, because they think they are getting freedom, but what they are really getting is more imbeciles to make up their minds for them on a daily basis without any say in where the money ends up. Record debts etc, yet I don’t see a single politician willing to work for 50% of their wages, which would put them on par with the rest of the public earnings….

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