The Great Climate Con!
March 18, 2010 12:19 PM   Subscribe

A new report from the Climate Action Network Canada- Réseau action climat Canada details a “troubling catalogue of actions” by the federal government to muzzle its own climate scientists and weaken the research capacity of Canada’s climate science community.
posted by dogbusonline (16 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Oh no! Bad news for Harper! Quick, prorogue like the wind!
posted by WinnipegDragon at 12:23 PM on March 18, 2010 [9 favorites]

Is anyone really shocked by this? Did we expect anything better out of the Reform party?
posted by the dief at 12:23 PM on March 18, 2010

“Unless the government takes urgent action to reverse this trend, it will only reinforce Canada’s reputation as the country doing the least to address climate change in the industrialized world.”

I think that distinction has already been claimed.
posted by stinker at 12:24 PM on March 18, 2010

Page 28 of the report documents how the Cons appointed three climate change skeptics to national research funding boards, including the most recent executive director of the Fraser Institute.

The quotes there are pretty distressing, essentially "It's not happening, nobody knows why it's happening, you can't prove anything!"

So much for another federal campaign promise: merit-based criteria for appointments to science funding institutions.
posted by anthill at 12:41 PM on March 18, 2010

Canada is on the front lines of climate change.

Wacky winter a signal of years to come
From the balmy Arctic, to the open water of the St. Lawrence and snowless western fields, this winter has been the warmest and driest in Canadian record books.

Environment Canada scientists report that winter 2009/10 was 4 C above normal, making it the warmest since nationwide records were first kept in 1948. It was also the driest winter on the 63-year record, with precipitation 22 per cent below normal nationally, and down 60 per cent in parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

"It's beyond shocking," David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, told Canwest News Tuesday. Records have been shattered from "coast to coast to coast."
posted by stbalbach at 12:59 PM on March 18, 2010

CTV: Scientists warn of demise of Canadian climate research
When government funding for a foundation dedicated to climate research dries up at the end of the year, scientists say the aftershocks of its departure will be felt not only in Canada but by researchers around the globe.

The 2010 federal budget, unveiled this month, offered no new cash to the decade-old Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, a group that has been financing research on everything from melting glaciers to drought on the Prairies to the thawing permafrost. ...

Since its creation in 2000, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences has been a major source of financing and co-ordination for projects that gather and crunch data.

The foundation has bankrolled $110 million of research, but hasn't received any new funding since the Conservative government was elected in 2006.

Last winter, it made a formal request for $25 million annually over 10 years.

Its existing mandate runs until March 2012, but without a fresh cash injection the 12 research networks currently under its umbrella will be shuttered by the end of 2010.
posted by russilwvong at 1:19 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Canada doesn't need a climate as long as Alberta keeps pumping oil and people keep moving there and shifting the centre of political power there. The Harper government is as beholden to oil interests as the Saudi government much to my dismay.
posted by GuyZero at 1:30 PM on March 18, 2010

Tories widen poll lead over Liberals.

By an amount that is less than the margin of error. In other words, polls that are performed when there is no election going on are, by and large, utterly worthless.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:15 PM on March 18, 2010

Our science minister is a young-earth creationist.

Is there any surprise that Harper would stack every scientific board with his religionut cronies?

This country does such a delightful job of fucking itself over, time and again.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:17 PM on March 18, 2010

> It was also the driest winter on the 63-year record, with precipitation 22 per cent below normal nationally, and down 60 per cent in parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

Jesus, it's going to be cracked, forsaken earth on the prairies come June.
posted by Decimask at 2:41 PM on March 18, 2010

It's already cracked and forsaken around Fort McMurray so no big deal.
posted by GuyZero at 2:44 PM on March 18, 2010

True, but they don't grow much food around Fort McMurray.
posted by Decimask at 5:12 PM on March 18, 2010

Who gives a shit - Fort McMurray is the future baby!
posted by GuyZero at 5:28 PM on March 18, 2010

Is this something I'd have to be an evolutionist to believe?
posted by sneebler at 6:42 PM on March 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Gloria Galloway, writing in the Globe and Mail, describes how the Conservatives were initially pressured into taking action on climate change, but are now dropping it: How the Conservatives dodged the climate bullet.
Mr. Harper came to power four years ago fully intending to dismantle programs aimed at reducing greenhouse gases. The outgoing Liberals, he said, had set unrealistic targets and then failed to meet them. His government was not about to offer lip service to a crusade that Conservatives deemed overblown and out of step with the folks on Main Street.

A few months later, the folks on Main Street told the Prime Minister that he had them pegged all wrong.

Al Gore was on screen proclaiming his “inconvenient truth,” Canada was experiencing weird winter weather, and by January, 2007, the polls said that climate change had become the number one concern of Canadians, outdistancing such staples as the economy and health care.

So, with all the zeal of a conscript, Mr. Harper joined the fight against global warming. He replaced his environment minister and scrapped the first attempt at an environmental policy in favour of a plan to cut carbon emissions by 2020. The move was panned by environmentalists but seemed to please ordinary Canadians.
Now, however, Canadian public opinion is much less concerned with the environment (concern has shifted to unemployment and health care), and the Conservatives have basically dropped it.

Bill McKibben:
“Of course, this abdication of responsibility is only temporary. The Harper government isn't fighting with Liberals – it's fighting with chemistry and physics.”
posted by russilwvong at 9:55 PM on March 22, 2010

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