March 02, 2012

[Embarrassment] My Government's Approach to Environment is Subversive and Incompetent

As a Canadian citizen I want to apologize to citizens of the world out there... for my government's dysmal, deficient, incompetent, underhanded approach to all environmental matters. I've blogged recently about how since the rise of Stephen Harper's Conservative Party the government has had trouble even upholding its own environmental laws, and has become a shameless apologist for corporations exploiting Alberta bitumen. Two news stories today only add to my embarrassment of being affiliated with these incompetent rulers who have completely destroyed the reputation Canada once had as a nation concerned about our collective socio-ecological future.

The first is a news story in The Calgary Herald titled "Secret memo warns oil sands damage may be irreversible". Not only does it turn out that development in the tar sands - contrary to propaganda of the corporate developers - will likely "permanently damage Alberta's landscape" (something we all knew anyways), but high level officials have consistently warned our political 'leaders' that this is the case. Yet even though the 'secret' documents given to decision-makers has only corroborated the findings of numerous climate scientists, ecologists, First Nations, medical professionals and other researchers, the government still tows the blind ideological line of pursuing continued growth in the megaproject.

The second is an appeal by one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, Nature, to the Harper government, asking for environmental scientists on the public service payroll to be allowed to share their findings with the rest of the world (read a news story about this here). It turns out the Harper government is so intent on controlling information in this country that several scientists have been muzzled simply for speaking about their research! Nature notes how over the last few years Canada has taken on the anti-science stance of the Bush Administration, while in the U.S. Obama has luckily cleared a more open setting for environmental research dissemination. As CBC has reported, the appeal from Nature "reveal[s] the Harper government has little understanding of the importance of the free flow of scientific knowledge."

Clearly there is something rotten in our federal government's approach to environment. As a Canadian I must share some responsibility for this. To those of you from elsewhere I can only say "I'm sorry"... I will try my best to reminding my fellow citizens of the crimes against nature committed by the Conservatives. I can only hope people will come to their senses in time for the next election, and realize that a future without a thriving socio-ecological balance is bound to end badly for humans.

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