An editorial in the international journal Nature has called the Harper Conservatives "dismal" when it comes to recognizing the role of science in Canada.
Reprinted from Nature 451, 866:21 February 2008
Concerns can only be enhanced by the government's manifest disregard for science. Since prime minister Stephen Harper came to power, his government has been sceptical of the science on climate change and has backed away from Canada's Kyoto commitment. In January, it muzzled Environment Canada's scientists, ordering them to route all media enquires through Ottawa to control the agency's media message. Last week, the prime minister and members of the cabinet failed to attend a ceremony to honour the Canadian scientists who contributed to the international climate-change report that won a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Harper sees himself as the leader of a 'global energy powerhouse' and is committing Canada to a fossil-fuel economy. More than 40 companies have a stake in mining and upgrading the bitumen from the oil sands
in Alberta and churning out 1.2 million barrels a day. This activity generates three times as much greenhouse gas as conventional oil drilling. Emissions from Canada's oil and gas industry have risen by 42% since 1990.
Confirmation of CPC disregard for science was reinforced earlier this week in a Lancet article published by B.C. physician Dr. Julio Montaner and his colleagues. In it, Health Minister Tony Clement was lambasted for ignoring nearly 2 dozen peer-reviewed scientific articles on the efficacy of the INSITE safe injection program for intravenous drug addicts in favour of a single critique in an online journal funded by a lobby group (Drug Free America Foundation) and the RCMP. Over at Liberal Arts & Minds, KNB has written a terrific blog about this, and I encourage you to surf on over and have a read.
In any case, none of this should come as a surprise to Canadians. But it should be a profound embarassment to the Conservative Party, which has chosen to populate itself with a bunch of regressive ideologues, some of whom believe that man and dinosaur once co-existed like the Flintstones. Willllmaaaaaaa!!!!