Weaver and Others: Canadian Government Systematically Squelching Climate Science

Via Al Gore’s Inside Climate News Kathrine Bagley writes:

Canada’s ruling Conservative Party government has been leading a slow and systematic unraveling of environmental and climate research budgets, according to local scientists—including shuttering one of the world’s top Arctic research stations for monitoring global warming. Hundreds of researchers have lost their jobs, and those that remain are forbidden from talking to media without a government minder.

“They publicly announce their commitment to dealing with climate change and acknowledge that it is a serious issue, but then they go ahead and do the exact opposite,” said Andrew Weaver, a climate modeler at the University of Victoria and a lead author of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“They’ve closed virtually every funding avenue for climate and atmospheric science. They are deceiving the Canadian public.”

The alleged “war on science” is so bad that some scientists are leaving Canada for jobs in countries where they feel they have more opportunities and freedom.

See also

This contradicts a report by the same author from a few months back: “InsideClimate News contacted scientists working on climate change in Europe, Canada and Japan and learned that virtually everyone believes that the harassment is specific to the United States. They said that it could have long-term consequences for public understanding of global warming.”

I am fascinated by this claim:

Johnson did acknowledge that Environment Canada scientists face restrictions on what they can talk about, but he said the same rules apply to all public servants. “In Canada’s democratic system of government, [commenting on government policy] is reserved for ministers and their designated spokespeople,” he said. “This is a fundamental tenet of our public service values.”

Should scientists in public service be regarded as an arm of government? That would seem to defeat the entire purpose of research.

Comments:

  1. IME (which includes the UK and Japan) it is standard practice to have rules of this nature (vetting media contact). However, they are universally honoured in the breach.


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