MT posted a letter from a graduate student in Canada, describing how the Harper government is destroying important environmental programs.
Over the past several months we have seen major cuts to Environment Canada that have left it without any real scientific or research power. These cuts include the Environment Canada lab I presently do research at under Dr. Brad Bass of Environment Canada’s Adaptations and Impacts Research Section (AIRS). Almost the entire Section – which focuses on measuring impacts and responding to climate change across Canada – has been cut, alongside many other departments. Dr. Bass and many other Environment Canada scientists have had their jobs cut and we’ve seen in recent days rather strong political intervention from above in what EC scientists can and cannot mention to the public, whether it’s research critical of present policy or even just discussion of the cuts.and eh, vola, the "media relations office" showed up in a reply from Mark Johnson, Spokesperson, Environment Canada who wrote. .
We have seen many prominent scientific jobs cut, research funding slashed, and our ability to effectively do environmental assessment and management largely neutralized (see here, here and here). 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.
This piece is misinformed. No science programs were eliminated in the preparation of EC’s plans for the 2011/12 fiscal year.
The environment remains a priority for the Government of Canada. EC received funding in the 2011 budget for work in a number of important areas of science, including climate change and adaptation, protecting the environment and health from chemicals and improving water quality in the Great Lakes.
We will continue to ensure that Canadians have access to this data in order to support work on adaptation by specific communities and economic sectors.
EC is very proud of its strong science foundation and actively encourages its scientists to publish their work and to make their data publically available. This will continue.
Now Eli merely pointed out that
"No science programs were eliminated"
Some were cut pretty close to zero eh?
Doug went a step further and noted that there was a bit of inventiveness in Mr. Johnson
Insufficiently subtle, Mr. Johnson, your spin is tripping over its feet. Read carefully; you'll see that nowhere did the student refer to program elimination but instead mentioned specific cuts. Go slower, read more carefully
Indeed, as Ian Forrester linked to Nature
In a year that saw the first genuine 'ozone hole' appear in the Northern Hemisphere, atmospheric scientists say they are shocked to learn that Environment Canada, the country's environment agency, has decided to drastically reduce its ozone science and monitoring programme. . . .
The Canadian observation network comprises 17 stations — from London, Ontario, in the south to Alert in the high Arctic — which use several techniques to measure ozone (see 'The ozone network'). But atmospheric scientists and research institutes around the world, including Canada, Britain, Switzerland and Germany, have been told, informally, that the network will be shut down as early as this coming winter. This will be the end of in situ ozone measurements, including those made by balloons launched at least once a week from 11 of the stations. "This is devastating for the whole field," says Tom Duck, who conducts atmospheric research at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Environment Canada's ozone and radiation research group will also be substantially reduced as a result of staff cuts driven by financial constraints. A spokesman for the agency refused to confirm the cuts, saying merely that all government-funded programmes are currently being reviewed.
Guess who :) that spokesbeast was.
Staehelin adds that the Canadian agency has said it will no longer host the Toronto-based World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre, an archive of data collected over several decades and used intensively by atmospheric scientists around the world. "It appears that the management at Environment Canada was not fully aware of the consequences of its decision," says Staehelin. Last month, the agency notified its staff that a total of about 300 jobs will be cut.Mr. Johnson is whistleblower hunting lately looking for who talked to Nature. Maybe he can qualify for a job with Morano.