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Muzzled Scientists = 80% Reduction in Media Coverage of Climate Change

Muzzled Scientists = 80% Reduction in Media Coverage of Climate Change

If you follow the news in Canada, you may mistakenly be under the impression that climate change is not as pressing an issue as it was five years ago.  Unfortunately, it is. However, since 2007, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been using a variety of control tactics to carefully craft and restrict the things that the media learns about his government. One of those tactics includes muzzling government scientists by preventing them from speaking to the media about the research that they are doing and their findings. The result: there has been an 80% reduction in media coverage of climate change issues since 2007.

Last year, as part of Right to Know Week, Kathryn O’Hara explained how the Harper government, which ran on a platform of transparency and accountability, has been muzzling government scientists and how the openness they promised “is being held ransom to media messages that serve the government’s political agenda.” O’Hara went on to explain the problem further:

The signs were there in spring last year, when press reports revealed that climate scientists in the government department Environment Canada were being stymied by Harper’s compulsive message control. Our researchers were prevented from sharing their work at conferences, giving interviews to journalists, and even talking about research that had already been published. Carefully researched reports intended for the public — Climate Change and Health, from Health Canada, and Climate Change Impacts, from Natural Resources Canada — were released without publicity, late on Friday afternoons, and appeared on government websites only after long delays. This is not a government that is comfortable with climate change or the implications for action, as its largely obstructionist stance at climate talks has shown.

This is only one example of many where federal government scientists have been prevented from speaking to the press. So it is no wonder that this week, when Environment Canada scientist David Tarasick was given a rare opportunity for a highly supervised and controlled conversation with the media about his work, that he took the opportunity to share his opinions frankly. Tarasick works in atmospheric monitoring and was advised this summer that his job could be cut or that funds could be taken away from their monitoring work.  Tarasick explained that:

If the taxpayer in his infinite wisdom were to give me 10 times the budget I have now, I think I could use all that money quite usefully and do good science with it. I don’t think we’re wasting a penny . . . Could we get by on less money? Well, we could do less with less money. We could do more with more money.

According to Postmedia News, officials at Environment Canada tried to limit the topics of discussion prior to the interview with Tarasick, saying that he would not answer questions about potential cuts to the ozone monitoring network. Additionally, according to Environment Canada, spokeswoman Renee David intervened and tried to prevent Tarasick from answering some questions during the interview. When Tarasick was asked about the government’s previous efforts to keep him from speaking about his work, she said: “David is here and available to speak to you now, so I think that’s kind of a moot point.” However, Tarasick chose to answer the question, adding “Well I’m available when media relations says I’m available. I have to go through them.”

Canada already has a poor reputation as a result of its inaction on climate change. Muzzling government scientists isn’t going to change that reputation, but it may legitimately hinder the public’s ability to be engaged in the process of reducing harm, both through personal action and through their votes.

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7:35PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

(continued)

As the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party of Canada looks more and more to the right-wing of the political spectrum in the United States for models of how to win and maintain power, the integrity of Canada’s own indigenous institutions of self-governance is increasingly imperiled. ...

7:08PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

(continued - you really might want to read this at source, right through.)

As shall be established in the main body of this essay, the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 in the United States are both textbook examples of systemic fraud that ushered into power the losing candidate. Many of the tactics for cheating developed primarily on the right wing of the political spectrum in the United States are being broadly exported. The evidence is mounting, for instance, that the unfolding controversy over the conduct and outcome of the 2011 federal election in Canada involves violations of the law by operatives who seem to have moved easily between the orbit of the Republican Party in the United States and the orbit of the Conservative Party in Canada.

The importation into Canada of Republican Party tactics for stealing votes and elections is an extension of a very old process that has seen the constitutional monarchy in the northern half of North America assimilated more and more into the political culture of the republic to the south. This process of assimilation tends to wreak havoc on Canada’s institutions of parliamentary democracy derived primarily from the Westminster Parliament in Great Britain.

As the leadership of the ruling Conservative Party of Canada looks more and more to the right-wing of the political spectrum in the United States for models of how to win and maintain power, the integrity of Canada’s own indigenous institutions of self-govern

7:07PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=30447


CANADA: Fixing Elections Through Fraud
On the Need for a Royal Commission on Electoral Practices in Canada

By Anthony J. Hall

Global Research, April 21, 2012
Veterans Today

The declining credibility of elections in many countries is creating a crisis of legitimacy severing bonds of trust that once linked citizens to the institutions that govern us. Without credible proof that those governing on our behalf really have earned our supportive consent in free and fair elections, one of humanity’s greatest innovations is rendered null and void.

The implications of this breakdown put in doubt one of the West’s premier claims, namely that its core polities are beacons of democracy worthy of emulation. The democratic deficit arising from episodes of electoral malfeasance makes a mockery of the West’s frequent assertions that its expansionary enterprises are benign efforts to spread the benefits of governance through voter choice rather than the armed impositions of autocrats.

6:44AM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

We are murdering our planet, thus ourselves.

no brainer......................... DUH!

6:48AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

Please you can get anyone to say anything for a Buck, it's already proven that oil criminals have bought off the scientists. Anyone thinking Climate change is a hoax should be the first to buy the farm, it isn't rocket science it is real and ya need to take your head out of your rectum and you will see it. Do research, ah the heck with ya you get what you deserve

6:47AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

Please you can get anyone to say anything for a Buck, it's already proven that oil criminals have bought off the scientists. Anyone thinking Climate change is a hoax should be the first to buy the farm, it isn't rocket science it is real and ya need to take your head out of your rectum and you will see it. Do research, ah the heck with ya you get what you deserve

6:40AM PST on Dec 14, 2011

Progressive Conservatives are nothing more then the Mafia, Criminals that is what they are. I have never voted for these goofs and never will the other criminal parties are Liberal and NDP. So there is a total of three Criminal parties in Canada. When the planet has had enough of the human species that should be it for him, and people won't even be aware of whats happening. An I thought the freedom of speech was in the Charter, but I guess when you put a dictator in power you get what you get. If only Canadian's had some intelligence and realized what was happening but they can't stop think of themselves.

9:38AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

Corporations and governments are lip to lip -- until we change that situation, truth will be muzzled.

8:15AM PST on Nov 6, 2011

yeah, all Conservative governments are like that..

3:31PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

I didn't vote for Harper. Who let him in?

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