Politics, Nature and the Censoring of Science in CanadaPosted: January 16, 2014 Filed under: Books, Canadian Rockies, Newfoundland, Water | Tags: Alberta, Canada, Canadian Conservative Party, Canadian government, censorship, Conservative Party, environmental science, environmental scientists, fisheries and oceans, nature, Newfoundland, oil, pipelines, politics, science, science libraries, scientists 2 Comments
Science: The systematic study of the nature and behaviour of the material and physical universe, based on observation, experiment, and measurement, and the formulation of laws to describe these facts in general terms. — Collins English Dictionary
I never go through a day without thinking, at some point, about the destruction of nature in the world and the efforts to halt that destruction and restore natural areas. You’ll likely have heard that the Canadian Conservative Party, who are in power now, sees oil extraction and pipeline building as priorities for the country’s prosperity. At the same time, they have fired publically employed environmental scientists, cancelled whole projects and prohibited public scientists from speaking about their findings without first being vetted so that they are “on message.”
Recently the government has closed a series of science libraries connected with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. They say this is to consolidate information, digitize it and save money. Apparently, however, a government email has surfaced that speaks of culling the information and lists the savings as around $440,000. This may be a lot of money for most of us, but it is quite a low saving for a federal budget. In the last few weeks, researchers have discovered that materials from the closed libraries, some with records dating back a century, are being destroyed. A photograph showing books and papers in a dumpster has appeared online. I find this deeply troubling.
My own belief is that these destructive actions toward environmental scientists and scientific information speak to the Conservatives’ desire to withhold knowledge (inconvenient truths) of our eco systems from citizens. Not only can destroying knowledge have destructive consequences for our health and wellbeing in Canada and beyond, but it is deeply undemocratic.
I’m writing about this today to do my small part in spreading the word and to say there can be no justification, financial or otherwise, for destroying knowledge or for censoring the messengers. I’ve added a few links if you’re interested in reading further. Plus some photos of the beauty of nature in Canada.
Political Drama, Sombre Thoughts & Ordinary BeautyPosted: November 29, 2012 Filed under: Animal Life, Plant Life, Toronto | Tags: beauty, Canada, clouds, natural world, nature, Ontario, pigeons, politics, sky, Toronto, trees Leave a comment
Earlier this week in Toronto, our mayor was ordered out of office by a judge who found him guilty of conflict of interest. The mayor is going to appeal the decision, so we’ll see what next unfolds in this political drama.
Out on my rambles, I contemplate political turmoil and photograph the sky, the patterns of the bare branches, the late fall gardens and pigeons in flight. Often my thoughts turn to the times we live in, where so much of the natural world is in peril, threatening all our health and lives. Both the wonder and the terribleness of life are present every day. As much as I can, I like to be open to ordinary beauty, while not denying that the peril exists.
Today, I’m including photos I’ve taken both in recent weeks and earlier this week. And, after lunch, I’ll be out on a walk again.