Canadian scientists accuse govt of using junk science to prop up pipeline

Dave Ng sez, "The Canadian government is poised to once again abhor evidence-based decision making. 300 scientists have looked over the Joint Review Panel Report that is being used to push forward the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project have concluded that it 'has so many systemic errors and omissions, we can only consider it a failure.'"

Read the rest

Chronology of the Canadian Conservative government's war on science


No government in Canadian history has been as hostile to science as Stephen Harper's Conservatives. John Dupuis has assembled a brief, brutal chronology of the ways that the Tories have attacked Canadian science. It's no coincidence that this government is so hostile to science, seeing as how its funding and grassroots support come from the tar sands and related Big Oil interests, who want as little known as possible about the impact of their dirty industry on the planet we all share.

This is a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end. It is a government that fundamentally doesn’t believe in science. It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment.

As is occasionally my habit, I have pulled together a chronology of sorts. It is a chronology of all the various cuts, insults, muzzlings and cancellations that I’ve been able to dig up. Each of them represents a single shot in the Canadian Conservative war on science. It should be noted that not every item in this chronology, if taken in isolation, is necessarily the end of the world. It’s the accumulated evidence that is so damning.

The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment (Thanks, John!)

(Image: US Tar Sands exploratory mission, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from beforeitstarts's photostream)

Best-of Canadian Conservative government blunders for 2012


Dave sez,

This little blog is my attempt to keep track of all of the comings and goings of Canada's Conservative government. Every week I spend an hour or two putting together a weekly round-up of the bad things done by the Conservatives in the name of "fiscal responsibility" and "family values". Honestly, there's always so much material to work with that it practically writes itself. I figured it would take no time at all to put together a nice little list of my favourite Conservative moments/people/events of 2012. But there was just so very much to work with I very quickly became sad, angry, confused, overwhelmed and then sad, all over again. There's a few holes and a few things missing, but this list should provide a nice little primer for anybody that wants to know about the fantastic accomplishments of Canada's Government in 2012! Highlights include:

- A Conservative MP who keeps falling asleep at work and then gets really angry when people ask him about it
- An incompetent energy company attempting to hack a pipeline through the wilderness of British Columbia
- A Conservative Minister who attempted to destroy Internet privacy but threw a hissy fit when the details of his divorce were made public (spoiler: he may-or-may-not have slept with the babysitter!)

24 Percent Majority: 2012 Best Of - Week 87 - Dec 25-Jan 1 (Thanks, Dave!)

Rohinton Mistry's fairy-tale about Canadian neocons


Much-loved Canadian novelist Rohinton Mistry delivered the convocation speech to graduates at Ryerson University in Toronto, in the form of a fairy-tale based on A Christmas Carol, by way of a critique of the Canadian swing to a neoconservative right, where social spending exists only to promote "moochers" and society is a fight between bad guys (who need to be surveilled all the time in every medium) and good guys (who don't mind being surveilled in such a way), and where no amount of "security" is ever enough.

The Globe and Mail has a transcript and an (unembeddable) video, which is rather good.

The pair flew on. The professor spotted a Ferris wheel by the water’s edge. “Aha, an amusement park. This enlightened Acadan provides well.”

“I’m afraid things are not what they seem. Navigating the warp and weft of time, we’ve now arrived in a different version of Acadan. This place is the result of greed, vanity, sycophancy and ideology.”

“All because of a Ferris wheel?”

“That’s what it used to be, before it was converted into a Snipers’ Wheel. Part of the security apparatus of this world-class city. It not only revolves, it rotates, giving it a 360-degree view, horizon to horizon, clear sight-lines for marksmen. Comes in handy when world leaders hold summits to make the world a safer place. Every street can be targeted accurately, curfews enforced to perfection – pepper spray is so yesterday in this town.”

The professor felt a shiver run down his spine. “How did things come to such a pass?”

“It’s always a function of microscopic increments in citizen apathy. But you ain’t seen nothing yet. B-b-baby, you ain’t seen n-n-nothing yet.”

The comments on the Globe's website are like a parody of Canadian right wing anti-intellectualism: "We do not live a a poetic world anymore ... if we ever did ... we need straight talk and logic. Leave this pansy prose to the less-motivated, self-important mooches, the rest of us need to get on with purging those who chose the 'trough' and getting our a$$es out of debt;" "What a load of left wing garbage! No better than the babble of some Hollywood actor with outlandish pretensions!"

Gravy trains for the masses and Rohinton Mistry’s other visions for the Class of 2012 (via MeFi)

(A couple of caveats: The video linked above auto-plays and starts with a short ad, though it's quite good once you get past that. Also you'll likely get a bunch of errors from the Globe and Mail's website, which uses an improper TLS certificate)