Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Gagging the Public Service Works for Harper

It's not your public service. You merely get to pay for it. It's Steve Harper's public service, at least that's how this petty tyrant sees it, and he'll decide what you hear from it and when.

Triplepundit.com has an interesting lament on how pathetic the G20 summit was when it came to the fight against global warming and it laid the blame for that squarely on Harper:


...Truth to tell, it’s just the latest salvo in Harper’s overall strategy to lock North America into a fossil fuel economy. And that’s because his tentative hold on power in Canadian politics requires him to serve the needs of his home province of Alberta and its Tar Sands.

As politicians go, Harper — who doesn’t believe in the science of climate change — is crafty. He’s managing to delay and derail international climate change policy on a grand scale even as he convinces Canadians that our country remains environmentally progressive.

How?

A recently leaked document from a source at Environment Canada (EC) shows that media stories on global warming are down by 80% in the Great White North since the Conservative government instituted rules in 2007 that curtail the ability of government scientists to speak with the reporters. The scientists must receive permission from government mandarins before giving interviews, and the approval process is often measured in days, if it comes at all. As a result, the country’s high-profile media, often facing quick deadlines, have stopped calling EC scientists.

Senior scientists in Canada are frustrated by the muzzles, and feel that Canadians are being kept in the dark about one of the most important issues facing the country. They have voiced their displeasure to the government communication officials, which appears to have resulted in an increasingly frosty relationship. As a result, four experts who were quoted in 99 major articles during a nine month period in in 2007 were only quoted in 12 articles during the same period in 2008.

“It’s definitely a scandal,” said Graham Saul, Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada. He added that the government was “muzzling scientists; they’re putting climate deniers in key oversight positions over research, and they’re reducing funding in key areas [...] It’s almost as though they’re making a conscious attempt to bury the truth.”

Now a shout out to all you Liberal faithful. Your own leader too is an avowed Tar Sander, a greasy Fossil Fueler through and through. He's got his nose so far up Harper's ass that they look like one hybrid creature. It's Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party of Canada who are empowering Harper, enabling him to govern as though he had a majority. It's because of your Leader and his feckless caucus that Harper can muzzle the civil service and the armed forces. You're making this miserable farce today's reality.

5 comments:

Cherniak_WTF said...

Couple your warning with this:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/120130?RS_show_page=0
(lots about Arctic drilling)
... expect disasters and mediocrity all around.

The Mound of Sound said...

Just curious, CWTF. What do you think is going to happen when the lid finally blows off this pressure cooker? The problems that our leaders ignore aren't going away. They're worsening, relentlessly. How will these parliamentary jesters explain away their indifference over all these years when they can no longer deny it?

Cherniak_WTF said...

I expect apathy.

While it may sound flippant, I think that the erosion of the middle class will lead to a less progressive society and world.
The adage that all politics are local is one that I believe (having campaigned door-to-door)...
When people are worried about their little day to day, do you think that they really care about the bigger picture?

There are so many interrelated issues that isolating one is often difficult.

When scandals and disasters happen, the public is quick to ask for a "fix" and move on...
We had tainted meat is Canada because Harper decided to let the industry police itself. The public got poisoned and many died but quickly turned to something else after reassurances that all would be okay. The problem is still there.

We can look at the BP oll spill. When the magnitude of the disaster was known, the "populace" asked for the government to fix it... How the hell is Obama supposed to be an expert in spill cleanup? Again, the problem was too lax of standards. While you cannot prevent all disasters, you can mitigate the chance by having proper standards in place.

Capitalism seems more about gaming the system than the free market. When you have corporate interests running the system for the most part, you can expect this kind of shit.


It is rare to find leaders that are not afraid to tackle problems, instead they prefer to deflect criticism with easy soundbytes and sheeple (that would be us) are content with letting the oligarchy in place - same as it ever was.

The Mound of Sound said...

If you're right, and I so hope you're wrong, then our democracy is gravely imperilled. The environmental degradation we're expecting in the course of this century will place enormous strains on every aspect of our civilization - economic, political, military, even social. As in every other shift, good or bad, there'll be opportunities available to be exploited - by some.

Call me paranoid but I've sometimes wondered whether the Right doesn't have a well thought out plan on how to manipulate environmental calamity. Sort of like Naomi Klein's "disaster capitalism" but on a national, even regional scale. If the worst of the global warming predictions come true, how much of a stretch would it be to see the Right really uniting in the US and Canada?

Cherniak_WTF said...

Sadly, if you read history, there has always been times like these. The only difference that I see is the magnitude of the upcoming disasters.

PNAC goals seemed rather farcical until they were put into action. So your "paranoia" may not be so farfetched.