Dedicated to the Restoration of Progressive Democracy
Thursday, November 18, 2010
"This is Canada, Not Zimbabwe..."
That was the reaction from prominent U Vic climate scientist Andrew Weaver to the Conservative Senate sabotage of climate-change legislation.
It ticks off Weaver that Harper, having been voted in on a promise to do away with the unelected Senate, instead packed the institution with ill-informed patronage appointments (" Mike Duffy, climate scientist extraordinaire" ) who waited until 15 opposition members were absent before defeating, without debate, a bill that had already been OK'd by the elected arm of Parliament.
The UVic climatologist, sputtering words like " unbelievable" and " dictator" and " shocking affront to democracy," says he hopes the opposition will force Harper's minority government to fall. " He's got to get kicked out. This is Canada, not Zimbabwe . . . or maybe it is.
" It's all about not wanting to do anything about the issue," Weaver says of the Senate sabotage. It's about pandering to the oil industry, to the Conservatives' Alberta power base.
Weaver had a lot of time for Jim Prentice, who quit as Harper's environment minister this month to take a job in banking. Prentice understood the issues, but couldn't get past the wilful ignorance of the Flat Earth Society at his own cabinet table, Weaver says. "The level of scientific illiteracy in the Harper government is mind-boggling."
" Climate scientists are a collective Noah," Weaver says. They have done their job, given the evidence to the politicians — only to be ignored. Weaver, the author of Keeping Cool: Canada in a Warming World, also had a key role when the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its report in 2007. People like him must be tempted to throw their hands in the air and walk away, particularly when constantly challenged by the half-informed.