MP Colin Mayes tells us that Arctic ice has made a comeback, temperatures have returned to normal lows, and public concern about vanishing Arctic ice is “just a knee-jerk reaction to a cyclical spike in temperature over the past couple of decades.” (‘Government protects Arctic environment,’ Shuswap Market News, April 12).
Canadians should be concerned that the Harper government refuses to believe what virtually every accredited climate scientist in the world believes: – that climate change is real and that humans are contributing to it by burning fossil fuels.
Of even greater concern is that the Harper government is intent on preventing Canadians from accessing information that disagrees with its views.
Scientists working for the federal government report that they are being muzzled, and many federally-funded research programs that contribute to international knowledge about the impacts of climate change are being shut down.
For example, the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Lab in Nunavut, which tracks ozone depletion, air quality and climate change in the High Arctic, was shut down last year. The National Roundtable on the Economy and Environment was also axed, and Environment Minister Peter Kent has recently taken steps to bury its research.
Now the 45-year-old Experimental Lakes Laboratory has been shut down, ending several important studies, including one that focused on changes to lakes and their fish populations in the drier conditions that are predicted as a result of climate change.
Recently, the World Bank and a coalition of the world’s largest investors warned that unless radical measures to halt global greenhouse gas emissions are put in place without delay, the world will face runaway climate change, with the collapse of entire ecosystems and the loss of trillions of dollars in investments and retirement savings.
Mr. Harper speaks endlessly about the importance of the economy, but fails to grasp the fact that economic prosperity depends on a safe-climate world. Canadians have reason to be deeply concerned.