Canada’s Idea of Working on Climate Change Means Muzzling Climate Scientists, Closing Research Stations and Cutting Funding

“This government is doing nothing on climate but they always make sure to sound like they’re doing something to fool Canadians.” — John Bennett, Sierra Club of Canada

By Stephen Leahy

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Mar 16, 2010 (IPS)

Canada’s climate researchers are being muzzled, their funding slashed, research stations closed, findings ignored and advice on the critical issue of the century unsought by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, according to a 40-page report by a coalition of 60 non-governmental organisations.

“This government says they take climate change seriously but they do nothing and try to hide the truth about climate change,” said Graham Saul, representing Climate Action Network Canada (CAN), which produced the report “Troubling Evidence”.

“We want Canadians to understand what’s going on with this government,” Saul told IPS.

Climate change is not an abstract concept. It already results in the deaths of 300,000 people a year, virtually all in the world’s poorest countries. Some 325 million people are being seriously affected, with economic losses averaging 125 billion dollars a year, according to “The Anatomy of a Silent Crisis“, the first detailed look at climate change and the human impacts.

Released last fall by the Geneva-based Global Humanitarian Forum, the report notes that these deaths and losses are not just from the rise in severe weather events but mainly from the gradual environmental degradation due to climate change.

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“People everywhere deserve to have leaders who find the courage to achieve a solution to this crisis,” writes Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary-general and president of the Forum, in the report.

Canadians are unlikely to know any of this. Continue reading