With Earth Day tomorrow, it's a great reminder that environmental policy in Canada has been stuck in a rut for the last eight years, coincidentally the same amount of time that Stephen Harper has been Prime Minister. One of the people that took notice was writer and journalist Chris Turner, who last year released a fairly scathing tome on the subject of Canada's government and the environment called The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper's Canada. For the latest episode of the Guelph Politicast, I got a chance to take to Turner from his home in Alberta to talk about the War on Science, what it means for the general public, and what it will take to make it an election issue in 2015.
Synopsis of The War on Science:
A passionate and meticulously researched argument against the Harper government's war on science.
In this arresting and passionately argued indictment, award-winning journalist Chris Turner argues that Stephen Harper's attack on basic science, science communication, environmental regulations, and the environmental NGO community is the most vicious assault ever waged by a Canadian government on the fundamental principles of the Enlightenment. From the closure of Arctic research stations as oil drilling begins in the High Arctic to slashed research budgets in agriculture, dramatic changes to the nation's fisheries policy, and the muzzling of government scientists, Harper's government has effectively dismantled Canada's long-standing scientific tradition.
Drawing on interviews with scientists whose work has been halted by budget cuts and their colleagues in an NGO community increasingly treated as an enemy of the state, The War on Science paints a vivid and damning portrait of a government that has abandoned environmental stewardship and severed a national commitment to the objective truth of basic science as old as Canada itself.
Information on Chris Turner:
Chris Turner is an author, speaker and strategist, providing Canada’s authoritative voice on sustainability and the global cleantech boom. He’s the author of The War on Science, and the bestsellers, The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need and The Great Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy where he sheds light on the global sustainability movement. His reporting on energy, climate and sustainability issues appears regularly in The Walrus, The Globe & Mail, Canadian Geographic and many other publications.
You can stream the episode here, or download it from the source here.
The theme music for Guelph Politicast is "Volksing Ferretismico" by Goto80 and the Uwe Schenk Band from Silent Movie Pianos 1 - Action and Marches.