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Harper continues to embarrass Canada by muzzling scientists


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The Harper Government's continued muzzling of scientists has attracted the attention of the New York Times editorial board

Over the last few years, the government of Canada — led by Stephen Harper — has made it harder and harder for publicly financed scientists to communicate with the public and with other scientists.

The Harper policy seems designed to make sure that the tar sands project proceeds quietly, with no surprises, no bad news, no alarms from government scientists. To all the other kinds of pollution the tar sands will yield, we must now add another: the degradation of vital streams of research and information.

What will it take before Canadians start to notice what buffoons make up our federal government?

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as you highlight, it is from the NYT Editorial Board... not an op-ed piece. It would have been more complete for the article to have included reference to the Harper Conservative "enemies of the state" labeling they attached to persons/organizations challenging 'unsustainable' tarsands development, pipelines, unbalanced government ties to industry versus the environment, etc., ... one that must extend to, I guess, scientists who might be so bold as to be critical of the Harper Conservative scientific muzzling!

not to diminish from the thrust of the editorial, but lately, the NYT can't seem to decide what firm position it wants to take... and hold... on climate change. I'm willing to accept that some of that stems from earlier decisions they made in cutting back on the depth/quality of their science-based writers. In any case... also an NYT editorial from today - "An Important Step on Global Warming", highlighting the clear distinction between Harper and Obama. As much as Harper outright abrogated to Obama/the U.S., any independent Conservative responsibility for setting and meeting Canadian emission reduction targets/commitments, we now see Harper Conservatives facing the reality of their own design. In recent weeks we've seen Harper, on his apparent own initiative (one that Energy Minister Oliver didn't even know about), attempt to sway Obama in approving the Keystone pipeline - by offering Obama a Canadian commitment to emission reductions, albeit the level/degree of that commitment was not forthcoming in the related media coverage. Might this latest move by Obama (albeit coal and new plant targeted), be a measuring bar... one that might reflect upon a need for Harper Conservatives to finally step-up and commit meaningful attention to forcing industry to deal with tarsands emissions?

On Friday, in a move that has already caused dismay in industry and among Congressional Republicans, the Obama administration proposed the first-ever federal limits on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, which account for nearly 40 percent of the greenhouse gases America contributes to a gradually warming climate.

The move, the first in a suite of executive actions on climate change promised by President Obama in June, is a welcome sign of his determination to move ahead on his own authority and bypass a Congress whose interest in tackling global warming is virtually nil.

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It's really simple. Want to make public statements on your own work? Go to work for yourself. Want to work for the government? STFU and do what you're told. Government employees don't speak about their work publicly, and they don't speak for the government, UNLESS that is specifically the job they've been assigned.

If you can't handle that, seriously, just leave. Obviously, you're not cut out for government work.

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STFU and do what you're told.

:D otherwise... you're a Harper Conservative "enemy of the state"!

Government employees don't speak about their work publicly, and they don't speak for the government, UNLESS that is specifically the job they've been assigned.

your principal premise: scientists explaining science/research to media personnel are setting or commenting on government policy! You're improperly correlating science to government policy.

your principal concern: scientists explaining science/research to media will/may provide inconvenient facts that draw into question, and/or outright counter, Harper Conservative government spin/policy!

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We all know the reality of the gas and oil industry and that they have Harper in their pockets fulling their wallets , just like some Candians who have investments in the gas and oil industry, which includes MP's and PM,especially if they are from Alberta. The Tories are still trying to get the First Nation on board and I don't think they could buy their way in, on the other hand, can the gas and oil industry buy their way in the US. ANYONE and I mean anyone going against this industry is automatic an enemy to this group. They don't car about the environment, just he mighty dollar and there is no pipeline that won't leak down the road, that has been proven over and over.

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It's really simple. Want to make public statements on your own work? Go to work for yourself. Want to work for the government? STFU and do what you're told. Government employees don't speak about their work publicly, and they don't speak for the government, UNLESS that is specifically the job they've been assigned.

If you can't handle that, seriously, just leave. Obviously, you're not cut out for government work.

Well said!!!
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We all know the reality of the gas and oil industry and that they have Harper in their pockets fulling their wallets , just like some Candians who have investments in the gas and oil industry, which includes MP's and PM,especially if they are from Alberta. The Tories are still trying to get the First Nation on board and I don't think they could buy their way in, on the other hand, can the gas and oil industry buy their way in the US. ANYONE and I mean anyone going against this industry is automatic an enemy to this group. They don't car about the environment, just he mighty dollar and there is no pipeline that won't leak down the road, that has been proven over and over.

Gas and oil pays for your health care, education, etc.

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It's really simple. Want to make public statements on your own work? Go to work for yourself. Want to work for the government? STFU and do what you're told. Government employees don't speak about their work publicly, and they don't speak for the government, UNLESS that is specifically the job they've been assigned.

If you can't handle that, seriously, just leave. Obviously, you're not cut out for government work.

Aka 'Shut up and be a good slave'....

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It's really simple. Want to make public statements on your own work? Go to work for yourself. Want to work for the government? STFU and do what you're told. Government employees don't speak about their work publicly, and they don't speak for the government, UNLESS that is specifically the job they've been assigned.

If you can't handle that, seriously, just leave. Obviously, you're not cut out for government work.

You have no idea what scientists and researchers do, eh? A big part of their job is knowledge transmission. They do research and their job is to communicate the findings of that research. The government is controlling what research gets communicated and what doesn't. Is that the kind of government you want? One that picks and chooses what science gets talked about and what science doesn't? Are you still ok with that when it's a socialist government?

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Welcome to the New Science of the Harper Government, where he who pays the piper calls the tune. That's just the kind of rigorous scientific research I want. The kind where scientists are paid to come to the conclusions that the financiers want them to come to. I wouldn't expect anything less from a government that belongs to the Adolf Hitler school of PR when they're on the news circuit:

"But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success."
Edited by cybercoma
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So the government pays for some scientific studies to be done and if it doesn't like the results, you're cool with them just throwing the research in the garbage? You know that's not how science works, right?

The research doesn't get thrown in the garbage. You're presenting false choices. Anyways, no country in the world allows for the release of research without approval. No country.

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Anyways, no country in the world allows for the release of research without approval. No country.

citation request

what's really being discussed here is the simple stifling of information transfer from government scientists when approached/initiated by media personnel. It isn't necessarily scientists seeking out media, or scientists wanting to publish findings on their own volition. In fact, this Harper Conservative action does rise to the level of overt censorship of the simple, basic, and fundamental need to educate media personnel - media personnel who, in turn, obviously attempt to inform the general public.

the following quote from Harper Conservative Minister, Joe Oliver, is a real hoot! :lol: It's his response to the OP's reference to the New York Times article:

Neither I nor any member of my political staff have ever directed scientists not communicate with each other or with the public, nor, to my knowledge, has any member of my ministry

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The research doesn't get thrown in the garbage. You're presenting false choices. Anyways, no country in the world allows for the release of research without approval. No country.

I doubt research is thrown in the garbage.

What gov’t doesn’t control information, I suspect a lot of this is exaggeration, ince the narrative starts it doesn’t stop.

If people don’t like working for the gov’t and agreeing to confidentiality they shouldn’t work for the gov’t. They should quit and work somewhere where they can talk about classified information.

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What gov’t doesn’t control information, I suspect a lot of this is exaggeration, ince the narrative starts it doesn’t stop.

how trite! Exaggeration doesn't rise to the level of this media attention... one that includes full details on example, after example, after example of Harper Conservative government interference, intervention, obstacle setting, outright suppression, threats, etc. Scenarios that include foreign scientists offering reservations on working with Canadian government scientists given the situation where Canadians, as leads, are not permitted to speak to the media. Scenarios that include editorials from major scientific journals decrying the Harper Conservative stifling of scientists. Scenarios that include journalist organizations commenting on the Harper Conservative stifling of scientists. Scenarios that include Parliament Hill protests from hundreds of scientists. And, fitting in line to the Harper Conservative tailoring of research funding to emphasize commercial applications, international commentary on extensions of the Harper Conservative stifling... as in outright budget cuts to internationally renowned Canadian led (multi-national) scientific efforts, etc., etc., etc.

ya, ya... it's all one big exaggeration!!! :lol:

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It's really simple. Want to make public statements on your own work? Go to work for yourself. Want to work for the government? STFU and do what you're told. Government employees don't speak about their work publicly, and they don't speak for the government, UNLESS that is specifically the job they've been assigned.

If you can't handle that, seriously, just leave. Obviously, you're not cut out for government work.

Pretty much... well said

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Welcome to the New Science of the Harper Government, where he who pays the piper calls the tune. That's just the kind of rigorous scientific research I want. The kind where scientists are paid to come to the conclusions that the financiers want them to come to. I wouldn't expect anything less from a government that belongs to the Adolf Hitler school of PR when they're on the news circuit:

Pretty much... well said :lol:

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Hmmm... I could think of some when it comes to 'global warming'... however, I'm not convinced that everything the media reports is true or entirely accurate. However, I still think that if they really don't like adhering to a confidentiality agreement they should work somewhere else.

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Hmmm... I could think of some when it comes to 'global warming'...

your lack of displayed knowledge/understanding within GW/CC related threads speaks to any assessment you might have concerning presumptions on "exaggerations" made by government of Canada scientists. Don't hesitate to highlight examples - sure you can!

however, I'm not convinced that everything the media reports is true or entirely accurate. However, I still think that if they really don't like adhering to a confidentiality agreement they should work somewhere else.

the many, many examples of Harper Conservative interference, intrusion, stifling, etc., are quite detailed - I've not read any challenge to the veracity of the details provided. If you have such countering understanding, you should step beyond your personal convincing level and provide support/citation for your questioning the accuracy of, as you say, "media reports".

this has little to no bearing on confidentiality agreements. This has nothing to do with the fundamental interference by Harper Conservatives in the knowledge transfer of science to the media... and, in turn, to the general public. I keep reading this prattle concerning confidentiality agreements! In the public vein, in relation to taxpayers supporting government initiatives, what type of science knowledge transfer to media/public could be so fundamentally requiring the need for absolute Harper Conservative imposed confidentially?

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y what type of science knowledge transfer to media/public could be so fundamentally requiring the need for absolute Harper Conservative imposed confidentially?

Actually this I could get behind. I have no issues with confidentiality so long as it can be stated what the confidentiality is in regards to. Simply state "we cannot release the research at this time because we are negotiating economic development deals and the results could positively/negatively affect the outcome."

At least we then know the pragmatic reasoning rather than the blind ideological faith we as the public are supposed to maintain now.

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