A wire dispatch suggests the move illustrates the Harper government’s intention to seize control of a politically charged issue by wresting it away from bureaucrats. The Climate Change Policy Directorate, a working group that has played a key role in shaping policy, has been eliminated by Environment Canada.
There is news tonight that Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister of the Environment has, filled her Chief of Staff position with one of the Conservative Party's more controversial figures, Dr. Darrel Reid. The post has sat vacant for more than 3 months after it was vacated by former Chief of Staff, Daniel Bernier, allegedly over differing views between him and Ambrose on the Kyoto Protocol.
Filling his place will be Dr. Darrel Reid, who has very little, if any, experience in the area of the environment, but a great deal in the area of political controversy. For background information on Reid, a former Conservative Party election candidate and President of Focus on the Family (Canada), see here, here, here, here and here.
With regret, nowhere do we find any background in environmental policy or climate change in Dr. Reid's dossier.
With stunning disregard for a decade's worth of scientific research in the area of climate change, Environment Canada has added this paragraph to their public discussion of the Greenhouse Effect:
“There is a great deal of uncertainty associated with climate predictions and, although temperature changes during this century are consistent with global warming predictions, they remain within the range of natural variability.”
Uncertainty is a reliable feature of climate science, but the statement that temperature changes during this century “remain within the range of natural variability” is decidedly and verfiably false. This represents a flagrant misrepresentation and politicization of science.
The Union of Concerned Scientists addresses the question thusly:
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.