The opposition and other leftists are quick to accuse the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper of ignoring science and experts inside and outside of government in pursuit Conservative political objectives. They are such hypocrites.
It is many of these same leftists who refuse to accept science and expert findings when it suits them. Take the following recent examples:
First, this past week, the federal government downgraded North Pacific humpback whales protection from “threatened” to “species of special concern.” This announcement was met with a broadside of accusations and objections.
Karen Wristen, executive director of the environmental group Living Oceans Society, suggested the decision to downgrade the whale’s protection at this time “has absolutely no basis in science and is simply a political move to clear the way to approve the pipeline.”
Really? “[H]as absolutely no basis in science?” Why then are humpback whale conservationists applauding Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government for its reclassification?
Marine biologist Jane Watson has devoted her career to the ecology and conservation of marine mammals and was a member in 2012 “…of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), the independent group of experts that assesses species at risk of extinction and recommends action to the federal government. Three years ago, the group recommended downlisting [sic] the North Pacific humpback whale’s status from ‘threatened’ to ‘special concern,’ reflecting positive strides in population numbers.” (Source: www.thestar.com)
Secondly, we have the recent announcement by Elections Canada regarding so-called “robocalls.” According to Elections Canada’s website,
The Commissioner [Yves Cote] has concluded that, following a thorough investigation by his Office, the evidence is not sufficient to provide reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed.”
Yves Cote’s findings were formally reviewed by former Supreme Court Justice Louise Charron, who wrote:
I will start with the ultimate conclusion reached by the investigative team that there are no grounds to believe that an offence under the Canada Elections Act or the Criminal Code has been committed in relation to the complaints outside the electoral district of Guelph. In my view, this conclusion is amply supported by the evidence.”
After such definitive, unambiguous statements by these experts, the leftists are still banging on about how Elections Canada couldn’t do its job properly and that it needs more powers—in fact some are insisting they be given more power than any police force in Canada.
Thirdly, there are the cases of Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline and the U.S. portion of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. These projects are opposed by environmentalists and other leftists because they believe it will advance development of Canada’s strategic Alberta oil sands, a prospect they loathe. Coal-fired electricity production in the United States emits 33 times more than all the oil sands put together, yet Americans are spending tens of millions on both sides of the border to prevent additional pipeline capacity and, thereby, embargoing further oil sands production.
A Canadian federal panel held hearings for more than a year throughout Alberta and B.C., listening to issues raised and information submitted by a number of people, including business leaders, environmental and aboriginal groups and members of the public. That panel determined the Northern Gateway pipeline should be approved if the company meets 209 technical, environmental and social conditions.
On the U.S. side of the border, the Keystone XL pipeline has been the most intensely scrutinized pipeline proposal in American history. Stopping the pipeline would not stop Canada from developing the oil sands because, as the State Department found, the oil would be sent to the east, west and even to the north to get it to market. Therefore, Keystone XL could not “significantly exacerbate” greenhouse gas emissions, which was President Barack Obama’s previously stated requirement for approval. Pretty much, this pipeline has been green-lighted at every turn except final approval by President Obama.
But the environmentalists and other leftists ignore the scientists and experts who have given an OK to the pipeline. Somehow the Alberta oil sands has become a target of the left and has no place in their worldview. Irrational? Yes, but they believe they have a monopoly on what is right and that’s an end to that.
To be valid, it seems science must fit the worldview of the Left.