What We Don’t Know Will Hurt Us
So, apparently the Conservative government’s deep cuts to Environment Canada are leading to the cancellation of an important monitoring project on the ozone layer over the Arctic.
The British journal Nature says scientists and research institutes around the world have been informally told the Canadian network will be shut down as early as this winter putting an end to continuous ozone measurements that go back 45 years.
He and his international colleagues say they’ve been told the network and a related data archive will be closed down as part of the Harper government’s deep cuts at Environment Canada where hundreds of jobs are being are eliminated.
This project provides a significant amount of the data climate scientists use to monitor the ozone layer over the Arctic and recent years have seen it declining. Climate science requires a team effort by nations all around the world. Canada can’t pull away a dataset like this with so little warning and with no alternative.
This would be like us pulling out of a military operation with two weeks notice when we provided some core service no one else can perform. Imagination the Conservative cries over that. But science takes just as much coordination and the implications are just as large. The less we know about how our climate is changing the less we can prepare for it and help people deal with it. Getting things wrong about climate change will impact the future health of Canadians and people all around the world.
It reminds me of the Long Form Census kerfuffle last year, or the firing of the head of the nuclear safety commission before that. This government just doesn’t value data and science. It seems like the idea is that the less you know the less you can ask hard questions, because all the answers are unknowable.
That’s no way to run a country.