Harper snubs IPCC Scientists; Shoots Self in Foot

Sun, 2008-02-17 15:50Jim Hoggan
Jim Hoggan's picture

Harper snubs IPCC Scientists; Shoots Self in Foot

The Harper government did itself an injury this week when it boycotted a celebration for the Nobel Prize-winning scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The reception, on Parliament Hill last Tuesday, was hosted by the Swedish Ambassador and featured speeches from all party leaders save Prime Minister Stephen Harper. As Green Party leader Elizabeth May noted, this was a petty snub:

“When your fellow countrymen win the Nobel Peace Prize, you rise above the fact that you didn't like their advice,” May said.

Consider, as well, that U.S. President George Bush DID rise above his own political inclinations when he welcomed IPCC Nobel laureates to the White House last year and you might well agree that Prime Minister Harper is being particularly graceless by refusing to acknowledge these scientists and the quality of their contribution.

But this is more than a question of bad manners. Where the fortunes of his own part are concerned, the Prime Minister continues to be out of step with Canadians on the issue of global warming. Eighty per cent of Canadians are on record as saying that they trust the IPCC scientists on climate change. More than one-third of respondents told the Globe and Mail last year that they think global warming is the biggest threat facing humankind. As the Prime Minister works to manoeuvre the Opposition into forcing a spring election, you would think that he (like his U.S. counterpart) would make an effort to at least appear as if he was taking this issue seriously.

Last week, he did not, and he embarrassed himself and the country in the process. We can only hope that he notices soon how far off the beaten track his party is on global warming - that he takes a close look at where Canadians want to go on this issue and then rushes back to the front of the parade. It seems clear enough that we cannot expect leadership from this administration, but we'd settle for cooperation.

Comments

I would just as soon that he continue to show his true colours, rather than have him bluff his way back into power with a majority by paying lip service to the issue and then fell back into his old form. It is pretty obvious that even if he starts making concessions, his political will will never be fully behind the kind of measures that are required. We don't have the time to spend four more years dragging this fellow kicking & screaming out of a state of denial.

Fern Mackenzie

I dare say, the Harper gov't seems unpatriotic in this article. Celebrating positive Canadian contributions seems to be an important angle for them on other issues, but not regarding the natural sciences I guess.

I guess celebrating positive Canadian contributions, is good as long as the contributions are meant to make rich people richer.

After all, US Republicans also think that the Nobel Prize has zero credibility whatsoever, except when it's given to James "I discovered DNA and I say Africans are stupid" Watson, in which case it suddenly becomes definitive proof that he is great.

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Frank Bi, http://zompower.tk/

They should have promised to take lots of pictures of Harper with the scientists and to hang the pictures of him with scientists on all the walls at Environment Canada. It's all about him, you know.

I used to speak up for Stephen, regarding him a thinker and a gentleman. I think his behaviour in this is not becoming either status.

I have had a low opinion of him for a long time; and I think this was entirely in character for him.

"I used to speak up for Stephen, regarding him a thinker and a gentleman. I think his behaviour in this is not becoming either status."

Oh, man. There's a lost endorsement that's really going to hurt the Conservatives. What will they ever do to win back the aging faux-hippy multimillionaire Internet gambling money-laundering plea-copping Saltspring Island fruitcake demographic?

While trolls like Rob exemplify the Harper Conservatives; liars, smear artists, anti-science, non-thinkers, non-gentlemen, incompetent, living in their la-la land of denial.