Stephen Harper's War On Environmental Science

You know, there's nothing like trashing a huge library of material on environmental science when you want to say, 'I am very serious about good government!'

The Harper government has dismantled one of the world's top aquatic and fishery libraries as part of its agenda to reduce government as well as limit the role of environmental science in policy decision-making.

Last week the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which is closing five of its seven libraries, allowed scientists, consultants and members of the public to scavenge through what remained of Eric Marshall Library belonging to the Freshwater Institute at the University of Manitoba.

One woman showed up to pick up Christmas gifts for a son interested in environmental science. Other material went into dumpsters. Consultants walked home with piles of "grey material" such as 30-year-old reports on Arctic gas drilling.

Nearly 40,000 books and papers were relocated to a federal library in Sidney, B.C.

"It was a world class library with some of the finest environmental science and freshwater book collections in the world. It was certainly the best in Canada, but it's no more," said Burt Ayles, a 68-year-old retired research scientist and former regional director general for freshwaters in central Canada and the Arctic.

Sweet Jesus, I hate Stephen Harper.

He's the perfect face of modern conservatism. He grew up benefiting from the vast investments made in Canadian science, culture, education, health, environmental conservation and social security during the 1960s and 1970s. And then he's made it his lifelong work to tear it all down. I swear that someday dictionaries will list "Harper Government" as a synonym for the phrase "trash the joint."

I mean, don't get me wrong. I bet "Fuck YOU, Just Society!" sounded great when shouted at undergraduate parties after vast amounts of beer had been consumed. But it's a shitty basis for policy decisions.

[ETA: H/t to ST.]

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