Why can't American scientists be like this?

The Canadian Press has this story about Canadian scientists who have written an open letter calling on the Canadian voter to consider climate change in next week's federal election. When will their American colleagues follow suit?

Here's the opening to the letter:

We have been disturbed by what we perceive to be a lack of attention to the environment during this election campaign. While it's clear the public accepts that global warming is a threat, it seems people have simply no idea how serious this issue is. Global warming is without a doubt the defining issue of our time, and we cannot let economic turmoil in the USA dissuade us from addressing the problem. Dealing with the environment means dealing with economics in a sustainable way.

And here's the story:

VANCOUVER -- More than 120 of Canada's top climate scientists have signed an open letter urging Canadians to vote strategically for the environment in next week's federal election.

Andrew Weaver, a lead author with last year's Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says global warming is the defining issue of our time.

But Dr. Weaver says the Conservative government of Stephen Harper has not addressed the "innovative and urgent policies" needed to significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

The group's John Stone says this is shaping up to be "the rare election in which the environment is the issue."

Dr. Stone says never has attention to the environment been more necessary, but he says the opportunity for an informed national debate on Canada's response to global warming is slipping away.

Campaigning in Vancouver on Tuesday, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said the Conservatives have still not embraced the concept that climate change is real.

"We have a government that believes that ideology should trump science," Mr. Dion told party supporters. "Stephen Harper has denied the reality of climate change."

The letter, signed by a who's who of Canada's top climate experts, says "it seems people have simply no idea how serious this issue is" even though it's clear the public accepts that global warming is a threat.

"Global warming is a problem that must be dealt with now, before it's too late," says the letter. "Any further delay will only increase the risks of damage and costs of action.

"The world needs to start down a path of greenhouse-gas reduction to avert the most serious consequences of global warming."

Even if atmospheric greenhouse gases are stabilized at current levels, it says, the Arctic would still go ice free in the summer, between 10 and 25 per cent of the world's species would still be committed to extinction, and weather will continue to become more extreme.

Many of the letter's signatories are research scientists who depend on federal granting agencies for the bulk of their funding.


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I wonder if that's a little dig at the scientists there in the last line.

Do any Canadian scientists who deny climate change get paid on the government dole?

Maybe more surprising to some is the open letter from >230 Canadian economists urging climate change action.


"More than 230 economists teaching in Canadian universities have signed an open letter to federal political leaders calling for economically coherent action on climate change. Among the signatories are some of Canada's top economists, including current and past presidents of the Canadian Economics Association, and holders of Canada Research Chairs and the Order of Canada."

I will be voting Green and I am trying to gently persuade all to.

People are scared and selfish - we have too much material wealth, to do the right thing.

Gee paulm. Great idea. Do you like Stephen Harper? Vote Green.

When there is something like Single Transferable Vote in Federal Elections, then it will be fine to vote Green. But voting Green now means you are almost surely trying to elect candidates that have no chance of being elected, and are magnifying the power of the vote for the Conservative by not backing their nearest rival.

If you don't think strategic voting in a first past the post system matters, look back to the US election in 2000.

If you don't like people nagging you about voting strategically, support STV or a similar proportional system and get it implemented.

Thanks for the advice crf. But I have concluded its time to vote on your principles.

Thanks for the advice crf. But I have concluded its time to vote on your principles.

I agree with you, PaulM. I gave up voting strategically a few years ago, and the Greens have been slowly and steadily gaining ground. Sometimes change takes time.

Vote your principles.

To answer your question - because they're not politically motivated money grabbing eco greeny weeny dweebs chasing a buck on the back of a total farce like CO2 plantfood causing MANMAD GLOBAL WARMING.

By James is a Goober (not verified) on 23 Oct 2008 #permalink