In yet another demonstration of the ongoing tensions between conservative political parties and science, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed a couple of climate change deniers to federal science funding bodies. One has claimed that “the climate-change issue is somewhat sensational and definitely exaggerated.” The appointments seem likely to worsen the quality of scientific work being done in Canada, putting us further behind the rest of the developed world, when it comes to comprehending and appreciating the characteristics of the world in which we live, and in which important political choices must be made.
This is reminiscent of the appointment of a man seriously invested in the oil sands to the ‘Clean Energy Dialogue’ ongoing with the US. The Conservatives claim that they accept the science of climate change, but they cannot really take it to heart because of the degree to which it fundamentally conflicts with a laissez faire approach to economic regulation.
All we can hope for is for climate change denial to eventually become so patently ridiculous to the electorate that parties that continue to dabble in it seem to be arguing the equivalent of the Earth being flat and orbited by the sun. That may be the only time at which conservative parties have the impetus they need to reform their ideas to be compatible with what we now understand to be the state of the world.