Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Time For An Apology

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Jan 31, 2007

I know it's too late, and I know that it's not really productive to be looking into the past, but I really think we're due.

I want an apology from Stephen Harper.

And I want an apology from the deniers in the U.S. government, from the think tank economists like the Fraser Institute, the conservative religious right, the oil companies and their lobbies, and all the rest of them.

I want an apology from all those people who - purely to serve their own narrow self interests - denied global warming.

Even as recently as, well, April, people are still engaged in this destructive deception. "Observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models," they wrote, lying through their teeth, "so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future."

Ah yes, all the criminally conservative newspapers were ready to jump on that one.

The observational data is today what it was in April: "increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, melting of snow and ice, and rising sea level..."

I want an apology and a change of policy from Stephen Harper, who as recently as last November was cutting funds to climate change programs and firing climate change experts, telling them they had to explain to the public why they were no longer needed.

"The Canadian government was helping Canadians reduce their energy bills by one-third, and they were doing it on a daily basis, and (Harper) cancelled the program,'' Bennett said at a news conference."

I want an apology from Stockwell Day, who as recently as last month was ridiculing the science that pointed to the fact of global warming. Yes, Stockwell, you can delete the rhetoric from your website, but you can't deny the fact that, for the last decade, you've been the problem. Fess up! And take some responsibility.

I want an apology from former environment minister Rona Ambrose, who spent her term in office mostly backpedaling on Canada's commitments to the world community, including her shameful display at the climate change conference in Nairobi where she said canada would not honour Kyoto.

I want an apology from government officials who not only refused to listen to thousands of climate scientists on the issue, they actually censored the scientists' warning to the public. These officials should be sent to jail for such a blatant disregard of the public interest!

And I want Stephen Harper to apologize for waging war against the Liberals over Kyoto, for saying the accord was based on "tentative and contradictory scientific evidence" and (in a stunning display of stone-age science) complaining that "it focuses on carbon dioxide, which is essential to life, rather than upon pollutants."

But we're not going to get an apology.

Because Stephen Harper isn't really changing. Climate change scepticism was never about what people believe. It was about what people were willing to say in order to prevent the government from taking action.

Action on climate change would have cost his corporate buddies money, and they were (and still are) willing to pay what it takes to make sure nothing is done.

Harper can pretend to be green all he wants. But he has never had a change of heart on the issue. How could he? That would be going against 'his base'.

That's why we won't hear an apology from Stephen Harper. Because he's not sorry. And he'd do it again.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2024
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2024 06:15 a.m.

Canadian Flag Creative Commons License.