Tag Archives: Canada

Ignorants No More! About the ELA closing

Advance euthophication of a lake - photo by ELA

When you feel a dull pain in the chest, you go see your doctor, then you heed his or her advice. You don’t protest, saying: Balance my diet? Exercise? Well my fortune-teller says I can do as I please, so don’t bother me with your “facts”!

But what if a whole government chooses to follow the fortune-teller’s advice?  And if it closed  all the medicine faculties of Canada, listening to  the singsong voice of the fortune-teller… or the fortune makers?

The federal government has decided without consulting any scientific authority, to close the ELA, among other government-supported research programs in Canada.

The Experimental Lakes Area (map here), is a unique  whole-ecosystem research facility in northern Ontario. It is the fruit of forty years of research, and capital and human investment.

Like a tree, it has grown into a world -renowned scientific facility on freshwater ecology. It has served diligently to protect the public and the environment, putting in  light the role of phosphorus in the eutrophication of lakes (to know more about the subject, read The Algal Bowl, by Vallentyne and Schindler, 2008, or my account, here). 

Lac 226 : the flagrant demonstration of the phosphorus effect on freshwaters!

A few of the subjects tackled by research teams:

nutrient pollution and noxious algae (the photo here)
impacts of “acid rain” on lakes
recovery of lakes from acidification
impacts of reservoir flooding
sources of toxic mercury in fish
impacts of “climate change” on lakes
removal of nearshore vegetation
impacts of hormonal mimics
impacts of cage aquaculture

As I explained in an older post, the work of scientifics faces a huge perception challenge by the “I want simple answers NOW crowd.  Scientists toil endlessly to collect data, to accept errors, pursuing the course regardless of the difficulties. They strive to understand the natural processes and the impact of humans activities on our freshwaters and their myriad of lifes. 

Our blue resource - endangered by ignorance and willful blindness

The ELA is a collective book that must stay open for all to consult.

To build this 58-bead necklace of knowledge took years. The Experimental Lakes Area, nurtured by students, teachers, citizens, embodies the strong human desire to learn. 

We should create a movement called  Ignorant no More.

*

— A few links

The Experimental Lakes Research Area website

A  sound reflection on government science, part one and part two

A witty article explaining some scientific expressions 

Fight to save Experimental Lakes Area runs its course (http://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/2013/01/02/fight-to-save-experimental-lakes-area-runs-its-course) Cet article suit les démarches de 

Attention Bryan Hayes: This water issue hasn’t gone away (https://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=51916)

List of federal MPS – find your own MP!

Save ELA: http://saveela.org/what-can-you-do-to-help/

Facebook group for ELA. https://www.facebook.com/groups/saveela/

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Loving criminals? Erase the gun registry!

Letter to my conservative members of Parliament,

 

You are all fathers and mothers.

You engrave your valuables and appreciate the ability to track your stolen jewels. You acknowledge the importance of driving lessons and of drunk driving control. When you renew your car plates licenses, you do not feel treated like a criminal.

When your personal physician warns you that you consume too much fat, you listen to his advice. You do not put his science(1)  in question because you would rather eat a bag of chips. When a dangerous toy threatens the health of our children, you act upon it.

Unless the toy is a gun, from a simple rifle to semi-automatic assault sniper weapons. Then, you suddenly cross your arms.

Against all the facts and the experience of criminologists and police, you mention a “feeling of freedom,” or a “feeling of being treated like a criminal.” Just like the census long-form and the renforcement of imprisonment, against science, reason and verifiable facts, you oppose a “feeling”.

This “feeling” has been built from scratch by the propaganda of the arms dealers. Helped by powerful American associations, they aim to protect the billions of dollars in annual market sales of weapons, holsters, and ammunition in Canada. They use the same worn-out buzzwords, a mix of freedom and paranoia, hatred of others, by flattering the “vigilante” part of us.(2)

If at least your government proposed an alternative… but no. No limit to the number of weapons, as easy to get as chocolate tablet, acquired by an unchecked individual. Not even a mandatory engraving on guns. No GPS chips on them. Maybe you are expecting a superhero?

I do not write to make you change your mind, nor prevent you from making this act of autodafe by burning the registry.

It is clear that you have seen the Light and that reason alone will not make you, at the very least, keep semi-automatic assault weapons on the register . Weapons such as those used for the massacre at my engineering school carried on in December 1989. Several similar acts of revenge have been carried out by a few “law-abiding citizens” frustrated, depressed or confused…

Lost in its religious delirium of the battle of Good against Evil, your government will make life easier for the criminals stealing weapons from legitimate owners, or buying weapons and ammunition for resale into traffic. (Ooops! Excuse me, someone stole my gun!) In addition, it will force (I mean: compell) otherwise very nice people to arm themselves for defense … and some might shoot before asking questions.

Combined with your hardened prison sentences and your cuts of social support, destroying the registry will raise the criminal activity, small-time criminals against which you bring out the big cannons.

This “small-time” crime rise  concerns discouraged indigent people, lacking a  future. Their outbursts of violence or self-destruction will delight the fans of trivia, sustaining our expensive legal system. Weapons as easy to buy as a box of chocolates, overflowing prisons, busy hospitals treating the victims of trauma will complement this flourishing economy.

As for serious crime, the organized greed deeply embedded in our institutions and finance? Your silence speaks volumes.

So now, you have come full circle, erasing my hundreds of volunteer hours to limit the social damage (plus the work of thousands of law abiding citizens, all freedom lovers as you are) done since the December 6, 1989 rampage, my own September 11.

But maybe you crave, without acknowledging it, the excitement of a city rife with crime. As long as it stay away from you.
***

(1) it would be interesting to settle your science limit. Where do science stops and ideology begins?

(2) And they feed the confusion about interdiction and control. There are hunters in my family, and none feel threatened when they register either their gun or their car license.

 

Vote for the Time Machine!

The Conservative time machine!The Harper time machine will send you sixty years into the past!

Don’t miss your chance to live in Conservatopia, a perfectly ordered society where scientific evidence is scorned in favor of “gut-feelings” and astrologists. Oh, is it “ideologists”?

On a score of subjects, like gun control, census and sensibilities, environmental protection, women’s rights, gay rights, crime and punishment, our thinking will be modeled by ideologists, printed and repeated by the monopolistic mediasphere.

By the same token, the no-longer-protected workers-on-call will learn to admire without reserve the knights of the industrial table.  This table will be well-laden, since bail-outs and hefty subsidizing will be  granted to banks and oil industries. What will be left of the governing body will heed their sunny voices.

Soon, the only remnant of the social net will be gushing charity balls held by big fortunes while putting some dough in fiscal paradises. And, of course, the “economy” will make sure that there will be an endless supply of poor in need of generous donators. As for those pesky artists, only the popular ones will rise to the top, and to hell with the others “elites” who will have to scratch a living in restaurants or call centers!  (But the financial elites are OK, since they can silence their opposition with lawsuits).

Criminals will be seen as annoying weeds, always growing in underprivileged neighborhoods for no understandable cause. First Nations will not see many differences between now and the 1950s. They will continue to be left dependent and despondent, deprived of their pride and clean water, their shattered communities serving as moral ground for our own prosperity.

In Conservatopia, you will see the women’s back to their right place, embracing the family values of the fifties!

Their rights will never be directly attacked, of course: only slowly, very slowly eroded, any attempt to take their life into their own hands subtly discouraged, their associations deprived of subsidized resources, any girl pressured with beauty advices and strings ads, any job-family conciliation becoming a headache, until the only place left for them will be the relative safety of their homes and hearth (preferably with a loaded gun, beware of the criminals roaming free!)

As contraception fall out of favor in the religious abstinence virtue contest, more unwanted pregnancies will follow, where girls and women will have no choice but to endure their situation or flee or die (like in the Third-world countries.

With the power of monopolized media, citizens… no, tax-payers will learn to distrust their elected representatives (them lazy civil servants gobbling our hard-earned money!), unions and various social defense groups (them lazy artists!). Soon, the more gullible among us will clamor for a benevolent but firm dictator with a pretty haircut.

But no mustache.

Time travel towards the glorious privatized future!

When voting for the Time Machine, you will also have a peek to a glorious future! As the governing body dwindles and greater fortunes concentrates in fewer hands, the permeability between businesses and the benevolent dictator will increase. Delocalization of jobs will occur more and more. Educated homeless will become a frequent sight on our streets.

The fortunes will tighten their golden hold on the mediasphere, showcasing only the items that serve the business growth. All social and cultural needs will be provided by the private-for-profit sector. The population will also rely on them for their information sources (crime is rampant! be afraid, lock your door, grab your gun, and give to charities!)  Other voices, deprived of money, will dwindle out and die. Citizens will have freedom of speech, but without power to change anything to their condition.

While this election is officially about economy, let me remind you that a certain amount of criminality is a good thing for the GNP (Gross National Product). Crime ensures an excellent living for greedy gang bosses, but also for their lawyers, clerks, justices, prison guards, police, journalists, all with our taxes. And some social workers would like to go to the roots of this useful evil?

Private prisons will grow like mushrooms over the country, and – low and behold! – get quickly filled. This same private sector will devise new ways of watching people.  Big Brother not only will tap your computer (already does !) but He will make sure to present you with pre-approved choices. (You want your car red or black? No, we don’t carry electric cars, sorry Ma’am!)

As social groups, universities science faculties, unions, associations, artists will be left without subsidies or research grants, prejudice will reign unchallenged. Government will be redeemable only to the real powerful forces in the population: big companies. Only those have the resources to underwrite the scores of “Institutes” parroting their concerns.

You miss the Soviet era? The apparatchiks? The silencing of opposition voices?

Choose the Time Machine!

Welcome to Conservatopia !

Mashup of Conservative Party of Canada logo with Borg Insignia, by Kenneth M. Kambara