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).
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.
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/