The quiet cuts


Among various cuts at Environment Canada, the government is apparently about to eliminate an ozone monitoring program.

The British journal Nature says scientists and research institutes around the world have been informally told the Canadian network will be shut down as early as this winter, putting an end to continuous ozone measurements that go back 45 years.

“People are gobsmacked by this decision,” Thomas Duck, an atmospheric researcher at Dalhousie University, said in an interview with Postmedia News. He and his international colleagues say they’ve been told the network and a related data archive will be closed down as part of the Harper government’s deep cuts at Environment Canada, where hundreds of jobs are being are eliminated.

See previously here, here, here, here and here.


The quiet cuts

  1. These are getting too predictable; there must be a plug-in-the-variables Word macro for it by now.

    1. Personal fiefdom of some obscure bureaucrats is threatened.
    2. Media panic, quotes from breathless doomsayers, accusations of theocratic cowboy big-money anti-science fascism, etc.
    3. Program gets cut, and six months later, no one cares – other than the displaced public servants that imagined they were entitled to a job for life.

    The Swiss technocrat seething over the ridiculous notions of ‘national sovereignty’ and ‘electoral democracy’ is a fun new spin, I’ll grant.

    • Oh…well if that’s the criteria we could shut down everything…the space program, marine research, the military, diplomats, ag research,….in fact we could put everyone out of business. Even politicians, because they’d have nothing to govern.

      6 months later, everyone would be so caught up in the struggle to survive, no one would care.

    • Can we can Peter Kent now, then?  He has nothing to do as it is.

    • I’m gonna go ahead and assume that you have no idea what the ozone layer is or how it’s monitored.

      • I’m gonna go ahead and assume you’re a smug, self-important jerk who believes that anyone who doesn’t share his policy priorities must necessarily be a subhuman troglodyte.

        Environment Canada is getting budget cuts, like many other departments. What makes this more essential than those EC programs not being cut?

        • Hit a nerve, eh?

          Maybe the fact that the base at Alert is one of the few key monitoring stations in the world?  Possibly the fact that we were working in partnership with other Arctic nations to monitor the ozone layer, and that international cooperation is good value for money?  There was a link to a site at Environment Canada from the EPA’s website here, but that link is broken now.

  2. While the stupid antiscience rightwingers cheer their ignorant pinheads off.

    • Thank you for bringing civility to the conversation.

  3. Typical day for the ozone monitoring program scientist.

    Hmmm…no change, excellent, back to writing angry blogs about the Harper government.

    • Ignorance has a name: Turd.

      • Thank you for bringing civility to the conversation.

        • Turd beat her to it.

        • It’s hard to be civil to people who call themselves Turd, but thank you for noticing my efforts.

  4. Hmmm….sounds like people are jumping the gun again. 

    “Programs are presently being reviewed,” Mark Johnson, an Environment Canada media officer, said by e-mail. “At this time, we are not in a position to identify which specific programs will be subject to adjustments or reallocated funding.”

    I can see them cutting out some stations but not dropping out of WMO/GAW as it is another UN thingy.  Besides, we just spent nearly a million on Alert (which is the most important station) through the Economic Action Plan $250 million for federal laboratories upgrades.
    InitiativeModernizing Federal Laboratories (Budget 2009 and Budget 2010)
    DescriptionThe observatory is Canada’s most northerly Arctic research station, where Environment Canada monitors and identifies trends in the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere. Located at the Department of National Defence’s Canadian Forces Station Alert, the Observatory is an official World Meteorological Organization Global Atmosphere Watch station. Work will be done to replace the electrical system and fibre optic cable for data streams, and to upgrade a 10-metre measurements platform tower. This work will increase the observatory’s operating capacity.
    Federal Funding:$836,000
    _______The Antarctica is the pole that needs serious ozone monitoring.

    • This government is really good at making funding announcements.  Even better at re-announcing them.  Whether or not the money ever flows is another story.

  5. I’m a bit surprised that this ozone monitoring actually needed a hundred jobs to operate.

    Nevertheless, canceling altogether is a mistake. It took us 20 years to stabilize ozone depletion, let alone reverse the damage. Now we’re implementing a costly Montreal Protocol without any data on whether it’s working or not.

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