Canada's chaotic dismantling of science libraries

EDIT: Added link to The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment

Scientists say the closure of some of the world's finest fishery, ocean and environmental libraries by the Harper government has been so chaotic that irreplaceable collections of intellectual capital built by Canadian taxpayers for future generations has been lost forever.

Many collections such as the Maurice Lamontagne Institute Library in Mont-Joli, Quebec ended up in dumpsters while others such as Winnipeg's historic Freshwater Institute library were scavenged by citizens, scientists and local environmental consultants. Others were burned or went to landfills, say scientists. Furthermore, the government is falsely claiming that vital content is being retained by extensively digitizing material from nine regional libraries that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) whittled down to two.

Hutchings said none of the closures has anything to do with saving money, due to the small cost of maintaining the collections. He, like many scientists, concludes that Harper's political convictions are driving the unprecedented consolidation.

"It must be about ideology. Nothing else fits…" Hutchings saw the library closures fitting a larger pattern of "fear and insecurity" within the Harper government, "about how to deal with science and knowledge." That pattern includes the gutting of the Fisheries Act, the muzzling of scientists, the abandonment of climate change research and the dismantling of countless research programs, including the world famous Experimental Lakes Area. All these examples indicate that the Harper government strongly regards environmental science as a threat to unfettered resource exploitation._

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/12/23/Canadian-Science-Libraries/

EDIT: The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment

At the following link is a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making.

http://scienceblogs.com/confessions/2013/05/20/the-canadian-war-on-science-a-long-unexaggerated-devastating-chronological-indictment/

Canada’s chaotic dismantling of science libraries

Scientists say the closure of some of the world’s finest fishery, ocean and environmental libraries by the Harper government has been so chaotic that irreplaceable collections of intellectual capital built by Canadian taxpayers for future generations has been lost forever.

Many collections such as the Maurice Lamontagne Institute Library in Mont-Joli, Quebec ended up in dumpsters while others such as Winnipeg’s historic Freshwater Institute library were scavenged by citizens, scientists and local environmental consultants. Others were burned or went to landfills, say scientists. Furthermore, the government is falsely claiming that vital content is being retained by extensively digitizing material from nine regional libraries that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) whittled down to two. …

Hutchings said none of the closures has anything to do with saving money, due to the small cost of maintaining the collections. He, like many scientists, concludes that Harper’s political convictions are driving the unprecedented consolidation.

“It must be about ideology. Nothing else fits…” Hutchings saw the library closures fitting a larger pattern of “fear and insecurity” within the Harper government, “about how to deal with science and knowledge.” That pattern includes the gutting of the Fisheries Act, the muzzling of scientists, the abandonment of climate change research and the dismantling of countless research programs, including the world famous Experimental Lakes Area. All these examples indicate that the Harper government strongly regards environmental science as a threat to unfettered resource exploitation._

http://thetyee.ca/News/2013/12/23/Canadian-Science-Libraries/

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68 Responses

  1. John Holmes at |

    There must be some was we can prosecute this man for the crimes against reason and the future that he is committing.
    And it is criminal.
    ARGH!

  2. Ricardo Vasconcelos at |

    Unbelievable… But sadly it's the natural consequence of Democracy. Most people have not enough knowledge to make good decisions and that's why the majority ensures that only corrupt and greedy people get elected. Democracy is a good idea but unfortunately it doesn't work well in a fool's society. :-/

  3. David Lawhorn at |

    This should be one of the biggest news stories in the country. This borders of the criminal, millions of dollars in research and lifetimes of work essentially thrown away by an ignorant government. Just imagine how all the scientists at DFO feel seeing their life's work destroyed. As a taxpayer, I am outraged that the research and work funded by my taxes is thrown away.

  4. Semme Thomas at |

    +Murray J Brown +David Lawhorn I agree that this should actually be an international story. My northern Ontario background has me outraged at this act so reminiscent of Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451". Our family cottage on Lake Nippissing, Ontario was on an island near "Bradbury's Island". This is so sickening. Bradbury would be furious over this.

  5. Tonia Addison-Hall at |

    It is NOT WARMING you imbeciles!!! I am glad SOMEone has some common sense in Canada!

    It hasn't warmed in FIFTEEN YEARS and it WON'T! It's a NATURAL CYCLE from the SUN!

  6. Gabe Andrews at |

    Wow truly sad see this. I hope Canada can take quick action type remove this government and start to salvage some of the works

  7. Tiffany M. Conner at |

    Boooooo!

  8. Gary Hulst at |

    History has shown that every time this is done (Library of Alexandria, Spanish in the Aztec era, Hitler etc), mankind takes a huge step back which takes many generations, if at all, to reclaim or rediscover – it is truly a crime against cultural heritage!!!

  9. Al Zwikker at |

    +Gary Hulst A huge step back was already undertaken by having the CONs run the country :)

  10. Semme Thomas at |

    +Tonia Addison-Hall Maybe you have a problem with the English language or your reading skills need a little work. This is NOT a discussion about Climate Change.

  11. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    The current government in power in Canada fears science and scientific research, considering the bible sufficient to answer all of life's questions. In effect they are radical retrogrades.

    Thus, I can say with a high degree of certainy that money is not the decisive issue here. It's not the minimal cost savings realized from such destruction of scientific research, but ideological fear of science and what it might show and prove, that compels the government to destroy the historical record.

    Tis a shame.

  12. Nick James at |

    +Tonia Addison-Hall Ah, Tonia.  Nice to see you again:-)
    Sorry, you seem to have cut'n'pasted the wrong pre-written rant about climate change being a fake/hoax/tax dodge/imaginary/leftwing/<add imaginary reason>.

  13. Murray J Brown at |

    Denier blocked: +Tania Addison-Hall.

  14. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    It seems that some Cons got the wrong talkig points; it happens.

  15. Nick James at |

    +Semme Thomas For some, any science issue can be converted to a climate change denier post.  It just takes imagination…or is that 'delusion'?
    Spot on about your Farenheit 451 remark.  The Nazi book burnings in the 1930s also spring to mind, as do those in Alexandria, Afghanistan by the Taliban, China by Japan in WWII, Yucatan, Constantinople by the Crusaders and many others.  Often an idealogical act against knowledge itself, as the library gives the oppressed or the world some truth that is inconvenient for the destroyer.

  16. Dan McKenney at |

    I hope some people had the sense to disobey the order and packed the books and reports into the back of their cars. Then they could be brought out when reason returns.

  17. Ryan Banks at |

    Criminal. Similar things happening in the UK

  18. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    +Ryan Banks Not surprising, given the govt in power.

  19. Semme Thomas at |

    +Nick James Great comment.

  20. lilian sejko at |

    Somebody doesn't like Harper. I'm doing the same thing with my dictionaries. We have an app, now.

  21. Nick James at |

    +lilian sejko Sure, you have an app.  But a dictionary is a widely available list of words.  The books they are destroying are not like a Facebook page.  They are a carefully balanced set of scientific arguments, discussions, references and data. The point here is that science is something that disagrees with the sort of destruction that Harper is trying to implement on Canada.  He is doing what the Republicans are doing in the US.  That is, make money out of it and don't give a damn about the future of the world, the environment or unbiased truth.  Yes, science may get it somewhat wrong sometimes but, by and large, science does not lie and distort to make $$$ like these politicians and their oil/gas/coal buddies do.

  22. lilian sejko at |

    I think it's on micro fiche, compact disks. Easier to preserve.

  23. Nick James at |

    +lilian sejko It was fine how it was –   accessible.  As the article said, it was not destroyed because they wanted the space or it was expensive to maintain.  Just that the truth is sometimes inconvenient. Seems nobody knows where a lot of this stuff is any more.
    And when oh when did you last use a microfiche reader? In a library??
    Just look at this government's entire broad policy in this direction.  Deny the science, block the science, ignore the science.  See a pattern?

  24. Semme Thomas at |

    +lilian sejko Are you sure of that? Micro fiche and compact disks just take up less space. They are less accessible and they need cataloging and preservation just as paper and books need it. In fact, you might be surprised at the actual predicted life span of an archival CD. The Gutenberg Bible and the Book of Kells have outlived the life span of the other technologies.

  25. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    +Nick James The last time I used a microfilm reader was at McGill University's McLennan Library more than 30 years ago.

  26. Nick James at |

    Good man :-)

  27. Murray J Brown at |

    +lilian sejko, if you read the article you'll find that those closest to the matter have refuted what you suggest. Very little of the information has been digitized and microfiche hasn't been widely used for archival purposes in years.

  28. lilian sejko at |

    Maybe. I bet it's copied somewhere.

  29. Murray J Brown at |

    Denier? Astroturfer? Maybe. Blocked.

  30. ESTEBAN ALCARAZ ORTEGA at |

    Y porque no donarlos a otros países en lugar de destruirlos?!

  31. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    +ESTEBAN ALCARAZ ORTEGA This would be the rational response; the govt wanted the complete scientific record destroyed for ideological reasons.

  32. ESTEBAN ALCARAZ ORTEGA at |

    Gush!!!!!!!
    How we can help to stop this??
    What to do??
    I've reshare now the note… To all my circles.

  33. PradipKumar Chakrabarty at |

    There is a word to Call these people–Wht is it?

  34. ESTEBAN ALCARAZ ORTEGA at |

    Just hope some one into the system read this…. Im desagree whit this.

  35. ESTEBAN ALCARAZ ORTEGA at |

    Thanks +Perry J. Greenbaum. Im worried.

  36. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    +ESTEBAN ALCARAZ ORTEGA Sharing this news is an excellent idea; I have done the same on my stream.

  37. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    +PradipKumar Chakrabarty Are you thinking of the word "fascist"? It is true they burned books in Nazi Germany, but I would hesitste to call the current govt fascist. I would call them anti-intellectual and anti-science.

  38. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    +ESTEBAN ALCARAZ ORTEGA I can understand, but let us do what we can to raise awareness; there is power in numbers.

  39. PradipKumar Chakrabarty at |

    No not facist-they are Nincom-poops!Morons/imbeciles!

  40. Gary Hulst at |

    +Al Zwikker he he he

  41. Bert Vander Meeren at |

    Why not buy the libraries from government and keep them open? Talk is cheap. Anything in the hands of government is subject to the whims of whichever parties are in power. If you really care for something, don't allow government to get involved.

  42. Perry J. Greenbaum at |

    +Bert Vander Meeren This is a good idea, but I am not sure if they are for sale, since these were (are) federal government libraries.

  43. Jig Saw at |

    Conservative ideology would have us all living in the dark age still hunting witches

  44. ed crumly at |

    Awesome! Glad to see science finally getting its just rewards. Millions of dollars have been wasted compiling nonsense for years. You guys think that science is THE ONLY ANSWER. How arrogant. And wasn't it science that created the mess we are in now? Who invented all the crap that's now killing us? Wasn't bankers, politicians, or the average working stiff. It was science. Just because you can do something, doesn't make it progress. Abandon the cities and return to the land before its too late. If this is progress, I want out. You attack anybody that won't give you money to destroy the planet, and then blame it on money, greed, power, politicians, bankers, etc. Ya Harper is a crook and doesn't represent Canadians, no big news here. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourselves what kind of future we are leaving the next generation? Quit whining and find a job that connects you to the only thing that has ever sustained us. Earth.

  45. Jig Saw at |

    +ed crumly if it wasnt for science you wouldnt be seeing this right now if you hate science and tech so much get of your phone or computer and go live in the mountains eating deer poop or something

  46. Michael Kerton at |

    Why. Explain

  47. kevin sutherland at |

    The media does not disclose important information anymore… Our politicians (extreme far right) are destroying the Canada that our forefathers made for us…

  48. Michael Kerton at |

    +Tiffany M. Conner hey I'm afraid

  49. Michael Kerton at |

    +Semme Thomas true it's science the future.

  50. Michael Kerton at |

    +Perry J. Greenbaum let's not mix it up

  51. Michael Kerton at |

    +Dan McKenney let's pray

  52. Michael Kerton at |

    +Nick James nick I here you loud and clear. What is that asshold saying. Medicine is science we need it.

  53. Murray J Brown at |

    Calling them fascists isn't far off the mark, +Perry J. Greenbaum, although it's not the same overt thuggishness. Rather, Harperialism is a more sophisticated form of neocon corporate oligarchy that Sheldon Wolin has coined inverted totalitarianism.

  54. Craig Fleury at |

    +Tonia Addison-Hall Prove it. oh wait you cant you don't have a clue how

  55. ed crumly at |

    Jig saw, in one week of trucks stopping the city would be completely out of food. Don't you see that. Does all your food come from city? Nope. A hundred years ago 80% of the world lived in the country, not the city. They ( the same folks who shut your science labs) have now decided there are too many people, and are set to dramatically reduce the worlds population to around 550000000 people. Ted Turner said so on t.v., and he's not the only one. This is just the first step in there end goal. Then medicine will be scrapped. Then food. You cannot survive in the city, that's where there will be no food, water, medicine. So , I guess deer poop will be the answer to your starvation situation. I grew up in the bush, and will return there. I can survive, no thrive there. I do not give a rats ass if you believe me, but there were many elite Jews in Germany who also believed that science and reason would prevail. It did not. You have no idea what these characters are capable of. I wish you well in your life, and hope I'm dead wrong. Oh, by the by, I'll be leaving my phone at the edge of town, you know, so they can't easily locate me.

  56. Murray J Brown at |

    Now come the conspiracy wingnuts. Blocked. /sigh

  57. Jig Saw at |

    +ed crumly LOL that was a good read what else do you think?

  58. kevin sutherland at |

    +ed crumly that's right… Canada is not overcrowded,u just have to get out of the city to see it… Wildlife and deep forest everywhere… A person can live very comfortably off the land if they know how and are hard workers… If the world crumbles I will meet u up north next to a lake full of fish in a forest of life… And build cabins… And plant carrots n potatoes… Shit, this is starting to sound Like muh retirement plan…nice…

  59. Murray J Brown at |

    EDIT: Added link to The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment

    http://scienceblogs.com/confessions/2013/05/20/the-canadian-war-on-science-a-long-unexaggerated-devastating-chronological-indictment/

  60. PradipKumar Chakrabarty at |

    friends,Books are treasures-Treat and keep them nice!

  61. PradipKumar Chakrabarty at |

    This happened through the ages-great libraries were destroyed by imbeciles!

  62. Michael Kerton at |
  63. Michael Kerton at |

    +Jig Saw true

  64. Michael Kerton at |

    +ed crumly good evening ed. You make sense but let's look at medical science. In the years past new medicines have been developed that are saving lives of children and adults. As for the pollution and that kind of nasty science yes I agree with you 150percent.

  65. Michael Kerton at |

    +ed crumly great comment to that ed.

  66. PradipKumar Chakrabarty at |

    +Mr.Kerton -call them Arse-hole? no Not Assholds!

  67. junior kapanda at |

    la biblioteque içi est manifique.

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