On Water Pollution, and the Silencing (attempted) of Canadian Scientists

Chris Wood is a writer. His book, Down the Drain: How We Are Failing to Protect Our Water Resources, is a rebuke to our Federal Government’s stealth unravelling of environmental protection. You can find Wood’s website here.

John Smol is a top biologist. He was shocked and outraged to learn earlier this month of an internal Natural Resources Canada memo criticizing him over comments he made to reporters about a study on lakes near the oilsands.

The study, jointly conducted by Smol’s lab and Environment Canada, found that levels of hazardous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in six regional lakes ranged from 2.5 to 23 times greater than they were before oilsands development.

The italicized lines above can be found at this web page. For ‘oilsands’ you can read ‘tar sands’ if you prefer accurate description.

It is well-known that Canada’s government tells Canadian scientists to check with them before making any public statements. Otherwise their research, institution, or supporting company can come into federal disfavour. I first saw this stated baldly in print in the British research journal Nature, where shock was mingled with anger at the Canadian federal government’s interference with Canadian scientists telling the truth to the Canadian public.

There are resources for finding out about such things, but they are off-beat. Here is an example of such.

Water is an essential resource. Polluting of water should be considered a form of terrorism. Permitting pollution should be considered collusion.

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