Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a rare interview given to his favourite media outlet the CBC, invoked the role of science when it came to the excellent initiative on maternal , newborn and child health this past week.
“It’s hard for me not to get very emotional about this because we know, we scientifically know, what vaccinations and immunizations have done for us, personally, in our generation and for generations after us.”
The World Health Organization, estimates 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diseases that could be avoided with vaccinations, including polio and pneumonia.
It turns out that some Canadians who apparently get their health info from the internet are not vaccinating their children. There has been an outbreak of measles in a few areas. An area in BC reported 400 kids affected with the disease.
The Prime Minister’s advice to fellow Canadians :
“Don’t indulge your theories, think of your children and listen to the experts,” he said.
This brought a roar of laughter around the famous Craic club in Toronto’s east end.
The reason was obvious. Harper is one of the world’s ecological scofflaws with his embarrassing support of the environmentally massively damaging Alberta tar sands and his government’s retrograde performance in curbing CO2 emissions.The experts Harper invoked have issued repeated alarms over the looming disaster of climate change. Harper charges full speed ahead as one of the worst offenders . He appears not to be taking his own advice of “think of your children.”
In the same week as Harper’s howler, Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu appearing at a conference in Fort McMurray stated the obvious. He urged Canada to give up on industrial projects that unleash more carbon into the atmosphere, which exacerbates climate change.
“Only those who don’t want to listen, only those who want to be blind can’t see that we are sitting on a powder keg,” he said, according to the Canadian Press. “If we don’t do something urgently, quickly, we won’t have a world.”
“The oil sands are emblematic of an era of high carbon and high risk fuels that must end if we are committed to a safer climate,” he wrote. “Oil sands development not only devastates our shared climate, it is also stripping away the rights of First Nations and affected communities to protect their children, land and water from being poisoned.”
For Bishop Tutu human stewardship of the natural world involves “a responsibility that begins with God commanding the first human inhabitants of the garden of Eden ‘to till it and keep it’. To keep it; not to abuse it, not to destroy it.”
As PM Harper said “Don’t indulge your theories, think of your children and listen to the experts,” he said.