Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Green Party (of Canada) vs Science

The Green Party of Canada is led by Elizabeth May who has a seat in parliament. The Green Party (of Canada) advocates many positions that are anti-science [Do Not Vote for the Anti-Science Green Party].

The National Post is a major Canadian newspaper that leans to the right so it has never been a friend on the Green Party. In spite of this bias, they got something right when they wrote, Elizabeth May’s Party of Science seems to support a lot of unscientific public policies.

The article was written by Tristin Hopper. Here's what he says in the opening paragraphs.
Two months ago in Halifax, Green Party leader Elizabeth May appeared at a Stand Up For Science rally; one of many demonstrations held across the country to protest, among other things, a Canada-wide “muzzling” of government scientists.

“You may not like the opinions you get from science, but you have to listen to science,” Ms. May told Halifax radio.

Only a week before, however, Ms. May had been at a town hall meeting in her Saanich, B.C. riding telling her constituents not to trust federal science — albeit from a different agency than the ones being defended on the streets of Halifax.

“Agriculture Canada is increasingly a corporate model for profits, for Monsanto and Cargill, and certainly not to help farmers and certainly not to ensure safe food for Canadians,” said Ms. May.
The point needs emphasis. There's really no serious scientific debate over the safety of GM food. It is safe to eat. That does not mean that every single scientific paper that has ever been published proves that GM food is safe. You can always find some paper somewhere that backs up your preferred view of a scientific issue. Most Sandwalk readers know that real science is determined by the consensus views of the experts in the field and not by the rogue scientists who disagree. If you've been reading my blog, you will also know that in any debate that involves science both sides have to appear to have science on their side because, if you don't have science on your side in the 21st century, you've lost the debate.

Here's how Michael Kruse puts it. (He is quoted in the National Post article.)
“I really think the Green Party is just doing the same things everybody else does, which is to make up an idea that matches with your ideology, and then go looking for evidence to support it,” said Michael Kruse, chair of Bad Science Watch, a non-profit devoted to rooting out false science in public policy.
Michael has it right. The Green Party is doing exactly what a long list of groups do when their favorite beliefs aren't supported by the scientific consensus. They cherry-pick. Then they make up conspiracy theories to explain why climatologists, evolutionary biologists, nutritional scientists etc. are misleading the general public about the real science in their field.
In a July essay, Aaron Larsen, a Canadian-born Harvard post-doctoral fellow publicly called out the Green Party—his preferred choice at the ballot box—for its platform declaring that genetically-engineered crops are a “potentially serious threat to human health and the health of natural ecosystems.”

“Just to be clear, there has never been a single reputable, peer-reviewed study that has found any link between the consumption of genetically modified foods and adverse health effects,” he wrote.
That's why the Green Party is anti-science. There are many other examples of Green Party policies that are anti-science. You should not vote for the Green Party if you value science. I hate to think what might happen to science if it ever became the governing party of Canada.

[Hat Tip: Canadain Atheist]


  1. :( I have no one left to vote for now.

  2. Fortunately, I am an American and the Green Party here has always seemed pretty anti-science to me. I can always vote for the Democrat, or if that fails me, I can go with the Socialists.

    1. Comrade Carter writes: " I can always vote for the Democrat, or if that fails me, I can go with the Socialists."

      Sure, because socialism has never failed...just look at North Korea, Soviet Union, Cuba and the other glorious examples.

    2. Yes, because violent revolution during the middle of a war (which led to USSR which supported the creation of the other communist states mentioned) is the perfect model for how an ideology will play out when voted in by a democratic government (which would be the case if the Socialist Party got any actual support).

    3. Wait a minute! I thought Obama was a socialist. Doesn't that make the USA a socialist country like Nnorth Korea? (or Sweden?)

    4. The word socialist has lost it's meaning in the US. It's become a scare word, a talking point. Omg, you want free health care so people who can't afford private insurance don't die in the street? SOCIALISM.

      If that's socialism, then I'm a socialist.

      last I checked, scandinavian countries were doing pretty well with what can only seem like soviet-era marxist communism to american scaremongers.

      Hey Andy, is there a subject upon which your opinion isn't just ignorant, bigoted, conservative religious blather?

    5. Larry, just for the record, Sweden is governed by a center-right coalition and should not be grouped with the other two socialistic countries you mentioned ;-)

    6. @Andy, Center-right for Sweden. I lived there before and after the current government took charge. Their version of center-right would make Obama Democrats seem far, far right in comparison.

    7. Jim, I'm joking of course about Obama being a socialist, but I don't agree that his politics is more conservative than the current Swedish government. I lived in the States while Obama was president (Texas) and now in Sweden. Obama is for sure far more keen on nationalizing private companies and hiking taxes than Reinfeldt is. Where in Sweden did you live?

    8. I was in Stockholm almost 5 years, until the end of 2009. And the corporate considerations are what I was talking about.

      I would liken Reinfeldt to Canada's Liberal party, which is viewed in Canada a centrist (specific leaders seem to pull it back and forth around the Canadian midpoint). And I found that while Liberal and Democrats got along better while both held government, the Democrats were more pro-corporate than the Canadian Liberals. And Obamacare aside, I find Obama to be far more in the middle of the US spectrum than on the "left". So that's my yardstick for the comparison.

    9. Sorry that I don't know so much about Canadian politics. I haven't even been there.
      In the aftermath of the financial crises Obama was nationalizing private companies that were about to go belly up left and right, while in Sweden they were left to ride out the storm. That's one reason why I would say Obama is to the left of Reinfeldt.
      To me as a European free public health care is not about left or right, it's about common decency.

  3. Seriously, Mr. Moran? The only party which is publicly demanding that your country take real steps against climate change -- the single greatest threat to humanity which is actually going right now, and one which is only detectable or capable of being defeated via science -- and reject them completely on the basis of something as trivial as THIS? Your priorities, as demonstrated by this post, are so wrong, and this post is so intellectually dishonest, that I now suspect everything you ever wrote of being either wrong or disingenuously misrepresenting, up to and INCLUDING everything you write in defense of GM crops.

    1. I believe you have to look at the Liberals and NDP - at the provincial level in Ontario the (full disclosure: provincial level) Liberals oversaw a plan to close every coal power plant in the province. Just because they don't make it their top priority doesn't mean they don't recognize the threat.
      GM crops could help end world hunger, and help ensure the protection of ecosystems in the future. Everything Moran says is true and you're being unreasonable. You may also notice he mentions another case of Green anti-science, in the case of homeopathy, a pseudoscience that might not only lead to misunderstanding of science but also mistrust of medical professionals and medical science - mistrust that might lead to someone dying.

    2. "...one which is only detectable or capable of being defeated via science..."

      That's the point right there, v1car. Climate change is above all else a scientific issue. So by allowing ideological preconceptions to trump scientific evidence, the Greens show themselves no better in this regard than the Harper Conservatives.

      On environmental issues, you won't find much substantial difference between the Greens and the NDP, or even the Liberals depending on who is leading them. After all, Elizabeth May in effect endorsed the Liberals when they were led by Stephane Dion. And by supporting one of those parties you have the chance of electing someone who might actually have a chance of forming the gov't, rather than wasting your vote on an ineffectual fourth party.

    3. @v1car

      The Green Party is NOT the only party in Canada that proposes doing something about climate change. If you don't get simple facts correct then why should I pay attention to your comments?

      Also, I don't vote for a party based on a single issue like climate change. I'm interested in the overall viewpoint of the party since I know that once in office they will have to deal with new and complex issues that we haven't thought of. I want those decisions to be based on evidence and not emotion. The leader of the Green Party has demonstrated that she does not base her decisions on the best availabe scientific evidence so there's no way I'm voting for her in spite of the fact that I may agree with her on one or two other issues.

      I'm sorry to hear that you feel differently. I think you will live to regret it.

    4. Larry, I agree with your point above. However, have you actually found a Canadian or Ontario party that consistently makes decisions based on evidence? 'Cause if you have, please let me know so I can vote for them too.

      (I'm not even going to mention Toronto, for obvious reasons....)

  4. AMEN. They are drawing their own conclusions and then finding anybody who will back them up.

    What is a rogue scientist? Who decides when they are a rogue?
    If being a scientist does not make one right then invoking scientists is wrong in making a case. Yet evolutionism does this to creationism.
    To us Darwin was a rogue scientist!

    It is also interesting how secret motives are invoked by the Green party yet I see this all the time.
    In fact secret motives are accused against YEC/ID scientists.
    Its a lesson here that great announcements abot what science teaches are indeed rightly questioned.
    Including scientists themselves. Whatever a scientist is.

    1. Well, we certainly know that booby Byers is no scientist.

  5. "Sure, because socialism has never failed...just look at North Korea, Soviet Union, Cuba and the other glorious examples."

    Without democracy, no political system is viable. Democracy and a strong commitment to social welfare is the recipe in Scandinavia, and it works!

  6. Unfortunately scare tactics seem to work better than seriously outlining the ethical and economic dangers of allowing a few large agribusinesses to essentially privatize staple crops. That's the reason for my opposition to GMOs—at least under the capitalist system as presently constituted—but I still hate to see a good cause ruined by baseless fearmongering.