An unsent rebuttal to "Scientists have no business making public statement"

As you may have seen earlier, the posted a link to a letter to the editor than said, basically, that federal scientists should be seen and not heard, and that all this "muzzling" stuff is nonsense.

Fun, eh?

Well, I hastily wrote a rebuttal letter but decided not to send it when I realized that I would have to compromise what little pseudonymity I might have left. So I present it here just because, well, I had to get it off my chest. 

If others want to send in a letter to the editor to rebut the original letters many misconceptions, well, feel free: http://www.langleytimes.com/contact_us/

Dear Editor: I would like to address many of the misconceptions in a recent letter from Roland Seguin (http://www.langleytimes.com/opinion/letters/307048611.html). The problem is that there are so many it is hard to know where to start.

Let me start with the statement "The NDP, Liberals and Greens are desperately trying to make Harper look bad with false allegations of the government being “Anti-Science.”" 

The protests against the government did not begin with the politicians - they started with scientists. The "Death of Evidence" rally in Ottawa and the subsequent rallies across Canada were arranged by concerned scientists, not politicians. Politicians (of all stripes) were welcome to attend and participate of course, but this concern comes from the scientist first and foremost.

As for "false allegations" - Mr. Seguin can best be said to be willfully blind. A google search on "Canadian War on Science" leads to a page titled "The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment" which includes literally hundreds of examples of the Conservative governments attacks on science. 

Make no mistake - the Conservative War on Science is real.

As for "bureaucrat scientists ludicrously attempting to establish government policy to suit their own political agenda" - well, that misrepresents the issue.

Taxpayers pay taxes fund government scientists to establish facts and knowledge upon which government policy is - at least partially - based. That is good, right, and proper. 

Taxpayers are the ultimate arbiters on whether the politicians create policies that we - the taxpaying public - agree with. To make this decision we, the taxpayers, need information. Since we pay for people to create this information, then we - the taxpayers - should be able to access it. And that is what government scientists want: the ability to share their science with the public.

And that is what the taxpayers should want as well - the ability to view the totality of available evidencein order to make a decision on whether the government of the day is making good policy. The taxpayers cannot make this decision if the information available to them is filtered through the politicians whose work the taxpayer must judge.

I, as a taxpayer, want to be able to access the information on which policy decisions are made so I can determine whether my elected officials are doing a good job. By removing scientist's ability to gather this information, and by removing the ability of the government scientists to share that information, the Conservative government is removing the taxpayers' ability to make a thoughtful, informed decision on the Conservative government's decisions.

The Conservative War on Science is real and, in the end, is an attack on democracy.