Canadian government mimics US “quiet release” method for major climate and health report

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The Globe and Mail (Canada) reported on July 23:  “The Conservative government is planning a quiet release for a major Health Canada report that warns of the harmful impact of climate change on the health of Canadians, particularly the young, elderly and aboriginals.” Only days after the “quiet release” of a major US climate science program report on the same topic, Canada appears to be following the Bush administration’s bad example:  Instead of highlighting these reports and using them to advance broader public awareness of the consequences of unchecked global warming, current US and Canadian government “leaders” leave them to be released by middle management and discussed by a relatively few experts.

See our earlier posts:
July 17: EPA quietly releases climate change health effects report

July 20: EPA report on climate change health & welfare impacts: Interview comments on Free Speech Radio News
Excerpt from the Globe and Mail article (see here for full text):

OUR CHANGING CLIMATE

Health report to get ‘low-profile’ release

BILL CURRY
July 23, 2008

OTTAWA—The Conservative government is planning a quiet release for a major Health Canada report that warns of the harmful impact of climate change on the health of Canadians, particularly the young, elderly and aboriginals.

Should the department follow through with its communications plan, it will be the second time this year that the government has taken such an approach with a major climate-change study.

Those involved with the report were informed in a July 3 conference call that the government is preparing a “low-profile release” on the Health Canada website, rather than launching the report with major media fanfare, sources told The Globe and Mail.

The Health Canada report is called Human Health in a Changing Climate: A Canadian Assessment of Vulnerabilities and Adaptive Capacity. It is more than 500 pages long and has been ready for several months.

McMaster University chemistry professor Brian McCarry, who chairs a group called Clean Air Hamilton, said the dangers of global warming and fossil fuels on human health deserve far more attention, not less.

“Certainly, the stance taken by this government has been to keep climate change in a low-profile format,” he said. “Unfortunately, Canada and the U.S. are almost singular in the world now as being not quite climate-change deniers, but they’re not putting much emphasis on [it.]”

Canadian scientists and climate experts worked for months on a similar major study last year for Natural Resources Canada called From Impacts to Adaptation, which warned of the specific impacts of climate change for each region of the country.

The release of that report was delayed for several months before being posted in a hard-to-find section of the Natural Resources Canada website. As a result, the report received little media coverage, frustrating many of the public servants, scientists and academics who worked on it….

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