The recent refusal of the Harper government of Canada to accept an appeal from hundreds of scientists from around the world, begging him to think again about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, came as no surprise.
I don’t think that the sheer volume of scientific dissent will dissuade him — if he won’t listen to his own scientists, he’s hardly likely to pay any more heed to somebody else’s boffins.
The man seems impervious to the findings of sound, logical, scientific research.
There’s probably a name for this disability, but to me, as a layman, it is indistinguishable from plain stupidity.
Unfortunately for humankind, Harper’s scientific myopia is not just ridiculous, it is also dangerous.
He seems no more open to the entreaties of moralists than of environmentalists.
Does he really believe that there is no moral dimension to destroying human habitat ? Harper is ready enough to wave the morality banner in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s face, but back in his own country he places economic progress well ahead of ethical considerations!
This incongruity suggests that Harperism is a very personal kind of political philosophy, so personal, in fact, as to be called solipsism — his own view is the only accurate view.
If Harper alone sees things as they are, then we have no further need of scientists, environmentalists, moralists or philosophers, but only of Harperists — those who accept his word as The Word.
This self-absorbtion causes him to disregard not only science, but legitimate First Nations’ concerns, local residents’ fears, and any other voice that dares to diverge from his own personal view. Taken to such perilous lengths, Harper’s bumptiousness is pathological.
Several kings of France governed by Divine Right, and so did plenty of English monarchs, but we moved beyond that kind of absolutism long ago. It is simply not sufficient for our prime minister to keep shouting “Le Roy le Veult!” and expect to be mutely obeyed.
Surely Canada can do better than this?