I agree Rolly, its very sad. But, it goes further than environmental science.
Harper is an Evangelist and as such he doesn't believe in evolution, he believes in creationism. All science is evil according to these people. Even on this site in an earlier letter entitled Government vs. Science, a comment was made by a person arguing that science doesn't produce facts and that truth should be left to philosophers.
I've studied philosophy. While I commend philosophers for doing the deep thinking necessary to move humanity forward, philosophy like religion is theory, not fact. Science may not be perfect because its a product of humanity, but no other discipline comes close to discovering as many facts about life in our universe than science. Everyday scientists around the world make new factual discoveries.
Nothing has caused more harm and strife over the last 2000 years than the interference of religion in the governance of nation states. The separation of church and state is ABSOLUTELY necessary for democracy to survive, let alone thrive, in my opinion.
Taking 22 Rabis to Israel was not only an unprecedented move by Harper, because no other Canadian Prime Minister has ever brought religious leaders with him on a state visit, but one that also signals the end of Canada's 'Separation of Church and State' policy. Can you imagine Mulroney taking 22 Catholic priests with him to Rome or Pearson taking 22 Methodist pastors with him to the UK?
For me, the next federal election will be about exactly this... Do we want a secular government that respects the views of all Canadians, uniting us in its determination to discover the truth and lead through real unbiased, factual research. Or do we want a government that is driven by religious doctrine based on one book that was written in a different time, for different people, whose societies are long buried under the sands of time.
I will be voting for science over religion because the Rapture--my Republican friends--is not real. It will not happen, no matter how hard you pray.